But those nefarious Democrats keep pulling me back toward "disgusted." Specifically, via their energy policy. Or, even more specifically, via their scapegoating excuses to explain why they don't have a sensible energy policy:
High energy prices
are all the fault of "reckless Wall Street speculation". (Examples:
NH Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen
and current NH-01 Congressperson Carol Shea-Porter.)
A previous Pun Salad post called bullshit on this point here. Since then Sebastian Mallaby at the WaPo has written on what he called the "Nixonian Fallacy", and more recently Jeffrey Carter has debunked the notion at Pajamas Media. And this article from Fortune quotes the latest report from the CFTC: "current oil prices and the increase in oil prices between January 2003 and June 2008 are largely due to fundamental supply and demand factors."
Lack of domestic energy supply is due to eeeevil oil companies not
drilling in areas they've already leased. (Examples: the previously-mentioned Carol
Shea-Porter; the previously-mentioned Jeanne
Shaheen; presidential candidate Barack Obama.)
Even on its face, this isn't very credible. Oil companies are failing to exploit economically-viable oil? Why?
Drilling will not provide short-term relief. (Example:
An argument made by folks who (a) routinely deride the free-market for failing to think beyond the current fiscal year; (b) opposed drilling years ago, back when "long-term" was today's "short-term."
In any case, it's also likely to be untrue.
These are relatively old excuses. And there are more: Newt has a list of them, and their refutations.
But there's a new one in town!
Why drill for more oil? You just need to inflate your tires!
There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You could actually save just as much!Wha?!
Now, nobody doubts that keeping your tires properly inflated will improve your mileage. But Obama's claim that this good idea, more widely followed, would make a significant dent in demand doesn't survive the most cursory back-of-the-envelope calculations. See the indispensible Geraghty; Captain Ed; John Hinderaker.
Obama's "tune-up" thing is merely a charming anachronism, harkening back to the days of carburetors, distributors, and periodically-replaced sparkplugs. If you want mileage tips, listen to Popular Mechanics, not Obama.
Key points: these are the people who want—who think they deserve—more control over the government's energy policy. Their assertions and proposals range from the silly to the ignorant. To the extent that anyone takes them seriously, they're dangerous.
Coyote Blog noticed an interesting fact about Democratic energy rhetoric:
Through it all, there is this sort of cognitive dissonance where half the arguments are that the oil won't be developed, and the other half seem to be based on an assumption that a lot of oil will be developed.That's a sure sign of either stupidity or disingenuousness. (Which would be worse?) Coyote thinks it would be "refreshing" to, just for once, hear the honest argument:
Yeah, I know that $4 gas is painful. But do you know what? Gas prices are going to have to go a LOT higher for us to achieve the CO2 abatement targets I am proposing, so suck it up. Just to give you a sense of scale, the Europeans pay nearly twice as much as we do for gas, and even at those levels, they are orders of magnitude short of the CO2 abatement I have committed us to achieve. Since late 2006, gas prices in this country have doubled, and demand has fallen by perhaps 5%. That will probably improve over time as people buy new cars and change behaviors, but it may well require gasoline prices north of $20 a gallon before we meet the CO2 goal I have adopted. So get ready.I wouldn't agree with that, but I'd respect it. As it is now, Democrats are acting as if that's their policy, and lying shamelessly about it. Which is disgusting.