MoneyMelon wrote:From my understanding, yes building newer, more efficient refineries would go a long way to lowering the price we pay for gas and heating oil. However, every attempt at building newer refineries has been blocked by environmentalists because refineries do create a lot of pollution.
Drilling would also help lower the price because then we have a certain amount of control over production and the costs of transporting the oil would be significantly cheaper. However, every attempt at drilling in Alaska where we know there's a lot of oil has also been blocked by environmentalists.
So we're sort of at a crossroads. Do we choose our economy or the environment? It's not an easy question to answer.
We're starting to see some changes that, in my opinion, are good for us. Congress approved the Amtrak bill, and it's veto-proof. And a lot of people are staying closer to home for vacations. If this keeps up for a few years, until we've kind-of made a switchover to a more fuel-conservative economy, we're going to be a stronger and more sustainable economy in the end and not beholden to the feelings of Hugo Chavez or OPEC.
That said, corn and soy aren't going to get us there. But ideas like GM and Ford are now putting into production are a beginning. Here's hoping city planners and the like come up with ideas to make commuting easier and less oil-intensive for people who've spent the last 20-30 years moving to and living in suburbs. Hell, the Detroit Metro area could use and affordable and fast transit system like Chicago's or DC's (above-ground and/or subway) for sure. I'd even encourage GM, Ford and Chrysler to design and build it.