Thursday, September 11, 2008

Drill, Baby, Drill!

That was the chant sung out at the Republican National Convention. The thinking is that, hey, if we just drill a bit more oil, we'll have enough time to adjust our economy to non-petroleum energy sources.

The lie implicit behind this argument is the notion that the amount of viable out there is in any way significant. Indeed, the person who signed the offshore drilling ban was none other than President George H.W. Bush.

If drilling offshore was such a panacea, why didn't the Republicans think of it back in 2001, when Republicans controlled all branches of government, and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were instituting every government change requested by Cheney's energy task force?

There just isn't that much oil to be had any more. The naive attitude, so cheerfully articulated by Paris Hilton and John McCain, would have been appropriate, say, back in the late 70s.

Back when Jimmy Carter tried to get the country off the addiction of oil. And saw his policies laughed off the political stage by Ronald "Don't Worry, Be Happy" Reagan.

In any case, it is hard to discuss the oil issues, and more generally the energy issues, without discussing the relative low character of the filthy rich individuals involved.

Our latest example of the "Drill Baby Drill" mentality was exposed today when the Inspector General released a report about 13 employees of the Bush Department of the Interior who have taken the notion of "fraternizing with industry contacts" about as far as humanly possible.

These kinds of revelations, and the revelations about what we know Enron did back in 2001, make me laugh at the people who casually dismiss any talk of market manipulation in the oil futures market which may have led to the enormous increases in gas prices this year (up, what, 33% in a 12-month period?)

But, sure enough, prices will be down in time for the election.


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