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May 21, 2008

Comments

J. Pierpont Finch

The USA has made great strides in energy efficiency since the 1970's Arab boycott days during the Carter administration. I heard it said that we consume the same number of barrels of oil now with an economy twice the size as we had back in the 1970's.

Back in those days, the cost of our oil imports did not flow to enemies (ie. Radical Islamists) bent on destroying our way of life. And back then, environmental wackos were not blocking the building of new domestic oil refining capacity and the logical drilling opportunites (ie. offshore USA and Alaska) to bring on new domestic oil production.

Today, the adverse current and projected impact on our way of life from high and rising oil prices, brought on by quickly rising demand from emerging economies such as China, and India, cry out for emergency action as extreme as that implemented during World War II in order to be the first to have the Atomic Bomb (ie. The Manhattan Project).

Therefore, any U.S. president (no matter the party) needs to declare a national emergency and issue executive orders to squelch environmental opposition groups and fascilitate in the short term drilling of oil in Alaska and offshore mainland USA to expand domestic oil production, and in the long term fascilate the conversion from oil to natural gas as a primary energy source to generate power, and fascilitate a crash program to develop all sources of alternative energy generation from Solar, Wind, Ocean Tide rising and falling....

No point now blaming this president or that president, this congress or that congress.

LIFE IS BEST LIVED FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD! WE CAN ONLY LEARN FROM THE PAST - WE CAN'T CHANGE IT.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

- Santiana

gringoman

Monica,

Even when it seems to be about mice and men, or begals and peanuts, it's all about the energy.

With oil way over $100 and rising, the airlines have to be magicians just to stay in business. Watch for more bankruptcies and/or mergers.

Two billion Chinese and Hindus (as our out-sourcing globalistas will tell y'all) are in the market now as never before, competing for supply. And they intend to get what's theirs. And while their demand grows and the dollar falls....

The dismal Dems forbid (1)drilling Stateside, (2)refineries Stateside, (3)nuclear Stateside, (4)space program innovations which might lead to new technologies---and the pitiful Pubs are unable to do anything about the dismal Dems.

These pitiful Pubs can barely expose Barack Obama and his really stupid plan to tax "windfall profits" of Exxon which, despite its size and expertise in the U..S. is almost a pygmy on the world stage and has virtually nothing to do with the world price of oil in any case. Supply. Demand. Supply AND demand. And the dollar sinking in a sea of US debt, making everything foreign more expensive.

And pushing airlines closer to bankruptcy.

So you see what that lousy meal really means?

Es la energia, cara mia, la energia.

ps. But some experts are predicting that oil price will tumble in 2009 (to be sung to the old standard, 'I Can Dream, Can't I?')

gringoman

If you want to see the dismal Dems in action, check out these insufferable weasels in the Senate as they play to the folks hurting at the gas pump by gulling them into thinking that Exxon profits are a cause, not a sympton of the crisis generated by the debt crisis, the rotting dollar, and the very anti-drilling policies of said insufferable weasels. Have a barf bag handy. Even Diane Feinstein, whose husband is known for sleazy dealings with China, jumps on oil execs who are probably much more honest and less devious than the average Wall Street dude whose finance and loan juggling has led to a planetary crisis which may be far from over.

And where are the pitiful Pubs as the dismal Dems do their Demogogue Boogie on the Senate floor, with a little help from Lamestream Louie?

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D90Q5MT80&show_article=1

FK

Here's the state of the Republican party. Congratulations on being so pathetic!

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/26/080526fa_fact_packer/?yrail

But, on the other hand, you all might like McCain more after reading this:

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2008/05/26/080526taco_talk_toobin/?yrail

J. Pierpont Finch

THE ENERGY CHALLANGE is NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE, it's an emergancy issue facing all of us!

'Squawk Box' Guest Warns of $12-15-a-Gallon Gas
Robert Hirsch, an energy advisor, says CNBC morning show prediction was a citation of the 'Dean of Oil Analysts.'

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20080521145247.aspx

David Alexander

You can thank deregulation for the demise of the American airline industry. In other words Mr. Braintrust himself, Ronald Reagan.

I suppose when Hugo Chavez meets with industry to correct their underperformance it is referred to as the pillar of rightwing propaganda, the dreaded “socialism”.
Yet, when economic times are tough in the USA, as this talk of “free market capitalism” goes out the window.
As is the issue with our freedoms and rights in the USA, these concepts are rarely tested in good times. The real test comes during the difficult/crises times. And once again the right-wing proponents decide its time to forgo their much pontificated ideals and alter their ad-nausem professed beliefs in the “free market” system with Presidential assistance. And it only took some inconvenience at the airport.

For all the right-wing attempts to malign “socialism” in the business world, German owned airline "soicalist" run Lufthansa continues to be a great airline experience.

