August 13, 2008

"The GOP has persuaded the public of the wisdom of its fetish for populating the U.S. coastline with oil rigs."

From a New Republic editorial on "How Democrats got bulldozed on energy":
That Republicans have, against the odds, won the first round of this debate is a remarkable feat. This initial triumph owes as much to Democratic ineptitude as it does to GOP savvy. It speaks to the fact that Democrats have been unable to rhetorically defend their environmental policy as sound energy policy....

The Democrats' initial instinct was to revert to populism. They began wailing about the rapacity of "speculators." ... There was, however, a problem with this case: It simply wasn't true. Speculators weren't responsible for rising prices at the pump. And, beyond that, the public simply didn't believe this diagnosis. So the Democrats made their first adjustment. They began to broaden their populist diatribe and started attacking the likes of Exxon and the rest of the big oil companies. But, by that point, they were already losing the argument.
There's more. Read it. It's advice about what the Democrats should do now, but it doesn't seem any more convincing than the gambits that failed. Tell us to conserve — fine, but we still need oil. Tell us to develop alternate energy sources — fine, but we still need oil.

ADDED: I thought of a great energy conservation idea, much better than keeping your tires properly inflated. Don't use fossil-fuel burning transportation to go anywhere you don't have to go. That means: No vacations, nights out for fun, or pleasure drives into the country, no visits to family and friends that you can just as well telephone. No business trips, when you can use webcam communication. Don't go to the movies — watch TV. And don't buy anything that has been transported to you by the burning of fossil fuel unless you really need it. You can cut way back on your purchases of all sorts of items. You don't need another shirt or another toy for your child. And quit buying so much food. Since you are probably too fat anyway, this is a particularly good idea. All political candidates are welcome to use these ideas. You don't even need to link to me and acknowledge my contribution to this brilliant and immensely effective policy innovation. You can have it.

168 comments:

sonicfrog said...

Tell us to conserve — fine, but we still need oil. Tell us to develop alternate energy sources — fine, but we still need oil.

Hammerhead, meet nail!

AlphaLiberal said...

Sure, we're addicted to oil, just as Bush said. So we need it. And we waste massive amounts of oil in gas guzzlers.

And we're willing to risk our natural legacy rather than tighten our belts and waste less.

Drilling offshore won't solve our oil addiction problems. There's not enough there to satisfy our oil appetite. T Boone Pickens is right, we cannot drill our way out of this. It's a geological fact, esp as we've drained most or all of the big fields in this continent already.

Did you know the average fuel economy is basically worse or unchanged since the Model T was introduced?

Maguro said...

Those nasty Republicans with their kinky energy production fetishes...it's immoral, I tell you!

Simon said...

If nine tenths of the general public believe something that's wrong, and you're running for public office, your options are go along or go around (i.e. "dodge"). Telling people that they're wrong - particularly when done in the supercilious, patronizing style fine-tuned by the left isn't going to work. Back in the 50s, Bill Buckley believed things that nine tenths of the general public thought were wrong, and he didn't want to go along or go around. So he didn't run for office. He founded a magazine and slowly built up a corpus of argument that persuaded roughly three more tenths of the general public so that other people didn't have to go along or go around.

vbspurs said...

The Democrats' initial instinct was to revert to populism. They began wailing about the rapacity of "speculators." ... There was, however, a problem with this case: It simply wasn't true.

It's not true, but I do believe most Americans blame this "rapacity" for the high gas prices. Also, that meme is hardly just promoted by the Left. Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs both do, too.

I also disagree that Republicans in Congress wrestled down the prices (as the TNR writer also disagrees).

But a curious thing happened on the way to Obama's coronation...he started playing by McCain's rules on energy in his television campaign ads, which are overly serious about the topic. Dare we say it, they are vanilla and uninspiring.

He wouldn't have done it if the McCain campaign hadn't come out with the "rockstar" ads, as his reaction was to add more gravitas to his image in the topic of energy.

It's not working. Senator Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on the topic of drilling, and if he flip-flops on THIS one, I don't think his own side would forgive him.

No win situation.

Cheers,
Victoria

Paul Snively said...

So it turns out that Paris Hilton has the best energy policy. Who knew?

Maguro said...

Did you know the average fuel economy is basically worse or unchanged since the Model T was introduced?

If true, so what? There are physical limits to the efficiency of an internal combustion engine. Banning offshore drilling does nothing to change that.

Simon said...

I mean, the real problem here for the Democrats is that they were on the wrong side of the issue, tried to use populist demagoguery to shift the subject (as TNR notes), and when that failed, resorted to half-hearted flip-flopping. They should try being on the right side of the issue from the start, for a change.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Did you know the average fuel economy is basically worse or unchanged since the Model T was introduced?"

Alpha, quite apart from Maguro's point, you're really going to have to provide a citation - a credible citation for it, not the Democratic Underground - for that astonishingly counterintuitive assertion.

AlphaLiberal said...

OK. Blogger dumped another post.

Maguro, you're claiming the Model T - the first vehicle introduced - represented the best possible efficiency in burning gasoline.

I don't really have to explain how dumb that is, do I? It was the first car manufactured!

Simon, you can look it up. Look at all these big trucks and SUVs being used for daily commutes. They get much worse mileage than the Model T.

And, before I go, I will add Osama bin Laden loves gas guzzlers! Helps him get more money from his Saudi Arabian supporters. Jim Woolsey agrees with me on this point.

vbspurs said...

So it turns out that Paris Hilton has the best energy policy.

T. Boone Pickens? ;)

I have another observation.

I think Obama isn't winning on the energy/drilling front because the overall economy was sluggish in the first two quarters of 2008.

(It's since improved, of course)

Instead, Americans had have to contend with cost-of-living price rises, the sub-prime mortgage lending problems, the various Macs collapsing, the real estate market bubble bursting.

Psychologically, the public have various malaises to deal with, and not just one or two (Iraq/gas, for example).

I think the former situation highly favoured Obama, but when all these problems spike at the same time, and his platform is higher taxation, PLUS no drilling, people get more reluctant to back him, not more eager.

Cheers,
Victoria

AlphaLiberal said...

OK, Simon, here's a link backing up my point that we've done a lousy job using the finite oil resource efficiently.

Car Mileage: 1908 Ford Model T - 25 MPG
2004 EPA Average All Cars - 21 MPG


As far as the Democrats, they could have pushed back on this, but the fetal position occurs naturally to them. Pussies.

How about if we point out that by burning up so much oil we're depriving the kids of better future?

Or that "Drill America first" policies are short-sighted?

Ann Althouse said...

The new, "in" Althouse blog catchphrase is "Jim Woolsey agrees with me on this point."

knox said...

It speaks to the fact that Democrats have been unable to rhetorically defend their environmental policy as sound energy policy. If Democrats can't figure out how to make their case for alternative energy and conservation, they will have squandered an historic opportunity--and find themselves buried in a deep political hole.

Well, duh. Even democrats who purport to care deeply about the environment -- and scold everyone else for their selfish consumption -- do little or nothing themselves to conserve energy. If everyone who claimed to care about the environment rode the bus, or a bicycle, or walked, or carpooled, turned off their tvs, turned off their computers, turned up the AC, etc., you'd see an enormous decrease in consumption.

But they don't do it. Why? Because it's totally impractical unless you're Ed Begley and have all day long to tinker with your house and lifestyle. That's why the American public have basically ignored it, not because the democrats just can't rhetorically defend it.

It always amuses me when we are told snarkily drilling won't help "for at least ten years" ... instead, just wait, indefinitely, for the discovery of some miracle alternative fuel. Yeah, right.

Alpha, you need to turn off your computer, by the way, commenting on a blog is a capricious use of our natural resources. Jim Woolsey agrees with me on this point. (thanks for the tip Athouse)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Alpha Liberal said:

Sure, we're addicted to oil, just as Bush said. So we need it.

Hate to break it to you but the planet is addicted to oil. Without it we’re all back to the 19th century.

And we're willing to risk our natural legacy rather than tighten our belts and waste less.

And what exactly does this mean? What is our natural legacy?

Drilling offshore won't solve our oil addiction problems. There's not enough there to satisfy our oil appetite. T Boone Pickens is right, we cannot drill our way out of this.

T. Boone Pickens, if you actually listened to him beyond his 30 second commercials, is fully in favor of domestic drilling. He is in favor of all forms of energy production including drilling offshore and in ANWAR solely to get us off foreign oil. His driving force is not to continually send $700 billion annually to the camel jockeys who dominate OPEC. In fact, some might argue his zeal for energy independence might be construed as xenophobia. As for the canard that we can’t drill our way out is nonsense. That’s like saying you can’t farm your way out of a famine. There are reports of hundreds of billions of barrels in oil shale in this country that is economically obtainable but for the Congressional ban, is just sitting there. But God forbid that we exploit a natural resource and God forbid someone make a profit off it. Instead let’s just tax windfall profits (which still has yet to be defined) and redistribute the wealth because we all know those taxes won’t be passed down to the consumer.
It didn’t work under Carter and it won’t work now. The stupidity that Obama exhibits is breathtaking.

Ann Althouse said...

The Model T weighed 1200 pounds. The average car today weighs 4142 pounds (2006 statistic). So the technology is greatly improved even if the MPG is the same or somewhat worse.

Try making a 1200 pound car today, meeting modern safety standards. The incredibly tiny Smart Car weighs 1600 pounds.

Maguro said...

Maguro, you're claiming the Model T - the first vehicle introduced - represented the best possible efficiency in burning gasoline.

Not at all. As a matter of fact, today's auto engines are orders of magnitude cleaner and more energy-efficient than the Model-T's powerplant. But we also want stuff like safety equipment, air conditioning and the ability to go over 40 mph in our cars, so the actual MPG doesn't change all that much.

