Why Foreign Hydrocarbon Prices Matter, Part II

The Good Signs:

Amidst a downturn, hybrid market share is up.
The geogreen gas tax is >picked up by CNBC.
Volkwagon’s 117 mile per galleon vehicle.
California invests in bullet trains

The Trouble:

Talk of an OPEC for Natural Gas
South Africa slows production of electric cars
California rejects renewable and alternative energy

The opportunity

GM is desparate for cash

The sort of people who get rich from high oil and natural gas prices:

Putn ’09?

2 thoughts on “Why Foreign Hydrocarbon Prices Matter, Part II”

  1. When oil spike in the late 70s and early 80s there were all sorts of high mileage vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. My father rented a building to a windmill factory. When the price of oil crashed, and federal tax subsidies disappeared, it all went belly up. Lee Raymond, the recently retired CEO of ExxonMobil, made his mark at Exxon by ridding it of unprofitable green business units.

    Will this cycle be different?

  2. Agreed. My parents office had solar panels after the 70s crunch Those were removed long ago.

    Improvements in technology seem to make the cost of many alternative fuels closer to the baseline price for hydrocarbons in this cycle. [1]

    Also, the attack on Georgia was a greater assault against the peace than any action the Soviet Union committed [2]. We have never seen a major state warped by high hydrocarbon prices to the extent that Putin’s Russia is suffering.

    Likewise, we can hope that lessons have been learned in how politics interacts with the environmentalist movement, so that it is met with less starry-eyed optimism and less derisiveness, and more as an agenda that has specific strengths and weaknesses.

    But political will is still required.

    The continued push for the Volt and similar vehicles for GM [3,4] implies that there is a recognition that Detroit has to shift to these vehicles if it is to secure federal loans. Hopefully that will will remain.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/07/11/no-child-left-behind-the-quantitative-revolution-applied-to-publi-schools.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/10/8808-like-8290-and-91101.html
    [3] http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE4A4BCR20081105
    [4] http://jalopnik.com/5078988/rumor-gm-to-not-put-chevy-volt-program-on-hold-cut-engineering-staff-tomorrow

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