Offshore Drilling Vs. Tire-Gauge & Tune-Up

Offshore Drilling Vs. Tire-Gauge & Tune-Up


Why is McCain ridiculing Obama for a solution that would actually have an immediate impact on our fuel usage?

I’ll give you one guess…

From TIME:

The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now.

Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points.

In other words: Obama is right.

So Obama’s suggestion puts some power back in my hands to save hundreds of dollars every year, while at the same time helping keep domestic demand down, which could have the net effect of making prices a little bit more palatable?

Excuse me while I go check my tire pressure…

  • Transplanted Lawyer

    I already do this. Got anything more for me? Because right now I’m thinking I need to address BOTH supply AND demand to reduce the amount of money I spend on gas and other petroleum products.

  • ExiledIndependent

    One is a realistic tactic and the other is an unrealistic tactic. You can drop some rigs, dig some holes, and get oil out of the ground. It doesn’t take over 200 million people to do that. If we had started this ten years ago, we wouldn’t be in as bad a mess as we are now.

    The unrealistic tactic is assuming that 1) a huge enough part of the driving population doesn’t know about basic vehicle maintenance and isn’t already doing these things and 2) the government can socially engineer the entire population. That’s not hope/change (TM), that’s absurd. And Time’s math is bad, to boot. It’s a pro-Obama opinion piece by a major media outlet. What a shocker.

    FWIW, additional domestic oil production should be the smallest part of a larger energy independence solution that doesn’t use the meme (there! I USED IT!) of “climate change” in every other sentence.

  • Jimmy the Dhimmi

    Hmm…I guess Obama is right. I would not be able to keep my tires properly inflated under a McCain Presidency, so I guess I should vote for him.

  • Liam

    The point is not that Obama expects this to solve the gas demand problem, but that he acknowledges alternate ways to address the issue. In fact, supply of oil seems like a non-issue. Factoring in increased demand in countries such as India and China, I would suspect that our ability to increase supply will be far out-paced by the increase in demand over the next decade (let alone after that). Some creative thinking is in order here, something McCain has failed to provide.

    Additionally, rising gas prices will not doom the average American. It will be painful (see who is offering a solution to help cope with the transition to higher gas prices), but gas is significantly under-priced when externalities such as congestion, pollution and security are taken into account (see ANY economist, i.e. former chairman of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers – Implementing this 10 – years ago would likely (even by credible sources, i.e. EIA) still leave you and McCain wanting lower gas prices, although at least it would bring you 10 – years closer to seeing that drilling will only (if at all) delay the realities that a credible energy plan will not rely on off-shore drilling but new technology and innovative solutions.

  • kritter

    So long as it’s a campaign, each guy will tell tell no more than half the story. But it’s just not an either/or choice. We need to conserve AND we need more in the way of supplies. I am still astonished that this is not plain to most folks.

    The main drawback to Obama’s suggestion is that it only provides hope of saving money for the ignorant and the lazy. Smart, diligent folks already checking their tire pressure regularly are just SOL. And fwiw, I have no problem believing that most folks don’t pay any attention to tire pressure at all. By the time a tire LOOKS underinflated, its VERY underinflated.

    Obama’s minor contribution here is in fact a decent idea. For some. Whether he’ll be able to make people smarter and more motivated is something we’ll have to stay tuned for. In the meantime, he has shifted his tune on drilling because the popularity of “no drilling” has proven inversely correlated to the price of gas.

    Aint self-interested human nature as B?

  • Jim S

    You know how various organizations give out things like weather radios and smoke alarms? There’s a neat little device that replaces the normal cap on your tire stems with a unit that is green when your tires are at the proper pressure and turns red when they go low. Would these help a lot of the people who forget to check their tire pressure in the normal hectic course of their day? Could be. I know that since I got them I pay a bit more attention as I walk up to my car.

    And ExiledIndependent, the oil companies have had leases covering millions of acres for many years, certainly more than the 10 years you mention. They just haven’t explored and drilled. That’s not the fault of any politician, only the companies themselves.

  • Justin Gardner

    The main drawback to Obama’s suggestion is that it only provides hope of saving money for the ignorant and the lazy. Smart, diligent folks already checking their tire pressure regularly are just SOL.

    You mean these like these ignorant and lazy folk?

    Territo notes that the Auto Alliance sponsored tire pressure checks for members of Congress and their staff last week. “Surprisingly, we found that most drivers had tires between 5 and 7 pounds under inflated — some had tires under-inflated by as much as 20 pounds,” he writes. “This significantly reduced their vehicle’s fuel economy.”

    And by the way, exactly when does tire pressure cross most people’s minds? Oh, that’s right…never. Their mechanic or dealership usually does it for them.

    And this is just wrong…

    By the time a tire LOOKS underinflated, its VERY underinflated.

    That’s kind of the point…you DON’T know because the tire looks decently inflated.

    And Jim S, you bring up a great point about unexplored leases. Yes, we all know that not every lease will produce oil since this is a speculative business, but what about all of those leases out there that have yet to be explored? Being a speculative business, the oil companies have snatched them up and kept them off the market so others couldn’t explore them. It may be smart business, but it’s not helping us any.

  • kranky kritter

    Jim, that sounds like a great idea if it in fact works, given that various tires may call for diffferent pressures, and that temperature plays a role.

    You know what I’d love to see? Portable electrical metering devices that you could place into an outlet and then plug some electrical device into, and set your KwH cost. Then the meter would tell you how much the device was costing you on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis.

    Seems like one part of the solution to using too much energy is to change the ethos surrounding design so that fewer devices carry a passive load (use electricity even when they aren’t on). How many devices need clocks or stand-by buttons when they are not on? Does a microwave oven really even need a clock? walk around your house at night with the lights out. Every tiny red or green or yellow light you see is a leak in our hypothetical energy reservoir, right?

  • Jim S

    There are two versions of the caps, one for 28 pound recommended pressure and another for 32 pound. These cover the majority of passenger cars, vans and light trucks.

    And you’re right about the “vampire load” problem. I’d suggest a new type of Energy Star ratings system for electronics that do this.

  • Butch

    @kranky kritter:

    Reliance Controls makes a low cost appliance load tester that will tell you what a given appliance draws in both amps and watts. Figuring your cost to operate it from that is fairly simple, you can find out how here:

    The tester is called AmWatt, and the model number is THP103. They’re typically found at places that sell portable generators, and cost around $25.