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View Full Version : Think you're being gouged by Big Oil?



Qtec
04-03-2008, 04:13 AM
Posted on Thu, Apr. 03, 2008
Military feels fuel-cost gouge in Iraq
By ANNE FLAHERTY
Associated Press Writer

Think you're being gouged by Big Oil? U.S. troops in Iraq are paying almost as much as Americans back home, despite burning fuel at staggering rates in a war to stabilize a country known for its oil reserves.

Military units pay an average of $3.23 a gallon for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, some $88 a day per service member in Iraq, according to an Associated Press review and interviews with defense officials. A penny or two increase in the price of fuel can add millions of dollars to U.S. costs.

Critics in Congress are fuming. The U.S., they say, is getting suckered as the cost of the war exceeds half a trillion dollars - $10.3 billion a month, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Some lawmakers say oil-rich allies in the Middle East should be doing more to subsidize fuel costs because of the stake they have in a secure Iraq. Others point to Iraq's own burgeoning surplus as crude oil prices top $100 a barrel. Baghdad subsidies let Iraqis pay only about $1.36 a gallon.

The U.S. military, through its Defense Energy Support Center, buys fuel on the open market, paying from $1.99 a gallon to as much as $5.30 a gallon under contracts with private and government-owned oil companies. The center then sets a fixed rate for troops, currently $3.51 a gallon for diesel, $3.15 for gasoline, $3.04 for jet fuel and $13.61 for avgas, a high-octane fuel used mostly in unmanned aerial vehicles.

Kuwait does grant substantial subsidies, but they cover only about half the fuel used by the U.S. in Iraq. And the discount is eaten up by the Energy Support Center's administrative costs and fluctuations in the market.

Overall, the military consumes about 1.2 million barrels, or more than 50 million gallons of fuel, each month in Iraq at an average $127.68 a barrel. That works out to about $153 million a month.

Historically, these figures are astounding. In World War II, the average fuel consumption per soldier or Marine was about 1.67 gallons a day; in Iraq, it's 27.3 gallons, according to briefing slides prepared by a Pentagon task force established to review consumption.

The surge in demand can be attributed in part to the military's expanding aviation fleet, including helicopters, and its reliance on planes to shuttle cargo and troops between the U.S. and Iraq. Vehicles, too, are more heavily armored and require more energy to run. Another major contributor is the widespread use of generators to cool troops.

The Pentagon's demand for fuel in Iraq has had little if any effect on global oil prices. Frank Verrastro, director of the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said the military's use of 1.2 million barrels a month - or roughly 40,000 barrels a day - represents a small chunk of the 86 million barrels demanded each day on the global market.

Instead, Verrastro says, the hike in oil prices since the 2003 invasion is more likely due to a "fear factor."

"Prices rise when Iran saber-rattles, or there's a disruption potential in Nigeria," he said. An even larger driver of fuel costs is global demand, fed by robust economies in Asia and the lack of available alternative fuel sources, according to Verrastro.

Still, some lawmakers say the U.S. is paying too much to secure an oil-rich nation that resides in a neighborhood swimming in the natural resource.


link (http://www.kansascity.com/449/story/557917.html)


Q

Gayle in MD
04-03-2008, 08:39 AM
Wow, did you see the hearings with the big oil VP's, and others from the major big oil companies yesterday?

What a crock! I'll never stop at an Exxon Station as long as I live.

The financial statistics are absolutely mind blowing!

Gayle

eg8r
04-03-2008, 12:19 PM
Just more proof the left has been lying by stating we went to Iraq to steal their oil.

eg8r

DickLeonard
04-03-2008, 12:34 PM
Gayle I missed it like I have misssed you. I think I will start posting more on the pool side there I will be free of harassment. My daughter's cancer drug is going into animal testing, she is pretty excited about that.
Love Dick

Bobbyrx
04-03-2008, 01:58 PM
[quote=Qtec]

Military units pay an average of $3.23 a gallon for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel


Wow I can see how that would upset you. That's about a third of what you have to pay in the Netherlands.....

