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Old 05-17-2014, 09:19 PM
 
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Interesting question TxinRearvyew.

I have been following the recent tit for tat between oil and the legislature and even internal bickering within the legislature over oil taxes/revenues. As reported in the newspapers.

IMHO, part of the answer is that "big oil" pays "taxes" to the AK Government. So it is up to the AK government to build the libraries and make investments in the infrastructure too.

And I realize I am not an Alaskan (yet) so I really don't have a dog in this fight and my opinion shouldn't count for much...
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxinRearvyew View Post
But, do you all think AK will become closer to what it was 70-100 years ago?
I doubt if we will lose 70-100 years of progress. However we will see many national chain stores pull out and many local business go out of business. For the first time in many years there will be a glut of homes for sale driving down their value.

And, are the oil companies building huge libraries / long term infrastructure in AK like the Carnegie's did way back when?
A few oil companies say they are working to develope other types of energy in Alaska. However with the small market size in Alaska, oil companies will need incentives to stick around. Once oil starts to dry up the state will not be able provide these incentives. As fast as the oil companies moved up here they will move out.

Also, will oil 'dry up', assuming its not abiotic, in our lifetimes?
I do not know how long Alaska has. There is oil in ANWR and Bristol Bay. Alaska has almost no say in opening ANWR. As long as fishing remains strong Bristol Bay is hands off.

A lot of speculation...but interesting answers so far, thanks.
.
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:01 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
Tesla's way of battery swapping is automatic... Pull in and a robot does it.
I am a traveling musician. I hit gas stations in all kinds of different areas on a regular basis. Never once have I seen this robotic mechanism anywhere. That was my point. It hardly matters HOW it gets done - the problem is WHERE it can get done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
The infrastructure will be created if oil prices get too high. There's little incentive to spend a lot on new infrastructure when the existing solution, oil, is still the low cost solution. When oil is no longer the low cost solution, there will be a lot of profit for whoever can create the new low cost solution. Trying to capture that profit will motivate companies to create the new infrastructure.
True though this is, there will be a long and very painful lag in that process... long enough to destroy the US economy as we know it. Look at how long it took for average vehicle MPG to increase even a little bit. I remember people screaming and yelling about gas prices in 2001 - and at that time the highest regular gas price I saw was $1.75. Then they went down to 99 cents in the end of 2001, and then back up to $1.69 by the end of 2002, then in November of 2003 we had an overnight spike from $1.44 to $1.69 (a 17.3% leap) and things have not been the same since. Gas prices have been historically high ever since, and average vehicle gas mileage has only increased by tiny bits along the way... tiny bits that are achieved by making cars substantially more complex, substantially more expensive, and substantially harder (and more expensive) to repair when something goes blooey. I have a 1996 Chevy Tahoe that gets near 20 miles per gallon average for the driving I do (which is not all highway), using that crap E-10 "gas" that most stations sell. (It's rated at 13 city, 17 highway.) These days the Tahoe is rated at 15 city, 21 highway. Taking the average of those two numbers, the 1996 should get 15 mpg while the 2014 should get 18 mpg. That's an increase of only 20%... while the price of gas increased almost 300%. Not much mitigation there. And I ask you this - why are they not getting 40 mpg? There are "eco-modders" out there who have massaged their old Suburbans up to 40 mpg. Why are cars like that not being sold en masse? (One simple answer: FOLLOW THE MONEY.)

They've had electric cars for over 100 years. President Taft drove one. We had an energy crisis in the 1970's (which was manufactured by the government of course) and that didn't spur a huge quantum shift toward alternative fuels. By now we should be running cars, en masse, on something else other than gasoline and diesel fuel. Yet, alternative-fuel cars and hybrids only account for a small single-digit percentage of new car sales. It's not hard to see why. They're usually more expensive than gas models, you will spend far more on maintenance and repair for these cars compared to simpler gas-powered cars, and they're also usually small. Furthermore, there's no good infrastructure for refueling any vehicle that doesn't use gasoline. Heck, barely more than half of gas stations sell diesel fuel these days and diesel-powered passenger vehicles have been around in significant numbers since the 1970's! Sure has taken a long time to get THAT infrastructure up and running!

