$4 Gasoline, The Economy and The Schools

Not only has the economy and $4 a gallon gasoline had an impact on our personal lives but it is having a major impact on the schools.  Some schools districts have been discussing a 4-day a week school week.  Others have been discussing lengthening the area that students need to walk to school as opposed to bus pickups.  (The cost of diesel fuel has increased even more than gasoline.)  As school districts need to address their increased costs including the costs of heating buildings during the fall and winter months, they are looking at cutting costs.    What can school boards cut out of existing programs in order to save money?  Among the items some schools are discussing are cutting out after-school programs, sporting events, “unnecessary frills” like field trips, school performances.  Some districts are even considering eliminating school nurses and increasing counselor loads.  It will definitely be an interesting year.  Stay tuned.

Related to the above, I read an interesting article by Doctor Peter G. Temple, a petroleum geologist.  He wrote, “Our oil consumption rate has not changed much in 20 years (570 million barrels annual consumption 20 years ago.  In truth we do not ‘over consume’ given the diversity, geography and social structure.)  In fact, the U.S. consumption is 7.6 billion barrels of oil per year.  These numbers are from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the official energy statistics from the U. S. government.  Over the 21 million barrels of oil per day, 15 million are imported.  Seven hundred billion dollars per year are leaving the shores of the U.s. and going into the pockets of foreign governments, many of whom do not like us.

Far from stabilized consumption, we have been increasing our consumption at the rate of at least 1 percent per year-and our U.S, production has been declining since 1980.  In other words, we are combining increasing consumption with declining reserves.

These numbers have obvious and ominous implications for our future. We cannot drill our way out of this problem.  There is not enough legislative will, but we do not have plenty of oil.”

I found these comments from Dr. Temple interesting.  I hope you did as well.

‘Till next time.  Franklin