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Old 05-20-2008, 10:43 AM   #166
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by steveo395 View Post
Drilling offshore in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the Bakken oil field in Montana and North Dakota, the 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale under Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The technology to extract the oil from the shale has improved greatly, so we can get that oil if we really need it.

What do you suggest we do about our huge oil problem? I know that you probably want to find alternative energy sources, but we need a lot more time to develop them. This will buy us that time.
Pretty timely article in this week's BusinessWeek

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Old 05-20-2008, 11:49 AM   #167
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Re: F... gas prices

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IMHO, I am neither “naïve or utterly stupid” and I believe that, in fact, the only way to fix our problem is to rely on a properly regulated “free market” and that to assert otherwise is to ignore the lessons of history, the realities of market economics involving a finite resource and confuses 1st grade economics with modern free market economics. Also, your assumption requires market collusion by several competitors to “corner the market” and act as one unit. This is, of course, antithetical to even the most basic free market principles and is one of the reasons/needs for government regulation of the market.

First to clarify, under pure market economics with no government regulation, I would agree that oil companies will exploit the current structural need for oil until such time as there is not a penny of profit to be made. Again, IMHO, while an example of otherwise acceptable market economics, this delay is unnecessary and hurtful to both our long term national security and to the environment. Additionally, their ability to do so is the direct result of an artificially created structural benefit.

Big Oil’s ability to exploit the current structural need is a direct result of our society’s decision to spend money (and blood) to create an infrastructure that made their product profitable (For example, the revamping of America’s highway structure in the 1950’s to create the Interstate system). In doing so, we as a society created an infrastructure that, initially anyway, artificially increased demand and created an oil intensive economy. Further, we have limited supply by restricting drilling in many offshore sights and by heavily regulating the product and, thus, limiting the ability of smaller companies to compete with “Big Oil”.

Because we, through our government’s actions, assisted in the creation and support of Big Oil’s market, it is appropriate that we, through government, assist those who wish to compete with that market. In doing so, however, the appropriate response is not to “socialize” big oil or artificially cap its profits. Rather, it is to offer start up protection by providing a similar type of artificial demand that was provided Big Oil. (For example, offer a government contracts to zero-emission vehicles that can perform up to certain standards (i.e. The feds will replace all federal transportation (with certain national security caveats) with a ZEV that can travel at speeds of 75 mph and has a range of 300 miles).

Essentially, government can, and in my opionion should, find ways to create and protect the necessary incentive for alternative energy until such time as alternative energy forms are profitable on a stand alone basis.

Ultimately, however, Big Oil itself would have to switch its product base or go out of business. Big Oil could, through collusion, use the current economic/structural need for oil in a manner to delay the switch to alternative forms of energy for a considerable time. They would be able to do so b/c even though oil is expensive now, it is not prohibitively so and there is enough profit being made to divert some of the profit to lobbying and/or inhibiting ventures “Microsoft Style”. Unlike tech innovations & Microsoft, however, oil is a finite resource. At some point, the market will actually not support the added costs necessary to “crush” the competition and ventures will begin to succeed b/c oil will simply not be able to supply the demand at an efficient cost. I don’t care how many start ups you crush – and even with the built in competitive advantage of the country’s current infrastructure, oil will price itself out of the market. Far sighted oil execs will see this and have income alternatives ready or they will simply go out of business. Essentially, while it might kill the goose that laid the golden egg – I doubt they would do so without another goose lined up.
I think you have me confused because I am not interested in taxing their profits and such. What I am interested in however is having the government force the adapt or die hand by not giving them tax breaks but rather fund research that hopefully spawns the Google of the energy companies. I simply don't want us putting the wolf in charge of guarding the sheep and I want the government to be proactive.
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:33 PM   #168
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Re: F... gas prices

Now I am confused - Your original assertion was that “Anyone that really thinks the "free market" can solve our problems is either naive or utterly stupid.” As a general statement, I found this to be an ignorant and incredibly misinformed knee-jerk response to market economics that stank of discredited marxist/collectivest economic theory. My response was that a properly regulated free market is the best method for finding and marketing alternative energy sources. Further, even without governmental interference, the market will eventually create alternatives.

