Numbers tell a troubling story for many families
We shouldn't be buying one drop of foreign oil. We should try and produce
enough to take care our country. The wars in the Middle East are to some extent
over protecting our oil interests there. The Saudis are not our friends. I
don't know why we pretend that they are. The Middle East is so unstable we
should not be depending on them for any oil. That was a big mistake we made in
the past. We should learn from history.
This is sad but true to a hundred years of history and more in extraction
industries in the west. We never seem to think it will happen again, and it
always does. The story doesn't seem related, but it is, to the gold mine
flood pollution last summer. That industry too went out of business, and it
left the mess behind. The interesting question is, "How clean will Uinta
Basin be left when the extraction industry is gone?" As to the people
hurting today, oil per barrel price is up about $15 from the bottom,
they'll be back in business one day soonish, with a whole new batch of
people who will eventually get hurt. Sad, but true.
How many of these folks were "living within their means" and planning
for the future? Were they stashing money away for the eventuality that they
might be faced with this situation? What I've witnessed during my life is
that people spend when they're "flush" as they say and then moan
when the times get tough. How many new trucks and SUVs were purchased during the
good times? At least they're getting a break at the pump now, which
won't last forever because, of course, gasoline prices are bound to go back
up again eventually and now have additional Utah gasoline tax to boot. This does
not apply to all since many of the jobs that have been lost were probably
low-wage service jobs in the first place so living hand-to-mouth is the norm.
Having oilfield friends, I know these times can be tough. I also know that many
spend while they have it with little thought to the future. Don't bet that
Rep. Mike Noel, Rep. Ken Ivory and others who profess that getting public lands
and renewing energy development to assist rural communities will save the day!
sherlock holmes said: "The oil counties have better, cleaner air than the
Wasatch Front. Basin’s periodic high levels of ozone and
particulate matter, claiming that Basin air is usually cleaner than Salt
Lake’s. That’s a very low bar. Salt Lake is consistently ranked one
of the worst cities in the country for acute spikes in particulate pollution.
But that comparison is also misleading. Ozone and particulates are certainly
hazardous, but they are not as toxic as VOCS (volatile organic compounds like
benzene, toluene and xylene). A study by the U. of Colorado in the winter of
2012 and 2013 found shocking levels of VOCs in the Basin, as high as what would
be generated by 100 million cars, eight times more than all the cars in Los
Angeles. Because VOCs aren’t regulated by the EPA, public officials think
they can ignore it. But make no mistake, this is a genuine pollution
nightmare–to our knowledge, unequaled anywhere else in the country.
It is too bad they were not trying to 'do more with less' during good
times. Then all would be well now. Funny how the goobermint claims
they are 'losing' money, as if they are entitled to OUR money and when
WE (the people) lose jobs or have a hard time 'they' are
'losing' money. Thank your goobermint 'leaders' for the
mess...Can't feel too bad for the oil industry though. All
industries fluctuate. I have lost jobs before with swings in the economy (in a
totally unrelated industry). We should ALL (goobermint AND people) try to do
more with less and save more.
First, the problem is that we have been 'over' producing domestic oil.
All our storages are full. We're even building more (Sand Springs,
Oklahoma). The most recent 'boom' period was a false boom. We were
simply filling our supply, with no substantial change in the demand.Second, Yes we do buy a lot of oil from the middle east. But sadly, that is
our best tool for some measure of stability in that region. Anymore with the
rise of ISIS its about the only tool we have.Third, yes the wages
are good so save...right... the problem is, as mentioned by one post, local
businesses use price increases which the oil field workers are forced to pay.
So, there is little savings for the average worker. Locals take full advantage
of the influx of transient oil patch roughnecks.Finally, fracking
(good or bad for the environment) has given the industry the chance to get to
oil they normally would not have chased. Again, this has caused over production
leading to the current glut in the supply verses demand ratio.
Sean Hanning is always raving about North Dakota and how the oil industry
provides all these great high paying jobs. I suspect the same situation is
found in North Dakota. That is why I never take Sean seriously. Energy booms
are always followed by energy busts.
