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Mr. Laz
04-22-2008, 11:52 AM
Posted on Mon, Apr. 21, 2008 10:15 PM

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Gasoline usage heads down

By STEVE EVERLY

The Kansas City Star


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Chris Lester: We haven’t seen the peak of gasoline prices (http://www.kansascity.com/business/story/585574.html)<!-- End: /pubsys/production/story/assets/external_link.comp --><!-- Start: /pubsys/production/story/assets/external_link.comp -->
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<input name="poll_response" value="1417" id="1417" type="radio"> <label for="1417">Fewer/shorter leisure trips</label>
<input name="poll_response" value="1418" id="1418" type="radio"> <label for="1418">Carpool to work</label>
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<input name="poll_response" value="1420" id="1420" type="radio"> <label for="1420">Walk or ride a bike</label>
<input name="poll_response" value="1421" id="1421" type="radio"> <label for="1421">Buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle</label>
<input name="poll_response" value="1422" id="1422" type="radio"> <label for="1422">Move closer to work</label>

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<!-- END /pubsys/production/story/story_assets.comp --> <table> </table> U.S. drivers are doing something they haven’t done for nearly two decades — consume less gasoline.Gas consumption so far this year is down about 0.2 percent compared to last year, according to the Energy Information Administration. The federal agency is predicting that gasoline demand will be down 0.4 percent this summer and 0.3 percent for the year.
That may not sound like much, but it would be the first time since 1991 that there’s been a decline in annual gas consumption. And it would be only the eighth year since 1951 in which demand for gasoline has declined.
The federal agency noted that the decline was occurring in part because of a slowing economy. But it also said that higher gas prices were having an effect on demand.
“Sustained higher gasoline prices are beginning to show up in lower gasoline consumption,” said Tancred Lidderdale, an analyst for the Energy Information Administration.
Both gasoline and diesel prices are now at record levels.
According to AAA, the national average on Monday for a gallon of gasoline was $3.50 a gallon, or 64 cents higher than a year ago. Diesel was $4.20 per gallon, or $1.27 higher than a year ago.
A gallon of E-85, a blend that contains 85 percent ethanol, was $2.89 a gallon. AAA also gives an adjusted price reflecting the fact that ethanol has less energy than conventional gasoline. By that measure, a price-adjusted gallon of E-85 was $3.81.
Crude oil prices were up on Monday for the sixth straight day. Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose to a record $117.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange before settling at $117.48, up 79 cents from Friday’s close.
Figures that track gas consumption can be volatile from week to week. But the idea that demand for the year will be down is gaining support.
Lehi German, publisher of Fundamental Petroleum Trends, said the federal agency’s prediction of a downturn was “in the ballpark.” In addition, diesel demand has shown signs of softening as well.
Although higher fuel prices were expected to have an effect on demand, it wasn’t clear just how high they would have to go to do so. Many market watchers believed prices would have to stay above $3 per gallon for several months or even a year.
That tipping point for gasoline demand may have arrived.
Mike Right, a spokesman for AAA Club of Missouri, said that a decline in gasoline usage shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. A survey conducted in January by AAA found that many motorists were already deciding to change vacation plans for this summer by planning for shorter trips.
“We are starting to see some signs of that,” he said.
Verne Covell of Smithville counts himself as one who’s had enough.
Now retired, Covell bought a pickup and travel trailer when he retired in 2000. Long trips with his wife to places like Canada were common.
This year, however, there will be at most a trip to south Missouri. The trailer may even stay in storage for the entire year because of fuel prices.
“We’re getting on and you don’t know how long you have,” he said. “But this year we decided it just got too expensive.”
There are indications that a fundamental shift in consumer driving habits may have started in December, when total miles traveled in the U.S. dropped 3.9 percent compared with the same month a year earlier. Miles traveled in the Midwest were down 5.8 percent.
Mainly because of the December drop, the Federal Highway Administration said it was estimating that miles traveled for all of 2007 were down 0.4 percent.

