5 Easy Ways to Screw OPEC

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No Oil: OPEC Sucks!I don’t know about you but every time I heard oil prices falling, I grin from ear to ear. I like free markets if they are operating in a healthy economic environment (which means I’m cool with the bailout of banks, but I’m not cool with talks on bailing out GM, though I understand why) but those OPEC nations were taking it too far. I wrote about how OPEC hates us and how they were decreasing supply to “cope” with sagging demand. They got used to the high prices and now that demand is falling, they want to keep the high prices. That’s just mean.

So, what can we do? Hit them where they want to hit us, in the money sack. We must use less gas.

The lesson here, which we should’ve learned in the 70’s, is that OPEC should control our destiny. Say what you want about offshore drilling or alternative fuels, that’s for the pundits and the policy makers to figure out for 2015… I’m going to continue to do what I can today – use less gas.

Five Ways to Screw OPEC

1. Regularly maintain your car. Getting regular checkups, regular tune ups, and regular oil changes will improve your fuel mileage and increase the lifespan of your car. The myth about the 3,000 oil change is a myth, you can follow whatever your car manual says for your type of usage, but you still need to get that changed. As for the 30,000 and 60,000 checkups? Do them. Tune ups? Wonderful for gas mileage as you replace things that have been worn down. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish with your car because the day you take it for granted is the day it reminds you that you shouldn’t.

2. Check your tires regularly and rotate them. Rotating the tires maximizes their lifespan. Keeping them properly inflated maximizes your fuel efficiency and maximizes their lifespan. Those two simple things will reduce how much gasoline your car consumes and how much oil is used to produce the rubber for your tires. Use less, OPEC complains.

3. Carpool to reduce driving. I feel like a broken record (can I even use that analogy anymore?) but carpooling and efficient trip planning has to be the easiest way to save gas. My wife and I try to plan our trips such that we minimize how much driving we do and it makes for a fun mental exercise.

Did you know that if two separate people are meeting at a point between them, it’s always better for one person to pick up the other person first as long as they return to the same place? If my wife is leaving work and I’m at home, it’s better for her to pick me up if we plan to go out for dinner than for us to meet each other at the restaurant. I didn’t think it was intuitive but if you draw it out it makes very obvious sense. (if the meeting point is equidistant to both then it’s equal)

4. Learn how to hypermile. Hypermiling is changing your driving behavior so that you maximize your car’s fuel efficiency. The basics are quite simple, you want to brake as little as possible, accelerate as slowly as possible, and travel as slowly as reasonably possible. Realistic hypermiling are a few suggestions I feel are both effective and realistic in our current driving environment.

5. Buy a bike. My wife and I bought bikes earlier this year and we use it to get around our area fairly easily. This may or may not be feasible for you given your neighborhood but it’s something you should consider. If not a bike, then investigate how you can best utilize mass transportation in our area. The key here is to ditch the car and try something fun and different.

Now say it with me, “Down with OPEC! Down with OPEC!” 🙂

(Photo: jfabra)

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “5 Easy Ways to Screw OPEC”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I like the cut of your jib.

  2. Rich says:

    You do sound like a broken record! But the important messages need to be said multiple times for it to sink in.
    I like that all of these are relatively simple things to do, and if everyone did them we could change the dynamics of the auto and oil industries without some magic bullet from the government. Too bad getting everyone to do it is the hard part.

  3. jim says:

    I wanted to repeat it today because gas prices are falling and it’s really easy to fall back into our old habits…

  4. Patrick says:

    I agree that we shouldn’t get back to our old ways. Just because gas is cheaper, doesn’t mean we should drive more just to drive. They said that driving has actually increased since the prices have gone down. Repeating these things a thousand times would not be a broken record as people need to begin learning to stop wasting and start conserving.

  5. GAURAV BHOLA says:

    Great synopsis of beating OPEC, these are important basic things you can do that are in your control. Of course, OPEC is U.S.A’s control.

  6. poscogrubb says:

    All good helpful tips. But the attitude of screwing OPEC? You have the freedom to think they’re mean. But that won’t change anything except your blood pressure.

    Instead of thinking about the evil of OPEC while you carpool with your wife, take advantage of the time to socialize positively with her.

  7. jim says:

    @poscogrubb: Hahaha, I don’t think about the evil of OPEC.

  8. Eric N. says:

    Down with OPEC! haha 🙂

  9. Ben says:

    Totally. I’m still working from home 1 day a week and am lobbing to increase that. (Rumors here at the office are that they will allow 3-4 days a week and that would be awesome.)

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