Point by point, what do you expect the president to do about oil prices? I'm not trying to be confrontational. I'm acknowledging that you are more intelligent than all liberals on this board combined and I want your point of view.
First, NO, I am not.
MY point of view:
•Open ANWAR and coastal areas for more exploration/drilling
ANWR is a red herring. It has minimal oil for the long haul and is not worth the effort. It will NOT change oil prices one bit, nor will it change dependence on oil.
OCS Oil is a bit different in that there is a 10-15 year supply which would be good BUT, if it is opened, it really needs to have the absolute caveat that alternative fuel sources are in places at the end of that 10 year window. Otherwise it is a wasted stopgap.
•Raise the MPG standard for all vehicles 10% every 2 years for the next 10 years (isn't it amazing how automakers seem to be able to comply with this?) After 10 years, re-evaluate progress.
To provide the most bang for the buck, THIS IS THE ANSWER. Reduction of consumption is the only way to reduce Pump Shock. We may always have $4.00 gas prices but there is nothing to keep us from having $80.00 tankfuls go twice as far.
An example. My GMC Sierra. It has a 5.3L motor getting 275HP/315TQ. I don't drive it unless I am towing or carrying parts that don't fit anywhere else. Now, if this 4300# truck had a nice small turbocharged or supercharged V6 that got 50% better economy while normal driving yet still had the same HP/TQ while towing, it would be a completely different vehicle.
Same with my S500. It is driven mainly when there are 3/4 people when it is needed for that purpose. If it had a nice little supercharged small V6 it would be just as strong of a car but get 24 in town instead of 17. It is those little changes that are going to make the big difference. And those examples are for "have to have big" uses. Even this is stopgap as alternative fuels HAVE TO BE FOUND and in place.
•Require Oil companies to open the capped wells they have and pump the fields they are allowing to let lay for future harvesting.
My understanding is we already lease nearly 80% of available offshore capacity. The DOE report that I read was a bit muddled but that is what it implied. If Oil companies would open what they have already started, that takes both startup costs and prospecting costs out of the picture. Costs would go down with that as supply would quickly come up.
It is a very good idea.
•Require automakers to supply consumers with affordable updated fuel mileage options as they become available (are we not still building the basic reciprocating piston engine that has been used for over 100 years? This shouldn't be too difficult to supply modification options for older vehicles to get better mileage).
Having done conversions to alternative engines, I can tell you it is a real PITA. So many subsystems have to be addressed to make it work that nearly every install would be custom. You would literally need adapter configurations for each model of each year.
I would love it, think it would be great but having tried it would rather run my head into a wall.
As the number of barrels we pump goes up, we MUST drop our imports by by, at least, half that amount. This is the only thing OPEC will understand and that's hit them in the pocket book. Contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of oil. The problem is we are too damned dependent on foreign oil sources and these foreign sources are working with speculators to keep the price artificially high.
The only place I disagree with you is that "there is plenty of oil". There is not. If it was just the good ol USA and Europe worrying about this I would say YES, that is close enough. It might be 100 years off but by then we will have alternatives. BUT...BUT
we have to add in the developing nations of China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Russia, Japan and Mexico. Now those 10 countries along with the US represent the countries with over 100Million people as of 2005. They represent 60.37% of the world's 6.6Billion population which is expected to grow by 3.68Billion by 2050. Guess where? And guess what natural resource they will be using more of than anyone?
With 10Billion people by 2050 our little 350 Million will be a small user, even if we don't slow down our use. So costs are going to go up as it is not going to get cheaper to suck out of the ground.
Alternative fuel sources for transportation are an absolute must. Same for power plants. We just have to assume that OIL will cease to exist as a reliable commodity within the next 25-30 years. I won't care by then. Our kids and grandkids surely will.