Monday, August 20, 2007

Oil Discovery! Great News!

I just discovered another source of gasoline - 1000 litres or about six full barrels. Each and every year, forever!

Where? In my gas tank. Our minivan was stolen last winter and we replaced it with a smaller, more energy efficient car.

The old van used about 10 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway but our current ride uses only about 6 litres - sometimes even less. Based on 15,000 kilometres per year, that is a savings of about 1000 litres of gasoline.

This oil discovery cost nothing to find. There are no transportation costs. No pollution or noxious emissions. No greenhouse gasses either.

It's like money in the bank. And a source of income no one can tax either - that's a real plus. At a loonie a litre, that's $1000 in my pocket.

Back in the 1970s, in a time of crisis, President Jimmy Carter and the Congress of the United States forced car and truck companies to make their vehicles more efficient.

Efficiency is a great idea and it explains why Europeans pay so much more for gasoline at the pump that we do in North America; public policy there supports high pump prices which in turn encourage rational consumption of a hard-to-find and expensive resource. Efficiency also increases their national security by making them less vulnerable to foreign sources of petroleum.

The North American economy is experiencing an oil squeeze today - except this time there is no large supply of cheap oil to exploit after the crisis passes. Gone are the days of $5 per barrel oil. Today, even $50 per barrel oil looks like a good deal.

It's time for voters, consumers, producers and governments to all work together to make the oil we consume each year go twice as far.

So the place to start is in your gas tank. How much gasoline is waiting for you to discover in your car?

For more on the price at the pump and ways we can greatly increase our effcient use of oil and gas products see Pumped:Everyone's Guide to the Oil Patch by David Finch