Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gee, Ya' Think?

While not specifically questioning green technology, today's post is about oil prices and the crystal clear example of economic efficiency/supply and demand.

The AP, via Yahoo!, posted a story titled "Oil prices tumble again on US surprise supply jump." As you may or may not know, the price of a barrel of oil has fallen approximately $10 in the last two days. As you also may or may not know, oil is sold on the world market in US dollars. While the discussion of using oil as a hedge against a weakening dollar and inflation is legitimate, the story highlights the real cause, people just aren't consuming!

From the article:

"The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude oil supplies rose by 3 million barrels, or 1 percent, last week. That is the opposite of the 3 million barrel draw analysts surveyed by energy research firm Platts expected. Gasoline supplies also leapt unexpectedly."

So, there you have it. People and businesses are just consuming less. Whether it is gas at $4.08 a gallon, or crude at $146, people and businesses have reached the point where they will no longer bear the price, and thus supply is increasing. Provided that consumption remains flat or continues to decrease (globally), prices will continue to fall.

And guess what, the US government and states still collect about $.26 a gallon. However, they are concerned that reduced consumption will cut into their revenue stream.

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