When your government is in bed with the oil companies, you know there is going to be calamity when the oil runs out or becomes prohibitively expensive. We've managed to adjust to a new normal where everyone gripes about the high price of gas but we all still buy it without rioting in the streets. If they quadruple it again to $16.00 per gallon, that ain't gonna happen... it's going to be pandemonium.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:07 AM
 
1,000 posts, read 840,214 times
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Here's an interesting graph on inflation-adjusted gas prices since 1918:

Gasoline Inflation: Inflation Adjusted Gasoline Prices

The red line is the price of gas adjusted for inflation, the black line is the un-adjusted price. There have certainly been big spikes over a short period of time, but overall, adjusted for inflation, it's been in a relatively narrow window (the maximum price is about 2.5x the minimum price). Though currently we're about at the top of the range.

I agree the change from one type of infrastructure to another takes time, and during that time there are no great options. But if / when scarcity finally does cause prices to rise they will ramp up over a period of time, and the infrastructure swap over will take place. It won't be fun, like the long gas lines of the early 1970's, but I wouldn't expect the economy to collapse.
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:35 AM
 
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Romani - Like you I travel the country and hit all kinds of fuel stations. 10 years ago I started driving diesel vehicles. (Not 18-wheelers, SUVs and Pickups) and had a hard time finding stations that had diesel. When you did they were not even pay at the pump like gas was/is. Now 75% of the stations carry diesel. About 4 years ago, diesel trucks started using DEF - (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) and it was hard to find, especially in early 2010. Now, Stations have adjusted and have "bulk" DEF Pumps next to the diesel pumps - at least at truck stops. It would be easier to just have gal to 2.5 gal jugs of DEF in the store, but there is cost advantage. Bulk DEF they can sell for a profit at $2.69 - $2.89/Gal whereas in jugs it is around $6.00-$9.00/Gal. The point is that the fuel stations adjusted to the current needs. Right now, there are few charging stations and to my knowledge no battery swap stations around. There are also few plug-in vehicles and even FEWER battery swapable vehicles on the road. The cliche' should I get the cart or the horse first comes to mind. Telsa is planning to outfit its charging stations with hot swapable battery packs. Assuming BEVs or even EREVs become popular - this will expand. If it stays as a niche' vehicle it won't.

Your point is very valid. It will take a consumer and market shift to make that convenience a reality. My point is that someone already thought of it and when the time is right will implement it.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:25 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
Here's an interesting graph on inflation-adjusted gas prices since 1918:

Gasoline Inflation: Inflation Adjusted Gasoline Prices

The red line is the price of gas adjusted for inflation, the black line is the un-adjusted price. There have certainly been big spikes over a short period of time, but overall, adjusted for inflation, it's been in a relatively narrow window (the maximum price is about 2.5x the minimum price). Though currently we're about at the top of the range.

I agree the change from one type of infrastructure to another takes time, and during that time there are no great options. But if / when scarcity finally does cause prices to rise they will ramp up over a period of time, and the infrastructure swap over will take place. It won't be fun, like the long gas lines of the early 1970's, but I wouldn't expect the economy to collapse.
Today's American economy is based upon bulk transport of cheap goods produced either in huge factories in America or in third-world slave labor countries. Without petrochemical fuels, that economy will collapse.

The huge spike in gas prices in 2008 only caused a single-digit percentage decrease in gasoline and diesel fuel demand. Now imagine that the supply were suddenly only half of what it is today. Prices would spiral out of control. Even when supply is cut (or not conveniently available) for a very short time, prices skyrocket. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, some people were selling gasoline in New Jersey for $20 per gallon - and this was during a time when open stations could be found (albeit not locally to the hardest-hit areas) and the closed stations were only expected to be closed for a couple of weeks! Imagine what'd happen if people simply couldn't get the gas they needed! Gas lines would only be the start of it.

Now, MUST we have that type of transportation-based economy? No. That wasn't always how it worked. But it's what we have right now. The gas lines of the 1970's worked because the government was manufacturing that "crisis". This means that those vehicles that REALLY needed fuel could get it. Not to mention, truckers were causing a whole lot of trouble for the government at that time because they controlled the means of distribution for consumer goods. When they went on strike, the government actually listened.

