Hearne: Three Strikes We’re Out @ the Oil Ball Game

 Glazer tried to pick this chick up but wasn't Green enough

Glazer tried to pick this chick up but wasn’t Green enough

Forgive me for preaching a little but…

It’s too easy for us to forget that what we drive as well as how we drive has a lot to do with wars being fought and Americans dying, but it really does.

You don’t see us landing troops in countries where there’s virtually zero oil, do you? And while a down economy, increased domestic oil production and more fuel efficient cars in general have contributed to today’s somewhat lower prices, it’s incumbent upon us all to try and drive the most fuel efficient vehicles we can.

At 15 MPG City and 21 Highway, the answer is yes

At 15 MPG City and 21 Highway, the answer is yes

If you no longer truly need a gas guzzling SUV or pickup other than to make a fashion statement, why not just say no?

Even if your daily drive isn’t that long.

Everybody needs to contribute and if that were to happen, this country could decrease its oil dependency and help keep gas prices lower in the most effective, sensible way possible.

Really, it makes sense.

“With the run-up in oil prices starting about 2003, oil is by far the most expensive of the traditional energy sources we have available today,” writes Gail Tverberg, an actuary who specializes in finite resources. “Countries that use a large percentage of oil in their energy mix can be expected to have a hard time competing, because of oil’s higher cost.

“High-cost renewables can also have an adverse impact, regardless of whether the cost is borne by businesses, consumers or the government.”

Here’s the problem; the U.S. has 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves yet consumes 25 percent of the oil.

That can’t go on forever folks, so the sooner we do something about it the better.

Unfortunately, many people in this country only react to dramatic things like rapidly skyrocketing gas prices. Then and only then do they dump their gas guzzlers en masse and line up for cars that get better mileage.

Toyota dealers are discounting these now, they may not be after gas blows past $4

Toyota dealers are discounting these now, they may not be after gas blows past $4

Example: Across the board sales of Toyota Prius cars (I’ve got one) have declined 21 percent from a year ago. Why? Because we haven’t had any gasoline price spikes in months. Should gas prices blow by $4 a gallon and head towards $5 as they ultimately will, you won’t be able to find a Prius on dealer lots.

Meanwhile as Prius and hybrid sales languish, buyers are lining up to buy the Ford F-150 pickups being made here in Claycomo.

“Look at us now, baby,” a union official is quoted in response to surging F-150 demand and the spike in sales for the fuel inefficient trucks.

Come on, guys. We’re smarter and can do better than this.

I feel guilty getting only 31 MPGs in my tiny Fiat.

How about next time you’re in the market for a car – regardless of where gas prices are at that exact moment – you make it a point to get at least 30 miles-per-gallon in your next vehicle?

Trust me, it can be done. Just saying…

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18 Responses to Hearne: Three Strikes We’re Out @ the Oil Ball Game

  1. Rainbow Man says:

    I absolutely agree with you Hearne.

    But I also think that we often don’t give ourselves enough credit most of the time. We are learning that old people can embrace technology, big mean athletes are accepting of gay people, and generally, we live in a conscientious society.

    We would buy smarter vehicles if they were available. We would. But they just are not available, and they are not sold at an attractive price point.

    It is pretty obvious that the automakers feel obligated to the fossil fuel industry. They just keep cranking out combustion engines. There will always be a requirement for a combustion engine in some places.. farms… trucks.. etc.

    But for family vehicles, we should have many smarter choices. We do not.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Wild Man…
      However, they’re starting to be available and if you look around a bit, in many cases they are available.

      Take the new Lincoln MKZ.

      Here’s a luxury car that even my dad would have driven that gets 45 City and 45 Highway. All I’m suggesting is people give it more thought

  2. chuck says:

    Isn’t Facking supposed to solve all of these problems?

    Jeeze, I am constantly reading that we have a 300 year supply of energy in North Dakota alone.

    I read this the other day and while I am out of my pay grade trying to decipher it, it does sound pretty good.


