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    “Release Baby Release” is the new “Drill Baby Drill”

    “Release Baby Release” is the new “Drill Baby Drill”

    Yes, “drill baby drill” will not increase the supply of oil this month, but if we had been drilling baby drilling the past two and one-half years, instead of stifling production almost everywhere, we would not need to be releasing our strategic petroleum reserves.  Via AP:

    The Obama administration has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a broader international effort to pump more 60 million barrels onto the world market over the next month.

    U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the release of oil is a response to oil supply disruptions caused by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya.

    The administration said the uprising in Libya has resulted in a loss of about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day. The release comes as the United States approaches a period of high energy use in July and August.

    High oil prices have increased the cost of gasoline, contributing to an economic slowdown and putting increased political pressure on President Barack Obama.

    Make not mistake about it, this is not just a reaction to the current market conditions, it is Obama’s policy to use the strategic petroleum reserves as a market cushion rather than extensive new drilling, as outlined during the 2008 campaign:

    Senator Barack Obama altered his position on Monday to call for tapping the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gasoline prices as he outlined an energy plan that contrasts with Senator John McCain’s greater emphasis on expanded offshore drilling and coal and nuclear technology.

    In a speech here and in a new advertisement, Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, also sought to portray his Republican rival, Mr. McCain, as “in the pocket” of oil giants that are profiting from gasoline priced at more than $4 a gallon. And in his speech, Mr. Obama called for a windfall profits tax on oil companies to finance rebates for Americans.

    While Obama proposed some new “limited” offshore drilling (video at 4:40), it was contingent on a comprehensive energy plan for so called alternative energy:

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    retire05: um, yes, oil is continually being produced, and we are developing new ways of getting it out of the ground, but it’s still finite. It may be more or less finite than previously thought, and I’m not ever going to make the “peak oil” argument, but don’t tell an engineer that she doesn’t know the difference between finite and limitless resources. Oil isn’t water, which is virtually infinite since it is continuously recycled through the ecosystem. Thus, its price will always be at least somewhat dependent upon (real or perceived) future availability.


     
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    retire05 | June 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

    mgparrish, to assume that oil is an “infinite” product, one has to assume that the natural process that created that oil in the first place ended some millions of years ago.

    And yes, we are the world’s leader in natural gas, another fossile fuel that has been attacked by this administration. Knowing that natural gas is abundant, especially in Texas, 47.7% of Texas power plants are now fueled by natural gas, 36.3% by coal (many of them retrofitted to clean coal use) and although we lead the nation in wind generated power, it represents only 4.4% of all electricity generated.

    But that is not good enough for this administration. The EPA recently inflicted the coal burning power plants in Texas with such hard regulations that even the clean coal plants, with their 97% reduction in pollution, cannot meet those standards. A south Texas power plant just announced it will close and lay off hundreds of workers because it cannot afford the regulations imposed by the EPA, a bunch of unelected bureaucrats who are clueless.

    Are we seeing Cloward and Piven put into practice on a national scale? It would seem so.


     
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    retire05 | June 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Roxeanne, to determine that oil is a finite resource, you must assume that nature ceased the process by which that oil was created millions of years ago.

    Oil does not equal dinosaurs.


     
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    Voyager | June 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    It doesn’t really matter whether oil is finite. There are potential replacements being developed. The real problem is the continual government tinkering is screwing up their development, and throwing them into these boom/bust cycles that bear no relationship to the actual difficulties in finding hydrocarbons.

    […] 3: Prof. Jacobson: “Release Baby Release” is the new “Drill Baby […]


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