A question now is whether the curtailing of gas consumption could gain momentum, especially if prices climb further.
Steve Mosby is vice president of Admo Energy, an area company that helps other companies, including gas stations, control the cost they pay for fuel. He said his company had been getting recent reports from customers of substantial reductions in the number of gallons being pumped.
And those changes may show up in daily commuting habits in addition to plans for longer trips.
Demand already is increasing for automobiles offering higher gas mileage.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority also reports that bus ridership has been growing as gas prices have increased. Last year ridership was up 4.1 percent. For the first two months of this year, compared to the same period last year, the number of riders was up 9 percent.
“I certainly think gas prices are having an impact on our ridership,” said Dick Jarrold, a senior director at ATA.
A decline in gasoline demand could help give some relief from high prices. Although prices are surging as the traditional summer driving season approaches, some market followers expect prices to ease back later this summer.
One ongoing concern is that even though Americans may be cutting back on gas consumption, emerging middle classes in faster-growing countries such as China and India are quickly embracing the driving habit and pushing global demand for fuel higher.
“That’s the billion-dollar question,” Mosby said.
<hr class="infobox-hr-separator"> Higher standards sought

WASHINGTON | The government today plans to release a proposal to raise fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks, putting the nation’s fleet on track to reach 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Last year, Congress sought a 40 percent increase in mileage standards.


Today’s proposal will set fuel economy standards from 2011 to 2015.


The nation’s fleet of new passenger cars is currently required to meet a 27.5 mpg average, while sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans have a target of 22.5 mpg.


Democrats have said the new fuel economy requirements will save motorists $700 to $1,000 a year in fuel costs.





The Associated Press contributed to this report. To reach Steve Everly, call 816-234-4455 or send e-mail to severly@kcstar.com. | The Associated Press

Der Flöprer
04-22-2008, 11:54 AM
Democrats have said the new fuel economy requirements will save motorists $700 to $1,000 a year in fuel costs.



So by 2011 it'll be like $5000. Sweet.

PhillyChiefFan
04-22-2008, 11:58 AM
After the purchase of a new car, people who can't afford that new car will be Flintstoning their asses to work.

Radar Chief
04-22-2008, 12:02 PM
So by 2011 it'll be like $5000. Sweet.

Wonder how much the increased cost of more efficient vehicles will offset that savings.

PhillyChiefFan
04-22-2008, 12:09 PM
Wonder how much the increased cost of more efficient vehicles will offset that savings.

exactly. So basically we are consuming less gasoline but our CAR payment goes up exponentially.

Der Flöprer
04-22-2008, 12:25 PM
Looking at the map leads me to believe that Texas said "**** it."

Pitt Gorilla
04-22-2008, 12:26 PM
exactly. So basically we are consuming less gasoline but our CAR payment goes up exponentially.Exponentially? I'm guessing that you're not referring to integer exponents, which then makes me wonder why you used the term at all.

bkkcoh
04-22-2008, 12:31 PM
Demand sure has caused the price to go down. Damn I thought congress was for the little guy, what in the hell have they done in order to lower prices... :banghead:

Frazod
04-22-2008, 01:24 PM
Demand sure has caused the price to go down. Damn I thought congress was for the little guy, what in the hell have they done in order to lower prices... :banghead:

We're not even getting election year lip service, which is strange. Of course, I guess there is a bit of an upside to not being lied to about one less thing.

Baconeater
04-22-2008, 02:00 PM
What's lost in all of this is that with less consumption, tax revenues are down as well, which results in...yes, you guessed it...higher gasoline taxes!

markk
04-22-2008, 02:03 PM
exactly. So basically we are consuming less gasoline but our CAR payment goes up exponentially.

car companies love it. consumer actually doesnt save any money, they just pay it to GM up front instead of at the pump. and then they cruise around at the mileage we should be getting already thinking that GM has done them some wild favor

PhillyChiefFan
04-22-2008, 02:30 PM
Exponentially? I'm guessing that you're not referring to integer exponents, which then makes me wonder why you used the term at all.

Wow...not much to do today?? Sorry will go higher...better??

I didn't reference my trig book...what WAS I thinking.

PhillyChiefFan
04-22-2008, 02:32 PM
car companies love it. consumer actually doesnt save any money, they just pay it to GM up front instead of at the pump. and then they cruise around at the mileage we should be getting already thinking that GM has done them some wild favor

Yea, that is what burns me, you don't really save the money you just rob Peter to pay Paul.

