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Oil, $100 a barrel

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Nov. 12th, 2007 | 11:41 am

Looking at the market reaction to the stock plunge made me wonder when oil would hit $100 a barrel.

The difference in cost? Well at around $94 a barrel right now the percentage of difference in price is slight... but...

Psychologically what does this do? People are still driving to work, and I bet that few have given up cars based on the price of gas (for daily commutes, vacations are another thing), but at what price do people question their own consumption?

Last week in Washington we had a vote for a new road bill. The bill had a lot of mass transit tossed in to counter the impression that it was only a road bill, but in the end it was a road bill.

It was also a bill to extend 520, and as far as I am concerned I am not voting for anything which widens the road going through the arboretum or damages the arboretum in any other way.

I would rather vote separately on mass transit and roads. Sure, they work hand in hand, but I am willing to shell out more for rail then what I am for roads.

If oil hits a certain price then mass transit has to pick up, which in theory could lower road usage (though this is a naive view of what the outcome is... where there is capacity someone will use it). If I figure in total cost though... I help pay for the roads and then I pay for the gas, how does this compare to me paying for a share mass transit plus a ticket?

There is a shared cost in either case, roads or mass transit. For those who just drive, mass transit is mitigation costs. Mitigate the need for more roads (or hell... more open space for driving faster).

How this will work out in my lifetime?

Two more years before I can take light rail to SeaTac.

And if I were to dream a bit?

Within 15 years Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver are tied together with a European style bullet train. The cities would be linked together.

30 years out? San Francisco to Seattle via a bullet train. Have it run around 300 miles per hour. Link the economies of the west coast together.

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Comments {25}

Roy Corey

(no subject)

from: xerhino
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
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If only there were a monorail initiative...
;-)

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
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I voted for it the first two times, but not the last two. After the debacle with moving the rail from mercer into the Seattle Center I decided that politics was playing to much of a part in its design (the bottlenecking on the bridge to west seattle was bad as well).

After seeing the end price... well... I thought we could do better.

Shame though, this is one thing that Portland is really getting right.

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Chrisb

Just build a working system

from: suddenlynaked
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
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After 15 votes since 1968 for and against rail, I just want something built. I voted for the plan because for the interim, we're stuck with roads and there are problems that need to be addressed with the roads whether we like their existence or not.

After 15 votes on rail around Seattle, we still have no rail and it takes 3 hours to get from Queen Anne to Lake City via bus, pretty much any time of the day.

Out here in Snoho, we just lost an opportunity to run trains from Snoho to Renton. The tracks are already laid, and working freight. Ron Sims worked the deal to RIP UP the tracks for bike trails.

Meanwhile MS is building more buildings in Redmond. If there is ANY company in the world that ought to be investing in telecommuting, it should be MS. Can you imagine the effect on congestion on the eastside if they just had 25% of their people telecommute?

If we build a working system people will use it. We're going to have to accept a few years of empty trains and busses until people get used to the idea that 20 minutes on the train is better than an hour on the road and that it's not just smelly homeless people that ride them. But the politics around things like addrtessing the question on a regional basis are really what killed this. There was toomuch in it for Pierce and Snohomish counties - and dog fucking forbid that people in Seattle might be able to get to Tacoma. Tacoma might be come a liveable city or something.

Politics is killing the planet.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Just build a working system

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
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Ripping up the tracks seems to be pretty dumbass'ish. Part of me hopes someone commutes on the bike trail, but I do not know how realistic that is (when I lived in Ohio I did this for a summer.... Xenia to Yellow Springs and back...).

You don't think MS is doing much for telecommuting?

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Chrisb

Re: Just build a working system

from: suddenlynaked
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
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Well, they're building a whole shitload of office space. It seems like for what they're spending on real estate they could build a private cable system and have people work from home.

What I'm told is that they don't like contractors to be able to telecommute for security reasons, and you can't run a lean corporate machine without contracting out everyone but your core personnel. Otherwise your mailroom people would be FTEs and you can't have that and look like your're efficient for the stockholders.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Just build a working system

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Well it is not like their business model involves minting money from an infinite capital.

Ok... errr... it does...

