Way to go Ikayaknboard - too oftens dissenters to the greenies views here post once and never rebut.
Just a coupla poins briefly. I keep seeing the $200 p/b figure being used as what's neccessary to support new forms of oil extraction. This, however, is not the case. Take, for example, the sand oil reserves of Alberta. Here alone, the estimates put us in the 175 billion barrel range. These reserves can be supported w/ a $60 p/b price (give or take). Granted that's not $30 p/b, but, these types of sand reserves are guetimated to be in the hundreds of billons-of-barrels range in North America alone. Effectively utilizing these would give us time enough to allow technology to advance to the point where the "next type" of deposit can be cost effectively extracted.
Secondly- oil prices and profits have nothing, i repeat, NOTHING to do with either the oil industry or current administration's so-called greed. Oil price is a function of supply and demand as we all must agree. The world, today, has a much broader consumer base for crude than at any time in it's history.
..and many of these nations, such as China and India will be growing their consumption at a rate far greater than the U.S. Combine that with the fact that we just recently surpassed the 50% import ratio vs. domestically produced crude and we pay prices which are more closely tied to the the global-market's. More demand + same supply = higher prices.
Now, let's also make note, for the record, that the average profit per dollar of gas sold by a U.S. company in or most recent "eggregiously profitable" quarter was $.10- ten cents. Whereas the average federal and state tax per dollar of gas is $.25- twenty five cent. For all of you English majors out there that's TWO-AND-A-HALF times the profit margin for the big bad oil companies, and all they do is find it, drill it, transport it and refine it.
I am not a big-oil lobbyist. I do belive the answer will one day be combustible hydrogen (never underestimate a consumer base's desire for technological familiarity) but until we find a way to produce this without putting in more energy than the net product we're stuck with oil. And therein lies my basic belief that it's not so bad. We are the most comfortable, advanced and pruductive generation in the world's history because of what some many of you pretend to hate.