If an automaker produced a vehicle with the same specs as the Model T - 20 hp engine, 1200 lbs, top speed of 40 mph, etc., I'm certain they could get 50 or 60 mpg. But who would buy the vehicle?

You're suggesting that the automakers could make today's Camrys and Accords get 60 mpg if they really wanted to, but that doesn't even make logical sense. Any car company would gain a huge competitive advantage by producing a modern vehicle that is super-fuel efficient. Why would they choose not to do that?

bearbee said...

Congress looking to scapegoat everyone except those who dithered and sat on their hands for so many years while the country now hangs on by its economic fingernails: Congress.

Yeah, Dems and especially Pelosi getting bulldozed. Ha!

Under pressure from McCain, Barack Obama felt obliged to temper his long-standing opposition to drilling.

Obama gets no break. He lacks conviction; he's just another pol.

Now lets get serious and talk nuclear energy

Good Matthew Simmons interview. He has been working on Maine off-shore wind turbine energy.

bearbee said...

Private sector putting congress to shame!

T. Boone Pickens, if you actually listened to him beyond his 30 second commercials, is fully in favor of domestic drilling. He is in favor of all forms of energy production including drilling offshore and in ANWAR solely to get us off foreign oil. His driving force is not to continually send $700 billion annually.....

HDaddy is correct.

vbspurs said...

But who would buy the vehicle?

Absolutely right, Maguro.

Have you ever been to another country, especially to underdeveloped countries?

When you buy a car there, you get nothing. No power windows, no power steering, no a/c, no airbags, no automatic transmission, NADA. Basically, as goodies you get seats, and a radio.

Even the Mini-Cooper in the US is better kitted out than the British version because Americans have more comfort expectations in their cars.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bearbee said...

If an automaker produced a vehicle with the same specs as the Model T - 20 hp engine, 1200 lbs, top speed of 40 mph, etc., I'm certain they could get 50 or 60 mpg. But who would buy the vehicle?

Tata Motors working on 106 mpg.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Simon, you can look it up."

Alpha, one of the reasons why many of us tend to assume that the lefties who hang out here are sock puppets is that you all seem to have in common the same pathology, although it's certainly possible that it's just a pathology commonly-shared on the left. You apparently just can't grasp the concept of burden of proof. YOU are responsible for proving YOUR assertions of fact when challenged. The burden does not fall on us to do your research for you when you make some wild claim.

The statistics you cite are problematic even if they're right, as Althouse points out; furthermore, I said a credible source, not a site that also purports (one menu click from the page you linked to) to "provide[] links to a variety of sources of reliable, verifiable information which raises important questions about the official account of 9/11." A site maintained by 9/11 truthers is not a credible source of information on the color of the sky, my friend.

Blue Moon said...

Bearbee: Amen to your nuclear comment. As for T. Boone Pickens, I too am tired of building madrassas every time I pull into Shell. And while I'm sure Ms. Hilton did not arrive at her oil policy on her own, I'm tired of the environment being a symbol for anti-capitalism or a symbol for not making Texans rich.

Richard Dolan said...

The problem at the heart of the TNR's editorial is that they came up with s one-size-fits-all solution -- conservation plus "renewable sources" will solve our energy problems -- for ideological reasons and are not about to let tiresome facts or basic economics get in the way. They end up confusing moralizing with economics, and along the way do not even bother to parse out the contradictory strands in their own argument.

Start with "conservation," since they make it the centerpiece of their editorial. "Conservation" here has two meanings, which they don't parse out. It can mean "doing with less," or it can mean "doing it more efficiently." The "doing with less" theme is ofter heard from the environmental Puritans, but (excepts for the few true believing nuts in that crowd) their prescriptions are intended only as guides for the "little people" to live by. For themselves, of course, it's the huge house, private jet, limo and World Enviro Conf in Bali, to say nothing of the stop in Stockholm to pick up the Prize. No surprise that the hypocritical moralizing at the core of that take on "conservation" is an instant no-sale politically.

As for the "doing it more efficiently" idea, that's fine as far as it goes. But in terms of energy usage, the development of newer, more efficient devices has had the effect of increasing demand for energy, especially for higher forms of energy (e.g., eletricity) that are generated by using ever larger quantities of lower forms (oil, coal, nukes) to generate it (e.g., boiling water to create steam). Conservation-as-efficiency is thus not an energy policy, but instead further proof of the importance of developing a coherent asnd reality-based energy policy.

The "renewable sources" of energy -- solar and wind, mainly -- may eventually be significant energy sources, but with today's technology they are highly inefficient. And even the editors of the TNR might agree that it's important for the lights to work, the computers to hum and the a/c to cool when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. To pretend that "renewable sources" is a sensible basis for an energy policy today -- meaning, a policy that will deliver the energy needed by America at a cost and in the quantities and forms necessary to sustain our society -- is a joke. It's a stupid joke when they combine it with their rejection of drilling because new wells won't produce oil for a few years. No wonder that the Dems are having trouble selling this nonsense to a skeptical public.

The TNR editors give the game away with their dismissal of drilling as a desire to "populat[e] the U.S. coastline with oil rigs." The TNR goes so far as to claim that their "environmental policy is an energy policy," even though their basic "environmental policy" equates anything created by man as a desecration of Mother Earth (unless, of course it was designed by a Gore-certified Protector of the Earth). It's a view of life centered on the image of the twenty-something backpacker, hiking into the wilderness, living "naturally" and leaving no trace that he was ever there, and then returning to Saucilito or wherever. Perhaps they should look around, even in their D.C. offices. They might notice that very few people live that way or fit that demographic. It might give them a clue as to why that idea of "environmentalism" isn't a political winner and, if they thought really hard, why it might not offer a sensible starting point to construct an energy policy.

No one wants to drill for oil because they think oil rigs are pretty (although the fish might disagree, since the rigs become instant little reefs supporting lots of aquatic life). Instead, the basic point is to open one's eyes, see the reality staring you in the face, and then offer an approach to meet America's energy. The TNR "solution" doesn't come close.

Randy said...

Ann, your energy saving plan does not go far enough. Television is a waste of electricity. The nation could shave 5% off electrical demand by pulling the plug on televisions and computers. Ban the internet! Ban the spreadsheet! Ban the word processor. Trash the printers. Use more pencils. Buy a green eyeshade.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"No business trips, when you can use webcam communication."

Indeed; why did Al Gore have to fly on a private jet to accept his ill-gotten gains in person when a video link would have sufficed? Heck, that would have even avoided making him look like the biggest hypocrite on planet earth. A day shouldn't go by when we aren't grateful that that pompous prick hasn't been President for the last seven years.

Roger J. said...

Bearbee: Will the Indian company name their 100 MPG car the "bodacious?" (apologies--low hanging fruit penalty applies)

Ann Althouse said...

"Hate to break it to you but the planet is addicted to oil."

The planet, Earth, responds:

I heard that insult. STFU about what you imagine to be my character flaws. You are the one with the problem, and I frankly don't care what you do. I was here billions of years before you, and I will be here billions of years after you are gone. Now, shut up before I shift another tectonic plate on you.

Ann Althouse said...

And Jim Woolsey agrees with me on this point.

AllenS said...

Since the Model T only came in one color, black, there must be some kind of racial angle in there.

knox said...

Did you know the average fuel economy is basically worse or unchanged since the Model T was introduced?

winner: most obviously wrong-headed argument ever

vbspurs said...

LOL, AllenS!

Anthony said...

I heard that insult. STFU about what you imagine to be my character flaws. You are the one with the problem, and I frankly don't care what you do. I was here billions of years before you, and I will be here billions of years after you are gone. Now, shut up before I shift another tectonic plate on you.

I [heart] Althouse.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The planet, Earth, responds:

I heard that insult. STFU about what you imagine to be my character flaws. You are the one with the problem, and I frankly don't care what you do. I was here billions of years before you, and I will be here billions of years after you are gone. Now, shut up before I shift another tectonic plate on you.


Bring it.

bearbee said...

Bearbee: Will the Indian company name their 100 MPG car the "bodacious?" (apologies--low hanging fruit penalty applies)

Uh...oh......cultural sensitivity?

Time for the pc police!

Trumpit said...

Damn was Althouse funny on this post and on into the comments. Her routine is worthy of stand up. Talent agents are you listening?

downtownlad said...

Well Ann, perhaps you can tell us why gas prices are so high. They were $30 a gallon when Clinton left office and let's not forget that Bush campaigned on how that was way too high. And they are $115 a barrel now.

Why?

If you really think it's because we're not drilling on our coastline then you're easily brainwashed. We already allow drilling on our coastline where there is a lot of oil. The places we don't allow drilling really don't have that much to begin with, or its extremely expensive to get out.

But there's a very obvious reason why oil prices are high.

The war in Iraq. It is that simple. The war in Iraq massively reduced the supply of oil for years. And our war-mongering against Iran has not exactly helped prices either.

Had we not gone into Iraq, oil prices would be much, much lower than they are today.

And Obama is either an idiot for not pointing this out, or he's holding this plan of attack for a later date. Personally, I think he's dumb for not using this (correct) argument.

But hey - if they want to build big oil rigs in Kennebunkport and Hilton Head - I'm all for it. But it won't do much for the price of oil.

Fen said...

Tell us to conserve — fine, but we still need oil. Tell us to develop alternate energy sources — fine, but we still need oil.

Wrong, we no longer need oil. TNR's ace reporter, Scott Beauchamp, just broke the story on "oil-less fuel". The editors will flesh out the details of his findings soon...

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

Instead of bitching about "our oil appetite" and insisting that everyone else tighten their belts and waste less, how about you go on a petroleum-free diet for even a week? Or even a single day?

