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November 05, 2008

Big Oil’s role in economy woes

Why hasn’t anyone discussed the idea that Big Oil and the car manufactures have surely contributed to the economic mess we are in?

In the mid 1970s, there were huge lines at the gas stations (am I the only one to remember)? Why didn’t the car manufactures at that time delve into the hybrid vehicles? We would not now be sending huge amounts of money to other countries for oil.

It sure seems that Big Oil rules our economy, not just Big Wall Street.

Bruce L. Rogers
Kansas City

Comments

Engineer

Pub 17
A hybrid and a "regenerative braking electric car' are two very different things. Perhaps one needs some technical background to understand just how complicated the "hybrid" system is. As to "fuel efficiency" what is really meant is "miles per gallon". This basically depends on vehicle weight so there are no real secrets to the design of such vehicles.

Pub 17

EKAN
Don't YOU be rewriting history, ninja. Regenerative braking has been around for decades. In automobiles, AMC and Gulton (are you old enough to remember the Gulton Rechargeable Flashlight?) were working on a regenerative-braking based electric car forty years ago. There just wasn't any incentive to pursue it in an age of quarter-a-gallon gas.

EKAN

"8 years ago, when someone took office, he rolled backwards the MPG standards for fleets of automobiles..."

Stone
This is a blatant lie and a perfect example of liberals trying to change history. The truth is that when Bush took office, CAFE for cars was 27.5mpg and light trucks was 20.7mpg which is exactly where it is today.

JayhawkinMo
Being an engineer in the auto industry I can say that you are exactly correct in that nobody had considered recapturing brake engergy until the late 90's. How could they be expected to operate the complex control required when they the computing power wasn't invented?

I do take issue with one statement you made, though, which is that you seem to insinuate that auto makers should have concentrated on building fuel economical vehicles that the marketplace didn't want in the 90's. Are you assuming it would have been better had they gone out of business in 1998 than now?

Casady

Good points Jayhawk. It should be added that oil leveled off in the late 1970s when OPEC set the market price at $40 a barrel. It as only in the early 1980s when OPEC nations could not agree on production quotas that the market changed to commodities based pricing, which led to $16 oil by the mid 1990s.

I'm neither a supporter or detractor of big oil. It's a business like any other where profits are determine by the market price for their product. Much to the dismay of all those who loathe big oil, Exxon Mobil does not set the market price but they do benefit when the market price is up just like they will experience a loss when the market price is down.

JayhawkinMO

Prior to the OPEC embargo in 1973, the Americans were paying about 35 cents for a gallon of gas. By the late-70s, it had climbed to a buck or more. Domestic crude production was far greater than now. I doubt if the auto mfgrs had anything near the technology to produce hybrids, but high mileage imports started to make longterm inroads in domestic auto sales. Over four decades have passed and Detroit never got the message. SUVs have been their highest profit vehicle and they weren't going to give them up unless it put them out of business. Which it almost has!! Stupid.

bigalsbeans

Right, its all part of Big Oil's plan to have gas at $1.75 gallon, probably just for the election I suppose! Conspiracy theorists unite!

We would have gone the opposite way with Al (I invented the internet) Gore, we would be riding our bikes to work and using the idiotic system of energy credits!

stone

8 years ago, when someone took office, he rolled backwards the MPG standards for fleets of automobiles, while environmentalists were pushing for for higher MPG standards. They were pushed back because Detroit believed the higher standards would run them out of business (well.... looks like the lack of higher MPG cars is running them out of business instead)

Only recently did congress raise the standards above the level it was before this person took office. Had increases been made 8 years ago, we would be further along in our quest for more fuel efficient vehicles than we are now.

 
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