Monday, May 08, 2006

Reason's oil article misguided

A new Reason article makes an obvious argument rather than tackling the real energy issues facing the country:

    The economic case for energy independence has always been nonsensical. It is not possible to shield American consumers from rising prices at the pump simply by replacing foreign oil with domestic oil. Why? Because regardless of where the oil is produced – Oman or Oklahoma – its prices are set by the global market.

The writer, Shikha Dalmia, is probably correct in the assertion that replacing foreign oil with domestic oil is not a good solution to our present energy crisis. Most people who argue for doing this are oilmen or people like Sean Hannity, who almost automatically agree with everything the Republican party says.

Myself and I believe most people who have thought about the issue never suggest replacing foreign oil with domestic oil. It's true that we should increase domestic refining capacity as well as drill for oil absolutely everywhere we find it because wherever oil is produced ("Oman or Oklahoma") prices will drop if supply increases. But this is not the ultimate solution, and nearly everyone knows that, and that makes me question who Dalmia's audience is. Oilmen and idiots, I suppose.

We need an energy source that's better than oil (more powerful), renewable, as well as practical. That rules out nuclear as the ultimate solution because it's impractical to power aircraft and automobiles with nuclear reactors. Weening ourself off foreign oil (or most oil) could be as simple as learning to efficiently generate hydrogen. Or using corn-based methanol in automobiles.

Oil powered and lubricated the industrial revolution. It is now time for the next era to begin.

Towards the conclusion of the article, the author actually argues against energy independence because "we would give up crucial leverage to control the worst behavior of some of the world's worst regimes." This is idiocy. Economic sanctions are America's (and Europe's) preferred lever against such regimes, with oil comprising only a portion of what is involved. For instance, since 1979 no American business can trade (sell & buy product) from Iran or an Iranian-based company. If we received no oil from the Middle East, that leverage would remain.

And while sanctions are the preferred lever, there are others in the case that sanctions fail, as with Iraq. None of this changes if America achieves energency independence, either complete or with respect to the Middle East.


Wheaticus Bucky said...

What exactly is "energency" independence?

Did you invent a new word or is it a typo?

Science needs to invent something for spell checking.

Wheaticus Bucky said...

If it's not in Merrian-Webster, it's not a word:


The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search box to the right.

Suggestions for energency:

1. emergency
2. energises
3. energized
4. emergencies
5. energising
6. arrangers
7. energizer
8. energizes
9. energizing
10. energised

The real Bukus Wheatus said...

Oh, brother, what did I start?

I humbly pray to a missing "god" figure because I'm unworthy. (puke)

Dear mr. AWOL "god", please make the trolls stop.

You know I would never do it to anybody else...

Wheaticus Bucky said...

what words will you be inventing today? I can't wait to read them!

here's another item that is funny: how can people be offended by something they don't believe in? like athiests? and, if athiests all believe in the same thing, then doesn't that mean they all believe in "something".

not only is that hypocracy, they're f*cked up.

still waiting for a definition.

Jesus H. Christ said...

I don't recall saying I was offended by brainwashed religious people. I think they're sort of cute, if not cuddly.