Instead of throwing rocks at others, stop using petroleum products not only directly, but indirectly, that is, those things made from petroleum, which includes not only gasoline, but many of the components of your computer; many of the components of your clothing; the shoes on your feet; all of the packaging that your food comes in; the fertilizer used to make that food and the grain used to feed livestock; the fuel used to harvest that food, process it, and ship it to market; the steel used to make the harvesters and trucks used to harvest and bring food to market; many of the building products that are used to construct your home; the pipes and other components used in your public water supply delivery system; the cosmetics that you glop all over your face; the glasses and contact lenses that you use to read this; and on and on. In short, much of modern life is based on petroleum and petroleum by-products -- and it has made life better, healthier, and safer.

So instead of bitching, try going without the evil black stuff, go live in a cave, naked and starving.

P. Rich said...

We’ve said it many times, but it bears repeating: The U.S. is awash in oil, so much that it’s almost mind-boggling. . . . Offshore oil alone could fuel 65 million cars for 47 years.

Go onshore, and the bonanza gets even bigger. Some 11.7 billion barrels of conventional oil are available in the Lower 48, and a recent U.S. government report has identified another 45 billion in Alaska and the Arctic region. Which explains why the U.S. this week dispatched an exploration vessel to begin to stake our claim.

Government estimates say there could be as many as two trillion barrels of oil locked in shale-rock formations in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Of that, at least 800 billion barrels is recoverable using today’s known technology and at prices below what we’re now paying. That’s three times the oil reserves of today’s No. 1 oil country, Saudi Arabia.

In short, America is an oil-rich nation. Our economy — the world’s economy — depends on oil for growth. And it will depend on oil and coal at least through the middle part of this century, most estimates show.


From the Investor's Business Daily.

Environmental activists and their Democratic sycophants eat dingleberries and howl at the moon. Avoid them. They are stupid have extremely bad breath. They will vote for Obama.

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"Well Ann, perhaps you can tell us why gas prices are so high. They were $30 a gallon when Clinton left office"

Can't imagine.


"Had we not gone into Iraq, oil prices would be much, much lower than they are today."

Fails the Popper test. There's no possible way to prove or falsify the claim, so it's worthless.

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Maguro, you're claiming the Model T - the first vehicle introduced - represented the best possible efficiency in burning gasoline.

I don't really have to explain how dumb that is, do I? It was the first car manufactured!


Oh, how wrong you are. There were many cars manufactured prior to the Model T. The model T was the first mass produced vehicle. BTW, the original Model T engine was to be fueled with alcohol. But during the design process, it became cheaper to use the new product, gasoline as a fuel.

Jim Woolsey agrees with me on this point.

Richard Fagin said...

When the governor of Florida continues to oppose drilling in offshore geologic structures such as the Destin Dome, which appears to define dry gas reservoirs, because of the fear of oil spills, it is clear that the level of ignorance concerning petroleum production is profound. The averave American's idea of what offshore oil production (or onshore based production in ANWR for that matter) is based on pictures of the 1930s development of the East Texas field or similar pictures. News flash: This is 2008. Oil fields don't look like that any more. In fact they haven't look that way for more than 50 years.

The New Republic does its best to use that ignorance and mental image to create in the public mind a largely false image of what offshore drilling would look like. Such drilling would hardly would constitute, even in the most optimistic (exploration wise) circumstances "populating the U.S. coastline with oil rigs." Advances in drilling and production technology make possible drainage of extremely large reservoir volumes from small footprint locations. Subsea production is possible even without any visible equipment on the water surface. Oil companies have incentives to put as little steel as possible in the water to recover reserves. Given the safety record of the industry in the last 30 years, there really is no credible spill hazard argument any more.

I will arrange with my former employer, a large international offshore drilling contractor, a visit to any of its drilling units so the doubters can see for themselves. Otherwise, I'm with planet earth: STFU.

downtownlad said...

Try again Simon. China and India were growing just as fast under Clinton.

And P.Rich - what's stopping the oil companies from accessing that shale rock today? If it's so easy to make a profit, then why don't you go buy some of that land and start extracting the oil yourself. Easy profit.

You really think that all of that land is forbidden from drilling? You are wrong.

Of course, only a fool would try to get oil that way, because there are much, much cheaper ways of accessing oil. And that's exactly what the oil companies are already doing.

Do you really think that the oil companies are stopping exploration and drilling right now? That their arms are tied until Congress allows us to drill off Cape Cod? Are you really that stupid? Do you know ANYTHING about economics? Why don't you go do some research and find out how much the major oil companies are investing in new oil sources? The answer - A LOT. But the amount is not unlimited. So they have to pick and choose where to drill. And even if they allow drilling offshore, the amount of drilling that the oil companies would actually CHOOSE to do there is small. Why? Because there are many more lucrative places to drill - like the Gulf of Mexico, which ALREADY allows drilling.

Offshore drilling is not a cure all, it's a drop in the bucket. And for people to think otherwise is just plain dumb.

Fen said...

Iraqi man: "Parasitic Americans and their selfish appetites. They want their MTV and decaf lattes and cheap oil economy. And if 25 million arabs must suffer tyranny and oppression to satiate their gluttonous lifestyle, so be it"

downtownlad: Had we not gone into Iraq, oil prices would be much, much lower than they are today.

[...]

1930's dtl strolls down the 3rd Reich's market, smiling at the great deal he just got on soap and lampshades...

[...]

His mindset is instructive. It explains the Left's need to curry favor with the world, to be "popular". Somewhere in the back of their mind, they are aware that they behave no better than a plantation slave master, feasting to excess while the brown people toil in misery to support them.

Blue Moon said...

Bearbee: Don't apologize about the "bodacious" comment. I was going to suggest, based on last night's thread, that the new CEO of that company was going to be Alicia Sacramone.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They were $30 a gallon when Clinton left office and let's not forget that Bush campaigned on how that was way too high. And they are $115 a barrel now.

Why?


Seems to me Clinton was in bed with the Saudis and the oil companies.

downtownlad said...

Let's not forget that Fen has publicly come out in favor of executing gay people - so that's nice of him to comment on the Holocaust.

By the way Fen - the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of 400,000 Iraqis since the Iraq war - nice going. They've polled Iraqis about the war - and the overwhelming don't think it was worth it.

downtownlad said...

And Ann is neutral in the Presidential race.

Sorry - biggest lie ever.

Simon said...

In DTL world:
"But there's a very obvious reason why oil prices are high. The war in Iraq. It is that simple. The war in Iraq massively reduced the supply of oil for years."

Meanwhile, back in the real world, between the liberation and late 2007, Iraqi output "mostly hovered between 1.7 million and 2 million barrels per day" compared to pre-liberation output of 2.58 million barrels per day. In late 2007, average production stood at 2.4 million barrels per day, and although it fell back to 1.9 million barrels per day in January 2008, "the ministry in charge of production forecast ... that it will reach 3 million barrels per day by the end of 2008."

Still, we can say that following the liberation, Iraqi crude output fell by roughly a quarter. This should be kept in context, however. Prior to the war, Iraqi oil accounted for approx. 4% of U.S. crude imports (459,000 of 11,530,000 barrels per day), and according to DoE, U.S. imports of Iraqi crude have been higher in every year since the war started than they were in the year preceding it. Simple math reveals the scope of the "massive reduc[tion]" DTL whines about amounts to this: the Iraq war led to a reduction of one quarter of total Iraqi output, 17% of which was being imported by the United States contributing to a total of 4% of our imports. A massive reduction, to be sure.

downtownlad said...

Still waiting for the first negative post about McCain. . .

Fen said...

downtownlad revs his engine and speed-shifts into 4th gear, zips down to the local Starbucks before his botox appointment. In his wake, the blood and sweat of a brutalized people. But he laments: damnit, if Chimpy hadn't invaded Iraq, I could've used the money I just spent of gas to grab that Playstation 3 at Best Buy instead! &!@@! Frickin Neocons!

Hoosier Daddy said...

And P.Rich - what's stopping the oil companies from accessing that shale rock today?

Just a little thing called a congressional ban.

Do you know ANYTHING about economics?

DTL, based upon your previous comments over the years, my 11 year old daughter knows more about economics than you do.

Besides, didn't you leave the US? Why do you even give a shit?

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"China and India were growing just as fast under Clinton."

The relevant factor is not the rate of growth but the total demand which was lower during the Clinton administration.

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"And Ann is neutral in the Presidential race[?] Sorry - biggest lie ever."

Seems neutral tilting towards Obama so far as I can see.

PatCA said...

So oil rigs are ugly? How about wind farms--ask Ted Kennedy.

vbspurs said...

feasting to excess while the brown people toil in misery to support them.

Don't you love that for some people, we not only invaded Iraq for their oil and thus to assure us of low gas prices, but today the meme is if we hadn't invaded Iraq, we'd have lower gas prices?

Can we use this logic on other stuff the US does too?

"We dropped the bomb on Hiroshima to assure us of lower-priced electronics forever, but have you seen the price of a VAIO recently?"

ron st.amant said...

The problem I have with the granting on new off-shore leases is two-fold:

1) the big oil companies have effectively shut out genuine competition to have access to leases and;

2) those same companies already have leases not off-shore that they aren't using to drill

I have no problem with the drilling as long as it is part of a larger energy initiative, AND so long as that oil is used for the American consumer. But it won't. It will simply create a small bump in the overall global production numbers which by the time the oil is actually pumped will do nothing to bring down the price since demand is far outpacing current production levels. As long as OPEC continues to keep production rates low, cost will inevitably rise unless, as in recent months, American consumers reduce their level of demand.
However even THIS strategy is a temporary one, since China and India have shown no signs of slowing their demand growth and will no doubt make up for the US reduction very quickly.

integrity said...

I would love a really nasty verbal public confrontation with the two nitwits with virtually no I.Q. (Ann and Victoria). If either of you men are in Los Angeles tomorrow evening I will be at The Palm on Santa Monica Blvd. at 8PM for dinner. I have dark brown hair and brown eyes, and look very italian. The old, badly bleached hag will know who I am just from the expression on my face. Hope to see you bags of corrupt filth there!

