A new report has been released by the EIA saying that our demand on oil is decreasing:
U.S. oil consumption is expected to level off with virtually no growth between now and 2030 because of increases in energy efficiency, greater use of renewable fuels and an expected rebound in oil prices, the government said Wednesday.
The Energy Information Administration said overall energy use will continue to increase but at a slower rate than predicted only a year ago.
The agency projected a 3 percent annual increase of renewable energy use, including solar, wind and biofuels such as ethanol.
This is good news, but we still have a lot of work to do.
This also brings me to something I have been thinking about. A lot of environmentalists were happy with gas prices over $4.00 a gallon. They argued that it dropped usage, which of course it did. The problem is that it drops usage in segments of the population it really shouldn’t. Lower income families are cutting back on trips and that. Then if you take families that live miles from anywhere, then instead of cutting back on their gas usage, they cut back on other things – like food or medical treatment.
Of course high gas prices do help in places like the U.K., but that is because they are paying high prices due to high taxes. Those taxes go back into things like public transportation – something nonexistent for a majority of this country. The U.S. can’t afford to do such things, until such time that we do have major improvements on public transportation.
Perhaps this is something that should be included in a stimulus package. Start building better public transportation. Subways and bus lines are a great source of employment, and can greatly help our struggling economy.
But that isn’t all. Let’s also consider struggling families driving gas guzzlers. The simple solution seems to be “buy a more efficient vehicle”, but these families can’t afford that. Not only can they not afford that, but they most likely can’t get the credit to buy that new, fuel efficient car. Our credit markets are frozen, so you need to have extraordinary credit to even be considered for a loan today.>So, we could also consider a fuel efficient car program as part of our economic stimulus. Make it easier for families to buy hybrids and fuel efficient cars. We used to give decent tax breaks to people who did this, but the Republicans fought to get that removed. Maybe it’s time to look at bringing that back in, or starting a government auto loan program for people to buy these cars. It will help our auto industry, our economy, our environment and the struggling middle/lower class families out there.
Gas prices will be rising again soon. OPEC is going to cut production, so they can get their money. That drives oil prices up, which drives gas prices up. To help our economy, we need a radical, new energy policy. I hope ideas like this get considered.