    Have you seen the videos of the Tesla racing gas powered cars?


    • admin says:

      Fracking is a band aid, not a solution.

      The supplies of oil on this planet are finite. Do we only care about ourselves?

      Why not join most of the rest of the world and at least try to do the right thing? It’s kind arrogant of us to stay the selfish course we’re on.

      • Super Dave says:

        “Do we only care about ourselves?”

        That’s it in a nut shell, the majority only care about themselves and for today.

      • the dude says:

        When we find out in time how bad fracking is for our water aquifers we will regret fracking in the first place. Fracking is a bad solution indeed.

  3. chuck says:

    Oops, sorry FRACKING

  4. Super Dave says:

    I’m all for high mileage cars and trucks to drive and Detroit (well guess shouldn’t just say that anymore since car building is worldwide now) has the ability to give them to us. I would have to say most my friends are all smart car buying now for the most part but almost all of them are into some sort of a business that requires a 3/4 ton truck for hauling things around. Now several have gone to smaller better type mileage vehicles and using trailers to move things around but are as well giving a lot up when they do. I don’t really think it is the customer who is buying the gas burners for style as much as they have no other choice for what their needs are. I agree with Rainbow Man if the vehicles that got 75 miles to the gallon and was of size we could all work with and a price as well the consumer would be all over them.

    But on the same note, every house should be able to afford it’s own wind turbine as well but they can’t and as windy as it is around here most the time it’s a shame. But utility companies like KCPL will fight that till they can no longer stand. Hot water on demand or tank less hot water systems should be as cheap as the current hot water heaters are today but due to price people won’t buy nor are plumbers trying to sell. New builders should be installing nothing but them in new houses but they are not. No instead the people who try to lower their carbon foot prints are labeled as nature freaks when in all reality the freaks are those who are too blind and dumb to demand and do better. They have LED bulbs now of the brightness of a 100 watt incandescent bulbs cost is about 55 dollars and last app 15 years using only 22 watts of power. I am slowly switching my house over to cheaper lighting each month but sadly I know of nobody else doing the same.

    We live in a fast world where cars have to go fast, and nobody is interested in light bulbs costing more and lasting for over ten years while operating cheaper.

    • admin says:

      If somebody absolutely needs a truck for business or work, no problem. My sense is that most of them get very little practical use in day to day life. Meanwhile they’re getting 16 MPGs driving to the Hen House and 810 Zone.

      • Super Dave says:

        So now you are taking to task the true meaning of “absolutely needs”. If a person needs a truck one day a week, then they need it. As a rule the majority of the people buy the type vehicle they need. The Glazer and vanity types buy what they need to make sure you understand they are better than you. No sane person in KC area needs a Lotus or Ferrari to tool around in KC in everyday but they sure out there.

      • the dude says:

        The truck only gets brought out in bad weather or to be driven once a week when the weather is good. Otherwise I ride my motorcycles to cut down on the gas usage when there is no rain or snow.

  5. smartman says:

    ARGHHHH!!!! CNG, Compressed Natural Gas is the answer. Pickensplan.com has the solution.

    Screw hybrids and electrics. We have enough natural gas in the US to fuel all of our gas and diesel powered vehicles for the next 300 years, maybe longer. With $1200.00 worth of equipment you’ll be able to fuel your car at home.

  6. harley says:

