Year after year gas prices have spiked higher each summer driving season, and this year is no exception. The oil and gas industry says it doesn’t have the refinery capacity to change from producing winter to summer oil based products quickly enough. In the 1990s they sold a large chunk of the refinery capacity to independent operators; reduced their own capacity. Meantime, they optimized production at their remaining refineries to more than 90% utilization; great for profits, bad for flexibility or damaged (tornado, hurricane, industrial accident, etc…) capacity offsets (e.g., the BP refinery accidental explosion and fire here in TX).
So, can we get some help from auto manufacturers in conservation (autos consume the majority of oil based products in the
GM also displayed the Volt, a plug-in, full series hybrid car (moved by electric motor only, using an internal combustion engine to crank the generator exclusively), but said batteries to make the car feasible weren’t commercially available. However, the folks at General Dynamics Land Systems had already field demonstrated a four ton Humvee replacement that was a full series hybrid truck (getting 250% better mileage than the Hummer).
I hear the cry to, “let the markets work,” but the markets have discovered that profitable is more fun than responsible activity. We were on this road in the 1970s and are here again (see other posts), because we’ve demonstrated an ability to forget the past. To quote Bill Engvall, “Here’s your sign!”