This is an article, and I use the term loosely, in which a person not only denies reality, physics, geology, and basic politics, but also assumes that you have no access to actual knowledge. My rebuttals follow each ridiculously stupid point. This must have been written by a Ron Paul supporter.
Speaking of bumper stickers, remember “Yes We Can”, Mr. President? No one understands the concept better than the oil and gas industry. The main thing holding domestic energy companies back from making a stronger commitment to future domestic supplies is uncertainty. Capital hates uncertainty, avoids it like the plague. Your rhetoric may appease your doctrinaire base, but it makes domestic energy producers hold back, fearful that you will punish their success, or that you will change the rules on them in the middle of the game.
Erasing uncertainty is the #1 thing you can do as a national leader if you truly desire to lower gasoline prices. Not only could it change the psychology of energy investing, there is still time for companies to change their 2012 investment plans.
Below the fold is my humble 10-point plan: Things President Obama could (but won’t) do to reduce domestic gasoline prices by November 2012.
This is my response to this flaming moron. His statements and words are in italics, mine are normal. I find this to be good because his are based in fantasy land and mine are… well… based in reality.
1)Commit to a strategic goal of North American energy security. That includes reasonable and responsible domestic drilling. That includes taking the lead on the Keystone XL Pipeline; we could find a way to make it happen while addressing the legitimate environmental concerns of Nebraskans. It includes a commitment to maintaining the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and opening ANWR.
Fuck NO! The Keystone pipeline will be based on previous designs, all of which leak routinely and some, like the Wyoming pipeline (same company), leaked 12 times in the first year and a half alone. This pipeline is meant to be built directly above/through North America’s largest aquifer. Add to this that this oil will not be destined for USA gasoline, it is marked for export. America’s number one manufactured export is gasoline. If you want the gas prices to lower, insist that oil companies be forced to pay export fees. You’ll suddenly see prices drop due to available excess.
Opening ANWAR, which btw is being drilled as I type this, to unrestrained drilling will do nothing but destroy a region and ecosystem. Already we produce enough gasoline to have it as our number one manufactured export. Rather than promote policies that allow oil companies to destroy more land, why don’t we insist that the results be used and available here?
2)Ditch the anti-industry, anti-capitalist rhetoric. It is not the President’s or the government’s place to decide when an industry’s profitability is “high enough”. High oil company profits fund more drilling; more drilling means more future supply and lower prices. Besides, American oil companies are not owned by a cabal of wealthy executives, but by America’s pension funds, mutual funds and private investment accounts. “They” are “us”.
They are us? Are you fucking kidding me? The oil companies pay dividends to a very small group of investors. Koch and friends have paid for politicians and governors in numerous states who have ended union, retirement, and investment accounts.
Yes, the government should step in when insider trading and monopolies gouge the common folk. That is actually written in to every facet of American law… right up until this recent mockery of a Supreme Court. Not only this, but one fact seems to escape the standard moron… errmmm…. Libertarian…. talking points. Obama has granted more drilling allowances and permits than Shrub did, after less than four years.
3)Stop targeting the oil industry for punitive tax treatment. States such as Texas and Louisiana have production tax abatement programs that have successfully encouraged new drilling. If you don’t believe that the threat of increased taxes discourages drilling, just ask Governor Perry or Governor Jindal.
Taxes do two things that should happen! They force companies to pay for public resources that the companies exploit and encourage other activities.
Drilling is not the goddamn issue!
The issue is that speculators and oil companies have an agenda, and that agenda is taking your money. This is not some mysterious lack of product or production, it is gouging. If you want more drilling, demand that some of what we produce stays here in America. Then, when we have a glut, argue that we need more drilling.
4)Realize that Uncle Sam is in the energy business and is a partner in industry’s success. Oil and gas royalties are the federal government’s #2 source of revenue, after the income tax. Offshore slowdowns hurt not only industry and jobs, but government revenue.
This isn’t an issue of revenue. The top oil companies paid less in total federal taxes than a single warehouse worker. They paid none. In fact, they received subsidies. Not only that, they also accepted many tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds. Quit the lie about government revenue, the tax-payers are hemorrhaging money to oil companies, both at the pump and when we pay taxes.
