Wednesday, April 30, 2008

At least one candidate has a decent energy policy


your pal said...

Obama's grandstanding comments are nothing but pie-in-the-sky nonsense that will do nothing for the price of gas for several years -- at the earliest.

The audience seems to believe that oil companies control GLOBAL oil prices.

The US might be the biggest national consumer of oil, but our national consumption is roughly 30% of daily global oil production. That means the rest of the world sucks up 70% of daily production. But the other nations of the world are working hard at catching up to the US.

Individual energy consumption is rising and will continue to rise, along with the global population.

That adds up to perpetual increases in energy demand. But Obama wants voters to think if Americans drive cars getting better mileage, then for some magical and nonsensical reason, oil demand will stop increasing.

He's another guy who realizes Americans are bad at math, especially when it comes to math involving statistical and economic factors.

None of his/your dreamy solutions will affect global oil consumption in the next four years. In fact, global oil consumption will rise from its current level of 85 million barrels a day to 110 million barrels a day in the next decade -- no matter how many miles per gallon new American cars will travel.

Thus, if you want lower oil prices, then you must tell Congress to permit oil drilling wherever oil is found.

John J. said...

1) Raising CAFE standards in the time frames propose won't have an immediate effect. Lowering consumption, which he is calling for and giving firm legislation to do so, will.

2) America, in 2006, consumed more than 20 million barrels of oil per day. That means, roughly 24 barrels per person over the year. The next closest country was China, with 7 million barrels consumed per day - less than 2 barrels per person per year. American consumption is inarguably the driving force behind rising oil prices world wide.

3) If Americans drive cars with better mileage (and do the other things in Obama's plan), American consumption of oil will go down. If demand goes down and supply stays the same, prices drop. - Economics 101

4) Most independent researchers agree that drilling in ANWR, if it has any effect, won't have an effect for many years. According to the EIA, it would take nine years for oil to begin flowing, and 20 years before it hit peak.Speculators might drop prices before then but it is projected that it would create a $0.50 drop in oil prices. I don't believe that small savings is comparable to the cost in environmental damage.

your pal said...

john j,

China and the US PRODUCE about the same amount of oil from within the boundaries of the two countries.

The per-capital consumption is a different statistic.

However, per-capita consumption of the 1.2 BILLION Chinese citizens is rising and will undoubtedly match US per-capital consumption some day.

As for your goal of lowering consumption, well, higher prices, at some point, will do the trick. But, if you think it's possible to ration gasoline, you're wrong.

Meanwhile, you comment on American per-capita consumption of oil as though it happens separately from the much greater consumption of the rest of the world.

The key issue is GLOBAL CONSUMPTION of 85 million barrels per day. If US consumption drops by a million barrels a day -- which it won't -- consumption elsewhere on the globe will rise.

This is an inevitable fact due to rising prosperity and increasing population, two factors you seem determined to ignore.

Why do you believe governments can intervene in markets and drive energy prices down?

Your belief is not only counter-intuitive, it is contradicted by endless examples of human experience over the last century of oil.

You also seem unable to connect the dead black African kids from your other post to the absence of the prosperity that exists in economies with abundant energy supplies combined with freedom.

Limited freedom eliminates prosperity, which leads to horrible living conditions for the unfortunate people in such circumstances. If you want to fight the worst poverty on the planet, then you must support the most effective economic plans known to man -- that's capitalism powered by the cheapest energy available.

But based on your program, the suffering children of Africa are out of luck until, until, well, I have no idea when your ship will come in, but it's decades away.

The screwballs who argue against drilling in ANWR are the among those who have no grasp of statistics and economic reality.

Fist, simply announcing to the world that a new reservoir of oil will be tapped will have some impact on prices. But the real impact comes from all the smaller sites that can be tapped in a matter of months.

As I said, there are 80 BILLION barrels of proven reserves in US territory that is off-limits to oil drillers NOW. Much of that oil off our coastal regions.

Precise mapping of those regions can be done in months. After that, offshore drilling rigs are towed to the sites and drilling commences. In less than one year oil would flow from many sites off our coasts. More oil would flow from land-based sites that are now untouchable.

While oil is flowing from coastal waters and other sites, preparations for moving ANWR oil will proceed. Even if it were to take three years for the oil to flow from ANWR, it would add to the total already flowing from other producing sites.

No one who knows anything about oil has suggested that ANWR alone answers all our prayers for more oil. It is simply one of the bigger untapped reservoirs. There are probably larger reservoirs off our coasts.

Moreover, it took three years to build the Alaska Pipeline linking Prudhoe Bay with Anchorage. There is simply no sense to the claim that it would take 9 years to tap ANWR and 20 years for production to reach its peak.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that the clock for development of alternatives like solar and electric cars is running far slower than the clock runs for oil exploration and production.

Meanwhile, Brazil has discovered a large field. Early reports suggest it is huge, an elephant. If Brazil exploits its potential, the world will benefit.

Furthermore, if you believe it's okay to use oil sparingly, as in high-mileage cars, why do you car if it's consumed more rapidly?

By your plan global oil reserves will last longer. But your plan acknowledges that humans might consume oil until it's gone.

Therefore, it's a mystery why you care if we deplete global oil reserves sooner rather than later. Why do you care if oil lasts 100 years rather than 150 years?

As people like to say, the car gained a lot of support because the growing population had too many horses that were dropping too much manure on too many city streets.

I'm not aware of Ford getting a tax break to accelerate its production of cars as a way to stem the public health problems resulting from the excess of horse manure on city streets.