The president would have us believe that the rise in gas prices in the United States is just a factor of the international oil market, and that is certainly true — gas prices in Europe are shooting up, as well: in Britain, gas jumped to an average $8.06/gallon in the past month. Progessives would have Americans believe that this is a good excuse for us to shut up and take the price hikes…after all, Europe has high prices (and everything Europe is rad…the kid, they still say, “rad”, right?)
Wrong. Part of the reason for the spike is greater demand in the developing nations — China and India. Part of it is the usual speculation and market gambling over the latest Iranian posturing and the idiotic response from the United States over the Straits of Hormuz. But quite a bit of it has to do with the current administration’s policies, which are choking American production.
The president loves to tell us we’re putting out more oil than ever before…and it was true four years ago. But not now. The administration took advantage of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to chop permit approvals for offshore drilling. Permits on federal lands: down.
Some refineries have shut down for maintenance, an unavoidable situation. But other refineries are shutting down all over the East Coast because the companies cannot make enough money on producing fuel, and this reduced capacity is seriously affecting the prices of fuel. How could making fuel not be fiscally practical, when we are told over and over again that Americans use too much of the stuff? The answer is buried in the details of the story: Sunoco, Conocco, and Hess cannot make enough money because of the environmental regulations for low-sulfur diesel (also, essentially, home heating oil — brace yourself for next winter, Northeast!) that major markets have been legislating. Moving fuel from more distant refineries is impractical; we don’t have the pipeline and storage facilities to handle the load — which makes moves like stopping the Keystone XL pipeline look that much more moronic.
Additionally, regulations that mandate different fuel blends for winter and summer months require retooling of refineries — an expensive process that is a prime culprit behind the “driving season” spike in prices (which have yet to hit, America…better buy a scooter.)
And gas prices are not the only instance of ideologically-motivated insanity in the energy production market. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to unleash their new CO2 and “greenhouse gas” regulations on the electricity-producing industry. Specifically, the collection of enviro-nuts at the EPA (who, to be fair, don’t care about the environment; they care about power) will require any new power plants to emit less than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt. That’s okay for natural gas (and T Boone Pickens.) They emit 800 or so pounds of CO2 per megawatt. Coal plants — where we get most of our electricity from — emit an average of 1,768 pounds per megawatt.
And before you applaud the EPA, let’s take you back to that high school biology class you slept through: carbon dioxide is necessary to the life cycle of plants. Let’s make it simple: CO2+water+sunlight=more plants…which produce oxygen. They also tend to like heat…so even if global warming is your concern, more heat means melting ice caps and more water vapor in the air, add more CO2 and that gives you…more plants. Example: you used to be able to grow grapes in Scotland during the medieval period. Greenland was actually green when it was warmer (and not due to those gas-guzzling Viking longboats, either…)
And more plants mean more oxygen. Right now, the plants are winning this one: the atmosphere is 21% O2, and less than .4% CO2. It’s hardly an emergency that requires the collapse of the American economy, but what does require that last bit are the statist dreams of Progressive politicians, who hope to lord it over a massive swathe of poor Americans. This is why there is always a reason to oppose some form of energy: environmentalists tout wind, then complain about losing ground squirrel habitats or birds dying in the propellers of the plants; they tout natural gas, then go after fracking; they tout hydroelectric then turn around and complain about the reduced river capacities; solar will eventually get the same treatment — large scale plants will harm [enter animal] habitats in the Southwest and homeowners associations will complain about the aesthetics.
None of this was unanticipated. It was the point of the exercise, as the president told the San Francisco Chronicle in January of 2008:
“…Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers…”
The president and his cabal want higher energy prices. It makes their buddies wealthy and impoverishes the rest of the country…requiring us to rely on them for relief, hence insuring their positions and power. They dream themselves the new aristocracy, and they’ve created a world-wide
crisis catastrophe! to excuse their actions: climate change.
This load of bollocks has been banging around as an excuse for “action” since 1992, when the United Nations got involved. As the Cold War wound down, the money stopped flowing from the superpowers — what is a poor international organization to do? Or the scientists soon to be put out of work by declining nuclear research budgets? Enter climate change… Here’s the problem: we’ve only got solid data for 30 years — not even a tick of a clock in the depths of geological time. Secondly, there’s been no warming in the last decade — a little bit of data that conveniently gets left out everything the warming alarmists are preaching on the television. Point of fact, there’s been less than a degree (Celsius) in warming since the Little Ace Age of the 1800s. Extreme weather events? There’s not more of them, it just looks that way because the 24 hour news cycle fills time with disasters — disasters get eyes and that sells ad time.
But what about the unusually warm winter this year? Can you remember the average temperature and the weird spikes that happen from year to year — no, you don’t; so you see unusual activity because it’s outside of the compiled experience you have (i.e. Winter is cold and snowy — so having a day or two of warm weather in the middle of late winter/almost spring is unusual! Except it’s not.) “Large fluctuations from warm to cold winters have been the rule for the U.S., as one can see from records kept by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. For example, the winters of 1932 and 1934 were as warm as or warmer than the 2011-2012 one and the winter of 1936 was much colder.” And they all had weird spikes of cold and hot. New Mexico has seen temperatures in the 30s as late as early summer. Is it unusual? Yep. Is it a cause for building an underground bunker and waiting for the Second Coming? Nope.
It’s certainly not a reason to hamstring the economy with more regulations, and risk people dying of the cold (which happens a lot more than dying of heat) because fuel is too bloody expensive. We need to drill and refine more petrol products, get more natural gas, more wind and solar (where it works well.) And that means we need to turf Obama and his crew over the side, sharpish.