So if you want your “free market” system, sit back and relax with your cold miniature pretzels as you fly, and remember capitalism is not always the answer. Thanks Ronnie.

David Alexander

Oh, and the price is oil is rising to astronomical levels NOT due to the lack of domestic production, but due to speculation and the falling value of the US dollar. Which is falling due to the economic policy’s of record spending and tax cuts which create huge deficits, which facilitates huge borrowing which then floods the world market with American dollars. (Just in case some right-wingers out there don’t understand the process)

Second, large scale drilling assets will take up to 10 years to reach the consumer.

Third, oil drilled in the USA is NOT sold exclusively to the USA, but to the world market. Unless there is some special executive or congressional order to do so. Ah, so much for free market capitalism again And if it is only allowed to be sold with the USA, you can bet the oil companies will ask to be compensated for any adjustment in price that could have been made on the higher priced world commodities market. Remember, oil companies are in the business of AQUIRING and selling oil at the highest possible price. They are NOT in the business of providing oil the sells for cheaper amounts than can be made on the world market. If anyone thinks the major oil companies are in the charity business of providing cheap oil to the American consumer by way of their patriotism, get a clue.
But then to have an oil producing and distributing company within the USA that is mandated to sell exclusively to the USA, would be "socialism" and I know how you right-wingers despise that.

Dgscol

Why is the rubber chicken always the first to go? It is the harbinger of things that will happen.

David Alexander has hit the issue on the head. Part of a free market system is competition, and although oil companies are saying they are taking less profit per barrel, their revenue is increasing because of volume. It is a matter really of the public being able to pay. Is there actual competition, or is there a functional monopoly?

There ought to be a study, but my guess is that the huge suppliers determine the price and that means we are dealing with the OPEC cartel. Congress is is suing them. OPEC can tie them up in the courts for a long time.... Everyone knows what works with OPEC.

Like health care, everyone knows that the airlines since deregulation, have been subsidized by the government. Even when energy was cheap, they were operating in the red. This is proof, pilots, their drinking buddies, and their friends to be still flying sorties in the desert are not good administrators.
But they can fly. Please let them fly. They do not care about the chicken, until they land.

J. Pierpont Finch

Deregulation IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the demise of the American airline industry! Failure of congress to pass serious a serious program to develop alternative energy sources and to develop domestic sources of energy energy production in the short term IS RESPONSIBLE for the demise of the airline industry.

Guess who foots the bill to subsidize Germany's Lufthanza airline. It's the German taxpayer in the form of higher tax rates on individuals and companies! That's the way it is with Socialism.

With communism and socialism, state owned companies pretend to pay the workers, and workers pretend to work. The result is inefficiency, waste, lack of incentive to improve and compete, and declining quality. Check out the socialized healthcare system in Cuba. Yeah right, that's where everyone wants to got to get that life safing surgery they need. As Fidel about the botched operation on his intestines.

Account Deleted

David,

Actually deregulation began with Carter who appointed Cornell University economics professor Alfred Kahn as head of the project. The airline industry is not in demise because of the failure of one airline, since successful airlines that created new business models are abound. Demise of any individual company is actually a welcome by-product of free markets because inefficient producers are weeded out making room for efficient producers and better service providers. A deregulated industry means I can choose not to fly American.

Oil is expensive not because of the demise (an apt word in this case!) of the dollar: the world buys oil in petro-dollars; i.e., US dollars given to oil producing nations. Therefore price is stable in terms of the dollar whether it falls or rises. On the other hand, a falling dollar makes imports more expensive which usually leads to inflation, a veritable Carter malaise.

The price of oil is high precisely because 40% of our imports are from a cartel, OPEC, because developing countries' growth increased upward price pressure, because of the risk premium in the Mid East (which is reflected in the commodity markets (speculators or arbitrageurs), but mostly because we are not increasing supply at home: continental shelf (85% of which is closed), ANWR, shale oil (1000 billion barrels!), as well as alternatives like nuclear, etc.

You may not like this recommendation, but the solution is more deregulation! Government (whose enemy was the great Ronald Reagan and his mentor the great Barry Goldwater) is in the way again because we lack a Ronnie and Barry to focus us on getting them out of the way. We have no leadership to launch a sustained domestic program -- blocked by Congress, Bush obstinately hoards oil in the SPR, our nuclear industry is burdened with excess licensing regulations -- something you don’t see in France which is over 70% nuclear, and so on.

Besides economics, there is a strategic dimension to all this. In today’s The Wall Street Journal there is an article about the military experimenting with synthetic jet fuel because our dependence on Mid East oil leaves us vulnerable. The good news is that we might see such fuel in commercial aircraft, but it usually takes a while to be transferred to the private sector. We need such forward thinking the overall US industry today.

First, however, we need leaders who understand the problem, and in Barry’s words have the guts to do something about it without shaking in their boots.