Based on your assertion, I assumed you were speaking of some form of centralization or socialization of energy markets that would eliminate private incentive. I don’t believe oil companies should be penalized for making profits.

If you are saying “fund research”, I agree for all the reasons stated in my earlier post.

I disagree, however, that this research would not happen but for government intervention. Based on the finite nature of the resource and the naturally increasing prices resulting from that – at some point, alternatives will be developed. I just believe, based on certain structural advantages given Big Oil, that the State should assist in “leveling the playing field” through investment.

Additionally, your implied collusion arguments just don’t hold water to me. These companies want to make money and are in competition with one another. If one of them could, tomorrow, take over the energy market by creating a cheap, profitable alternative to oil and undercut their competitors they would do it so fast your head would spin. The problem is that alternatives are still comparatively expensive to the cheap portability of gas and the internal combustion engine.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:34 PM   #169
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Re: F... gas prices

When Democratic politicians opposed to drilling in ANWR make either of the following arguments:

1. It will take years to develop, or
2. all the oil there only represents __% of the world's reserves,

they are not revealing their true motives. They are oppossed to it because environmental groups like the Sierra Club have told them to be against it. The next time Obama says he's going to stand up to special interests, someone should ask him why he's against drilling in Alaska.

David Brooks on Obama and Special Interests: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/op...brooks.html?hp
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:57 PM   #170
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by 70Chip View Post
When Democratic politicians opposed to drilling in ANWR make either of the following arguments:

1. It will take years to develop, or
2. all the oil there only represents __% of the world's reserves,

they are not revealing their true motives. They are oppossed to it because environmental groups like the Sierra Club have told them to be against it. The next time Obama says he's going to stand up to special interests, someone should ask him why he's against drilling in Alaska.
I totally agree and have said that I would love for the Republicans to present a bill just for exploration of oil in Anwr and other areas just to make people either vote for or against. This would be perfect timing with the current gas prices.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:56 PM   #171
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by 70Chip View Post
When Democratic politicians opposed to drilling in ANWR make either of the following arguments:

1. It will take years to develop, or
2. all the oil there only represents __% of the world's reserves,

they are not revealing their true motives. They are oppossed to it because environmental groups like the Sierra Club have told them to be against it. The next time Obama says he's going to stand up to special interests, someone should ask him why he's against drilling in Alaska.

David Brooks on Obama and Special Interests: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/op...brooks.html?hp
Really? Look what my friend Google turned up, by THE pro ANWR group no less:

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Senator Barack Obama ( Illinois ) – Often cited as one of the top presidential contenders. Barack Obama has an abysmal record on ANWR voting on the Cantwell Amendment in 2005 to lock it up. He has been opposed to exploration and has rallied with Sen. Clinton in that regard numerous times. Barack states, "I strongly reject drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because it would irreversibly damage a protected national wildlife refuge without creating sufficient oil supplies to meaningfully affect the global market price or have a discernable impact on U.S. energy security.” In his two and a half years in the Senate he has been part of the introduction of over 100 pieces of “green” legislation from promoting ethanol use to increased car mileage. However despite this many in the left see Obama as a moderate as he is caught frequently citing the need for bipartisan support and dialogue on energy issues as the way forward. His support of corn derived ethanol and liquid coal do not win him support in the Green camp either, which when coupled with ANWR proves a weakness. Illinois is, after all, one of the top ethanol states in the nation. Obama has yet to visit ANWR or the Alaskan Arctic. By 2020 Obama hopes 20% of all US energy will come from renewable resources. For more information on Obama's energy platform visit:
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:59 PM   #172
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Re: F... gas prices

JoeRedskin, I haven't forgotten about you. Sit tight, you'll have thorough response when I manage to get some free time.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:06 PM   #173
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Re: F... gas prices

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Really? Look what my friend Google turned up, by THE pro ANWR group no less:
Nothing in there refutes anything I said. Obama failed to stand up the special interests on ANWR and on ethanol. Using the word "bi-partisan" a lot doesn't make you an environmental "moderate" no matter what the extreme left thinks.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:31 PM   #174
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Re: F... gas prices

