Saturday, May 06, 2006

How well prepped is your city for the coming oil crisis?

The Coming Oil Crisis
Business Week's cover story this month discusses the changes in the global politics of oil and how national oil companies and nationalization of resources is fueling uncertainty and driving production down.

While most analysts think oil will hover at its current price, some think that if prices mimic the last big runup between 1970 and 1980, oil could hit almost $200 a barrel by decade's end, or about $6 for a gallon of gas. Some options traders are already betting that oil, now around $72 a barrel, could rise to $100 by December. Washington consultants PFC Energy figures the world is consuming oil at more than two times the rate of discovery of new supply. Conservation and efficiency gains have already saved billions, but they have not been enough to offset sharply rising demand from China and India.|Business Week|

Make no mistake, there is a crisis looming for energy costs world-wide.

Readiness of Cities for the Coming Oil Crisis
Sustain Lane has an short piece ranking how well cities in the US can be expected to fare in the face of rising oil prices.

Saint Paul isn't listed, but I was gratified to see that Minneapolis comes in at number 14. But then I noticed that Los Angeles comes in at number 20. Surely they jest!

It appears to me that they're being serious, which makes me think their methodology is seriously flawed. I'm not a statistician, but I think the problem is that they are looking at cities by their legal boundaries independent of the sprawling megalopolis they inhabit. The City of Long Beach and the City of Los Angeles are hardly separable at street level.

I think the exercise that Sunstainable Lane is performing is admirable and this is a question I have asked myself idly several times in the past, but I think their method needs to be revisited. But at least they tried.

I usually just shrug my shoulders and conclude that America's car-centric way of life is in deep trouble.

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