Stinger
04-22-2008, 02:37 PM
What's lost in all of this is that with less consumption, tax revenues are down as well, which results in...yes, you guessed it...higher gasoline taxes!


Ding ... Ding... Ding.... We have a winner

BWillie
04-22-2008, 02:59 PM
It's because people can't afford to drive all over hell. They are more inclined to stay at their house. I'll have friends say come to Lawrence or Topeka. I tell them it will cost me 30 dollars to drive there and back so I say screw it. We are finally witnessing the point where the resource is becoming somewhat elastic.

My car gets 16 miles per gallon. It's 16 miles to work. If gas is 3.50 a gallon I'm actually paying 7 dollars every freaking day to get to work. Now that is just ridiculous.

If we had cars that got 70 mpg we wouldn't have this problem. I want to buy a Honda Insight that gets that gas mileage, but even buying a 2000 with 150K miles is 14K. And the thing is tiny and has no back seats.

PhillyChiefFan
04-22-2008, 03:08 PM
It's because people can't afford to drive all over hell. They are more inclined to stay at their house. I'll have friends say come to Lawrence or Topeka. I tell them it will cost me 30 dollars to drive there and back so I say screw it. We are finally witnessing the point where the resource is becoming somewhat inelastic.

My car gets 16 miles per gallon. It's 16 miles to work. If gas is 3.50 a gallon I'm actually paying 7 dollars every freaking day to get to work. Now that is just ridiculous.

If we had cars that got 70 mpg we wouldn't have this problem. I want to buy a Honda Insight that gets that gas mileage, but even buying a 2000 with 150K miles is 14K. And the thing is tiny and has no back seats.

I would love to get a car that gets 70 mpg, and I don't understand why the technology of the Honda Insight hasn't been expanded. I know how you feel, I spend the same every day for gas for my car. 20 miles up/back at 19 due to the traffic getting out of Philadelphia.

I just read a report on 24/7 wallstreet and one guy said that 180/b crude isn't out of the question, 5.50/gallon = kick in the sack everytime you fill up.

Donger
04-22-2008, 03:09 PM
Congress could lower the price of gasoline by $.184 right now, if they were so inclined. Other than that...

PhillyChiefFan
04-22-2008, 03:11 PM
Congress could lower the price of gasoline by $.184 right now, if they were so inclined. Other than that...

taxes or federal oil reserve?

Demonpenz
04-22-2008, 03:15 PM
why do we owe peter and paul so much money

Donger
04-22-2008, 03:15 PM
taxes or federal oil reserve?

Federal tax on every gallon.

Frazod
04-22-2008, 03:24 PM
It's because people can't afford to drive all over hell. They are more inclined to stay at their house. I'll have friends say come to Lawrence or Topeka. I tell them it will cost me 30 dollars to drive there and back so I say screw it. We are finally witnessing the point where the resource is becoming somewhat inelastic.

My car gets 16 miles per gallon. It's 16 miles to work. If gas is 3.50 a gallon I'm actually paying 7 dollars every freaking day to get to work. Now that is just ridiculous.

If we had cars that got 70 mpg we wouldn't have this problem. I want to buy a Honda Insight that gets that gas mileage, but even buying a 2000 with 150K miles is 14K. And the thing is tiny and has no back seats.

My car gets about 16 MPG in town. I am thisclose to getting a friggin used Civic. If it's going to cost $70 to fill up my motherf#cking gas tank, I want it to last more than a couple of weeks.

Radar Chief
04-22-2008, 03:28 PM
Get a motorcycle. Seriously, even my “warmed over” ’95 Kawasaki ZX-9 gets over 40 MPG highway.
Get something a bit more pedestrian and the mileage goes up to +50 MPG pretty easily.

Donger
04-22-2008, 03:34 PM
My car gets about 16 MPG in town. I am thisclose to getting a friggin used Civic. If it's going to cost $70 to fill up my motherf#cking gas tank, I want it to last more than a couple of weeks.

