'Crisis': Courtesy Of Your Friendly Environmentalist
This week has seen
much hand-wringing, rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over
the price of oil and its concomitant effect at the pump. Apparently,
$3 or $4 per gallon gasoline is the final sign of the onset of the
Apocalypse. And all those who happen to work in the higher echelons
of an oil company had better beef up their personal security detail,
because the scapegoat hunt is in full swing.
The reality is
that it's the hijacking of America's energy policy by the radical
environmental lobby that is artificially restricting supply -
forcing prices upward as a result - and the economic ignorance of
the masses that keeps them from getting the blame that should be
heaped upon them. Worse, our dependency on foreign oil (and, more
importantly, the tyrants whom we suffer at the mercy of because of
it) is furthered by these tree-hugging con artists who
disingenuously feign outrage at the very situation they have
directly brought about.
Contrary to the
claims of environmentalists, there is actually plenty of oil
available domestically. From ANWR to the Gulf of Mexico (in which
Fidel Castro can drill but the U.S. cannot), from the tar sands of
Alberta to the Pacific continental shelf, new technology has found
potentially enormous supplies of both oil and natural gas. ANWR
alone could possibly cover all of America's oil needs for 2-3 years,
should the need arise. Sadly, these supplies will never become
"resources" (a word applicable only when a substance is actually
used) because the environmentalists and the Democratic senators
whom they all but own will stop at nothing to prevent it.
Apparently a handful of caribou (who'd probably appreciate the heat
an oil rig would put off) on the most remote, frozen, barren,
desolate piece of land in all of America get more representation in
Congress than her people do.
hasn't been a new oil refinery built in America since the early
1960s. Combined with the increased demand of today over then, the
system has been stretched to the breaking point. As we all saw with
Hurricane Katrina, anything that disrupts a system operating
regularly at more than 95 percent capacity has immediate and hurtful
effects. Equally responsible but always escaping blame are the
similar effects needless and wasteful regulations - pushed through
by the radical environmentalist lobby - have on the oil supply
regulations have heaped untold costs and delays on oil delivery, for
which we all pay the price. Among these is the requirement that
and gas stations constantly switch blends, which forces them offline
to make the change. The government also required the adding of MTBE,
an expensive chemical that did virtually nothing to make already
clean gas cleaner, then required them to drop it, after which they
hypocritically sued oil companies for the deleterious effects of a
substance they were forced to use. Finally, they required even more
ethanol use, which is more energy-consuming to produce than oil and
difficult to transport.
Congress makes the oil industry jump through another regulatory
hoop, we take it up the keister. Think about it. Congress is
arguably more damaging than the biggest natural disaster to ever hit
As far as the
imported oil on which we must rely because of environmentalist and
Congressional malfeasance, its price is greatly inflated over its
real value because it's controlled by a monopoly and cartel called
OPEC. America-hating dictators like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, or any
of a number of Middle Eastern sheiks, have been handed a perpetual
extortion and blackmail weapon thanks to our failure to supply
ourselves domestically. It ought not take a genius in international
relations to see how allowing those who dislike you to control your
energy supply can be extremely risky to national security. If we
supplied ourselves, on the other hand, we might just be able to
break that cartel, bring back free-market supply-and-demand forces
to bear on oil, and drop the price of it dramatically. More to the
point, America will reclaim the power she's stupidly handed away to
Finally, there is
one fact that the green lobby has somewhat right, but even then they
get the cause wrong. One effect of their mangling of normal
free-market economics by choking off supply is to enrich the
existing oil companies. They must raise prices to reduce consumption
and protect what supply they have left when Congress makes the mess
already described above. Furthermore, there is no chance for any new
competition to get in the oil game and drive prices down, to the
benefit of us all. Want to explore for oil? Drill where you have
reason to think it exists? Build and operate a refinery? Or just
open a corner gas station? You'd have a better chance of flapping
your arms and flying to Mars successfully then getting permission
from government to do any of that, so thoroughly do the
environmentalist extremists control the levers of power.
So the basic
forces of Economics 101 do their thing, and voilá, more profit for
oil companies. And government, too, as 30 percent of it gets sucked
into Washington by the corporate income tax. Remember this the next
time you hear any politician demagoguing oil companies. They're
getting a 30 percent cut of that action, too. Not to mention the
federal gasoline tax, which no one dares suggest cutting to provide
consumer relief . (Not bad compensation for being a lying phony, I
must say.) Far from being outraged, Congress is laughing all the
way to the pork-barrel spending bank.
One more point
must also be made, and that is to keep things in their proper
perspective. Even at $4, a gallon of gas still costs less than a
gallon of milk, a gallon of bottled water, or a gallon of a great
many other things. This in spite of what it takes to get oil from
abroad to a usable form in a pump near you, when those other things
are not nearly so difficult or expensive to get to retail market.
Yes, it may require a change in budgeting for your family, but this
is not the end of the world. So you have to drink tap water instead
of Dasani or get instant Folgers instead of stopping at Starbucks.
Believe it or not, life will go on.
So the next time
you swing into a gas station and see a price you think is shockingly
high, just remember who made it all possible: radical
environmentalists (whose real if undeclared goal is nothing short of
banning the automobile), Congress, OPEC and the economic ignorance
of far too many spoiled Americans.
© 2006 North Star Writers
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