Monday, May 01, 2006

More Ignorance Online

Another week, another round of crud by Ebell on Human Ignorance Online, a publication fit for the Myrons of this world.

This week's hot topic: Why are gas prices so high in America?

Answer: They are not high in America. As you can see, they are 2 to 3 times cheaper than they are in Europe.

The prices are high because of the taxes used to moderate demand. We get that money back in the form of a functional social system

Nevertheless, rather than let people know about these details of how it could be done, Myron attempts to deflect people's attention away from obvious lines of inquiry, like following the money. He wrote:

Here is what I think the President should do.
1. He should explain that current high gas prices are the result of high economic growth (no apologies necessary), which increases demand, and continuing supply problems, some of which are caused by government.
Oh really.
2. The President should defend profits. The only alternative to prices as a way of reconciling supply and demand is rationing (and rationing is why gas prices are so low in Cuba and North Korea). When demand is high and supplies are low, producers make large profits. This is good. If oil companies weren’t making profits, then investors would have no reason to invest in increasing supplies. As for a windfall profits tax on oil companies, it cannot be repeated too often that if you want less of something then raise taxes on it.
Right, so we're seeing all these outside investors attracted by the profits going out to set themselves up a new oil company in the market.

Why don't we put a tax on lying, and make Ebell go hungry? Then we can tax on food and he'll stop eating.
3. He should barnstorm the country to build support for legislation to increase domestic energy production. Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to oil and gas production is at the top of this list. If ANWR has as much oil as the U.S. Geological Survey's mean estimate, this would increase America's proven domestic oil reserves by approximately 50 percent. Within a few years, an additional million barrels a day could be flowing to West Coast refineries. And if President Clinton hadn’t vetoed ANWR legislation in 1995, that oil would be flowing today. Opening ANWR enjoys majority support in both the House and Senate, but was blocked last year by a determined minority. A strong push from the President now could overcome that opposition.
If it's like the barnstorming he did to privatize social security, I'm for it. The key word is "domestic" sources, which are already massively depleted in the US, so almost any small field is going to increase its reserves by a large percentage. Refer to this table, to see what a drop in the bucket the US reserves are now.
4. Bush should direct the Department of the Interior to re-open its new five-year plan for offshore oil and natural gas production. The current draft includes very little new production. This is crazy. While the western Gulf of Mexico is now the U. S.’s largest producing oil and natural gas field, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and entire Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas are closed to production. OCS reserves are potentially enormous. Environmental concerns are unwarranted. The last significant offshore oil spill in the U. S. was in 1969. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last summer destroyed many oil rigs and platforms in the Gulf, but did not cause any significant oil spills. To overcome opposition to OCS production in coastal States such as California, Congress should share the royalties 50-50 with the States, just as it does with royalties from production on federal lands.
Psst. The Exxon Valdez oil spill happened in 1989. Either Myron doesn't think this is significant, or, unlike Alaskan oil production,
he does not consider it part of the US, like some kind of corporate Guantanamo
Bay.

Of course, when a hurricane destroys oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, there are no "significant" oil spills either.

Myron Ebell, on the other hand, tells significant lies.

4 Comments:

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4:18 AM, May 08, 2006 Permanent link to this entry  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have reserves in the frozen tundra, but we can't drill there, why not? Where do you want the reserves to be? Downtown Kansas City? The US isn't drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, but Cuba with the help of China will be drilling off of Key West. Mexico will be drilling in the Gulf, but the US can't? Who is the biggest oil polluter into the ocean? Give up? It's the ocean. Oil literally seeps from the ocean floor. "If that's the case" you say,
"than there would be giant oil slicks all over the world!" That's
the point, the ocean renders the
naturally occurring pollution harmless.

7:30 PM, May 24, 2006 Permanent link to this entry  
Blogger goatchurch said...

Hey, anonymous coward: Did you get your college degree from the guy above? You are, however, right in that it's usually the concentration of a pollutant that counts. Bullshit spread thinly on grass is a healthy fertilizer, but drinking it can kill.

2:37 PM, May 25, 2006 Permanent link to this entry  
Anonymous Charles Hughes said...

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7:00 AM, June 06, 2006 Permanent link to this entry  

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