Not a single one of these companies would be in a tough spot right now if
they'd planned for the inevitable bust. Years and years of $100 plus oil
and they can't save a dime?
@Brave Sir Robin:"Oil prices were relatively stable until 2005 when
oil companies realized they could charge whatever they wanted for their product
. . ."That happened in 1973, not 1995.What happened in
2005 was that the world economy heated up and so did demand for energy. Oil is
inelastic commodity: people still need the energy and if demands increases,
consumers get into a bidding war and the prices jump.Then came shale
oil from North Dakota with extra oil on the market. The same supply-demand
curve from 2005-2008 kicked in to bring prices screaming down. The scary thing
is that in a couple of years the prices will go screaming the other way.Food prices will swing also because fuel from oil is used to ship food.
There will be foot riots in Bangladesh, Haiti, wherever. You'll get the
Arab Spring again in a lot of other places (FYI, the Arab Spring was started by
the high price of food.)Understand the world because if you
don't others will take advantage of you.
When the Saudi's and others drop the price of oil and begin flooding the
market, begin an import tax equal to the drop. When they no longer benefit
either economically or politically, they would stop squandering their resources
just to hurt us. When world prices level out, reduce the tax. We are being
played for fools and hurting our ability to be self-sufficient in energy
production. We are the biggest customer, and also one of the biggest producers.
We should be holding all or most of the cards these days. Technology has changed
since 1979. I think we play to loose much of the time in the international
arena. Of course, a lot of these foreign countries donate to the Clinton
Can somebody please tell me why food prices are still so high? I realize that
climate (drought, for instance) affects the price of oranges, etc., but the food
industry always used the "high price of fuel" excuse. If the price of
fuel is way down, then why do food prices keep rising? Information, please.
Air nutYour colors are showing. The oil counties have better,
cleaner air than the Wasatch Front. Maybe you could do some good on the front.
The rural counties will work on their air issues.
Low oil prices help many other businesses in lowering costs for raw materials,
transportation, and other industrial. Automobile sales go up. Food prices stay
down. It's a mixed bag, but the consumer benefits.The petroleum
industry has not enjoyed public favor since the industry operates almost as a
monopoly. When oil prices increases, you see the result almost instantly at the
gas pump. But when the price of oil falls, it takes a while for the prices to be
reflected at the pump. It's because the industry wants every penny it can
get by quickly raising prices and slowly lowering them.Now the
consumer can enjoy lower prices for a while until the industry adjusts and the
suppliers make changes to push the price up again.
It goes up and down and you can only hope that those who wisely saved up for a
rainy day during the up time can outlast the down time before the up time comes
again. A lot of instant gratification and big spenders are always the ones who
suffer the most during the down time.
Weren't high gas prices the problem at one time? Wasn't that what was
holding the economy back? I like high oil prices. Can't wait until it hits
two hundred bucks a barrel. To me, high oil helps more than high gasoline prices
@sherlock holmesEastern, UTAirnutIt is not even
close. Solar projects and wind turbines require less than 10 workers to operate
them once they come on line. Economic impacts from operations of these projects
hardly move a needle. Their construction workforce is sizeable for 12 months or
so, then the economic impact is gone. These projects are nice to
have, but job growth is minimal.12:15 p.m. March 3, 2016======== Ya, I guess you might be right.Who
needs all those Doctors and Nurses, Hospital Technicians, Pharmacists, and MORTICIANS when we have cleaner air and water?
This downturn is even more proof that the State taking over land that never
belonged to them won't even make money by giving it to the extraction
industry, which is what will happen.
A drop in the price of oil, or any commodity, is bad news for producers of that
commodity, but good news for everybody else
@65: precisely name how this is the Fed's fault. Sounds like you are
admitting low gas prices is another one of the great things President Obama has
given us. As for the cyclical nature of energy, it's just that, a
cycle. Fortunately for all of us hard working Americans, gas prices are low
right now. Why is it that those who claim to hate socialism think the
government needs to do something about this? The great thing about being humans
is we can adapt, move, learn, etc and do something else for a living.I
don't believe I should have to pay so oil workers can buy their food. Let
them go to school, pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do something else.