Fen said...

The relevant factor is not the rate of growth but the total demand which was lower during the Clinton administration.

Its kinda sad that you need to point that out to him. One almost hopes that DTL isn't buying his own bs. Which do we prefer, a Dishonest DTL or a Stupid DTL?

downtownlad said...

Simon - Before Iraq invaded Kuwait, their production was 3.5 million gallons a day. If we had lifted embargos and not gone to war, we could assume that gasoline production would be at least that. Even if you assume that they averaged 2 million gallons a year (which is high), that's 1.5 million barrels a day that we never got from Iraq. Or more than half a billion gallons of oil a year. If you take the more aggressive estimates (1.7 million barrels vs. 4 million), then you are talking a billion barrels a year.

But even with the conservative estimate - that is 4 billion barrels of oil that WOULD HAVE BEEN PRODUCED if we had not gone to war. Not some theoretical that will be available 10 years hence.

Sorry, but 4 billion is a lot of supply.

Roger J. said...

That notorious right wing rag, the Washington Post, investigates some of the myths about offshore drilling: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/11/AR2008081102145.html?sub=AR

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
Let's not forget that Fen has publicly come out in favor of executing gay people - so that's nice of him to comment on the Holocaust.

By the way Fen - the U.S. is responsible for the deaths of 400,000 Iraqis since the Iraq war - nice going. They've polled Iraqis about the war - and the overwhelming don't think it was worth it.



How does executing gays affect the price of oil? As to Iraq, if we had killed more, we would have been out of there a long time ago. So, there ya go.

Middle Class Guy said...

What is left out of this argument is refineries. The US Legislature has had a moratorium on building new refineries for several years. This has a direct impact on the lack of production of gasoline and makes it more expensive to to transporting it longer distances. A further impact is when a refinery goes down due to technical problems, accidents, or fires. Less gas is produced.

downtownlad said...

Sorry fen - I've never owned a car in my entire life. I use public transport here.

So if you're trying to make me a hypocrite - you will fail.

And I don't drink Starbucks, because their quality sucks. And I have better taste in food than you'll ever have, because I'm gay. And gay people have taste. And straight people - well straight people don't - it's that simple. Gay people define taste. Always have, always will.

And, I actually couldn't care less if we drilled offshore. I never have been an environmentalist, because I don't have kids, so I really couldn't give a damn if the earth is destroyed - as long as it happens after I'm dead. The earth is doomed anyway, gravity will ensure we fall into the sun. Or will the sun expand first and consume us? I forget which, but one of them will happen first and we'll all be dead. So if it's 100 years from now or 100 billion years - who cares - it will happen. And I'll be dead already either way - so YAWN.

But I do know economics, and I know that drilling for oil will have a very minor impact, although slightly positive. But to pretend that this will solve our oil problem is just plain dumb. You need a multi-pronged approach. And the most obvious one is something that neither candidate will ever endorse - and that's a huge increase in the tax on oil, which will reduce demand and lower the price of oil. Ending the war is another one, as that will increase supply.

Fen said...

Don't you love that for some people, we not only invaded Iraq for their oil and thus to assure us of low gas prices, but today the meme is if we hadn't invaded Iraq, we'd have lower gas prices?

I'm just astonished that they still don't get it. Past American policy, from the Right and the Left, was to promote stability in the ME at any price. House of Saud is a perfect example of that policy coming to fruition - the West enables tyrants to keep the oil market stable, they in turn brutalize their people, who in turn agitate against their rulers. So Saud builds little madrassas to redirect the anger of the arab street toward an outside "enemy", the Great Satan.

dtl stuffs his face with another Cheeseburger. The diner's tele echoes across the bar. Another American Airlines flight hijacked, its passengers vaporized over the Atlantic. "why do they hate us so?" he wonders as he reaches for the supersized milkshake...

Palladian said...

"Well Ann, perhaps you can tell us why gas prices are so high. They were $30 a gallon when Clinton left office and let's not forget that Bush campaigned on how that was way too high."

30 dollars a gallon?! Wow, no wonder Bush won! He managed to cut gas prices by over 26 dollars a gallon in a short two terms!

Fen said...

Let's not forget that Fen has publicly come out in favor of executing gay people

This really doesn't deserve a response, but FTR, I've never said any such thing.

Obviously, my little sidestory on dtl has struck a nerve.

Tally.

SteveR said...

ulibethIf the market had been allowed to play itself out in a more normal fashion then alternative sources would be developed in conjunction with real, not artificially created, shortages of oil. Hint: its still artificial.


Its a very complex issue in any case and I am absolutely certain that TNR has nothing more than a partisan poltical understanding. Of course neither do McCain, Obama and just about everyone in the Congress. And we expect these people to "solve" the problem.

Didn't Einstein say you can't solve a problem with the same level of understanding you were at when you created it.

downtownlad said...

Don't you love that for some people, we not only invaded Iraq for their oil and thus to assure us of low gas prices, but today the meme is if we hadn't invaded Iraq, we'd have lower gas prices?


You can't even get your memes right Victoria. We went to war to enrich Bush and Cheney and their oil buddies. That's done with high oil prices, not lower ones.

Worked very well too. How's Haliburton's stock price doing?

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=HAL&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

downtownlad said...

And yes - Fen has said that. He favored repeal of Lawrence V. Texas, and he said that there's nothing unconstitutional about executing people for committing a crime , even if the crime was sodomy.

Fen said...

dtl: He favored repeal of Lawrence V. Texas

Lawrence VS Texas? Semi-pro football?

he said that there's nothing unconstitutional about executing people for committing a crime , even if the crime was sodomy.

While you're making up stuff about me, pause long enough to consider what Saddam did to homosexuals under a reign you regret toppling: Had we not gone into Iraq, oil prices would be much, much lower than they are today.

... I think you just redefined the term "hypocrite". Your litmus issue is homosexual rights, casually tossed out the window when trumped by a cheap oil economy.

Please continue. Its so cute when you injure yourself with your own sword. Do it again!

bearbee said...

US import of Iraqi oil 1996 - May 2008

EnigmatiCore said...

Ann, you forgot to mention that we should wear sweaters this winter.

I just *loved* the 70's!

bearbee said...

The US Legislature has had a moratorium on building new refineries for several years. This has a direct impact on the lack of production of gasoline and makes it more expensive to to transporting it longer distances...

You are correct and our exisitng refinery infrastructure is old and rusting away.

My understanding is that we have excess capacity to refine light, sweet crude but that is the stuff in diminishing supply. We don't have refinery capabilities to process heavy sour crude which is more costly, requiring more intensive processing.

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
And we're willing to risk our natural legacy rather than tighten our belts and waste less.


Natural legacy? That is rich. I haven’t laughed so hard in awhile.

chuck b. said...

I have always opposed offshore oil drilling. I'm willing to compromise, but noone can sell or drive Hummers anymore.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
But I do know economics
No you don’t. You may know the pseudo-social science of socio-political economics, but you have no knowledge of basic economics and you prove it with every post.

And Jim Woolsey agrees with me on this point.

Original Mike said...

Ann, your plan's not original. The environs got there first. That is their plan. The Democrats are carrying their water. If they get their way, however, I just hope the public is smart enough to figure out who's responsible for the disaster.

Henry said...

It speaks to the fact that Democrats have been unable to rhetorically defend their environmental policy as sound energy policy

The reason they can't defend their policies is because they're indefensible. Democrats (and let's face it, most politicians in general) want low gas prices AND conservation. They want low gas prices AND the development of alternative energy technologies. Obama wants low gas prices AND a completely restructured energy economy in ten years.

There simply aren't enough scapegoats to compensate for this excess of economic dishonesty.

Fen said...

DTL gorges on his feast. Waddles out to his SUV and races off to the shopping malls. For the rest of the day, he feeds his self-indulgent lifestyle. From the supermarket to the computer store, he is a voracious consumer of products created and launched by an oil-driven economy. His grubby hands plop down a roll of US currency, enough to feed a Somoli village for a month ...on video games.

But he becomes irritated. His conscience is troubled. It resembles something he used to identify as "guilt". Without warning, he shouts out "I BELIEVE IN WORLD PEACE!". Ah, feeling slightly better now. "AND THE ENVIRONMENT! I REALLY CARE! STOP GLOBAL WARMING!".

He has an urge he refers to as epiphony: "When I get home, I'll log onto DU and sign that Apology to Europe. I'm so sorry my country is ruled by that warmongering idiot Bush".

He slips through the McD's drivethru and supersizes, then races home, feeling good again.

PatCA said...

Don't worry, Nancy Pelosi will make sure that any new oil bill will be fair. Those damn Republican plutocrats!

Original Mike said...

Question: What are the two candidates position on Brazillian ethanol tariffs?

ricpic said...

The Left: leading America to a poorer, but nobler, future.

Fen said...

But apologizing to Europe for America didn't fill the hole in his soul.

DTL's "guilt" has returned, making hin uneasy. He quickly masks it with irritation and anger - something troubled him today, though he can't quite place his finger... ah yes... it was a break in the flow of supply, threatening to inconvenience his american lifestyle. He vents on Althouse: "Had we not gone into Iraq, oil prices would be much, much lower than they are today." If those stupid arabs would just stfu and bring me my oil...

Randy said...

Question: What are the two candidates position on Brazillian ethanol tariffs?

Another question: What are the two candidates' positions on sugar tariffs?

EnigmatiCore said...

Original Mike:

Google is your friend.

McCain supports ending them.
http://209.85.141.104/search?q=cache:jEjS-Ge9q9QJ:www.biofuelsdigest.com/blog2/2008/06/16/mccain-supports-ending-of-ethanol-subsidies-brazilian-ethanol-tariff/+obama+%22Brazilian+ethanol+tariffs%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

It does not specifically mention it, but given that the article is delineating the differences between the candidates, I take that to mean that either Obama supports the tariffs, or has never mentioned repealing them.

