Life with $10 Gasoline, Five Years Later

May/12/2008 1:38AM
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Remember, it’s not just the gasoline. It’s the heating oil, it’s the utility bills, it’s the jet fuel, it’s the diesel fuel, it’s the asphalt. Of course, all the chemical feed stocks come from hydrocarbons. Everything chemical will go up accordingly. Then there’s the food. Not just the cost to produce the food, the fertilizer and the fuel used to plant and harvest and haul to market, there’s the cost to transport it to your local grocery. The 3000 mile lettuce. So, it’s rampant inflation.

First, it’s the 1950’s again for airlines. Only the business traveler and the rich will be flying. No one else goes to Europe or Asia or even from NY to California. Good news, it  isn’t  crowded on the planes anymore.

Half of the retail gasoline outlets are gone. You  have to drive further to find your gasoline. There was another round of refinery closings in the US with those jobs gone. No crude to refine. Retail stores were in big trouble. Trucking companies were right behind the airlines with most going broke. Fast food, not many left. Good news, not much traffic on the roads.

Auto industry goes in the tank, big time. Plants close. Jobs lost. Only small cars are being sold. SUV’s sell for ten cents on the dollar. Public transportation deluged with travelers. Government sells Amtrak to investors who plan to make it the number one form of transportation in the U.S. Good news. People don’t make needless trips to do anything.

Real Estate. First a boom, then another bust. People moved to small houses closer to work. A big house is 1,500 sq. feet. Big houses sell for ten cents on the dollar. Only the ultra wealthy can afford to heat them. Cottages and second homes sell or wait for a buyer. Condos in town replace big houses in the burbs. The great American Dream is gone. The average person is trying to stay employed and pay the bills. No cottages, no boats.

The economy is in the tank. GDP is down 10% again for the fifth year in a row. Unemployment is at 20%. Civil unrest is a daily problem. Social Security is broke. The dollar is at an all time low and is no longer the currency for oil. The US oil imports are down 25% due to demand and other countries’ unwillingness to sell oil here. The U.S. pulled out of Iraq in 2010 when the entire Middle East and everyone but Canada stopped selling crude to the U.S. There is still civil war in Iraq and Iran has threatened to invade Iraq. Iran has a nuclear bomb and the world lives in fear.

President Obama was impeached in 2010 when he was blamed for all of this. The new president is the former CEO of Exxon. He has earmarked 50% of a shrinking budget to develop domestic sources of energy. Pollution in the U.S. has hit an all time high since many homeowners have started burning wood and coal. It is estimated that 25% of the trees in the U.S. have been cut for firewood. Populations in the northern tier states have shrunk 25% as people have moved south to avoid winter heat costs. Coal liquefaction was the new president’s first step. Montana is the busiest state in the country as plants are going up as fast as they can be built. Every old nuclear plant has been recommissioned. Most will take three more years at best. The armed services have been put into service to help with drilling in Alaska and offshore as well as pipeline construction to bring natural gas from Alaska. All Federal restrictions that impede energy independence have been eradicated. Permits are a given.

Foreign investment in the U.S. reached 75% before a federal law was passed stopping any more sales of U.S. assets to foreign companies or countries. China and the Middle East own most of the U.S. on paper. The United Nations moved to Beijing in last year since the U.S. could no longer support it.

Students are home schooled. All professional sports are gone. Obesity is no longer a problem. Most doctors moved out of the U.S. and health care is almost impossible to get. The new president is setting aside monies to create another 200,000 health care professionals. Fifty percent of the colleges and universitites are gone. The U.S. population is down 15% since many citizens moved to Canada. Canada’s economy is booming as they are the primary crude oil supplier to the U.S. with the tar sands.

Most kids born after 2010 have never been on a vacation, never been on a boat, never been on an airplane, and only see and play with kids in their own condo complex. Hollywood was an early casualty of the energy depression. Movie houses closed down. Newspapers soon followed. Most news in via computer. The daily brown outs make all other forms of entertainment and news transmission too unreliable. Utilities are gearing up with coal and the grid is being rebuilt.

Everyone now sees the error of our ways. We spent 25 years growing our dependence on foreign oil and banking on some big breakthrough to replace hydrocarbons. The countries who sold us the oil stopped when China and India and the big demand countries entered into long term agreements for arms for oil. The U.S. lost 40% of our crude requirements almost overnight. Blame was placed everywhere. Solutions were few and most would take years, years we didn’t have. The voters took it out on Washington. Al Gore was exiled. No one will admit to being an environmentalist. The greatest country in the world now had the biggest challenge in it’s history. Somehow we had to play catch up for 25 years of mismanagement. At the same time, we had to defend ourselves against enemies who know we are weak. Change is happening, real change, not the change ex-president Obama promised that accelerated this problem. The American spirit is being put to it’s greatest test. Hopefully we will beat a ticking clock and save our country. Even so, a generation of children have paid the price. Our grandchildren.

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Comments (2)

  1. Ken Dozier says:

    All I can say is Thank God I only have one Grandchild. Now we have John McCain today putting himself on the Global Warming Liberal bandwagon. What a big disapointment for our Party….. We are screwed…

  2. Bill Robertson says:

    McCain is a democrat in republican clothes. He will lose the November election by the largest margin in history. He is for everything Obama is for but wants the unpopular war to last 100 years. Plus, he is just slightly better than W on the podium. And, he’s older than dirt. What a prize. The party should be so proud. Someone better sit his ass down again and remind him he’s not Lieberman. He’s more liberal than Joe.

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