Friday, April 25, 2008

Question and Answer

Posted By Pat Haruff on Yahoo Group "Homeowners of Sunland Village" 4/22/08

It just keeps climbing, yesterday it was $117 a barrel.

Maybe there will be a positive result to all of this....for years there has been talk about employees being able to do their jobs from home by computers, faxes,phone, etc but mostly nothing has been done.

Maybe this crisis will force corporations to evaluate the situation and just maybe there will finally be less cars on the freeway and that would also save tax money as we would have no need to build more freeways!

What do you think????

Pat Haruff
My Answer, Tue., April 22, 2008

This is a complex issue. The price of a barrel of oil is partly a factor of demand and partly a factor of international currency rates. The drop in the dollar is as much to blame for the price of oil as is demand (ie Consumption) and production limitations (ie OPECholding back production to create increased cost.)

The issue of telecommuting employees is also a complex issue. Many corporations already allow selected employess to telecommute, jobshare, and other alternatives to the "Drive to the Office." But only so many jobs lend themselves to the telecommute. And, if we stop Manufacturing job losses to foreign companies, on foreign soil, and those jobs come back to the USA, those jobs cannot be telecommuted.

However, Americans are in love with their cars, and their cars are big guzzlers of gas. Ever notice how empty the HOV lanes are? Well hardly anyone car pools. Lite Rail will not solve the problem either. Since Lite Rail was approved, thousands of new homes have been constructed all over the valley making lite rail a non-issue. Urban planning in the Valley has always been sideways looking to solve problems of the moment, not forward looking to solve problems of the future. Solutions to high energy prices have to have complex solutions to these complex problems. Jobs, currency values, housing, banking and finance are problem areas that can be fixed with laws and policies.

Attitudes, about cars, commuting, and work, are impossible to legislate and will require a generation, or more, to change, maybe more. Taking a few, even many cars off the road will only work if we stop the insane building of super communities like Anthem. When you take 5,000 cars off the road and build 100,000+ new homes in Florence, you end up with 200,000 new gas guzzlers to contend with even if they don't drive more than 10 miles to work or recreation.

David Talbot

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