Anyone working in the oil and gas industry must realized it is a world wide
entity and sensitive to world wide economics. One working in this industry
needs to have their year supply literally and perhaps other kinds of work.
What amazes me is that this boom and bust pattern repeats itself so predictably,
and yet the communities involved and the political leaders at the State and
local level never seem to see it coming. It has happened many times before and
will happen again and again as long as we chase fossil fuels with volatile
pricing and limited supply. I pray that no one finds oil or gas anywhere near
What this article fails to mention is that a LOT of the growth the Basin
experienced was people moving into it from outside when the oil was booming - I
have family in Roosevelt and I haven't been able to afford a hotel room
there for the last 5 years. The oil workers have taken them all up and paying
exorbitant rates to stay there so the hotel owners, hospitality workers have
also benefited from the BOOM. A room in Roosevelt should cost $75 tops and
they've been in the 200+ range because they can get it! Housing prices went
through the roof because demand was so high. So the way I see it, if all those
workers vacate the area taking with it the demand on infrastructure, schools,
public programs, etc...it will normalize itself back to pre-boom life. People
who have always lived there will have an easier time finding jobs as well. With
any boom, there's always a bust. I wish them all well.
AirnutIt is not even close. Solar projects and wind turbines
require less than 10 workers to operate them once they come on line. Economic
impacts from operations of these projects hardly move a needle. Their
construction workforce is sizeable for 12 months or so, then the economic impact
is gone. These projects are nice to have, but job growth is
EI, my thoughts exactly. Although sad for families that lived high on the hog
while oil was high, we can finally get a breather and save a bit more, maybe
take a road trip or two this year, so I think it's better for the working
class to have oil lower. I fill my tank in my work van at least 3x week, so the
savings for me have been awesome! It's hard to feel bad for the big oil
companies who made BILLIONS in profits per quarter, and Execs were still making
multi million dollar bonuses, while middle America felt the sting of high gas
We must also remember what low prices at the pump are doing for other industry.
My family can finally afford to travel a bit. We have more disposable income.
And we can put more money aside for savings and retirement. There are two sides
to every coin. Life is never perfect for everybody.
Oil has always been a boom and bust, my Father worked for Halliburton back in
the 80s and the exact same thing happened then, Saudis flooded the market with
cheap oil and drove most of the domestic producers out of business. Though it
does look like this time that the flooding is tapering off a little because this
time the countries in the Middle East have expenses and can't afford to
crush the prices too far, whether that glimmer of sanity holds firm is
anyone's guess at this point.However it isn't just the oil
companies that are going to suffer from the drop out, a lot of chemical
engineers are unemployed or having their hours cut back as far as possible,
especially in the industries that support oil and natural gas production. As
well damage is going to start showing on green energy programs as the prices of
oil and gas are dropping so fast they aren't going to be able to keep
up.Natural resources are always in flux, the smartest thing to do in
those industries is make sure you stock away funds for the famine times.
Funny - The "liberal" Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that
although Oil jobs have decreased, the Wind & Solar Industries have
MORE than made up for the difference, in fact -- there are now more Green
Energy jobs and employees in the state of Utah than the whole Coal and Oil
I blame overreach by the tyrannical US Federal Government. Oh wait........
Dear Sir Robin from San Diego:Oil and natural gas is the best fuel
going from a price and a portability standpoint. And there are filling stations
all across the land where you can fill up your tank. And there is plenty of
room in the energy arena for electric cars, mass transit, and bicycles. No
need to talk down to the struggling oil companies (and countries). They will
survive. In my travels, I am seeing SUVs all over the place.
Don't understand your comment there. And I might point out
that the overproduction of oil in the world is only about 1 to 1.5 million
barrels per day. And production is decreasing even as we talk on this website,
so enjoy the cheap gasoline while it lasts.