We could go back to a more localized economy and be fine... but it would take a huge amount of transition time. And you and I both know that will never happen because the government feeds off of high prices charged to consumers for things that those consumers NEED... meaning that the government must make sure there always is such a need. If we were all entirely independent, the government would starve to death.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
Romani - Like you I travel the country and hit all kinds of fuel stations. 10 years ago I started driving diesel vehicles. (Not 18-wheelers, SUVs and Pickups) and had a hard time finding stations that had diesel. When you did they were not even pay at the pump like gas was/is. Now 75% of the stations carry diesel. About 4 years ago, diesel trucks started using DEF - (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) and it was hard to find, especially in early 2010. Now, Stations have adjusted and have "bulk" DEF Pumps next to the diesel pumps - at least at truck stops. It would be easier to just have gal to 2.5 gal jugs of DEF in the store, but there is cost advantage. Bulk DEF they can sell for a profit at $2.69 - $2.89/Gal whereas in jugs it is around $6.00-$9.00/Gal. The point is that the fuel stations adjusted to the current needs. Right now, there are few charging stations and to my knowledge no battery swap stations around. There are also few plug-in vehicles and even FEWER battery swapable vehicles on the road. The cliche' should I get the cart or the horse first comes to mind. Telsa is planning to outfit its charging stations with hot swapable battery packs. Assuming BEVs or even EREVs become popular - this will expand. If it stays as a niche' vehicle it won't.

Your point is very valid. It will take a consumer and market shift to make that convenience a reality. My point is that someone already thought of it and when the time is right will implement it.
DEF seems like it can be pumped through a standard gas pump type of apparatus. I've seen those things and they look like gas pumps to me. But the thing is, they weren't necessary right away. Only diesel trucks that were built during or after a certain model year (2010, I believe) require DEF. To my knowledge, not all diesel-powered pickup trucks and passenger vehicles require DEF, even today. (However, some started using it in 2007. Not sure what makes the difference between a modern diesel engine that does require DEF and one that does not.) In the beginning, when trucks that require DEF were first put on the road, most of the big rigs were of older model years, they didn't require DEF, and as such it wasn't so terrible not having DEF pumps. I remember when that happened. DEF first appeared in jugs that resemble coolant jugs. Now since more DEF trucks are on the road, they have DEF pumps. But the point is that it was a smooth transition which was anticipated, planned for, and executed on an expected timeline. Gas price shocks are never a smooth transition. I remember when gas first went to $3 per gallon... you could buy an old Suburban or Lincoln Town Car for next to nothing, and they were all over the place.

We could have more efficient vehicles on the road, and thus be more insulated from a shock when the oil runs out or becomes substantially more expensive, were it not for the meddlesome regulations imposed on the automotive industry by our morons in Washington. Many European countries have diesel-powered vehicles on their roads which can do around 80 miles per gallon. The USA doesn't have those vehicles because.... wait for it.... less oil consumption means less profit for the oil companies, which means less tax revenue for the government. Can't have THAT.... oh no no no. They'll SAY that the vehicles are not safe for our roads but if they're safe for European roads, they're safe for our roads. Follow the money.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:58 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,697,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post

DEF seems like it can be pumped through a standard gas pump type of apparatus. I've seen those things and they look like gas pumps to me. But the thing is, they weren't necessary right away. Only diesel trucks that were built during or after a certain model year (2010, I believe) require DEF. To my knowledge, not all diesel-powered pickup trucks and passenger vehicles require DEF, even today. (However, some started using it in 2007. Not sure what makes the difference between a modern diesel engine that does require DEF and one that does not.) In the beginning, when trucks that require DEF were first put on the road, most of the big rigs were of older model years, they didn't require DEF, and as such it wasn't so terrible not having DEF pumps. I remember when that happened. DEF first appeared in jugs that resemble coolant jugs. Now since more DEF trucks are on the road, they have DEF pumps. But the point is that it was a smooth transition which was anticipated, planned for, and executed on an expected timeline. Gas price shocks are never a smooth transition. I remember when gas first went to $3 per gallon... you could buy an old Suburban or Lincoln Town Car for next to nothing, and they were all over the place.