EnigmatiCore said...

Also on sugar tariffs.

Obama is for them.
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/11/27/061127ta_talk_surowiecki

McCain is agin' them.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/mccains_straight_talk_needs_si.html

Randy said...

Don't tell the sugar growers in Florida!

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"And I don't drink Starbucks, because their quality sucks."

At least there's one thing we can still agree on.

"I know that drilling for oil will have a very minor impact, although slightly positive. But to pretend that this will solve our oil problem is just plain dumb."

I didn't think anyone had claimed that drilling would "solve" the oil "problem." I thought the claim was that it will have a positive impact, something you've conceded to be accurate even if it's overstated as to degree.

"Ending the war is another [way to 'reduce demand and lower the price of oil'], as that will increase supply."

How's that? What will ending the war do to increase output?

AlphaLiberal said...

Reading Ann's flip followup is a real disappointing. The idea that we should take a less gluttonous approach to oil consumption deserves a rational response, not taunts and ridicule.

Many people are doing what Ann suggest anyway, taking personal responsibility to live in a way that uses less energy.

Ann Althouse rejects personal responsibility, belittles those who promote it and embraces oil gluttony.

That's the road to economic ruin. We've received a clear warning sign that our oil addiction is a huge weakness for our economy.

Our gas guzzling ways are NOT a source of economic prosperity. Look to GM for a painful and expensive lesson.

There's broad agreement on this among many enviros, many security hawks and others. Time to wake up!

Martin Gale said...

the GOP has persuaded the public of the wisdom of its fetish for populating the U.S. coastline with oil rigs

Here in NY the enviro fetish is to populate the south shore of Long Island with windmills, even though they would represent at best a negligible contribution to the grid and would produce electricity at 4 times the cost of a conventional fossil fuel plant. Of course, the enviros also managed to kill nuclear power on LI. And yet, TNR is surely right: Drilling for oil is folly when all we really have to do is properly inflate our tires and keep the hamster cage well stocked with food pellets.

Original Mike said...

Thanks, EC.

I guess Obama's waiting for the magical mystery technology to save our ass.

EnigmatiCore said...

"the enviros also managed to kill nuclear power on LI"

I support building many more nuke plants.

But Shoreham was a really bad idea. You can barely get on or off Long Island under the best of conditions. If there ever was a need to evacuate, or even a public panic fearing an evacuation would be needed, it would be all over.

Highly populated islands make poor choices for nuke plants.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Ann Althouse rejects personal responsibility, belittles those who promote it and embraces oil gluttony. "

I'll let Ann speak for herself, but I heartily endorse her snark. Why? Because there is no way to make it happen! We have tried propaganda campaigns to stop:

1) Premarital sex, especially by the underage.
2) Drug use.
3) Tobacco use.
4) Littering.
5) Drunk driving.
6) Avoiding seat belt use.
7) Movies starring Ben Affleck.

It just doesn't work. Is conserving a good idea? Absolutely! Is it in everyone's interest to spend less than they have to by saving where they can? Absolutely! Could we cut our oil needs by doing so! Absolutely! Just like we could live longer if we ate better and exercised more, and we could be healthier if we didn't smoke, and we would live better lives if we don't get knocked up as a teen, etc etc etc. And while slowly, over time, we might be able to change behavior slightly to lower the incidence of drunk driving or drug use or this or that or of being wasteful with oil, it will take a long time and only result in a fraction of the potential savings.

As such, it really isn't much of a solution for our short term energy problems. It is a long term partial solution of debatable impact, that can go into an "all of the above" approach of developing clean energy alternatives and so forth.

Meanwhile, for the short term, it's not an answer but rather just a way to try to change the subject just to the long term.

Give me a comprehensive plan-- drill now with good environmental care being taken while doing what we can to end oil dependence in the future: nuclear plants, new technologies, conservation initiatives, the works.

XWL said...

Oil/Gas will be around for decades or more. That's an undeniable fact. Is it better to enrich ourselves, or those that hate us?

As far as the environment goes, between Nigeria, Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United States of America, which of those places do you think will extract that oil in the most environmentally sensitive ways?

We have enough reserves between oil/natural gas/oil shale to feed the entirety of global demand for a century at current levels.

It's OK to keep on hating oil consumption, but it's smarter to hate transferring money to the pockets of despots and scoundrels much more.

Also, if you want to go green, wouldn't it be better for our government and our corporations to be reaping the profits of high gas prices as they are the ones far more likely to spend R&D money on searching for alternatives?

Economies run on energy, if we want to grow and compete we need as much of it as safely and cheaply as possible. All options should be explored, all exploited fully, and if we are aggressive enough in developing our native resources, we can be have huge net exports in energy rather than being a huge importer.

We should copy France and Japan and get most of our electricity for our grid from nuclear, saving oil and natural gas for vehicles, and send our coal (and clean coal tech) to China and India.

Do that for the next twenty years, and we'll prosper, don't and it'll be the Russias, Venezuelas and Saudia Arabias of the world that prosper.

Which world do you want to live in?

Fen said...

We should copy France and Japan and get most of our electricity for our grid from nuclear, saving oil and natural gas for vehicles, and send our coal (and clean coal tech) to China and India.

Do that for the next twenty years, and we'll prosper, don't and it'll be the Russias, Venezuelas and Saudia Arabias of the world that prosper.

Which world do you want to live in?


I agree completely. But I think we'll be living in both worlds, at best. China and India's oil consumption will soon dwarf ours, "the Russias, Venezuelas and Saudia Arabias of the world" will prosper regardless.

We need to address that problem too.

Martin Gale said...

But Shoreham was a really bad idea. You can barely get on or off Long Island under the best of conditions. If there ever was a need to evacuate, or even a public panic fearing an evacuation would be needed, it would be all over.

Highly populated islands make poor choices for nuke plants.


It is possible to design a nuclear plant so that the probability of a catastrophic failure requiring evacuation is vanishingly small. (Also, there's already a nuclear power plant almost directly across the Sound from Shoreham on the Connecticut coast.) Indeed, LI could not be evacuated in the face of a cat 3 or higher hurricane, and yet we daring souls continue to run this risk. Alas, highly populated islands are poor places to put high populations, but try telling that to the people who live there -- we just love the beach and let the devil take the hindmost. Now excuse me while I go dust my solar panels.

vbspurs said...

Do that for the next twenty years, and we'll prosper, don't and it'll be the Russias, Venezuelas and Saudia Arabias of the world that prosper.

The thing is, oil will be obsolete the moment someone truly invents stable hydrogen storage. As Jeremy Clarkson put it, that person will be the richest person EVER.

And something tells me that person will be either North American or European.

As usual.

bearbee said...

re: Nuclear. check out Pop Mech article
Mini Reactors Show Promise for Clean Nuclear Power's Future

Comments from any engineers out there?

ricpic said...

Does anyone remember The Club Of Rome's prediction that we were all going to be starving and freezing what? 20 years ago? Remember Paul Ehrlich's ditto prediction? But The Left goes sailing along, spouting the same nonsense, denying the obvious: that between the Earth's unbelievable, incalculable resources and Man's technological genius we are NEVER going to run out of food or fuel!

Martin Gale said...

The thing is, oil will be obsolete the moment someone truly invents stable hydrogen storage. As Jeremy Clarkson put it, that person will be the richest person EVER.


Richer even than Tim Berners-Lee?

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Reading Ann's flip followup is a real disappointing. The idea that we should take a less gluttonous approach to oil consumption deserves a rational response, not taunts and ridicule.


What is it with you “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” throwbacks?

If I want to drive an SUV or a muscle car and I CAN afford it, it is my choice.
If I do not want to wear an over coat in MY home in the winter, that is my choice.
If I want to keep cool and comfortable in the hot, fetid, humid summer, that is my choice.
If I want to take road trips, buy petro-based products- like the computers we are all using- and what ever, those are my choices. It is MY MONEY.

You can spend or not spend YOUR money and YOUR resources any way you choose. When you put your hand on my wallet, thermostat, car, or air conditioner, I may chop it off.

As long as I can afford them and do not harm some on else, who are you to tell me or anyone else for that matter how to live. Remember last year when ethanol was all the rage? Hmmmmmmmmm? Haven’t heard too much more about that recently have we? If you want to live in a collectivist society where the common good of the few trumps the free and open choices of the majority, go find some despotic country to live in.

And spare us the spouting and spewing of that social responsibility, thinking about myself, saving the earth clap trap.

racer said...

Did you know the average fuel economy is basically worse or unchanged since the Model T was introduced?

Is that per vehicle, or is it per unit of mass? If we take a 1927 Model T and a 1998 Dodge Intrepid, for example (assuming each vehicle has nearly identical gas consumption to the other), I suspect that we'll find that the Intrepid can do more actual work, i.e., carry more weight, tow a greater load, etc. Mileage may not be the penultimate gauge of efficiency upon which to rest your case.

ricpic said...

And something tells me that person will be either North American or European.

As usual.


You fascinate me, Victoria. You accuse others of racism at a pin drop and then you go and make the above statement. Which is racist. By your definition.

You are quite the hypocrite, madam.

vbspurs said...

Richer even than Tim Berners-Lee?

Hey, he went to my cousin's public school!

You gotta know all those cold showers and mouldy tapioca puddings they were fed made for an extremely self-abnegatory life.

Cedarford said...

DTL - And I don't drink Starbucks, because their quality sucks. And I have better taste in food than you'll ever have, because I'm gay.

AS with the Edwards situation, DTL has long since gone from personal tragedy to personal farce.
I fail to see how gobbling several stranger's semen loads every week magically improves the palate, DTL.

