Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rail Planning Includes Prediction of Oil Price Rise

Moving on after yesterday’s “inside baseball” journalism talk, we’re pleased to see the Honolulu Advertiser editorial today focus so positively on Honolulu rail and the energy issue: “Future shock: Oil won’t stay this cheap

Bus ridership slipped 8 percent nationally and 2 percent in Honolulu in the third quarter of last year – in part, the reasoning goes, due to job loss during the recession and lower gasoline prices compared to the same period in 2008, when the price of oil price peaked at $147 per barrel.

Oil’s price today is about $79 and seems to be bouncing along in a high-70s/low-80s range, although the one-year trend is unmistakable. A year ago today, the price was in the mid-$30s per barrel.

Few serious thinkers about energy issues doubt that oil will eventually bounce back to much higher levels than today. Quoting from today’s editorial:

“China and India are slurping oil at a furious pace, just when global supplies appear to be waning. The latest warning on this front came this month from a British task force on energy security. In its report, ‘The Oil Crunch,’ the business group warns that supplies may start a serious decline in as little as five years.”

That will be about half-way through construction of Honolulu rail. The Advertiser concludes:

“So we need to keep our eyes on the prize: building a reliable transportation system that will serve the needs of our children and grandchildren.”

Less reliance on imported oil will mean a better life for our grandkids all around, including their commuting life.

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