Thursday, May 22, 2008

Congress vs. Big Oil

It really bugs me everytime I hear someone complain about gas prices and the first thing out of their mouth is "These oil companies are making record profits by gouging the little people!" Really? Is that where the blame actually lies? I don't think so. People think that companies like Exxon set the per barrel price of oil. This is not the case. Oil is traded as a commodity. The price of oil is set by people that panic and pee their pants everytime some nutball over in the Middle East rattles a sabre. It's not set by actual demand on the product. I am not even close to understanding the stock market and all of the nonsense that goes on at Wall Street. But this manner of setting oil prices doesn't make sense to me. Why should a bunch of Wall Street Weenies have that much control over something that affects every man, woman and child in America? Additionally, if Congress and the Environmentalist Whackos would get the hell out of the way, let Big Oil explore for new sources and let them drill for it in environmentally friendly ways. You might just see a decrease in gas prices. No doubt that it will take years for any new oil to impact current prices. But if we had been drilling for oil that when it was discovered 10 or so years ago, we might not be in the pinch that we are in now. Glenn Beck illustrated this in a very good way yesterday on his national radio show. In this portion of his show he parodied a Congressman grilling someone from Big Oil. I have edited it a little, however, no pertinent content was removed. You can find the full transcript here.

Mr. Big oil, we're here to talk about the high price of gasoline. How could it have possibly gotten this high?

Let me tell you what we've done here in congress.
We told you that drilling in ANWR is off limits.
We told you that drilling off the coast of Florida and California is off limits.
We told you, Mr. Big oil, that there wouldn't be any new leases for drilling in the Gulf while China and Venezuela and even Cuba pursued these leases and have just signed 100-year leases on the oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
We here in congress have promised, as all three presidential candidates have also promised, to introduce and pass in the next term a cap and trade legislation bill that will increase the price of gasoline according to the EPA by an additional $1.50. Some people say it could be as high as $5 additional per gallon.
We have said that we're shutting down oil fields in Colorado.
We won't let you develop shale oil fields in several Western states.
We passed legislation that would let us sue OPEC with the full understanding that they'll never retaliate.
We have allowed environmental attorneys to sue you big oil fiends for future possible destruction of Alaskan Eskimo village which legal experts believe is the same strategy used to bring down big tobacco.
We're especially proud of our recent action to protect the polar bear and their habitat which just happens to be where the future oil deposits happen to be located.
We told you that you're making too much money and that we're looking at seizing any money that we consider windfall profits.
We have allowed you to drill in some very small areas in Alaska while simultaneously creating very generous environmental laws which have tied up the very production we authorize through years of litigation after you spent the money on buying and setting up equipment.
We told you through our policies that we would not allow you to build a new refinery in over 30 years.
In fact, this great country, under our tutelage, has even reduced the number of operational refineries by half since 1982.
We have even told your potential competitors in the nuclear and hydroelectric industries that we would send the environmental lawyers after them if they even dared think about building a new plant or a new dam.
We've refused to fund or allow the deployment of coal-to-oil technology which has been around since the 1930s.
We've told you that you have to make different blends of gasoline, let states like California dictate what unique gasoline blends you have to make for them.
We will not reduce our federal gasoline tax.
We won't even consider reducing it for the summer months.
So Mr. Big oil, tell me why exactly are gas prices so high?


Winfred Mann said...

Our greedy Congress makes more money on gasoline than "evil oil companies."

Book Calendar said...

We will never run out of oil, it will just cost more and more to process it. Oil is available in tar sands and what is called oil shale, but it costs more to get at it. Most of the wells are drying up. The car companies are past the point where ethanol is cheaper than gas, in the midwest, E85 85% ethanol is a dollar cheaper than gasoline. Biodiesel is also becoming cheaper than gasoline. The same thing is happening which happened when whale oil became too expensive and hard to find, people switched to other sources-- kerosene first than gasoline for lighting. What will hurt is the transition. Biobutanol a form of gas made from biomass has the same energy density as gas. It is more a question of how long the switch will take, not whether the switch will happen. It is only natural that companies want to make as much money as possible before they switch to a new model.