Wednesday, August 06, 2008

For your debating pleasure: Getting the facts straight on the energy crisis

Most of the information from this crib sheet I have already read in a myriad of different articles, but that's the rub: I had to read a bunch of different articles to find the same information that is all contained in this one handy-dandy Q&A-style summary of the common Lefty talking points about our energy crisis and the rebuttals to those talking points. Here is but one example (the following is my favorite fallacy from the Lefties):
MYTH: Drilling will not provide any short-term relief in the price of oil because it will take many years before new drilling will lead to new supplies.

FACT: This same argument has been used for the past several decades to prevent us from using more of our American oil, leading to our current dependence on foreign oil and the supply crunch we are currently experiencing. Does this mean critics of greater American energy exploration were wrong 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and 30 years ago but are suddenly right today now?

Drilling more now will increase supplies in the future. And higher supplies lead to lower prices. Currently, the world is operating at or near full capacity, so there is very little slack in the system, and any disruption causes spike in price. This is partly why commodities and other investors have invested so heavily in oil, driving up prices. They recognize demand will continue to increase and that current supply has artificial limits, especially in the United States.

Opening up new oil fields in the U.S., even if new supplies won’t actually reach our gas tank for several years, would immediately impact the amount of upward speculation on long-term commodity investment in oil. Oil speculators will see a greater supply ahead and will see that the future of oil is less constrained on the supply side. Moreover, fears of Middle Eastern turmoil or South American unrest that could disrupt supply shipments will be much less of a reason to drive up the price of crude if a stable U.S. can supply millions of barrels of additional oil. Which represents a more stable source of oil, Colorado or Caracas?

Finally, nobody is suggesting that our nation’s energy strategy should be solely dependent on domestic production of oil. We all recognize that alternative energy sources – such as wind and solar - need to be developed. But more American oil must be a part of an American energy solution.
In other words, the price of oil today is based on the conditions of tomorrow. Just the prospect of a higher supply of oil a few years down the road would drive down prices today on the futures market for oil. Go ahead and read the rest of the article so you will be ready for the absurd arguments that you must one day face.

Good Day to You, Sir

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