Regards,

Account Deleted

David,

Actually deregulation began with Carter who appointed Cornell University economics professor Alfred Kahn as head of the project. The airline industry is not in demise because of the failure of one airline, since successful airlines that created new business models are abound. Demise of any individual company is actually a welcome by-product of free markets because inefficient producers are weeded out making room for efficient producers and better service providers. A deregulated industry means I can choose not to fly American.

Oil is expensive not because of the demise (an apt word in this case!) of the dollar: the world buys oil in petro-dollars; i.e., US dollars given to oil producing nations. Therefore price is stable in terms of the dollar whether it falls or rises. On the other hand, a falling dollar makes imports more expensive which usually leads to inflation, a veritable Carter malaise.

The price of oil is high precisely because 40% of our imports are from a cartel, OPEC, because developing countries' growth increased upward price pressure, because of the risk premium in the Mid East (which is reflected in the commodity markets (speculators or arbitrageurs), but mostly because we are not increasing supply at home: continental shelf (85% of which is closed), ANWR, shale oil (1000 billion barrels!), as well as alternatives like nuclear, etc.

You may not like this recommendation, but the solution is more deregulation! Government (whose enemy was the great Ronald Reagan and his mentor the great Barry Goldwater) is in the way again because we lack a Ronnie and Barry to focus us on getting them out of the way. We have no leadership to launch a sustained domestic program -- blocked by Congress, Bush obstinately hoards oil in the SPR, our nuclear industry is burdened with excess licensing regulations -- something you don’t see in France which is over 70% nuclear, and so on.

Besides economics, there is a strategic dimension to all this. In today’s The Wall Street Journal there is an article about the military experimenting with synthetic jet fuel because our dependence on Mid East oil leaves us vulnerable. The good news is that we might see such fuel in commercial aircraft, but it usually takes a while to be transferred to the private sector. We need such forward thinking the overall US industry today.

First, however, we need leaders who understand the problem, and in Barry’s words have the guts to do something about it without shaking in their boots.

Regards,

Account Deleted

Apologies for the dual posts ... TypeKey problem.

Here is an amusing line from Peggy Noonan's Wall Street Journal article on Saturday to which M/M kindly referred us:

Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee after the loss in Mississippi: "We can't let them [Democrats] pretend to be conservatives."

Peggy: Why not? Republicans pretend to be conservative every day.

Dgscol

There is regulation and over-regulation. Face it friends - the primary operating principle adopted by the airlines in the free market, is to provide jobs to all military pilots that want them, and to give them a nice standard of living. As more pilots come in from the Gulf, they are added, planes are acquired, and new routes established. If one airline is getting too large, they establish a new one. The contrails were getting pretty thick. The airlines are to the Air Force, what the Lobbies are to former Congressmen - a comfy place to go after service. Everything else is flexible. To get lots of people to fly they have to keep their rates low.

Schwartzkopf filled the air with commercial planes. With 9/11 their volume dropped - thank God. We got rid of some of the sky scribbling. They contracted slightly, but this does not change expectations of growth - which they tie to the availability of Air Force pilots. Hey Ba-ba-Barbara Ann, you got me rocking and a rolling.

Dgscol

When enough people complain about the little pretzels, they will increase the ticket prices, and you may be back to the rubber chicken.

gringoman

TRUTHER,

You say airlines are in business to get jobs for military pilots? Hmmmm. And I used to think it was to make money and cozy up to stewardesses, er, uh, flight attendants. By the way, what better source of commercial pilots would you reccommend other than the military?

DAVID,

Bush Republicans have been guilty of spending like drunk Democrats, true. But the standard lefty mantra that tax cuts decrease revenue has been shown to be upside down by reality, including Bush 2 tax cuts. They do just the opposite. They increase revenue by jump-starting business and investment.

MESSRS AVARI AND FINCH:

It's a lonely job, but somebody's got to bear the burden of informed reason. Carry on..............

Don't you love how the Bush-deranged usually fail to mention that Congress is held in even lower regard than Georgie? And here's yet another reason for its abysmal reputation. Now, like good little devious demogogues, they want to sue OPEC, having done nothing to wean the US from the OPEC titty. As an expert has said: Beyond Stupid!

Here's how a Reuters commenter put it.....

Posted by robe7758
Report Abuse May 20, 2008 9:53 PM
WHEREAS, WE THE ELECTED MAJORITY IN CONGRESS;
have failed to solve our energy
crisis by limiting, in every way
possible, the use of our
tremendous domestic coal deposits,
AND, WHEREAS, our outlawing of drilling into
the huge reserves of oil and natural
gas in Alaska and U.S. coastal areas have
likewise not been effective in reducing
our dependence upon foreign oil,
AND WHEREAS, our concerns over techniques has
led us to question whether we will allow
the importing of oil from Canadian tar
sands,
AND WHEREAS OUR repeated votes against any
proposal to advance nuclear energy have
brought the industry to a standstill(Oh,
I'm not anti-nuclear; there was just a
couple things in this bill which I thought
would make it a better bill")
THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT, WE, THE ELECTED MAJORITY IN CONGRESS ARE NOW CONFIDENT THAT WE HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE SOLUTION TO OUR DOMESTIC ENERGY CRISIS.