=================

As posters have noted before me, it is just a matter of time before the public learns that "wonderful, exciting wind and solar" are just as big a bag of goods as "miracle ethanol to drive the Saudis to their knees".

Once you get past the Gore, Environmental lobby, and posing as Green British Petroleum....you quickly learn:

1. Solar and wind lack any commercially viable storage medium, so the expense rockets up because you need standby capacity paid for as well as the capital outlay for very small energy returns. That means wind is 4-9 times expensive as coal, nuclear. You don't notice it because environmentalists passed laws that mandate it be added in to a total generation rate price, and it's high cost diffused in with cheaper coal, hydro, and nuke rates. Consumers can't reject it. It is foisted on them because few consumers would want to pay 4 times more on their electric bill as their neighbors for wind, 50 times as much for solar.

2. Even if cost was no object, withe the triple tax break for windfarms and solar 'power plants' continued until 2030, best estimates are that wind and whatever paltry solar we get will amount to 7% of electrical generation in that year and under 2% of America's net energy needs.

3. No one has really made a point of telling Americans that Open Borders and dramatically expanded energy use go hand in hand. And unchecked mass immigration and high reproductive rate poor and immigrant spawn - ate up all conservation and efficiency gains from 1973 to 2006.
Net energy use is projected to go up 30% by 2050 as the US Census projects 434 million Americans in our present course of folly.

4. People do not understand scale of electric demand or power plant capacity. One 1000 MW nuke or coal plant serves about 320,000 people. In 30 years of solar and wind plant construction and sure, count geothermal, too - we have spent 10s of billions to increase solar and wind and geo and their backup power plant capacity, and only built the equivalent of 3 coal plants electric capacity.

5. The Japanese run about 40% the stuff we run on oil using natural gas, instead. Natural gas is the best, most available oil substitute for a range of agriculture, industry, and constuction equipment and for trucks with certain safety restrictions. Stupidly, we use most of our natural gas for electric generation because it is "clean" and doesn't need all the air pollution equipment costs or heavy outlay of capital for nuke plants, and a gullible public wants Nat Gas plants over the more sensible choices - making them easier to site and get through the usual lawsuits...Japan and some other countries have already banned using natural gas for baseload electric generation, allowing only peaking units. Anticipating that the demand for natural gas and price will soon follow the oil pattern, and the price will either jack up electric rates or starve power plants of fuel as nat gas is reserved for transportation, fertilizer production, and home heating.

The voters have been fed bullshit on wind, solar, ethanol, and immigration being energy and environmentally neutral for decades. It will take some more reality bitch-slaps and a few more years for them to realize just how the Greens and allies screwed the public, and a few years longer of suffering until we reverse trends and significantly fix our energy crisis.

Middle Class Guy said...

Cedarford said...
I fail to see how gobbling several stranger's semen loads every week magically improves the palate, DTL.


Cedarford, you rock! You da man! But you know he is going to come back at you? He will inform you in that charming, childish, two year old tantrum way he has, that he only swallows a vente sized mocha, macciato, decaf, soy, sugarless, Americana, latte, frappiano, chai semen with non-dairy whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

chickenlittle said...

MCG said: "If I want to drive an SUV or a muscle car and I CAN afford it, it is my choice...." yada yada

Unfettered access to cheap oil is getting costlier and the costs are not completely reflected at the pump. Thus, those who chose to squander are subsidized to some extent. I'm not bitchin' though because I believe (and practice) that energy conservation is a personal virtue, and that virtue is its own reward.

By the way, in my middle class neighborhood, the people with the biggest SUV, who don't wear over coat in their homes in the winter, and who installed and crank their A/C summer in an environment that doesn't require A/C ...ARE ALSO THE FATTEST PEOPLE ON THE BLOCK!

Slothfulness is its own reward!

Cedarford said...

ricpic said...
Does anyone remember The Club Of Rome's prediction that we were all going to be starving and freezing what? 20 years ago? Remember Paul Ehrlich's ditto prediction? But The Left goes sailing along, spouting the same nonsense, denying the obvious: that between the Earth's unbelievable, incalculable resources and Man's technological genius we are NEVER going to run out of food or fuel!


Sorry, that is "supply side, the more you boost overpopulation the more GNP you get", idiocy.

The history of man is that periodically, technological innovation allows a rapid increase in population until carrying capacity of the ecosystem they are in is reached or the ecosystem collapses. Then famine and war limit population until people find new lands with undepleted soil and resources and population booms, or they find a new technology after decades or centuries of hunger and squalor...

Thinking the Earth has limitless resources is the mindset that caused human-driven mass extinctions, it has killed off 70% of once-flourishing oceanic fisheries. It has caused agricultural collapse, salt&selenium contanination, desertification of once-arable land. A loss the equivalent of the net arable land in North America. Many countries have a loss of soil right down to bedrock in once-farmed regions as overpopulation and overuse eliminated most or all of their woodlands and valleys filled with low-fertility subsoil and clay mud from the slopes. And right now, overpopulation has put 1/6th of the world's present population in desperate need of clean, fresh water.

120 of 191 nations now lack the land and resources needed to feed their populations.

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"I fail to see how gobbling several stranger's semen loads every week magically improves the palate, DTL."

I suppose it might deaden the tastebuds to the point where you can stomach having soy-based products in one's mouth.

Freder Frederson said...

I'll let Ann speak for herself, but I heartily endorse her snark. Why? Because there is no way to make it happen! We have tried propaganda campaigns to stop:

Well, of your list, the propaganda campaigns worked on 3--6 and arguably #7. They have only been a real failure in 1 & 2.

As for conservation. Why is it so evil. We waste a lot of energy in this country. We could still do many things that would save energy and not impact our lifestyles in the least. We have vastly improved the efficiency of our air conditioners and furnaces over the last 20 years or so through a combination of efficiency requirements and innovation. But here's a thought, we could improve our energy efficiency in our homes even more if new construction switched to radiant heat instead of the standard forced air systems.

We have also spent the last 60 years building our cities and communities in such a way that they use energy very inefficiently. We need to reverse that trend and encourage the development of more mass transit and denser communities so commuting by automobiles is reduced.

integrity said...

I want Ann's kid drafted. Vote Mccain!

P.S. Snark is for kids. Ann is an old, immature woman. She is an embarrassment to adults everywhere.

ricpic said...

Right Cedarford, things are just god awful. That's why human life span is expanding, worldwide.

Smilin' Jack said...

Conservation is stupid. Oil is allocated by a thing called the market. All the oil that can be produced will be consumed. If you don't burn a gallon of gas, the Chinese will burn it for you. All you've done is make it slightly cheaper for them to do so.

chickenlittle said...

"Conservation is stupid"

That's nonsense. Conservation allows me to allocate money to other things

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

We waste a lot of energy in this country. We could still do many things that would save energy and not impact our lifestyles in the least.

True. Everyone posting here is wasting energy. Using a personal computer for almost every purpose for which one is normally used is wasting energy. Computer usage and everything associated with that usage is not an insignificant percentage of all energy consumed in the United States. What do you suggest be done about this?

EnigmatiCore said...

Freder, you obviously either didn't read or didn't grasp the entire comment.

Here are 3-6, which you said were 'mission accomplished':

3) Tobacco use.
4) Littering.
5) Drunk driving.
6) Avoiding seat belt use.

A quick perusal of the ground outside tells me that 3 and 4 still occur. A quick read of the news tells me 5 still happens. A quick glance around while driving shows 6 still happens.

So while progress may have been made on any or all of these, my argument is sound-- it takes time to change behavior and even then the change is partial. As such, the potential gains from conservation efforts will not be what they could be and will take longer than we would hope to happen.

Which is why they belong in the 'long term' approaches bucket along with developing new technologies, etc.

For the short term, we need more oil. Drill.

Smilin' Jack said...

downtownlad said...

And I don't drink Starbucks, because their quality sucks.


Oh, come on--I'm sure you've sucked on worse than that.

Gay people define taste. Always have, always will.

Always? I thought it started with Liberace. Certainly true today, though...just go to any gay pride parade to see some examples of really flaming good taste.

Middle Class Guy said...

integrity said...
I want Ann's kid drafted. Vote Mccain!

P.S. Snark is for kids. Ann is an old, immature woman. She is an embarrassment to adults everywhere.



Hold it right there Pilgrim! Who are you to call anyone old? As one who is around Ann's age, I resent the label old. You can call me immature, a snark, a slefish bastard, and a no good, rotten son of a bitch. But old, them's fightin words.

Let the fisticuffs begin. Oh, and I do not believe in that fairy the Marques of QUEENSBURY.

integrity said...

Middle Class Guy said:

Hold it right there Pilgrim! Who are you to call anyone old? As one who is around Ann's age, I resent the label old. You can call me immature, a snark, a slefish bastard, and a no good, rotten son of a bitch. But old, them's fightin words.


60-65 is old. She could not be any younger than 60, unless of course she is an alcoholic or drug addict. Time rarely ravages people like that naturally. Sorry if you don't like it.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Snark is for kids"

Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.

Snark. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Freder Frederson said...

Computer usage and everything associated with that usage is not an insignificant percentage of all energy consumed in the United States.

Actually, computers overall save energy as they are vital in controlling gas consumption. Just look at the idiotic comparison with the Model T all the way at the beginning of the thread. My car gets about the same gas mileage as the Model T yet has over ten times the horsepower and weighs more than twice as much. Of course engines and cars are much more efficient. And do you know how much electricity it would have taken to generate the computing power (not to mention the power required to cool the CPUs) of an average desktop forty years ago?

A quick perusal of the ground outside tells me that 3 and 4 still occur. A quick read of the news tells me 5 still happens. A quick glance around while driving shows 6 still happens.

No, the point is that all those things have be reduced significantly through a combination of government action and changing public attitude. Go back and look at some vintage ads of when metal beer cans were introduced--people were encouraged to pitch them on the side of the road.