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Nothing in there refutes anything I said. Obama failed to stand up the special interests on ANWR and on ethanol. Using the word "bi-partisan" a lot doesn't make you an environmental "moderate" no matter what the extreme left thinks.
First you claim democrats as a whole are not revealing their true motives and then you proceed to call Obama out specifically. What part of the his quote doesn't suggest his "true motive?" Further more, just because you're pro environment doesn't mean policy is being dictated by the Sierra Clubs. They play an advisory role I am sure (it's called listening to scientist and assessment) but ultimately the candidate makes the decision whether you agree with it or not. Lastly, opposition to drilling in ANWR is not limited to one "true motive," one can in fact have a host of motives.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:40 PM   #175
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Re: F... gas prices

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FRPLG -- I disagree. Cpayne and I talked about this earlier. What source of energy is our best bet? Hyrdrogen. Oil companies will struggle mightily to make much in the way of profits off of hydrogen. Why would the oil companies ever go after that, it would kill their business. It has to go through academia as a previous poster said, they aren't in it for money, they're in it to find a solution.
Why is hydrgen our best bet? That sounds like one of the "common knowledge" innaccruacies to me. And why would oil companies struggle to make money off a resource like that? And while we're at it where did I say making money was going to be easy anyways? I thought I made a clear argument that gov't needs to artificially create a market where oil can make money. We'd need to create motivation.

I also tend to think that gov't sponsored research could do the trick. I just notice that history suggests it'll take 30 years before we get anything usable. For fast effective solutions history suggest the free market beats gov't research pants off.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:45 PM   #176
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Re: F... gas prices

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
First you claim democrats as a hole are not revealing their true motives and then you proceed to call Obama out specifically. What part of the his quote doesn't suggest his "true motive?" Further more, just because you're pro environment doesn't mean policy is being dictated by the Sierra Clubs. They play an advisory role I am sure (it's called listening to scientist and assessment) but ultimately the candidate makes the decision whether you agree with it or not. Lastly, opposition to drilling in ANWR is not limited to "true motive," one can in fact have a host of motives.

One can claim to have a host of motives but in politics there is generally one overriding factor. In this case, Obama knows that the environmental groups have , in effect, a veto over the Democratic Presidential Nominee. He's barely going to nip Hillary at the tape and he could not have done so with the opposition of "Big Green". It's easy to stand up to special interests that don't support you. It's much tougher to do when they give you money. As far as I can tell, BHO has never done the latter, and would seek to make the former an act deserving of sainthood.

Drilling for oil in ANWR is so obviously in the national interest, that only someone enthralled with the narrow interests of the extreme environmental left could be oppossed. Of course, that means the vast majority of Democrats.

Also I'm sure that in referring to the Democrats you meant "whole" and not "hole" but the mistake is understandable, on the whole.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:55 PM   #177
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Re: F... gas prices

70, while I agree with soem of what you said just about all of it could apply in a vice versa way to Republicans. it is the folly of our system.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:22 PM   #178
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Re: F... gas prices

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JoeRedskin, I haven't forgotten about you. Sit tight, you'll have thorough response when I manage to get some free time.
No worries. I assumed as much. You wacko lefty commies always take forever to figure out the intellectual stuff.
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Old 05-21-2008, 09:56 AM   #179
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Re: F... gas prices

Oil prices continue to soar...

Crude oil sets a new record above $130 a barrel on Wednesday - May. 21, 2008
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:12 AM   #180
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Re: F... gas prices

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Why is hydrgen our best bet? That sounds like one of the "common knowledge" innaccruacies to me. And why would oil companies struggle to make money off a resource like that? And while we're at it where did I say making money was going to be easy anyways? I thought I made a clear argument that gov't needs to artificially create a market where oil can make money. We'd need to create motivation.

I also tend to think that gov't sponsored research could do the trick. I just notice that history suggests it'll take 30 years before we get anything usable. For fast effective solutions history suggest the free market beats gov't research pants off.
What I discussed with Daseal is a Nuclear/Hydrogen combo. Nuclear power would give us enough cheap, green electricity to power home hydrogen generation stations (extract hydrogen via electrolysis) that would allow us to fill our cars in our garage.
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