    hearne…this article must have been written in 74/86/98/2010!!!!
    we now have so much oil we’re selling it to china/europe/africa/asia…
    the keystone pipeline is taking oil and moving it to the gulf to send to
    oversears markets because oil is more valuable there.
    We’ve got fields tapped in norht dakota…montana…texas that are
    flush with centuries of oil…but the oil companies want more money so they
    ship it to china etc. And i’m sure with the new technology they’ll start drilliing
    right here in kansas again heavily….we’re flush with more oil than we know what
    to do with in…in fact one study said we’ve got so much oil that the deficit
    in 2020 will be self contained as we ship so much of it to other countries!!!!!
    And don’t forget you climate change deniers….when the artic ice melts completely
    and we’re having trouble breathing the oil companies already have plans to
    drill for the billions and billions of gallons of oil beneath those ice packs.
    Hearne…get u p to speed…this article sound like one writtn 5 years ago.
    And detroit and the auto guys have cars that can get 100mpg already.
    Saw it on tv ….a honda hybrid maybe….its incredible….
    oil will no longer be a problem if the oil companies put us first and the rest of
    the world second. They love all this oil…its b ringing them record profits..
    and watch soon for state to raise gas taxes again when the prices go down
    so they cna have more cash to blow!!!!!!!

    • admin says:

      You need to look beyond the tip of your nose, H Man.

      Try reading a book or two on the world oil situation. We’re exporting oil now but we’re STILL importing and if we continue to wastefully use such a large, disproportionate percentage of the world’s oil, it will not end well.

      Now try reading what the economist said; that has nothing to do with importing or exporting.

      Let me help you:

      “Countries that use a large percentage of oil in their energy mix can be expected to have a hard time competing, because of oil’s higher cost.

      “High-cost renewables can also have an adverse impact, regardless of whether the cost is borne by businesses, consumers or the government.”

      Catch it this time?

      And the reason we exported more oil than imported is because of weak demand to go with our weak economy.

      You wouldn’t be suggesting that we merely go along on our merry way with housewives and solo flying dudes careening down the roadways is massive Range Rovers getting terrible gas mileage for….what? Vanity’s sake?

      • harley says:

        hearne…you should know harley knows all….

        program on oil and one of the Forbes brothers was the guest. The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer; how much oil does the U.S. have in the ground?” Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “More than all the Middle East put together.”
        The U. S. Geological Survey issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big! It was a revised report (which had not been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota , western South Dakota , and extreme eastern Montana …
        The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska ‘s Prudhoe Bay , and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable. At $107 a barrel, we’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.
        “When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea.” says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst.
        “This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin , but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’ It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada . For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves. We now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.
        plus you add in the new field being drilled in texas…
        in utah…and almost every other state in america…
        we’re energy dpendent now!!!
        add in the natural gas that we have way to o much of
        that could be used….we’re going to export it!!!!
        the stats i read after a conferencein d.c. just 4 months ago..
        said by 2020 the national debt is eliminated because of the
        amount of gas we can produce.
        the keystone is part of a major plan to get those billions
        of barrels to other markets….
        hearne..you’re operating on facts that are 20 years old…
        i’m headed to fargo to vivsit a client…its boom time there.
        not enough housing …not enough services…not enough
        people to work….and its spreading.
        and remember in a few year new mpg standards come out
        that further reduce oil consumption….
        and recently reported in my newsletter that now the econommy
        is booming back…that consumption is going up too…
        our goal is to be forever never dpeendent on other
        nations for our energy..
        with renewables…these huge oil finds and new technology…
        with increased gas mileage your twin daughters hearne
        will be living in a world awash with gas.
        If the government would step aside..if they had more
        control over the oil companies…gas in u.s.would be
        much much chepaer than at any time.
        so hearne…please check updated facts.
        Hearne…those books probably needed to be dusted off
        before reading…the world has changed since new
        techology has come about…and now that we’re seeing
        real advantages to renewable energy even by the
        enoergy companies…the future looks very bright.
        We sitll need to conserve for environmental purposes
        but the reason we’re paying so much at the pump is
        the speculation…the gamblers…the people who are
        manipulating the prices of oil …..
        but hearne my friend….go up north …go to the new
        fields in texas…read about what we have underneath
        our nation…and we haven’t even touched the fields
        in mexico (omg…they’re so muc hoil down there to
        drill forvthat it staggering)..
        and as i said (and which you did not address) once we
        metl the artic waters theres billions of barrels of oil
        underneath there too.
        if you need any furhter info i presented my analysis
        nn my february 2013 newsletter about what was gong
        hearne…you and others doubted the economic policies
        of my man obama..look what he did…
        15000 stock market..
        4 million unfilled jobs (we don’t have an unemplyment problem
        …we have a skills problems…millions of job opening but
        no skilled workers to fill them)…
        an economy that is starting to boom…but we have
        a severe income equality issue that must be addressed….
        but the repubs are not wiliing to pass anything that
        obama wants…
        thanks for allowing me to put my ideas anf facts and
        stats on your site.