Microsoft is now running vans for employees, maybe they might just build rail next :)


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Поисковик-затейник

(no subject)

from: itman
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
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I've heard that American auto-lobbyist restrained the development of railways.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
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I keep hearing that, but I do not know if it is urban folklore or not...

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Поисковик-затейник

(no subject)

from: itman
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
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Anyway, having fast railroads would be a nice option.

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Grin with cat attached

(no subject)

from: wechsler
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
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I'd love to see that dream, but the problem with the high-speed rail links that are beginning to spring up in UK/France/BeNeLuxGermany is proving to be cost. The rail links are of a similar speed to air travel, but around 5-10 times the cost.

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Поисковик-затейник

(no subject)

from: itman
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
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You are probably kidding us about similar speeds :-) They are at least two times slower. In addition, just 100mph would be ok in most cases.

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Grin with cat attached

(no subject)

from: wechsler
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
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High-speed link trains are expected to run at 186mph

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-7053591,00.html

Once you consider airport security, waiting and taxi times, the journey times are not massively dissimilar. There's still full passport control between Britain and the rest of Europe.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
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Trains to me mean potential for more capacity. Also in the US we spend a lot of wasted time in airports waiting in lines and having our bags searched. Trains do not have this issue (though this is probably just a yet...). I find the entire experience to be nicer.

I've never see a cost analysis on rail vs planes for carbon footprint.

Trains seem to connect people more then planes do. More people are willing to just hop on one and make the trip, compared to dealing with an airport.

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Grin with cat attached

(no subject)

from: wechsler
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
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I can't find numbers online - I have a couple of books though - but I presume, as Virgin Trains have been advertising on carbon footprint reductions recently, that there's some info hidden in http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/gogreener

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Scheduling business travel

from: dmarti
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)
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Instead of the current schedule of fly, then stay in hotel, then do your thing in the destination city, if you timed the trains right you could "check into a hotel" that happened to be on rails, get a good night's sleep and a good breakfast, and go straight from the train to your thing.

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michelle

(no subject)

from: delyth
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
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For me, this is one of the main attractions of living on the east coast.

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krong

(no subject)

from: krong
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
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be glad you live somewhere that people discuss light rail as a viable option.

here the debate on public transportation is how much to raise fares and which services to cut.

thankfully for me work is a less than ten minute walk.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Nov. 12th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Philly still losing people? AKA still a population and business decline going on?

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krong

(no subject)

from: krong
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
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still losing people, not sure about the businesses.

there is a rather large brouhaha going on currently because the underfunded transit company (septa, for those scoring at home) wants to do away with transfers.

the rub on this is that it would mostly affect poor people and leave the more well-to-do alone. for me it would have more than doubled a fare into center city.

since i do not take the bus to work every day anymore i haven't been following it that well, but my guess is that it will end badly and that the average joe rider is going to get screwed.

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David

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from: dblume
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
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You guys make me want to watch Singles again. That was 1992, and you Seattle folk are still saying the same thing with your cars and your rails.

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Oil prices are high...but why ???

from: piyushpr134
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Due to your very own commodity exchanges (NyMEx and likes). There are estimates that banning crude trade on these exchanges would make prices come down to $68 and less. Think for yourself
1. Production is not low as OPEC is not producing less (Iraq is also quiet stable now..atleast for oil production)
2. Winter this year has not been any more cold than what is used to be.
So why would crude prices go up ? A lot of organizations who have nothing to do with oil are trading in these exchanges to make profit (buying forward at very high prices ..speculating)...In a capitalist economy this is not considered as a bad thing but this is hurting a lot of people.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

Re: Oil prices are high...but why ???

from: krow
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
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The oil companies are reporting huge profits. It is obvious that the entire system is being gamed to take the money out of people's pockets and deposit it in the oil companies (which... are really Bush's friends).

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Re: Oil prices are high...but why ???

from: piyushpr134
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
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yeah...I totally missed the Bush angle :P

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BrianFey

(no subject)

from: brianfey
date: Nov. 13th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
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50 years out: Mexico City to Vancouver, BC with Bullet train.

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LaVera

(no subject)

from: gilraen
date: Nov. 14th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Can we name them Blaine and Patricia?

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