This is a political game that the present leadership is playing and allowing
foreign powers to do. More than half of United States oil comes from foreign
countries that do not like us. Leadership is playing the game to push
their agenda. That is what is really happening.
Adapt or die. Low gas prices are better for our economy than high gas prices and
it is a given that there will be winners and losers in every business setting.
I'd love to see gas at less than a dollar a gallon!
The oil industry can cry me a river! They got themselves into this mess.Oil prices were relatively stable until 2005 when oil companies realized
they could charge whatever they wanted for their product and consumers
couldn't immediately do anything about it. Over the next 5 years, the price
of oil increased 10x.But you see, people don't like it when the
price of a staple commodity fluctuates by an order of magnitude for essentially
no reason. So businesses figured out how to use less oil, SUVs went the way of
the dodo (everywhere except Utah), and people drove less. CAFE standards went
up. Hybrid and electric car sales went WAY up. And shale production became
economical.Because of this, oil demand is actually decreasing while
supply is increasing. So now you've got a whole glut of oil producers
furiously pumping oil and nobody wants it.It was the greed of oil
companies that forced consumers to find alternatives, and now we're
supposed to feel bad that we don't want their product any more? Please.You made your own bed - enjoy sleeping in it.
There is a method in this madness. Not long ago, the oil industry in the whole
nation was booming and companies were gearing up to make the shale oil come into
it's own. Realizing this, foreign markets began to flood the world supply
pushing the barrel price down for the sole purpose of driving the shale and
other domestic oil people out of business. When the industry is effectively
buried, supply will dry up and prices will skyrocket once more. This is a
pattern that has been repeated more than a few times in the last few decades.
And JBQ is right. There are (another) two sides to the coin. When
prices are low, oil people struggle to survive while the general public exults
at the pump. When they are high, the oil industry booms and consumers feel
oppressed for gas policies that squeeze the life out of their pocketbooks. Unfortunately, in this business, you can't please all the people
all the time. This is why we are urged to save in abundant times. To weather the
lean times. Good advice and not just for religious people.
Note that neither the oil companies nor the oil workers are asking for a
bailout. They know the free market giveth and taketh. Also note
that significant tax credits are being granted to the wind power and solar power
projects. Without the tax credits, the projects would not be built.
I cannot imagine what is happening with these families. The heartache and lump
in the throat feelings are so hard to deal with. So, forgive me for not
understanding the Oil business, but is this the product of world dominators in
the Oil industry purposely flooding the market with cheap fuel to undercut
competition and assume total control?If anyone out there can help me
understand what forces are at work I would appreciate it. Seems to me there is
a world muscle being flexed. When gains are made, the muscle is flexed to make
the smaller guys be uncertain about venturing again into oil production...
Don't know... help me out.
One of my friends in Vernal has always lived modestly since he and his wife were
always waiting for the next downturn. Sadly, it has come again.
This same boom and bust economy is what State leaders are going to rely on for
funding management of public lands if they successfully wrest control from the
federal government. It won't just be store fronts that will have for sale
signs, but large swaths of public land too when the State can no longer afford
to manage them.
There are always two sides to a coin. Oil revenue can be used for good or for
ill. We need politicians who will be just stewards in the carrying out of their
responsibilities. Instead, largesse from both sides of the aisle is being used
to essentially influence how people will vote.
I can remember what happened before 1987, the late 70's early 80's,
same thing , the same thing happened. Set em up and knock them down.
Wait a second! Oil drilling and exploration are supposed to be the solution to
rural Utah's economic woes. Contrary to popular opinion, however, the
truth is that free market forces are causing these economic issues for small
towns in Utah, not "overprotective" federal land managers.
Something that is not mentioned in this article is that we are seeing the
schools in the area having a large reduction in students attending. If dad or
mom cannot find a job, they will pack up and move somewhere that a job can be
found. Then the school district loses State funding to pay for teachers and
staff.And if you are looking to buy a home, the prices have not been
as low in a long time. But you had best have a job, as there are few to be