  7. Kerouac says:

    Sometimes I feel the need for speed… other times the need to ramble; this is one of those times, the latter. So many people, so many opinions, so little time and internet paper.


    “it’s incumbent upon us all to try and drive the most fuel efficient vehicles we can”

    – sorry, but the ‘vanity type’ arrow points ‘here’, if driving my preference in vehicle(s) is the measure (no smokin’, no drinkin’, no spittin’, no chewin’, no scratchin’, no cussin’, no loiterin’ & no risque women; someone cue the 5-Man Electrical Band’ – “signs signs everywhere signs” (or to bastardize Nicholsan’s ‘Melvin Udall’ in ‘As Good As It Gets’ – “go sell over-regulation somewhere else – we’re all stocked up here”, Obama’s world.)

    Twas the late Frank Zappa said, “I want the government to stay out of my bedroom and out of my underwear”; I think maybe Frank just couldn’t take it any more. Ever heard of ATWA? That’s a Charles Manson fave today (Air, Trees, Water & Animals – alternately known some quarters ‘All The Way Alive’; he was vandalizing/rendering inoperative oil-using gas-guzzling earth moving machines as far back the late 1960’s. Turns out Charlie might have had the right idea back in the day; say ‘hello’ your new face of environmentalism: Manson – a hero for the 21st century.

    For better or worse, this country US of A will ‘never’ not pursue oil, my belief… that horse(power) has already left the barn (and build them we do still, muscle cars that guzzle less but guzzle just the same, current descript.)

    I own/drive classic cars (vintage years 1957 to 1970) because a) I can & b) I want to. Do I feel guilty only getting as little as 10 mpg one case? Only to the extent that I can’t run over some ne’er do well idiot (private sector or public, the food & drink police NY’s Mayor Bloomberg a prime example.)

    See link below for a tables turned scenario, satire… the inference tho is clear


    Back to my favorite subject – me – while I don’t drive my classic cars daily (by choice; were I so inclined, would), were I still working today and not retired would I also not, only because insurance companies don’t want you to use collector vehicles as an daily driver. But if it please me & abide I the insurance policy, go pound sand. Not to worry, soon enough a new law will be written prevent that too…if anything is fun or enjoyable, you can be pretty certain someone will try & put a stop to it.

    Conservation & saving is wonderful thing of course… oil/gas, the silver minnow, gray wolf & water too among other. I recall living in a big city where the requirement was conserve water (imminent drought crux the matter – twas ‘coming soon’.) So, people cut back on usage, saved (nod Carl Sagan) billions & billions of gallons water – or so it seemed.

    Then a strange thing happened: no drought… it never materialized. To make up for the many gallons saved via non-use, the municipality raised the price of water make up for all the lost revenue due to conservation – cha-CHING! Big brother at his finest (“we’re the government and we’re here to help… empty your pockets ‘here’.)

    Have a pleasant Saturday evening, everyone…

  8. Steveo says:

    What’s your next column, that we should all wear hemp peasant suits made by union laborers so as not to make a statement while supporting the common good?

    Breaking news, Americans like bigger, faster cars. This has nothing to do with the auto companies. It has everything to do with human nature.

    The auto producers would love to mimic what other industries like music and technology do. Namely, sell you 1 kind of device and then move you into something perceived to be better (desktop to laptop to tablet to phone). However, no one wants the hybrid, electric, or sawed-off minis they periodically float out there.

    We have plenty of oil and plenty of production capability to build the cars people want. If it is inevitable, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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