Treehumper
04-04-2008, 09:22 AM
If Iraq didn't have oil the U.S. wouldn't be there. Stealing oil? Call it securing supply lines. Too bad so much money is being spent on this and not on developing homegrown alternative fuel solutions that would create local jobs and lift the U.S. economy.

sack316
04-04-2008, 10:16 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If Iraq didn't have oil the U.S. wouldn't be there. Stealing oil? Call it securing supply lines. Too bad so much money is being spent on this and not on developing homegrown alternative fuel solutions that would create local jobs and lift the U.S. economy.

</div></div>

We could get the oil from ourselves... we just won't let us.

We are fiercely working on developing ethanol (the worst idea ever--- not in theory, just in the way it's currently being done) so much to the point that whatever we wind up saving in fuel costs we'll more than make up for in what we'll be spending on food. Heck, we even had to import wheat for the first time. Just to be clear... we, us, THE UNITED STATES had to import <u>wheat</u>. Costs for farmers are rising so fast cattle is being sent to slaughter earlier and earlier, more and more fields are growing corn for this ethanol R&D. Before we know it we'll be invading the middle east... to secure camels for our meat supply.

Sack

bsmutz
04-04-2008, 11:08 AM
I watched a TV show a couple of weeks ago about a company that is generating electricity on a pretty impressive scale using parabolic mirror arrays to focus sunlight into a collector. There are many alternative energy sources that just aren't being developed as quickly as they should be. Most of it is probably due to our collective apathetic attitude, but part of it has to be laid at the feet of our legislative bodies as well. I'll certainly agree that the billions of dollars pretty much uselessly burned up in Iraq could have made some impressive gains in mitigating the problems we will see when the oil starts to run out.

SKennedy
04-04-2008, 12:50 PM
Have any of you reviewed anything about this guy in Texas who is growing algea and producing biodiesel? If you go to CNN's home page they have a story about it that has been running for a couple of days. The algae is grown on vertical curtain type objects. This was tried and funded years ago (70's), but not succesful at the time due to cost. It wasn't effective enough to compete vs fossil fuel, which was only about $20/barrel at the time. And past research involved growing algae in ponds, which was ineffective and hard to control, etc.
For comparison, an acre of corn can produce only about 20 to 40 gallons of fuel....and you know what that has done to the price of corn and all that eat corn (livestock). Switchgrass and others have a better yield, but all pale to algae. Using algae can produce 100,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre!! The vertical "curtai" growing method allows you to maintain the type of algae grown and control variables and put the most algae in the smallest area and still obtain proper sunlight. Some of the algae types are 50% oils (lipids). The guy in Texas claims that with an area about a 1/3rd of the size of New Mexico, we could provide enough diesel for all US transporation needs!!

I was discussing this with a geologist who is a fossil fuel expert. He is studing this algae thing also. He claims that oil (fossil fuel) is now primarily believed to be from algae...or that algae provided the majority of the biomass that eventually turned into oil. The thought is that the more fibrous plants, etc. gave us coal and algae gave us oil. He claims this is consistent with the fact that oil comes from shale layers and that shale was formed from algae mats. I don't know about all that, but the algea project going on currently is certainly very promising.

Gayle in MD
04-04-2008, 01:21 PM
Tap Tap Tap! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Gayle in MD
04-04-2008, 01:29 PM
Wow Dick, Great for her! You must be very proud.

I missed you too, sweetie, but stay around over here too. Don't let those Bushies get to you, gee, who cares what a Bushy thinks? Consider the source, my friend, and keep on keepin' on!

We're patriots, not victims. We stand and write, remember?

Love,
Gayle

Treehumper
04-04-2008, 02:53 PM
The show "Invention Nation" shows many of the grassroots research being done to find alternatives. One of the shows included a segment on the use of the whole corn plant to extract fuels. The husk and stalk contained more fuel then the kernel. Interesting as it shows that what is in essence a waste product can be used while the food element is retained.

