Oil Prices Affecting A Lot More Than Just The Price At The Pump.

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So you think that $50 tank of gas is bad…wait until you then drive to the store to find everything in it costing 20% more! Unfortunately we have built our society around the idea of cheap and plentiful oil, and it looks like that era is coming to an end. In the span of about 100 years, we have successfully made oil scarce enough that we use twice as much energy getting it out of the ground that we get back from it in return. This is not a recipe for success. And as oil continues to hit all time highs day in and day out, it is affecting everyone in the same way – prices are on their way up for almost everything we use. For example, Costco’s chief executive says he is “starting to be confronted with unprecedented price increases” for the merchandise that Costco buys to stock its stores. His first response has been to buy in extra large quantities so that he has stock on hand to carry him through subsequent price increases. When Costco, the king of the bulk discount buy is getting hit, you know it is going to be bad. Manufacturers are laying off workers left and right, the airlines are charging us to check a single bag and considering charging for tickets by our body weight, and the biggest SUV’s on the planet are being discontinued – you can feel the good times coming, can’t you? $8.00 per gallon gas this fall anyone?

As I mentioned back in May of 2007, almost anything you can think of is made from oil:

Ammonia, Anesthetics, Antihistamines, Artificial limbs, Artificial Turf, Antiseptics, Aspirin, Auto Parts, Awnings, Balloons, Ballpoint pens, Bandages, Beach Umbrellas, Boats, Cameras, Candles, Car Battery Cases, Carpets, Caulking, Combs, Cortisones, Cosmetics, Crayons, Credit Cards, Curtains, Deodorants, Detergents, Dice, Disposable Diapers, Dolls, Dyes, Eye Glasses, Electrical Wiring Insulation, Faucet Washers, Fishing Rods, Fertilizer, Fishing Line, Fishing Lures, Food Preservatives, Food Packaging, Garden Hose, Glue, Hair Coloring, Hair Curlers, Hand Lotion, Hearing Aids, Heart Valves, Ink, Insect Spray, Insecticides, Linoleum, Lip Stick, Milk Jugs, Nail Polish, Oil Filters, Pantyhose, Perfume, Petroleum Jelly, Rubber Cement, Rubbing Alcohol, Shampoo, Shoes, Toothpaste, Trash Bags, Upholstery, Vitamin Capsules, Water Pipes, Clothing Ink, Parachutes, Telephones, Enamel, Epoxy paint, Car sound insulation, Cassettes, Motorcycle helmets, Pillows, Shower doors, Refrigerator linings, Electrical tape, Safety glass, Nylon rope, Ice buckets, Toilet seats, Denture adhesive, Loudspeakers, Movie film, Candles, Water pipes, Golf balls, Sunglasses, Soft contact lenses, Footballs, Paint brushes, Fan belts, Luggage, Toothbrushes, Ice cube trays, Plywood adhesive”¦

So be ready the next time you step into your local grocery store or convenience store – the amount of money you had to spend getting to the store might not be anything compared to the prices for goods you need inside the store.

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  1. “…that we use twice as much energy getting it out of the ground that we get back from it in return.”

    Maybe you mean we get twice the energy out of the oil than what it takes to pump it from the ground? It would not make sense to put it 2 parts of energy to get 1 in return.

  2. Rich – No, I wrote it correctly. To get at the deep oil shale in Canada, we are expending twice the energy we are getting back from the oil itself. It’s ridiculous.

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