WE WILL SUE OPEC, THE MAJOR SUPPLIER OF OUR CURRENT OIL AND NATURAL GAS NEEDS!!!

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT NO TEST OF SANITY OR DELUSION WILL BE A PRE-REQUISITE FOR SERVING IN THE U.S. CONGRESS.

Are they nuts?
Are we nuts for allowing them to paint Bush (who has enough faults of his own without making up illusionary ones) and McCain as the culprits?

M/M

I stopped flying in 2005 because I wanted to enjoy my vacations.

M/M

Fred, thanks for posting the article on "the pathetic state of the Republican party". I'll read it this weekend, when I have more time.

Michael glad you enjoyed Peggy Noonan's article.

Account Deleted

I’m thinking of sending every member of Congress Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson”, Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom” and a calculator … just to make a point. I wish McCain would do it, as that would draw attention to conservative principles and help define the policy dialog, but I am not holding my breath.

In both The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times today, there were numerous articles about the record price of oil. The International Energy Agency will release a comprehensive report on world oil supplies in November. Independent research companies already are saying resources are plentiful and that the problems are “above ground”, meaning the political will to allow access to those resources.

To illustrate this point, yesterday oil executives clashed with Senators in a classic battle of enterprise vs. ignorance. Oil companies want to drill in the US to increase supply; Senators, stubbornly refusing a intelligent discussion on supply, want them instead to reduce profits. That’s our energy policy now – begging Saudi Arabia to increase production while castigating (one might argue castrating) private companies in public.

I checked again and here are the gross profit margins of some of the majors from 1998 to 2007 (rounded):

ExxonMobil: 62% to 43%
Shell: 18% to 17%
Chevron: 54% to 22%
BP: 17% to 22%

Only BP shows an increase. There is no indication of price fixing, windfalls, price gouging or any other such manipulations. Oil companies claim they make on average 4 cents for every dollar of gasoline but taxes account for 15 cents. So why are oil companies making more money? Simple: 4% of $4/gallon is higher than 4% of $2/gallon, where gas was several years ago. That’s where the calculator would find utility.

As far as the books, well, here is another beauty: the House voted to override the President’s veto of the farm subsidy bill … including Republicans! What does this do? As an example, the world price of sugar is $12/pound, but producers are guaranteed $21/pound! So as Tommy and Jane eats their cupcakes while you drive them to the soccer game, both paid for with college money you can’t save, pray that your representatives will be granted enlightenment.

Any takers on my Congressional care package?

gringoman

MICHAEL AVARI:

Since the Congs, while insanely burning up the corn crop, are nevertheless "starved" for solutions to their energy fiascos, GAB suggests doing a modern Marie Antoinette on the Congs:

LET THEM EAT ETHANOL

Dgscol

Yes, I would like a package, MA.

There is hope - a new procedural process that is better than a filibuster - leaving out a section of the bill, causing people to have to redo the vote on the farm bill.

Yes, certainly that kind of farm bill is totally obsolete. It is politics by rote.
Bush, might be bewildered, but even a drunk takes a step in the right direction sometimes. Good for him!

This gives us a chance to call our Congressmen again, hopefully so it makes a difference - if they do not just outright lie to us on the phone, as they do sometimes.


M/M

My local radio station was discussing the farm bill this morning and people are upset that this bill was attached to a bill for funding the Iraq war.

Many of these jobs are season, not full-time. If there is a labor shortage, we wondered why we couldn't hire prisoners or revamp the welfare system. It seems to me that we have a pool of unskilled labor available that should be put to work instead of subsidizing them with our tax dollars.

It is my understanding that the farm bill gave unconditional amnesty to farm workers AND their families, and many of these jobs are seasonal. What happens to the unskilled workers AND their families when their are laid off? Are they added to welfare? What is the cost of retraining them?

American taxpayers are asking these questions from EVERY elected official and we want ANSWERS.

Ummahgummah

LET THEM EAT ETHANOL

--

Ted K wants to know if it's ok for him to drink it..?

Burp!!

FK

M/M --

If we are going to look to the welfare/unskilled labor pool, we also need to discuss providing transportation for these workers to the locations where we want them to work and providing childcare services. These are huge issues for a lot of people.

You can't send a person to work in order to obtain welfare, assign them to work at a remote location, and expect them to commute several hours a day to get there without providing any childcare services.

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