Take those billions and invest in the research and this would accelerate the development to a viable product. Instead billions are spent to protect the existing infrastructure thus investment already made.

SKennedy
04-04-2008, 03:00 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Take those billions and invest in the research and this would accelerate the development to a viable product. Instead billions are spent to protect the existing infrastructure thus investment already made. </div></div>

While I will certainly agree that money is not always well spent, I would like to point out that spending more money on research doesn't necessarily equate to development of a viable product. Personally, I just don't think corn is the best way to go. While I agree we have oil interests that are being protected at our expense, replacing it partially with other special interests is certainly not the answer to any type of viable long range solution.

eg8r
04-04-2008, 09:34 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Take those billions and invest in the research and this would accelerate the development to a viable product. Instead billions are spent to protect the existing infrastructure thus investment already made.
</div></div> You are right, we should just cut off every single cent that goes towards the existing infrastructure and just let it die while the scientists are out making the corn idea work.

eg8r

pooltchr
04-05-2008, 07:50 AM
I'm not sure biofuel is the way to go. Farmers are actually planting less corn this year because they can't make as much growing corn as they can if they grow soy. With less corn being grown, and so much being diverted to "green gas", you will see the impact at the grocery store. I think hydrogen, electricity, solar and some other options would be a good direction to explore. Or maybe methane? Rather than talking about horsepower, the new term might be "cow power"!
Steve

Treehumper
04-06-2008, 10:18 PM
Ok, let me rephrase, reallocate some of the billions being spent to the R&D of a variety of alternative energy sources. No cutting off every cent or catering to one other special interest or leaving it to biofuels alone. But certainly take a long view. As Watts Whacker (sp?) the futurist put it, "What happens after what happens next".

It takes courage to put future generations needs before political gain. In the end though, with prudent forethought, it has usually paid major dividends.

LWW
04-07-2008, 04:15 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Treehumper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ok, let me rephrase, reallocate some of the billions being spent to the R&D of a variety of alternative energy sources. No cutting off every cent or catering to one other special interest or leaving it to biofuels alone. But certainly take a long view. As Watts Whacker (sp?) the futurist put it, "What happens after what happens next".

It takes courage to put future generations needs before political gain. In the end though, with prudent forethought, it has usually paid major dividends. </div></div>
What "alternative" sources do you propose that could replace petroleum?

LWW

SKennedy
04-07-2008, 09:41 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm not sure biofuel is the way to go. Farmers are actually planting less corn this year because they can't make as much growing corn as they can if they grow soy. With less corn being grown, and so much being diverted to "green gas", you will see the impact at the grocery store. I think hydrogen, electricity, solar and some other options would be a good direction to explore. Or maybe methane? Rather than talking about horsepower, the new term might be "cow power"!
Steve </div></div>

I've joked about methane, but there is a huge supply of methane beneath the ocean floor in many areas. Enough methane to take care of our energy needs for centuries. The problem is that it can't be suitably controlled and managed with our current technology.

bsmutz
04-07-2008, 12:07 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
What "alternative" sources do you propose that could replace petroleum?</div></div>

Why, is your memory so short that you don't remember your doom and gloom scenario, L. Wanker? There is nothing that can replace oil, remember? We're all going to lose our freedom and probably die a horrible death because nothing can replace oil, remember? Wind, solar, biofuel, coal oil, shale oil, methane, algae, and hydrogen are all plots dreamed up by the moonbat left to cover up the end of life as we know it when the oil runs out, remember? We don't have the infrastructure in place to take advantage of any of these alternatives and it can't be done in time, remember?

Sorry, I know you were waiting for poor TH to reply so you could call him a leftie, moonbat, clueless, etc. Guess you'll have to get your jollies somewhere else now. Why don't you go outside and find some little old lady to beat up? Probably afraid you'd get your a** kicked...