Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On the issue of "Oil Addiction".... and "Energy Conservation"...

The other day...I was having neighborly chat with a fella that lives across the street. He brought up about the high prices of gas at the pump and how difficult it is to cut back...he's a interstate trucker by trade..and having to buy diesel is really kicking him hard as well.He say's that he tries everything possible as well around the house to conserve energy..and Texas has some of the nations highest utility costs right now nationwide.He told me according to the government...we should have our thermostat's set at around 78 degree's. He drives a full size SUV like myself as well..and was talking about things like "hypermiling"..which has become popular in the USA since the skyrocket of petro prices at the pump.He was curious as to what I do about the prices of gas and conservation of utilities at home?...So..I told him the way I see it.

First of all...I DONT hypermile. I was watching a "special report" several months back online of a fella in the D.C. area(Washington)who was supposed to be the nations top man in hypermiling..he took the camera crew on a cruise with him..and gave step by step instruction on how to stretch your gas and get at least another 30% to 35% mileage out of it. This guy had a fairly new Toyota or Honda(cant recall) car,probably 4 cylinder it looked like...roughly a 2 liter engine..which really is not bad on gas to begin with.But what I seen was insane..this guy was killing his engine constantly...had maped out pre planned routes to try to coast down as many inclines as he could...constantly throwing it in nuetral gear...not coming to complete stop's...not accelerating hardly at take off...etc.But his guy was a happy camper..because he said he just increased his mileage by at least 30%.And I certainly admired the man's innovative thinking.But at the same time...I was wondering if he realized what he was doing to his car?First of all...he was dogging the transmission which was automatic on top of that..and believe me..if you cant rebuild a transmission yourself...to get a rebuilt for a car like that..your at least looking at roughly $700-$800..minimal...and thats going to an independent.He was also dogging his engine internally..now just about anyone can figure out how to change a head gasket...but when you start getting into internal engine work...you damn well better know your stuff..and to take it to a shop is expensive. I had a buddy a couple years ago rebuild his own engine..it was an older quad-4 engine on an old Dodge...he never could get the vacuum right on the damn engine...it ran..but constantly would sputter.Probably the least expensive damage this guy in D.C. was doing to his car was wearing out the starter. But that is a hell of a price to pay just to get 30% extra mileage!

Driving the speed limit: recently in Dallas/Fort Worth there has been talk amongst local government to try make speed limits 55mph all over the metroplex..it's basically 55-60mph in central area's...and the far out suburban area's around 65-70 right now.This talk is an attempt to conserve gas. Now c'mon..lets be realistic. Do they actually think reducing the speed by 5 miles an hour is going to do much of anything?Right now...if you try even going the speed limit on a freeway..vehicles will be cutting around you and passing you so quick that you will feel like your going in reverse..and thats at driving 60mph.So be realistic.This is nonsense.

As far as keeping my home thermostat at 78 degree's,heh,heh,heh...well...to each their own.I keep my home 68-70 degree's year round.As for what Washington say's it should be...I dont care.Set yours at 85 if you want...it makes no difference to me what they do.But since I pay my own way for gas,utilities...I am going to do what I want...it's my damn money..and I frankly dont give a damn what any of these politicians say about that.They tell us to ride more transit...my answer to that is "you all ride the bus or train to Capitalism Hill" instead of them full size 8 cylinder SUV's all these politicians ride around in these days...even leave them running while they are inside so their cool when they come out and get back in.They say conserve more?...tell folks in India and China to conserve more...we dont have no damn shortage on gas!

As far as all these folks trading in their larger vehicles for small ones,heh,heh this is another...fad. You drop the petro prices back down to $2 bucks a gallon...you can bet the larger vehicles will sell once again like hot cakes!And alot of folks are not going to just go out in these tougher economic times and try to take out a new or slightly used car loan for some $25K to $30K hybrid..that they will have to wait on a list for a couple months because the manufacturing cant meet the demand currently. Can you imagine what it will cost to take a car like that into a shop? I want to wait a few years and do a longevity check on those vehicles that been on the road after a few years..see how their doing ...and what new cars like the cars from India coming soon will do...that get..get this...over 105 miles to the gallon..and run mainly on air compression...at a new cost of $17K.That will be built in smaller plants and quantities..not in India...but right here in the USA,with plants scattered all over the nation...and yes...creating jobs for Americans! They have a website at www.zeropollutionmotors.us ,and these cars should be on American roads in a couple years.

As far as our political genius employee's in Washington...maybe they can have "dress down" day in the White House..wear t-shirts...and just use ceiling fans and open the windows...ride the train,bus,or pedal a bike to work...dont ask me to.If our gas goes up to $5 a gallon...I'll just pay it one way or another.As far as Bush saying were addicted to oil...hell it's folks in his posse that run the show and make that a reality. Do we realize how many things we use and consume daily that are a product of oil? So many it would take me 2 pages to list half of them...so the idea that we are going to just get away totally from oil is silly any time soon.Not unless we destroy everything we have and own...including our computers and software..and go live all in mud huts...so tell that nonsense to some sap that sucks it up. Politicians come a dime a dozen these days. And most are full of crap.They care about us at the pump? If they did..they would dip into the "strategic petroleum reserve"...cut the tax or a number of other things...not offer us $28 for the summer. They make the profits...we the consumer get no royalties...and we the American consumer also pay to subsidize it...they got more crap then a cow farm!

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