I'd pay to see you cruising around in a Civic. :D

Donger
04-22-2008, 03:35 PM
Get a motorcycle. Seriously, even my “warmed over” ’95 Kawasaki ZX-9 gets over 40 MPG highway.
Get something a bit more pedestrian and the mileage goes up to +50 MPG pretty easily.

My vehicle gets ~35 mph on the highway and it can't tip over. Well, not easily, anyway.

Deberg_1990
04-22-2008, 03:36 PM
. I am thisclose to getting a friggin used Civic.

Then you would be "2 Fast 2 Furious" Yo!

Frazod
04-22-2008, 03:45 PM
I'd pay to see you cruising around in a Civic. :D

Before I went into mid-life crisis mode and bought my '05 Mustang, I had an 03' Pontiac Vibe that I really liked. A Vibe is basically a tall Toyota Corolla stationwagon with a Pontiac grille. Got great mileage, was extremely useful, and I was a FOOL to ever get rid of it. Wish I still had the goddamn thing - it would be paid off now, too. :banghead:

Radar Chief
04-22-2008, 03:46 PM
My vehicle gets ~35 mph on the highway and it can't tip over. Well, not easily, anyway.

Can it pop a wheelie?

Donger
04-22-2008, 03:47 PM
Can it pop a wheelie?

If I pull really hard on the steering wheel, yes, a little one.

Brock
04-22-2008, 03:48 PM
Before I went into mid-life crisis mode and bought my '05 Mustang, I had an 03' Pontiac Vibe that I really liked. A Vibe is basically a tall Toyota Corolla stationwagon with a Pontiac grille. Got great mileage, was extremely useful, and I was a FOOL to ever get rid of it. Wish I still had the goddamn thing - it would be paid off now, too. :banghead:

Yeah, I wondered why you did that.

BWillie
04-22-2008, 03:53 PM
That's it I'm getting a F'ing moped

Old Dog
04-22-2008, 03:53 PM
Get a motorcycle. Seriously, even my “warmed over” ’95 Kawasaki ZX-9 gets over 40 MPG highway.
Get something a bit more pedestrian and the mileage goes up to +50 MPG pretty easily.

I ride the bike any day it isn't forecast to rain. 20 miles one way to work and 40 mpg on the bike as opposed to 18 in my truck.

Deberg_1990
04-22-2008, 03:57 PM
Before I went into mid-life crisis mode and bought my '05 Mustang, I had an 03' Pontiac Vibe that I really liked. A Vibe is basically a tall Toyota Corolla stationwagon with a Pontiac grille. Got great mileage, was extremely useful, and I was a FOOL to ever get rid of it. Wish I still had the goddamn thing - it would be paid off now, too. :banghead:


Your post brings up an interesting point about Americans in general.

Americans are all about "style points" and looking good at the expense of saving $$$ on fuel.

We love our muscle cars and SUV's, we love to go fast, and we love to look good while doing it.

Its a huge shot to our ego's to drive small economical cars.

Frazod
04-22-2008, 04:00 PM
Yeah, I wondered why you did that.

Gas wasn't threatening to top $100 a f#cking gallon in March of 2005.

Hell, if I'd waited one more month to get rid of the Mustang, I'd probably be driving a Civic now. I traded the Mustang for my Impala last March; gas started going through the roof a month later. :banghead:

Frazod
04-22-2008, 04:02 PM
Your post brings up an interesting point about Americans in general.

Americans are all about "style points" and looking good at the expense of saving $$$ on fuel.

We love our muscle cars and SUV's, we love to go fast, and we love to look good while doing it.

Its a huge shot to our ego's to drive small economical cars.

Agreed. I hate little cars, even if they're fast. You can get a Subara WRX that will blow damn near anything off the road, but at the end of the day, it's a vile little shitbox. But there's little point in having a big car you can barely afford to drive. I hate to think how f#cked we'll be a couple of years from now unless something drastically changes.

Radar Chief
04-22-2008, 04:11 PM
If I pull really hard on the steering wheel, yes, a little one.

:LOL: Sure.

Spott
04-22-2008, 04:24 PM
Congress could lower the price of gasoline by $.184 right now, if they were so inclined. Other than that...


Even if they cut that tax, the oil companies wouldn't even drop half of that and would keep the rest of it as profit.