We could have more efficient vehicles on the road, and thus be more insulated from a shock when the oil runs out or becomes substantially more expensive, were it not for the meddlesome regulations imposed on the automotive industry by our morons in Washington. Many European countries have diesel-powered vehicles on their roads which can do around 80 miles per gallon. The USA doesn't have those vehicles because.... wait for it.... less oil consumption means less profit for the oil companies, which means less tax revenue for the government. Can't have THAT.... oh no no no. They'll SAY that the vehicles are not safe for our roads but if they're safe for European roads, they're safe for our roads. Follow the money.
MY2011 was the year that EPA reg required low enough Nox levels that the manufacturers choose to get to them using DEF and a SCR - certain manufacturers were given exemptions until MY2013 - Like Dodge Ram. AFAIK, all Diesel cars require DEF now too. Honda figured out a way to control Diesel NOX without out DEF, yet I still don't see a diesel Honda in the U.S.... It was sorta planned, but required a lot of retooling. It isn't like you can DEF down a gas or diesel line. New storage tanks, new pumps, lines, and hoses... BIG investment for a fuel station to sell a product that percentage wise, fuel people use, and I use DEF at a rate of 1000 miles per gal of diesel fuel burned. OTR truckers get around 400-600 MPG.

Charging stations are popping up all over, it will just take time. The problem is that it takes way too long to charge up. To get the 40 mile range on my Volt it takes 4 hours at 220V and up to 12 hours at 110V (on the lowest setting). Granted, GM is VERY conservative in their charging profile. Even the 21 mile range C-MAX charges at a double rate on 220V than the Volt. (6.6KW vs. 3.3KW) And of Tesla allows 480V - 80A charging. (Which my math tells me 38.4 KW!) but you still need "time" and a place to do it at. Not going to be plugging in 480V, 80A, 3 Phase at home without some upgrades. (To be fair, you can dual charge 220V, 30A) Unfortunately, at the moment Tesla is out of the payment reach of most people, whereas others are not. This is the one harbinger of this model. The cars are priced too high and they can't mass produce them like the big manufacturers can produce their vehicles. (yet).

So, it is coming, it will be gradual. It is planned, however, as you stated gas spike isn't. So time will tell whether the timing is good or bad. Early or late. If the other major players would agree to a standard, you would see that automated, battery swap tech. take off. But like you said, oil companies are not happy about this.

BTW - I agree with your diesel and 80MPG European car statement too. Volvo had a diesel Hybrid that got 100mpg without plugging in. CNG is also coming online as is Hydrogen. Lots of competing alt. tech. I think between ALL of them we have a solution to energy - should the taps start running dry.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
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A couple of posters mentioned biodiesel technology, and oil can be produced from coal. And yes, coal is messy. But I imagine that cleaner technologies will also emerge as time goes by.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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Ray - I like BioDiesel... BUT -- That won't work in AK for most of the year. It has a high cloud point and Cold Filter Plugging Point. (CFPP). So, it isn't a good fuel for Fairbanks unless you have a way to always keep it warm.

The cloud point of soybean biodiesel is about 34F (1C), whereas the cloud point for No. 1 diesel is about - 40F (-40C) and for No. 2 diesel between -18F (-28C) and +20F (-7C).
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:35 PM
 
307 posts, read 451,552 times
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Default What happens when oil runs out?

We'll all just go back to riding horses and horse-pulled buggies, wouldn't we? No gasoline/fuel emmissions from vehicles & machineries. Will be good for the environment, I suppose. Well...almost. Don't forget the stuff horses emit as they move about. But that's probably more environmentally friendly than carbon monoxide. We'll probably still have electricity...if the country ever gets smart and convert to non-fossil energy sources. We've got the technology and know-how...maybe without dependence on oil...we'll be forced to use our smarts (finally)...and come up with all sorts of alternatives to oil-based machineries and devices.
Without our gas-guzzling automobiles and other gas-powered machineries..we may have to do more walking...using our muscles more! That would be good, wouldn't it? Folks would be healthier...less medical problems...oh no! What would the medical and pharmaceutical industries do when people are healthier and less likely to get sick? This would put them out of business. No worries...our government will probably bail them out.
But what would the oil moguls and CEOs do? They'll be out of job! Oh well...our government can always put them on some kind of assistance. But they're smart...and if they are as resilient as they are money-smart...they'll figure out a way to manipulate and monopolize other energy sources...including human energy.
Maybe we will all benefit from the ultimate demise of the oil industry...we can revert back to the basics...self-sufficiency, independence, grow our own food, be more caring of each other, back to the old family values...until something else is created (thanks to human ingenuity and resourcefulness...and the love of money) in the form of another gigantic industry to make us dependent on...and ultimately dominate & control our lives all over again like the oil industry did.

And the cycle of samsara begins all over. Now...see what you started when you asked what happens when oil runs out?
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