And the attitude Ann (and other posters) has, that I and others find so objectionable, is that conservation is something to be sneered at and ridiculed. Conservation, especially in this country, where we haven't even come close to picking clean the low hanging fruit, will save more energy than we will ever gain from drilling the entire nation dry.

EnigmatiCore said...

"No, the point is"

Dude. You were replying to me. I know what my point was, and you apparently still don't, which either means you don't read well or you don't think well or both.

"all those things have be reduced significantly through a combination of government action and changing public attitude"

Which takes *****TIME****** and as such (let my type this slowly so you might get it this time) means... it... belongs... in... with... all... of... the... other... long term... approaches... like... developing... new... technologies.

Also, since those things still occur, it shows that even decades after the effort is made, not all of the potential savings can or will be realized.

Therefore, it belongs on the things we should definitely do long term. It won't do anything at all short term and as such we need to be doing something short term (drill).

The people who are saying "we don't need to drill because we can conserve" are totally ignoring the short term situation and are totally overstating the quickness by which public behavior can be changed and the extent to which it can be changed, either through an inability to learn from the past or a willing desire to try to finesse the situation politically.

EnigmatiCore said...

Totally.

X said...

And the attitude Ann (and other posters) has, that I and others find so objectionable, is that conservation is something to be sneered at and ridiculed. Conservation, especially in this country, where we haven't even come close to picking clean the low hanging fruit, will save more energy than we will ever gain from drilling the entire nation dry.


I don't see anyone ridiculing conservation. I see them ridiculing the idea that conservation alone is an energy policy. But I see your point, if people didn't waste so much, like you are now, surfing on the internet, doing things that aren't necessary.

Simon said...

integrity said...
"Time rarely ravages people like that naturally."

This is where you descend from farce to outright absurdity. We're talking about a woman who is strikingly beautiful, even more so now than ten years ago. Whatever psychotropics you're taking, it's time to quit while you're behind.

Original Mike said...

Go easy on Freder, EC. He's not very bright.

AlphaLiberal said...

OK. Blogger dumps another post. Too bad, you would have enjoyed it.

Honestly, I thought that we were coming to grips with our oil addiction in this country and the serious threats it presents to our country.

Reading these comments is very disappointing. Someone accused me of being a 70s throwback for promoting energy efficiency.

Well, I regard the gas gluttons as akin to 70s throwbacks of a different sort: the disco-dancing cokehead narcissists who thought only of immediate gratification and forgetting about tomorrow.

Our nation's oil habit makes us vulnerable to supply disruption. We are also funding, in James Woolsey's words, "both sides of the war on terror."

OK, laugh, snark, mock. Go gratify yourselves. Just remember, when you guzzle gas, you're hurting America!.

Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Our nation's oil habit makes us vulnerable to supply disruption. We are also funding, in James Woolsey's words, 'both sides of the war on terror.'"

And one way to reduce that is to increase availability of domestic supplies. I don't know what's so difficult to grasp here, Alpha, unless the goal is to precipitate an energy crisis that will force development of alternative solutions rather than allowing them to develop as the market requires.

chuck b. said...

"1. Solar and wind lack any commercially viable storage medium, so the expense rockets up because you need standby capacity paid for as well as the capital outlay for very small energy returns. That means wind is 4-9 times expensive as coal, nuclear. You don't notice it because environmentalists passed laws that mandate it be added in to a total generation rate price, and it's high cost diffused in with cheaper coal, hydro, and nuke rates. Consumers can't reject it. It is foisted on them because few consumers would want to pay 4 times more on their electric bill as their neighbors for wind, 50 times as much for solar."

We have a PV system. I guess we could have spent the money on a Hummer instead, but I'm still allowed to spend my money however I want, as far as I know.

Storage? We're not going off the grid. When we're not home during the day, the solar panels put energy back on the grid that someone else uses right away.

former law student said...

Don't use fossil-fuel burning transportation to go anywhere you don't have to go.

One solution would be to take someone along with you -- share the ride. But even this would not be necessary if we had the fleet fuel economy we had in the mid-eighties, before people replaced their cars with trucklets. As Ann indicates, the laws of physics mean that hauling and accelerating more weight takes more energy. Even economy cars have gotten heavier, necessitating larger displacement engines, over the years, resulting in less fuel economy for successive generations of the same named vehicles. Not to mention that we've become a nation of fatasses, requiring more energy just to haul our fatasses around. (The bigger the displacement, the more fuel sucked in and then burned per cylinder per stroke.)

Safety is always a concern. To achieve the same safety with lighter cars, we need to replace steel with lighter composite materials with the same stiffness, strength, crush strength, and impact resistance.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Someone accused me of being a 70s throwback for promoting energy efficiency. "

A quick search of the thread shows one person making a 70s reference. That would be me, who made it without having seen a single AlphaLiberal (or any other) comment on the thread when I made it.

And I was saying that *I* am a 70s throwback. But that's beside the point.

The idea that conservation in and of itself is the solution is what is 70s, AlphaLiberal. It isn't, and I would like to think (but am finding it difficult to find evidence to support) that Democrats have updated their thinking from the Carter approach.

And you say "immediate gratification" like it is a bad thing. I like having immediate gratification as well as long term gratification. It doesn't have to be an either-or!

Let's have a sensible energy policy-- encourage conservation, develop alternatives to oil including new technologies and removing the paranoid refusal to build nuclear plants, and maximize our own oil production to bridge the gap in the interim. Take the best of the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and beyond and mash them up.

"Just remember, when you guzzle gas, you're hurting America!."

Just remember-- when you fight against reasonable solutions, you not only are hurting America, but you are killing puppies!

P. Rich said...

dtl said: what's stopping the oil companies from accessing that shale rock today? If it's so easy to make a profit, then why don't you go buy some of that land and start extracting the oil yourself. Easy profit.

Deliberate Democratic funding restrictions placed on required environmental reports prevent development on essentially all federal lands, you ignorant twit. And say, enjoying those dingleberries?

integrity said...

I am vehemently opposed to drugs. Are you her boyfriend, or just a friendless sycophant?

Beautiful? Are you nuts?

Or maybe a fellow alcoholic, stop drinking immediately!!!!

EnigmatiCore said...

"I am vehemently opposed to drugs."

That's too bad. You are definitely one who would be improved by regular quaalude consumption.

Middle Class Guy said...

integrity said...
60-65 is old. She could not be any younger than 60, unless of course she is an alcoholic or drug addict. Time rarely ravages people like that naturally. Sorry if you don't like it…
…I am vehemently opposed to drugs. Are you her boyfriend, or just a friendless sycophant?
Beautiful? Are you nuts?
Or maybe a fellow alcoholic, stop drinking immediately!!!!



We are going to form a posse. We are coming to your town. We are going to get you. Then you will hang. Oh, we’ll give you a fair trial and all of that. First we’re gonna try ya, then we’re gonna hang ya.

Chip Ahoy said...

"We can't drill our way out of this" is a straw man of the most transparent kind. That would be a scarecrow made of plasticine, one that is easily tipped over. No wait. More transparent than that, plasticine is actually kind of opaque. A scarecrow made out of glass straw. No wait, that's no good. It's a straw man so transparent you can see right through it! That's what it is. And so easily tipped that is, um, highly unstable!

Nobody, not a single person has said we can drill our way out of this, so stop formulating statements suggesting people have. Or stop referring to people who have formulated such statements because they're just another false authority.

It pisses me off to have to point out these polemic fallacies.

Plus, who said anything about limiting drilling to offshore? How can you omit ANWAR and Bakken? And that's not even mentioning oil shale reserves in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, oops, I guess that is mentioning it, which my own beloved senator Salazar, bless 'im, is sitting on like a hen sits on her eggs. No wait, not like a sitting hen, a hen gets up every once in awhile and pecks around for grain and bugs, more like a barnacle, that's what he sits like, a barnacle that must be forcibly removed in order for the ship of state to sail smoothly, and if not sail then chug along mechanically, forcibly removed like the dock worker that dry docks a boat and removes barnacles with a very harsh scraper, the kind of scraper that removes and kills those pesky barnacles that retard progress. Of course the ship must be repainted along with other repairs but that's beside the point that I'm making somewhere up there.

We should do all of those things all at once in joyous multiple frenetic impulses of investment and industrial activity. We can knock the socks off a complacent observing world left wondering, "what in the hell have those Americans got up to now?

*opens E-Trade in another window*

Simon said...

integrity said...
"Are you her boyfriend, or just a friendless sycophant?"

Oh, just a sycophant.

"Beautiful?"

Yes. That conclusion is forced by virtue of my not being blind. And for the record, don't think that it's just the camera flattering her, either. Looks even better in person.

former law student said...

oil shale reserves in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado

Available water limits oil shale exploitation in those arid regions. Perhaps a double pipeline could be run to the oil shale fields: water could flow in as oil flowed out. (Although water is a renewable resource, startup water would have to be supplied, then waste water would have to be purified.)

From wikip: In 2002, the oil shale-fired power industry used 91% of the water consumed in Estonia.[69] Depending on technology, above-ground retorting uses between one and five barrels of water per barrel of produced shale-oil.[40][74][75][76] A 2007 programmatic environmental impact statement issued by the US Bureau of Land Management stated that surface mining and retort operations produce two to ten US gallons (1.5–8 imperial gallons or 8–38 L) of wastewater per tonne of processed oil shale.

Middle Class Guy said...

AlphaLiberal said...
Just remember, when you guzzle gas, you're hurting America!.


Which America? Remember, there are two Americas. Those of us who live in the real world and the America that lives in a fantasy land of their own making.

Ann Althouse said...