5)Recognize that industry does not need to be led by government; industry needs to be unleashed and encouraged to innovate. The resurgence of the domestic energy sector was rooted in the private sector, not matter how much President Obama and Dr. Chu would like to take credit for it. The growth in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas happened in spite of the federal government, not because of it.
More Libertarian claptrap. This is not even slightly truthful or based in reality. Industry needs to be controlled by a firm national structure; or else Gingrich, Romney, and Paul will get their wish and small children will again be forced to work in mines and fields.
6)Trust that no oil operator wants to be the “next BP”. The BP spill cost that company something on the order of $40 billion. Industry safety and environmental commitment is motivated more out of self-interest and less out of fear of the government. When it comes to federal regulation, the nation would be better served by Sheriff Taylor, not Barney Fife.
More bullshit. A company that earned $60 billion in a single quarter of a year and tossed much of the cost of this particular cleanup onto the American taxpayer doesn’t give a damn about that spill. It still hasn’t refunded the government or even paid out 1/10 of suits that have been found against it. Ron Paul is Barney Fife, I prefer to have real policing organisations against these corporations.
7)Return offshore permitting to the pre-Macondo pace. Your overreaction to the BP Spill has cost on the order of 500,000 barrels per day of domestic oil production from the Gulf of Mexico. The ridiculous “Worst Case Discharge” calculation as a routine part of offshore permitting is engineering malpractice, in my humble opinion. The professional staff of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is capable of reasoned regulation, but they currently operate in fear of their political masters.
WTF? The rational, science knowledgeable, concerned people are upset at Obama for allowing so much drilling! He is set to break records for allowances! Yet again: Our number one manufactured export is gasoline! Production is not the issue!
8)Declare hydraulic fracturing & well design to be the regulatory domain of the states, not the EPA. Geology and environment vary widely; Pennsylvania is not Louisiana is not North Dakota is not California. It is insanity to think that one broadly-applied set of rules can be applied to regulate industry without suffocating development.
No. Absolutely not. Places like Texas and Arizona would be deathtraps. Geologic features might change, but geology doesn’t. Fracking destroys land and water tables, this isn’t up for debate and no credible scientist says that it is. There is no possible development that would make fracking worthwhile. It’s like murdering a child so that she never get her heart broken, a very fucked up concept.
9)Rescind the recently-enacted royalty rate increase for new onshore Federal oil and gas leases. Secretary Salazar’s stated rationale for increasing the government’s take by a whopping 50% – from 12.5% to 18.75% of gross production – was to equate onshore royalties with the offshore royalty rate. That makes no sense. Higher royalties mean less drilling, poorer economics of production and premature abandonment of wells. Besides, an IHS-CERA Study recently showed that the federal government’s total take of offshore cash flows makes the Gulf of Mexico the second-most punitive fiscal regime in the world, after Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. [Update: In keeping with the First Rule of Holes, rolling back the royalty rate increase may be the first thing the government should do if it is serious about reducing energy prices. - Ed.]
I think this incredible stupidity has been addressed well enough above.
10)Encourage development of a nationwide distribution system of natural gas as a transportation fuel. Natural gas is clean, abundant and nearly 100% domestic. Its potential as a transportation fuel has scarcely been tapped.
Holy Hell! I can’t believe this nonsense is still being promoted! Natural gas is “cleaner,” not clean. Fracking and other extraction methods destroy water tables and regions and burning the gas emits tonnes of pollutants. Less than coal and oil, but nowhere near clean.
Bonus #11: Get real about the promise of alternative fuels. Recently you said: “You’ve got a bunch of algae out there; If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing alright.” Maybe so, but I will stick my neck out and say it ain’t gonna happen, at least not in my lifetime, not on a scale that will impact pump prices.
And here I end, with a very serious guffaw at the disingenuous liar that wrote this article. We have a president that is working very hard to promote alternative fuels and resources and is being blocked on every level. This writer’s interpretation seems to be that since Obama isn’t god, and can change the opposition on demand, he needs to be replaced by one of the fuckwits running for rethuglican candidate.