Radar Chief
04-22-2008, 04:26 PM
I ride the bike any day it isn't forecast to rain. 20 miles one way to work and 40 mpg on the bike as opposed to 18 in my truck.

If I didn’t have to pick my son up after work I’d be riding mine every day weather allowed.

jidar
04-22-2008, 04:38 PM
But there's little point in having a big car you can barely afford to drive. I hate to think how f#cked we'll be a couple of years from now unless something drastically changes.

If nothing changes?
Ok it's about time people woke the **** up. Nothing is going to change.
Maybe it will dip down to $3/gal again briefly if the global economy REALLY goes in the tank but even then it wont stay there long. So allow me to be as clear as possible:

The prices aren't coming back down again. Ever.

People will have to change their habits and start driving small cars, motorcycles hell scooters. There is no real reason I have to drive a 4x4 that gets 15mpg to work every day and weighs 2 tons, that fact is it's always been ridiculous and extravagant and we're just going to have to come to terms with that accept it. The days of soccer moms going to the corner in a ****ing tank are coming to an end. Live with it.

Deberg_1990
04-22-2008, 04:42 PM
If nothing changes?
Ok it's about time people woke the **** up. Nothing is going to change.
Maybe it will dip down to $3/gal again briefly if the global economy REALLY goes in the tank but even then it wont stay there long. So allow me to be as clear as possible:

The prices aren't coming back down again. Ever.

People will have to change their habits and start driving small cars, motorcycles hell scooters. There is no real reason I have to drive a 4x4 that gets 15mpg to work every day and weighs 2 tons, that fact is it's always been ridiculous and extravagant and we're just going to have to come to terms with that accept it. The days of soccer moms going to the corner in a ****ing tank are coming to an end. Live with it.

I actually agree with you here. People should be willing to change their habits or quit complaining so much and live with it.

Donger
04-22-2008, 04:44 PM
If nothing changes?
Ok it's about time people woke the **** up. Nothing is going to change.
Maybe it will dip down to $3/gal again briefly if the global economy REALLY goes in the tank but even then it wont stay there long. So allow me to be as clear as possible:

The prices aren't coming back down again. Ever.

People will have to change their habits and start driving small cars, motorcycles hell scooters. There is no real reason I have to drive a 4x4 that gets 15mpg to work every day and weighs 2 tons, that fact is it's always been ridiculous and extravagant and we're just going to have to come to terms with that accept it. The days of soccer moms going to the corner in a ****ing tank are coming to an end. Live with it.

I thin that there's a good chance that oil will fall, as I don't believe that the present price is justified. But, pretty much the only way for us to influence the price is by cutting our demand.

Guru
04-22-2008, 04:46 PM
Wonder how much the increased cost of more efficient vehicles will offset that savings.

BINGO.

And don't forget the tax the democrats will impose on everyone for using more efficient vehicles and gas.

Guru
04-22-2008, 04:48 PM
Even if they cut that tax, the oil companies wouldn't even drop half of that and would keep the rest of it as profit.

They didn't do that the last time the government cut the tax. There is no reason to believe they will do that now.

Deberg_1990
04-22-2008, 04:50 PM
I thin that there's a good chance that oil will fall, as I don't believe that the present price is justified. But, pretty much the only way for us to influence the price is by cutting our demand.

Its never going to be below $2.75 ever again.

Guru
04-22-2008, 04:51 PM
Gas wasn't threatening to top $100 a f#cking gallon in March of 2005.

Hell, if I'd waited one more month to get rid of the Mustang, I'd probably be driving a Civic now. I traded the Mustang for my Impala last March; gas started going through the roof a month later. :banghead:
I am actually wondering at what point I will be forced to trade in the van for something more economical. Problem for me is, if I do that, I lose the ability to transport my entire family in one vehicle. we are 6 with two in boosters and one in an infant seat. full size can't even handle that yet.

Guru
04-22-2008, 04:58 PM
My vehicle gets ~35 mph on the highway and it can't tip over. Well, not easily, anyway.

What are you driving?

Donger
04-22-2008, 04:59 PM
Its never going to be below $2.75 ever again.

I would bet that it will.

Donger
04-22-2008, 04:59 PM
What are you driving?