AlphaLiberal said..."Reading Ann's flip followup is a real disappointing. The idea that we should take a less gluttonous approach to oil consumption deserves a rational response, not taunts and ridicule. Many people are doing what Ann suggest anyway, taking personal responsibility to live in a way that uses less energy. Ann Althouse rejects personal responsibility, belittles those who promote it and embraces oil gluttony."

What makes you think I don't take personal responsibility? I'll have you know I:

1. Frequently walk to work.

2. Canceled a cross-country drive and haven't traveled abroad in 5 years and avoid most professional conventions.

3. Never run the air conditioner at night and run it in the day perhaps 20 hours a year.

4. Set my thermostat in winter to 62°.

5. Only eat a small amount of meat.

6. Have allowed my backyard to return to nature (and don't mow or rake).

7. Avoid strenuous exercise (so that I don't need to consume larger amounts of food to maintain my weight).

My "added" paragraph is only partially facetious. I think we do consume way too much and travel all over the place for very little reason. But I think the government can't and shouldn't push us around about it. I'd rather see individuals adopt virtues and frugality may be seen as one. But each of us should chose which ways we want to conserve. For example, I will not use fluorescent bulbs. I do the things that work for me. I don't want the government telling me incandescent bulbs aren't worth it. They are to me. Maybe a larger car is worth it to you. Maybe you couldn't tolerate a house without air conditioning or set at 62° in winter. Those are things that are easy and even pleasurable for me to do. There are many ways to conserve, and not only do I want my choice, but I also recognize that if well all did all those things, the economy would collapse.

That's the point of my update. Get it?

Mortimer Brezny said...

6. Have allowed my backyard to return to nature (and don't mow or rake).

LOL.

6. Have sat on the couch, watching golf, instead of fixing the shingles on the roof, thereby allowing solar and wind to heat and cool my living room.

Chip Ahoy said...

Waiter! Can we get a booster chair for integrity here please? Thank you.

Honey, will you move the salt shaker away out of reach, he's making a mess.

Here. Play with Daddy's keys.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann noted:

"The economy would collapse ".

Beat me to it. That was my immediate thought.

Original Mike said...

AL said: OK, laugh, snark, mock. Go gratify yourselves. Just remember, when you guzzle gas, you're hurting America!.

I've been busy today, so I've been able to skim this post. But it looks like several others on this topic. No one is seriously supporting guzzling. Most recognize conservation as a piece of the solution. Myself, similar to Ann:

1. Always walk to work.

2. Average 3,500 miles/year, in an efficient car. Haven't traveled abroad in God knows how long and avoid most professional conventions.

3. Never run the air conditioner during the day and run it just a few nights per year.

4. Set my thermostat in winter to 62°.

5. (**cough**)

6. Have allowed my backyard to return to nature.

7. OK, she's being funny here.

Your gas guzzling charge is a straw man of the highest order.

This is a serious question. AL, or anyone else of your ilk, please link to a comprehensive, serious plan for energy that shows we can get through the next 2 or 3 decades without reliable oil supplies. I want to read it. I really do.

Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke out your arse.

Original Mike said...

Oh, and re: Woolsey, I think the one best thing Congress could do is mandate all vehicles be flex fuel capable now. Jump starts the chicken and the egg problem that so many of these alternative plans have. And any politician (**cough**Obama**cough**) who does not push to remove tariffs on foreign ethanol is a posseur who does not deserve to be taken seriously on this issue.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DTL: "Worked very well too. How's Haliburton's stock price doing?"

Pretty good. You should have bought some after 911 when it dropped like a rock to below $10.00.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with energy efficiency or with (read my lips here) developing energy alternatives.

However, the delusion that if we just conserve on oil now BEFORE the alternatives are in place or even feasible, that will solve the problem is what we are laughing at.

When people say we can drill our way out of a current energy shortage because it will take 10 years for oil to come to market. They are half right except about the 10 years part. We can't just add more, more oil and not change our wicked ways. It's like saying we can't just diet (oil) our way out of being fat because dieting alone will take too long so lets just cut out the food and exercise (alternative fuel) only. Try that and you will starve to death just like our economy will collapse if we choose their plan.

The Dems/libs want us to starve or in the case of Alpha Lib go back to the technology of 1908. Sorry. I like my aut-o-matic washing machine and non wood burning cook stove too much. Ain't gonna happen.

Middle Class Guy said...

OK, laugh, snark, mock. Go gratify yourselves. Just remember, when you guzzle gas, you're hurting America!.



I do not guzzle gas. I have been know to guzzle beer, wine, and booze from time to time. Listen, this is America. We have free choices; unlike those bastions of collectivism and tyranny you so love.

If you choose to walk cross country, bath once a week to conserve water and energy, wear a parka indoors in winter and live in a sauna in the summer, be my guest. It is your choice. If you want to subsist on raw veggies, not own a car, recycle everything, and make your clothing out of the overgrown weeds in your garden, the chocie is yours.

Do not impute some misguided sense of irresponsibility to those whose needs and wants are not in alignment with you. That is not American.

Yes there are things we can all do to conserve energy. We can pick and choose or trade off. Most of us do. We do it to save money, not out of some misguided sense that we are saving the planet or redcuing our carbon foot print- whatever that is. But that is not enough for you and the other envirowhackos. You would have us live like a bunch of Luddites.

Oh, BTW, that computer you are sreeding on has more environmentally unsafe elements than an SUV exhaust.

Middle Class Guy said...

Simon said...
integrity said...
"Are you her boyfriend, or just a friendless sycophant?"

Oh, just a sycophant.

Simon, It just dawned on me we are violating one of the core rules of a good street cop.

Never argue with an idiot. They bring you down to their own level and beat you everytime.

John Stodder said...

Did you know the average fuel economy is basically worse or unchanged since the Model T was introduced?

Sorry to be so late in pouncing on this comment. I gather it was made by Alpha Liberal in order to shame us all and force us to realize that, heck, it's time for change!

But this factoid, if true, makes the opposite point and should sober up anyone who believes we can rapidly transition to cleaner, better, renewable, sustainable, affordable, union-job-able, happy fun fuels.

There is always a tremendous economic incentive toward efficiency. Waste wastes money. If all the king's horses and all the king's men with money on the line and shareholders to satisfy can't figure out how affordably to make transportation more efficient, then it's at least a signal that the problem won't simply yield to our newly discovered good intentions.

If we keep allowing the price of fossil fuels to go up, at some point, happy fun fuels become competitive. But where is that point? How high does the price of gasoline have to go? And what kind of real damage to people's lives is done on the way to happy fun fuel's price point?

We're not just talking about the optional forms of energy consumption Ann outlined. We're talking about starving the poor.

I like to think of myself as an enviro and I spent several years of my life working on alternative fuel policy from a liberal, environmental perspective. I hope hope hope something better than oil comes along. But I'm not willing to support environmentalists or Democrats who are blind to what will happen to real people all over the world if we artificially constrain the supply of fuel.

I agree with tax credits for those legitimate organizations working on things like hydrogen fuels, lighter and more environmentally friendly batteries, new materials to make cars lighter, and of course the potential to capture and use solar energy. A tax credit, properly policed, is like chicken soup. It can't hurt and it might help. But if Democrats were honestly curious about how difficult it's going to be to replace oil in the current economy, they would recoil from the stupid position TNR is pushing them to take.

John Stodder said...

oops. my fifth paragraph should have read:

We're not just talking about the optional forms of energy conservation Ann outlined. We're talking about starving the poor.

conservation, not consumption.

John Stodder said...

Unfettered access to cheap oil is getting costlier and the costs are not completely reflected at the pump. Thus, those who chose to squander are subsidized to some extent.

Does this sentence make sense to anybody?

If not reflected at the pump, then where? Where are the subsidies for gasoline usage? If there are any, are they higher than the cost factor of gasoline taxes and other taxes imposed along the production chain before the gas hits the pump?

PatCA said...

Funny how AlphaLiberal and the lefties here condemn us with words like "gluttony" and "slothfulness."

The Left: the Church Ladies of America.

chickenlittle said...

John Stodder said: Where are the subsidies for gasoline usage?

e.g.

blake said...

Alphaliberal said "we're willing to risk our natural legacy".

Our "natural legacy" is to become extinct, as with 99%+ of all other species.

Damn straight we're willing to risk our natural legacy.

blake said...

If no one else will, I'll come out in favor of guzzling. Civilization = energy.

After blocking nukes, making it impossible to build refineries, shutting down functioning oil wells, and going on to trash windmills (those blenders of the sky), enviro-cultists have made it clear that our extinction is the only thing that will make us happy.

You're a sucker if you think there's any form of energy that won't ultimately be found acceptable.

Oil is awesome. Besides fuel, it gives us many other things (as Bender points out). Provide all our energy needs with rainbow-powered unicorns and we'd still be drilling for oil, until we find a substitute for all the other cool things we get from oil.

We can't drill our way out of this? We can sure try!

The thing to do is everything: Drill, shale, build nukes, build any feasible "renewable" plants, whatever. Then work on synthetics that compete with oil for non-fuel purposes.

Let's make energy so cheap that we can all have indoor ice skating rinks.

blake said...

Let's see how much trouble OPEC can cause when oil is going for 50 cents a barrel.

PatCA said...

We should just go back to "natural" modes of transportation.

Horses, Oh My

blake said...

We should just go back to "natural" modes of transportation.

Rocket sleds?

(What? It's natural if you're a coyote!)

John Stodder said...

Chicken Little, thanks for the link to the article. Obviously not the most scrupulously balanced site. It sort of glosses over the domestic subsidies without showing any data, and mostly hypes the horror show that depending on Middle East oil has turned into. Well, that's a pretty good argument for more domestic drilling; actually the best argument. More domestic oil = more peace. Cruelty-free oil.

chickenlittle said...

You got me wrong if you think I'm against drilling. I'm personally invested in American coal and fuel technology.

chickenlittle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

Alpha Liberal: I'm sincere. I want to see the plan.