"I saw some striking numbers this week: Look at the "break-even" costs for the world's top oil producers. That is the minimum price at which these countries need to sell oil so that they can balance their budgets.
Russia now needs oil at $110 a barrel to manage its finances. For Iraq, the number is $100. Even Saudi Arabia now needs oil to trade around $80 a barrel just to balance its budgets. The numbers are also high for Algeria, Qatar, and Oman. Only a decade ago Saudi Arabia was able to balance its budget with oil prices averaging around $25 a barrel."
Let's think about this. Putting aside for a moment the very real dangers posed by the geo-political instabilities that are helping keep oil and gas prices inflated - - no easy feat, I recognize - - let's focus on the social behavioral modifications that high energy costs can lead to. For I'm an advocate of what I'll call the "Tom Friedman school of thought on energy independence", which says more or less that high fossil fuel costs are actually good for America. Even though this will be painful in the short term. Put bluntly, the ONLY way we're going to move to other types of fuels and energy sources is if it's too dang expensive to get a tank of gas! The costs related to alternative energy sources such as solar panels, electricity produced without coal, and non-corn ethanol need to be at least on par with oil in order for me to even think about switching.
Sh$t, I don't even take the subway to all my respective jobs, even though the train station is, literally, one block away from my door, because the DC Metro train fare COST TOO MUCH! It's cheaper for me to burn my own personal fossil fuels while I listen to my Mary Mary CD, then switch to the Diane Rehm show, and catch snippets of the Dennis Prager Show, while I do business on my phone, while handing the baby a snack, and, "be quiet back there! (K. singing loudly in the background, while J. takes off her shoes and throws them and her socks to the ground screaming loudly for more of her cereal bar…)"
Hmmm…maybe I should re-think this train thing...