Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gas Prices

Here in Oklahoma, specifically the Tulsa area, we're paying around $2.95 per gallon for gas. Nationwide, Houston residents can find gas for $2.91, while the folks in Los Angeles are shelling out $3.23 per gallon. A year ago, we were paying around $2.00 a gallon nationwide. I don't like it - not one bit. I work for a manufacturing firm that builds refinery equipment and we are seeing record sales. Currently, we are quoting 40 - 52 weeks for orders. We are booking hours at 2.5 times the normal rate in some cases. This should be a banner year...but I still don't like paying $3.00 for a gallon of gas. And, with BP shutting down their pipeline in the Prudhoe Bay oil field (Alaska), who knows where the price will go.

So how did we get to this point? I don't claim to be an authority on the subject, but I have to believe that the fact that we haven't built a new refinery in this country in over 20 years has a LOT to do with it. We are WAY too dependent on foreign oil imports in this country. According to a Washington Post article: "The United States imports 58 percent of the oil it consumes. Federal officials project that by 2025, the country will have to import 68 percent of its oil to meet demand." What we need to do is build reineries, expand existing ones and look for alternative fuels. One such fuel, synfuel, is not only a cleaner burning fuel, it can be produced from coal for about $1.00 a gallon. The process to accomplish this is known as the
Fischer-Tropsch Process and it provided fuel for 90 per cent of Hitler's planes during WWII, so the technology is already there. Montana's Governor, Brian Schweitzer aka "Montana's Coal Cowboy" pitched the process on CBS's 60 Minutes. Montana has 120 billion tons of state and federal coal reserves under its surface, mostly in Eastern Montana. Schweitzer said 115 billion tons of that coal is recoverable. Schweitzer said using the Fischer-Tropsch method, one ton of coal would produce 1.5 barrels of diesel fuel. A barrel is 42 gallons. That's one alternative. Then there's the "tar sands" or "oil sands" in Canada. I won't go into the details here, but it's definetly worth checking out.

So what are we waiting for?


Cheatwoods said...

LOL!!!!! i have seen that sighn! I love it! So true! Did you hear, we are having another boy! What do you do with two boys?? We are excitted!

Keith said...

Congratulations! I was wondering if you had your baby yet. I forget when you said you were due. "What do you do with two boys?" Well, we have two boys-- one is 18, the other 13, and let me tell you, they keep you busy. "What do you do?" Cherish EVERY moment. Eighteen years FLEW by!!!!! I get too busy sometimes and then a couple of months have gone by. I've passed up better jobs, more responsibilities, given up hobbies, etc. just so I can spend time with my boys. It was worth it. Looking at your blog, I think you guys already have the right idea. I enjoy the pics and "stories" of all the things you do with your little one now. One more will just make it twice as fun!

Blessings to you and your family. Praying for a safe and healthy delivery.