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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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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. That is a lot less than I expected. A few months back I couldn't
even find anyone in my area that does that kind of work to ask..
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. I met my main contractor at his display at a gun show in Del Mar
The economics of PV power may be very different where you live because of several factors - Available sunlight, cost of power from existing sources, etc.
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doc03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I highly doubt if we have enough available sunlight here
and I know we don't have enough wind. It is a lot cheaper than I thought it would be.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. You probably experience a whole lot more acute storm winds there than in San Diego
My ex-wife's uncle was a farmer in NE Ohio. He had a tornado rip through his corn field not many years ago.

My solar panels are rated to take a sustained 85 MPH wind.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. 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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Thunderstruck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Obama has also at least three times in very public ways, two of those times
being a SOTU address, has said:

This is from his Oval Office address regarding the BP Oil Spill (Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YegtBu8RIlM ). I'm not going to take the time to format emphasis of key points here because every word is important to the message the President is attempting to convey here which is that oil is the energy source of the past, not the future. And the future starts now.

snip

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, weve talked and talked about the need to end Americas century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. Each day, we send nearly $1 billion of our wealth to foreign countries for their oil. And today, as we look to the Gulf, we see an entire way of life being threatened by a menacing cloud of black crude.

We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash Americas innovation and seize control of our own destiny.

This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, weve already taken unprecedented action to jumpstart the clean energy industry. As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels. Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient. Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries.

Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us. As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs - but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation - workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors. When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill - a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for Americas businesses.

Now, there are costs associated with this transition. And there are some who believe that we cant afford those costs right now. I say we cant afford not to change how we produce and use energy - because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.

So Im happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party - as long they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels. Some have suggested raising efficiency standards in our buildings like we did in our cars and trucks. Some believe we should set standards to ensure that more of our electricity comes from wind and solar power. Others wonder why the energy industry only spends a fraction of what the high-tech industry does on research and development - and want to rapidly boost our investments in such research and development.

All of these approaches have merit, and deserve a fair hearing in the months ahead. But the one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet. You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon. And yet, time and again, we have refused to settle for the paltry limits of conventional wisdom. Instead, what has defined us as a nation since our founding is the capacity to shape our destiny - our determination to fight for the America we want for our children. Even if were unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we dont yet know precisely how were going to get there. We know well get there.

snip

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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
18. 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
22. 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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