Over a Barrel Blog
Much of the debate surrounding the recent proposal to lower fuel economy standards focuses on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes.
There’s a regular drumbeat from petroleum interests that begrudge ethanol its share of the gasoline fuel market: “We need to let the market decide.” The latest was just last week. But there’s a problem with that argument. A monopoly is not a market.
It seems like every day there’s a new think piece out there decrying the subsidies that renewable energy, alternative fuels, and the vehicles that can run them receive. Yet when it comes to the substantial government assistance for oil companies, those same critics are conspicuously silent.
Building cars is hard. Building an affordable electric car is exceedingly hard.
It seems like every day there’s a new headline about the dominance of America’s petroleum sector.
As we’ve been warning would happen for a while now, oil prices are rising again. Oil prices have already reached $80 per barrel, and look unlikely to stop increasing anytime soon.
The nation’s fuel economy standards have been the subject of heated debate, in Washington and beyond. There’s one element of the discussion that has bridged the political divide, however: the potential for higher-octane fuels to satisfy the interested parties, not to mention benefit the country in a variety of ways.
Imagine a world where a global energy crisis has left us without cars to drive. Motor vehicles sit abandoned in junk piles, and on the sides of roads, because there is no more oil left to fuel them.
The price of oil reached a record high of $147 on July 11, 2008. Could such a sharp, unexpected spike occur again?
We keep waiting for that moment when the public goes from admiring electric vehicles to purchasing them in large numbers.