VW GTI.

Deberg_1990
04-22-2008, 05:02 PM
I would bet that it will.

When we all drive Civics, Prius and Focus's??

Donger
04-22-2008, 05:03 PM
When we all drive Civics, Prius and Focus's??

No. When the price of crude falls. IMO, it could fall significantly.

jidar
04-22-2008, 05:05 PM
I thin that there's a good chance that oil will fall, as I don't believe that the present price is justified. But, pretty much the only way for us to influence the price is by cutting our demand.

You've always been pretty bullish on the ability of oil supply to meet rising demand. Me, not so much.

Year to year it's easy to see all of the little things happening slowly and rationalize them away, but when you step back and look at the big picture a pattern emerges, one of supply worries. I mean the fact is we're at the point now that a single pipeline being disrupted results in global price fluctuations, this was never the case in the 90s when a buffer of production was maintained, where is the buffer? It's to the point that it seems like if someone sneezes hard on an oil rig the price goes up.

To me though one of the biggest indicators that supply concerns are a reality would be if energy prices continued to rise even in the face of a global economic downturn or even just an American recession. The fact is, if the economy declines but the prices still continue to rise, how do you explain that except by supply and demand? You can't. Over the next year we will see if that happens and if so then I think that would settle the matter.

Donger
04-22-2008, 05:06 PM
You've always been pretty bullish on the ability of oil supply to meet rising demand. Me, not so much.

Year to year it's easy to see all of the little things happening slowly and rationalize them away, but when you step back and look at the big picture a pattern emerges, one of supply worries. I mean the fact is we're at the point now that a single pipeline being disrupted results in global price fluctuations, this was never the case in the 90s when a buffer of production was maintained, where is the buffer? It's to the point that it seems like if someone sneezes hard on an oil rig the price goes up.

To me though one of the biggest indicators that supply concerns are a reality would be if energy prices continued to rise even in the face of a global economic downturn or even just an American recession. The fact is, if the economy declines but the prices still continue to rise, how do you explain that except by supply and demand? You can't. Over the next year we will see if that happens and if so then I think that would settle the matter.

Oil is traded in dollars. The dollar is weak, which invites speculation, especially overseas. And, yes, I do believe that there is plenty of oil left. The fact is that accessing it wasn't economically smart when crude was $30. At $75? Sure. They'll drill it at that.

Zebedee DuBois
04-22-2008, 05:08 PM
Are Hummers on sale yet?

jidar
04-22-2008, 05:13 PM
Oil is traded in dollars. The dollar is weak, which invites speculation, especially overseas. And, yes, I do believe that there is plenty of oil left. The fact is that accessing it wasn't economically smart when crude was $30. At $75? Sure. They'll drill it at that.

Not saying there isn't a lot left, there is, but the question is whether new sources can come in fast enough to meet the demand that the traditional sources aren't able to. The state that the global economy is in right now would tend to indicate that this isn't the case.

You're right that I didn't adequately take into the account the weakened dollar though. It's quite possible if the dollar drops like a rock and we have runaway inflation that prices could rise even while the US economy tanks and for the rising prices to have nothing to do with supply and demand concerns. This only works to explain the US economy though, and not the global economic situation. I guess we will have to keep our eye on the global economy as an indicator.

TEX
04-22-2008, 05:58 PM
Looking at the map leads me to believe that Texas said "**** it."


No, we didn't say that. Gas has been less expensive here. Now that it's up around $3.40 per gallon, I bet we stop using it as much too.

Donger
04-22-2008, 06:00 PM
Not saying there isn't a lot left, there is, but the question is whether new sources can come in fast enough to meet the demand that the traditional sources aren't able to. The state that the global economy is in right now would tend to indicate that this isn't the case.

You're right that I didn't adequately take into the account the weakened dollar though. It's quite possible if the dollar drops like a rock and we have runaway inflation that prices could rise even while the US economy tanks and for the rising prices to have nothing to do with supply and demand concerns. This only works to explain the US economy though, and not the global economic situation. I guess we will have to keep our eye on the global economy as an indicator.

Yep, never forget that we are "competing" globally for crude. Even if our demand drops, someone else will pick it up (China, India).