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What should be done about rising gas prices?

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FreeJoe Donating Member (331 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:49 PM
Original message
What should be done about rising gas prices?
When this happened in the 70s, we did several things:

1) Put a cap on how high gas prices could go
2) Set a national speed limit of 55mph
3) Set mileage standards for car fleets
4) Invested money in alternative sources of gas (synfuels)

What are we doing now? What should we do?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm addressing rising energy costs in general by installing a solar photovoltaic power system...
...on my house.

It doesn't do anything about gasoline prices directly, but it will insulate me against rising electric power rates which I believe are inevitable for many reasons.

I'm installing enough capacity now to get my electric bill down to about zero, with room to expand in case I buy a plug-in car or add bodies to my household.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'm envious; I live in an apartment but would love to do that. nt
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. And what does it cost? Probably enough to build a house
I bet.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I'm not Slackmaster, but if you figure $25,000, you're probably well within range.
Prices on Solar PV keep dropping and in my area,
the payback time is now something less than 15 years
or so at the *CURRENT* electric rates and including the
cost of money. This is well within the lifetime of the PV
system and the economics can only get better as PV
becomes less expensive and utility electricity more
expensive.

Tesha
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. About $18,000 out of pocket for a 1.5 KW system. I get a $5,400 federal tax credit for this year.
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 01:46 PM by slackmaster
Also possibly about $600 in cash from the California Solar Power Initiative, or what's left of it.

I am able to finance the capital outlay myself with a home equity line o' credit. Interest on that is variable, it's low now, and fully deductible. I'm in a position to do this because I bought at a good time and have had steady employment at decent pay, and my divorce in 2000 didn't completely wipe me out.

The San Diego County Assessor will not increase my property tax for the project, which includes a main panel upgrade from 100 to 200 amps, something I've been wanting to do anyway.

SDG&E has a tiered rate system starting at about 7.3 cents/KWH for some amount I can't recall off the top of my head. Next tier is over 9 cents, then 13.something, then it goes up to over 23 if you are a heavier consumer.

Assuming about 6% annual rate increases, I'm shooting for break-even in about 7-8 years. If rates go up faster, I win big. The only scenario in which this turns out to be a mistake would be SDG&E keeping power rates steady for a long time, or reducing them.

A small system is appropriate for me because I live alone, am not a heavy consumer (no A/C), and SDG&E will not pay consumers for being net producers of electric power - They'll let you net meter down to zero KWH for the month but no farther, and still charge a $5 monthly connection fee.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Nationalize energy
Shouldn't have been left in private hands anyway...

And "yes," the US should invest in alternative sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, etc...
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yep. It's critical to the functioning of the country.
And impose windfall profit taxes retroactively.
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. +1
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Ghost Dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. Consume less energy, more efficiently.
Every twenty-something Japanese now knows that.
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here_is_to_hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Nothing, let the monster
destroy what it must.
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hayu_lol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. A few nights ago on KGO--San Francisco, a Saudi Prince...
was cited for announcing that oil cost could rise to over $300/barrel. At that level, life as we have known it here in our country, would disappear.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. Buy more Big Oil stock!
They are going to show higher profits than the highest record ever.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
10. Buy less gas.
Or wail, moan, and gnash teeth.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. Pull our f-----g troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan n/t
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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
12. Walk more.
Drive less.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
14. Three and Four.
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yngdip Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. I liked what Obama said
"I'm just going to be honest with you. There's not much we can do next week or two weeks from now,"..."If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know," Obama said laughingly. "You might want to think about a trade-in."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/06/obama-energy-i...

We need to reduce our consumption and change our energy sources as individuals and as a nation. Nothing else to do but complain and pay until we do that.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. Ask the poor people of Venezuela what they think of cheap American gas
oil revenues are vital for many poor countries.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
19. Support mass transit both as a program and as a means of personal
travel. Our system is going to have to raise prices again but I am supporting that move. We have one system in our town and another run by the tribal government that is for all persons regardless of ethnicity that serves rural users.
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