Time Magazine’s cover story this week takes a head-on look at our oil future. In the tightly wound and sometimes muddled piece, we are reminded quite clearly that there is still no substitute for oil, and it remains by far the most heavily used fuel for transportation in this country.
The new kid on the oil block is tight-oil production, which involves fracturing rocks to release the tightly bound liquid, and it has helped to revitalize the American drilling industry. While this may be good in the short-run for the American economy by increasing our national oil output, barely a dent would be made in gasoline prices. However, public concerns like contaminating groundwater, pollution, and safety are involved in this process. Will we be resilient when fuel becomes too expensive and how will energy efficiency be improved? While Illinois is a state with a relatively low percentage of household income spent on gas, states like Mississippi (at 14.2% – highest in the nation), Montana, and South Carolina show that rural states suffer more. Location is a big factor here, in that depending on where you live, you will be affected by gas prices accordingly.
We still get our oil from a multitude of places including Canada, the Middle East, Brazil, China, and Russia, but there major changes are happening with the geopolitics of oil. Demand is still rising at high rates despite a struggling economy, but the article does not expand on this much. Maybe because of the limited space allotted, the truth that oil is mostly used to power our vehicles is not explored much. Only a couple lines about how to efficiently operate cars are mentioned, but the real truth is that we are just driving our cars more, and therefore are using more fuel.
Oil has a natural volatility and this must be embraced. Only few years ago in mid-2008, a barrel of oil was around $30. Whether the price of filling our cars is high or low, efficiency must be explored at every level. After all, as the article says, doubling your gas mileage is virtually the same thing as cutting the price of gasoline in half. Developing a current history of oil production is a great reference tool and is what the article provides, but a deeper understanding of our oil obsession and location-based analysis will help more Americans realize what they are actually paying for.
Where this analysis can be found is directly at Abogo’s site, with access to affordability and sustainability indexes all around the country. Sure, gas prices are going up and much is involved in obtaining oil for our transportation, but location efficiency is just as important here. Where you live greatly affects how much you spend on gasoline and travel, and Abogo is the site to go to for this information. Location efficiency should be a big part in making a decision on where to live, and Abogo gives you that resource!