Has gasoline consumption peaked?
We know that gasoline consumption has gone down lately due to recessionary pressures, but now some experts believe it will never return to the heady days of 2007. We may look back at that time as the year gasoline consumption peaked in the U.S.
An article from McClatchy news service suggests three reasons:
• New vehicles are more fuel efficient;
• The number of cars on the road has reached a plateau; and
• Alternative fuels are actually having an impact.
Needless to say, this is having an effect on the oil industry. Profits are shifting as refineries are running currently at less than 80% of capacity and most are losing money. This is in contrast to some of the discussions we were having back in 2006 when we were concerned about running out of energy capacity.
Of course there is still much room for growth in other parts of the world. Oil that we don’t use here and more will certainly be soaked up in Asia for some time to come. One step at a time.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.