Why are the obvious points so hard to see?
The USA does not have an energy crisis, is has a drilling and production crisis. It is government regulations that prevent the free market to solve the high price of energy.
I challenge the idea that we are anywhere near, let alone past, so-called peak oil, for we have more known reserves in oil that at any time in our history. The USA alone has an estimated 31 billion barrels of oil offshore of its coasts and 117 billion barrels of oil under land owned or managed by the government, plus 139 billion barrels beneath privately held land. According to the Department of the Interior, 62 percent of all on-shore federal lands are off limits to oil and gas developments, with restrictions applying to 92 percent of all federal lands.
In fact, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of oil has been greatly exaggerated.
The one solution that always works is for government to get out of the way and let free markets and capitalism work. Oil and the oil companies have been highly regulated for over 100 years. Although the oil companies maybe making historic profits, they are also paying record taxes. In fact, Exxon pays three times more in taxes than it earned in profits. Exxon’s earnings per share are 10 percent, compared to Google’s at 33 percent. Exxon pays more taxes in one month than Google does in a year.
The real culprits of high fuel costs are the environmental groups that control the Democrats in Congress, with their no-growth polices and fantasy vehicles and fuels. The environmental groups have stopped all construction of oil refineries, nuclear power plants and hydroelectric plants.
Environmental groups have stopped all clean and safe plants by pushing lies off on an uneducated public. For example, they are against nuclear power because of the waste. However, all the nuclear waste created by this country would fit in a high school gymnasium. The nuclear waste generated by a family of four for twenty years would fit in a shoe box. If it was reprocessed, the left-over waste would fit in a pill bottle, and would only be radioactive for about twenty years. Compare this to the same amount of power from a coal-burning plant: the waste would fill approximately twenty railroad cars and put many tons of radioactive material into the atmosphere. But nobody worries much about the radioactivity of coal ash, because the chemicals in it are far more dangerous. They include several thousand tons per year of mercury and other heavy metals, along with huge amounts of lead, arsenic and asbestos, for example. Yet even the huge quantities of chemical waste in coal ash are of little concern compared to the gaseous emissions from burning coal, which kill an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 Americans every year, depending on which study you believe. (See “Ignorance about Nuclear Power is Killing Us.")
Nicholas von Hoffman's arguments are virtually worthless, especially taxing oil. What he fails to realize is that conservation can only take us so far. It is basic supply and demand. We can only cut demand by so much before it starts to affect our economy and way of life. Hoffman, promotes the same socialist policies of central planning and government interference to fix a problem that they caused, by trying to do what he advocates. Isn’t it time we started being smart and let the free market work, as opposed to intellectual elitism that got us into this mess with ideas that are no more than mental masturbation?
San Francisco, CA
Jul 10 2008 - 5:46am