Friday, June 06, 2008

Energy: Government vs. Market Solutions

Coercive, government solutions to high energy prices:

1. Investigate oil companies for "price gouging."
2. Impose winfall profits taxes on oil companies.
3. Keep plentiful domestic energy resources off-limits.
4. Pressure (beg) Saudi Arabia to increase output.
5. Regulate stricter CAFE standards for fuel efficiency.
6. Waste taxpayer money to subsidize "demon ethanol."

Voluntary, market solutions to high energy prices:

1. Producers develop fuel-efficient cars like the 300 mpg Aptera (watch CNN video above, click on arrow) that can go cross country on one tank of gas, and the
230 mpg Volkswagen coming in 2010, WITH NO GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES.
2. Consumers drive less voluntarily and buy more fuel-efficient cars to conserve gas.
3. Producers attempt to find more oil in Canada, North Dakota, the Outer Continental Shelf and ANWR, subject to government restrictions.
4. Oil refiners attempt to build more, energy-efficient, environmentally-safe oil refineries, subject to government restrictions.

Future government solutions?

1. Impose windfall profits taxes on Aptera and other energy-efficient vehicle makers if they start making "windfall profits" from booming sales of small cars.

2. Investigate "price gouging" if consumer demand for the Aptera and other small cars results in "excessive prices."


At 6/06/2008 11:34 AM, Blogger bobble said...

one more government "solution" that's been proposed: sue OPEC. LMFAO!!!

At 6/06/2008 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aptera is only available in California with release expected in 2009.

Volkswagen looks very promising given their extensive distribution network. Single passenger sits behind the driver thereby reducing the width of the vehicle and its wind resistance. Considering the # of times you see a single driver on an errand, this approach is highly efficient. One sees very similar small vehicles in China where the back is used to carry a passenger or the groceries although these are obviously not built to western safety standards.

At 6/06/2008 11:59 AM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

I like it. The only question I have is parking. I'd worry about some dunderhead turning in close to the body and squashing the outrigger wheels

At 6/06/2008 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We only have one option that can be Ramped, Immediately.

At 6/06/2008 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have news stations on while I work and the poor anchors on CNN are approaching panic as oil rises to $139.01 per barrel and the DOW falls.

Big deal.

We can afford $300.00 oil. Not a problem, just an attitude adjustment.

Anyone want to buy a brand new Class A diesel pusher? The local RV place is going out of business and discounting up to 40% off list...heck this guy is selling new RVs for less than others are trying to get for used RVs.

At 6/06/2008 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot regulating the new electrics out of existence because they are not safe.

The Canadian government is already doing that using the excuse that the electric cars are too quite and too small.

At 6/06/2008 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are things that can be done right now. Drive less and drive slower.

I increased my fuel economy from 35 MPG to 42+ MPG (20% increase) by driving more conservatively, by driving off-peak and driving on slower routes. Thus on the 65 MPH limit portion of my daily drive, I can go between 55 and 60 without causing traffic issues and 45-50 MPH on the 55 MPH limit portion.

I'm not the only one doing this either, every major price jump in fuel, I see a few more doing this.

For the record, I would not support a 55MPH national speed limit.

At 6/07/2008 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot the most interesting private market solution in Craig
Ventners oil producing bacteria that ingests CO2 and has oil as a waste product.

At 6/07/2008 5:45 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> We only have one option that can be Ramped, Immediately.

On what planet? Not this one. Even waste-based ethanol is ridiculously overpromoted.

At 6/07/2008 5:47 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Thus on the 65 MPH limit portion of my daily drive, I can go between 55 and 60 without causing traffic issues and 45-50 MPH on the 55 MPH limit portion.

And so you save $3 on gas, while only costing yourself $15 a day in extra driving time!




At 6/07/2008 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig Venter, Synthetic Life, and Alternative Fuels.

This man ALWAYS bears watching.

At 6/08/2008 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my new favorite blog -- keep up the good work!!

At 6/09/2008 8:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The manufacturing guys over at Evolving Excellence had a good post today on "big oil" relatively low profit margins, but with a twist. Did you know the endowments of Harvard, Yale, and others went up over 20% last year? Those private universities are just sitting on the cash, while Big Oil is at least reinvesting in new energy sources (even green) and paying dividends to help support little old ladies in retirement. They reference one WaPo article that says Big Oil profit could educate 60,000 kids... well the increasing endowments at Harvard could let Harvard build a dozen more Harvards and educate that many kids each year. Who should get nailed with a windfall profits tax?



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