Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ten Years OK for Me; No Way for You

It’s a talking point, so you’ve heard it several hundred times already. If Congress lifts the restrictions on off-shore drilling, ANWR drilling, and shale oil exploitation, we won’t get any economic impact for ten years. Occasionally some blivet didn’t study the script and inserts a random number instead of ten, but the message remains the same. We don’t need to use our own vast resources because we won’t receive immediate gratification. We must eat the candy in the check-out line rather than wait till we get home otherwise it won’t taste any good.

Yet last week, we watched the President announce that he was lifting any executive branch restrictions on exploration. The result is difficult to judge because complex markets don’t move in isolation from other factors. But, we did see the price of oil per barrel drop nearly twenty dollars in the next four days. Attention to Congress: that is called speculation! It is a futures market in action. A mere statement of modified intent results in a price impact. One can only imagine what would happen if Congress should respond to the preference of a majority of the American people and lift drilling restrictions. Actual drill movement might spark similar futures impact.

Congress, despite their nine percent and falling approval ratings, seem adamant that we simply can’t expect any improvement before ten or twelve or fifteen or twenty-two years therefore we don’t need to do a thing. We need to rein in speculators. Those were the guys who responded within hours to the President’s announcement. If you recognize this reaction as both against free enterprise business and opposed to profit by non-government entities, you may move to the head of the class.

Now I’ve got this reaction to the profoundity of Academy Award Winner, Nobel Prize recipient and former Vice-President of President Vice when he announces that with just ten years of effort we can convert all of our electrical generation needs to non-fossil-fuel resources. Al Gore’s green-speak calls it “renewable resources and carbon-constrained fuels.” The New York Times fawning editorialist translates that as wind, solar and geo-thermal power generation. Conspicuously absent from the mix is nuclear. See, it only takes ten years and then life will be perfect and the planet will be saved. Read all about how cool this stuff is:

Ten Years to Convert

Prices will start down as the technology, which is not very mature for this stuff right now, evolves and the projects come on line and we are weaned from coal, oil and natural gas generation. How would that be different from the ten years we wait for drilling to return a profit? I guess the difference is that one problem is my ten years and the other is your ten years. Right, Mr. Gore?

Unexplained on the road to this utopia is whether Ted Kennedy’s imminent demise will lift Massachusetts’ objection to windmill farms in their back yard. I’ve got to believe that the rest of the Cape Cod crowd will still be against it.

And, how does the fact that in ten years India and China and most of emerging Asia will be industrializing day and night using those nasty old non-renewable and carbon-unconstrained fuels for their power. They will be toiling away building modern factories, producing product to sell to us, buying up our resources and technology and generally watching us green ourselves into oblivion.

As always there is a deep thread of emotionalism in any of these left-wing visionaries views of the world as it should be. Try this:

Gore “described carbon-based fuel as the thread running through the global climate crisis, America’s economic woes and its most serious national security threats. He then asked: ‘What if we could use fuels that are not expensive, don’t cause pollution and are abundantly available right here at home?’”

The answer to your question, if I can assume it wasn’t rhetorical, is that your requirements are nicely handled by nuclear energy. It isn’t expensive. It doesn’t spew pollutants into the air or water. We’ve learned to handle it quite safely. And it is abundantly available right here at home. Oh, my answer doesn’t count?

Just to get you really depressed with the situation, try this final quote:

According to Margot Brandenburg, an official with the (Rockefeller) (F)oundation, nearly half of 18- to 29-year-olds ‘feel that America’s best days are in the past.’”

Can you remember when 18- to 29-year olds were going to be the problem solvers of the future, just waiting for their chance to take the reins? What was the difference? It might simply be that the role models that they had in those days were folks who knew that success came from hard work and not a government handout. They knew that to get minerals out of the ground you had to dig a hole. They understood that to build a house you needed to cut down a tree. To start a business you needed to invest your money, not someone else’s and put your labor into it. And, the world wasn’t perfect today and it wouldn’t be perfect tomorrow, but it could be yours if you earned it.

No comments: