Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Angry Gas Rant

Despite my attempts to keep things positive, I've got to bitch. I had to pay $3.19 for gas today, and that was because everybody else had already spiked 20 cents more. Now back in the 90's, gas was about a buck. In the years since 9/11, gas prices have tripled. Now the easy thing to do would be to blame Bush. I'm sure there's a few libs out there who bitch about gas prices, then say Bush invaded Iraq for oil. With gas prices the way they are, I wouldn't mind if we pumped that sewer dry.

But it's shallow and shortsighted to go that route. The fact is that the current price is a reflection of decades of half-assed energy policy more focused on every little special interest than on keeping the country in energy for centuries. So let's take a look at every energy source and how the government has messed it up.

Oil and natural gas - Where do we begin. We are operating refineries moving toward a half a century. We haven't built one in decades and they are at capacity. So there's no easy way to increase supply. And demand keeps growing. On the drilling front, we have oil in Alaska, we have oil off Florida, and we have people that have their own idiot interests ahead of national energy policy. In ANWR, it's the enviro-kooks. Instead of finding a way to drill with minimum impact, they scream about a few animals that could just graze around the oil rigs. In Florida, it's landowners that are afraid they might see an oil rig. So instead of tapping our resources, we continue to import from shaky allies and vocal enemies.

Coal - An old power source we can keep using. We need more of it, and with current technologies, we can burn it cleaner and cleaner.

Nuclear - One of the few things the French have done well. Enviro-douches, anti-nuke hippies, and fear mongering scum have continually thwarted the ability of anyone to build a plant anywhere in the USA. We have had one real accident, and Three Mile Island did no real damage, except to the future of nuclear power. Why we haven't built an assload of reactors and started powering the country is beyond me.

Bio Sources - This is a technology that has potential. But right now, we are focused on corn ethanol and only corn ethanol. The problem is that, in addition to being a minuscule amount of our total fuel demand, it is also affecting food prices due to the unnatural demand for corn. We need to find more sources, more ways to extract fuel, and do it a hell of a lot cheaper to make this more viable.

Clean Technologies (solar, wind, hydroelectric) - We need to keep up the work on refining these technologies, as they could take the edge off our power demands within a decade. The Southwest would be a great place for an assload of solar farms. We could strap up wind power off the coasts of California and Florida (and Washington, DC) and be pumping in the power. Although the same peckerheads fighting oil in Florida also don't want the windmills either. Hydroelectric is limited to the current rivers, so it's a matter of making it more efficient

My point is that right now, it's coal and foreign oil powering the country. We need to tap everything we can now (oil and coal) while we continue development of all the other technologies. And while you have every right to drive an SUV the size of a house, finding vehicles that suck less gas down would help a little bit. Conservation makes sense, and though I'm not in favor of legislating it, the tendency of Americans to waste shit is sometimes just dumb.

So let's stop the political bullshit and hangups over your reviled power source and use that good ol' Yankee ingenuity to get me some cheap gas. Without the beans.


Dave Miller said...

Nice post. You missed the chance to slam PETA as they oppose windmills because of the destructive risks for birds flying into the blades and becoming instant McNuggets.

As the conservative I know you are, you did not have anything to say on conservation. Can't the good ole American technology you speak of be turned towards conservation as well?

What if we had a policy that pushed Detroit [all car makers] to make more fuel efficient vehicles?

I know the argument is that there is no market and until there is one they can't possibly take the financial risk. Which from the business side, makes sense. So how about this.

I am pretty sure that one of, if not the biggest buyer of of automobiles in the US is government agencies.

Suppose immediately, they all [feds, state, and locals] said that starting in 2013, they would only buy high mileage vehicles. Let's say with a minimum of 30 mpg. This would guarantee the car makers a market and instantly provide them with an incentive to make fuel efficiency a priority.

If a President was to announce this, along with aggressive efforts to find and drill for new oil supplies, I believe we could move forward on some of these issues because he/she would be addressing both sides of this difficult equation.

I know the libs want all conservation and the other side wants all find and drill. [yes they are generalizations] The truth is that unless there is a package that rewards both sides, you will never get bi partisan agreement.

Patrick M said...

Damn, I forgot the PETA pukes? Well consider them slammed.

I also forgot tidal energy systems, but I was winging it late at night.

As for conservation, I said: Conservation makes sense, and though I'm not in favor of legislating it, the tendency of Americans to waste shit is sometimes just dumb.

But your idea for the governments, who will be buying vehicles, to insist on the high-efficiency vehicles, is an excellent idea. It doesn't impose legislation on the individual and it gives the automakers the incentive to make the vehicles.

In addition, one of the benefits of the otherwise hysterical global warming crap is that a low-priced, low emission vehicle would sell like mad right now, especially with the gas prices.

So anything that will get me a car that doesn't eat $40 a week I like.

Toad734 said...

Well here are the facts:

Before Bush took office gas in the US was averaging $1.40 and the price of a barrel was under $25. Today it was reported that Hawaii was paying $4 per gallon.

Two of the country's biggest oil companies are from Texas.
Bush's background is in oil.
Bush is from Texas.
Bush and his father are friends with the Saudi Royal family. The Saudi Family bank rolled Bush's company Arbusto that he ran into the ground. Bush owes the Saudi Royal family something for that right?

I think that's what the mission accomplished sign was all about, the $4 per gallon gas and the $111 barrel of oil.

Patrick M said...

Toad, you're delusional. You really need to get off the BDS-flavored Kool-Aid.

The current fuel crisis is decades in the making. And it sure as hell is not a winning strategery if the Bush administration is looking to go out on a high note.

The whole current crisis is a direct result of politicians on both sides failing at creating a long-term strategy in the desire to get reelected in the short term. And it's partisan shit such as yours rather than real ideas and solutions that exacerbate the problem.

Dave Miller said...

Toad, you took the easy way out, which is to slam what has been a pretty lame administration.

But you offered no solutions, insights, or ideas. As a fellow lib, that is where our side is losing. We constantly harp on what is wrong without offering concrete ideas or vision for the future.

I think one of the key things Patrick has on here is the refinery issue.

Since our refineries are operating at over 95% of capacity, and are ancient, might that not be part of the problem?

If you really want to slam the bushies, I don't think it was about oil per se, but about euros.

Before the war, Iraq announced plans to sell their oil for oil instead of petrodollars.

If that had taken hold, imagine the damage to the US economy.

Anyways, that's my offering to the conspiracy folks out there reading.