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Section A: General News


Editorial: ‘Drill, baby, drill’ ... really?




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Tracy Joseph Bogert
Guest Column
March 28, 2012 | 1,471 views | 16 comments

For the last 40 years, the phrase of “drill, baby, drill” or some derivative of the phrase has been thrown about rather easily and with little hesitation. I had an idea for an article about the fallacy of the belief that if we have unlimited drilling, the price of oil will decline and therefore the price of a gallon of gas will go down.

Ironically, the day I was to write this, there was an article in the March 22 edition of the San Antonio Express-News business section, “No dip in price with more drilling.” The article points out several interesting facts about drilling for oil here, and some of the complete untruths that some people espouse in regard to the price of oil. This article was done by the Associated Press and the statistical data was gathered by the Associated Press.

They studied 36 years of inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and found that there is absolutely no connection between an abundant supply of domestic oil and the price at the pump. The AP points out that adjusted for inflation, the amount of oil we are now taking out of U.S. soil, the price for a gallon of gas should be $2 per gallon. Well, when I filled up my tank this morning at the cheapest place in my neighborhood, the price was $3.66 per gallon. In fact, the price in March is the highest price of March gas in our history, but not as high as in GW Bush’s second term.

After reading further and studying further, I have concluded that presidents in our country have zero impact on the price of oil and gasoline. Be it Democrat or Republican, they spout a big game, but neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama will affect the price of gas and oil in the long term. Mitt will tell you that if he is president, the price of a gallon of gas will be $2 (he actually did say that), but he is being disingenuous and basically lying.

The AP points out the best way to understand the non- existent relationship between supply and cheap oil is to look at the 1980s and 1990s.

Beginning in 1986, seasonally adjusted gas prices fell below $2 per gallon. These figures stayed consistent for the next 10 years, despite the fact that energy production in the United States fell by a staggering 30 percent during the same time frame. By the “drill, baby, drill” standard, the price of gas should have soared, but it stayed the same or declined.

At no time in our history has the amount of oil we have taken out of U.S. soil affected the price for a gallon of gas for an extended period of time. Christopher Knittel, professor of energy economics at MIT, points out that if we drill in all the places that energy companies want to, including offshore, Alaska Refuge, and build the Keystone pipeline line, we would cut the price of gas by 10 percent at the most. Knittel also points out that the United States can do very little to affect oil prices because this is a world economy and average Americans have a hard time understanding that.

Another observation that has been brought out is that a majority of the new oil being drilled here is being sold to China for huge profits. So much for patriotism, mom, and apple pie. The first thing I remember out of the mouths of the “drill, baby, drill” crowd were let us drill and the price of gas will go down! Really? Seems to me that Exxon Mobil cares more about making a dollar than the good of our country.

By the same token, will driving an economical car drive down the price of a gallon of gas? Probably not. However, it would benefit oil companies in the long run because if we use less oil, it will last longer, thereby giving oil companies steady profit for a longer period of time. However, finding an oil company that would prefer longer-term moderate profit margin over a get-rich-quick profit margin would be impossible. Will cutting regulations cut the price of a gallon of gas? Probably not. Oil companies will pass the savings on to themselves.

Yes, indeed, there is an awesome oil boom in South Texas as I write this. Indeed, it is pumping a lot of money into some local economies; however, there will be a huge price to pay later. So basically bunches of folks are grabbing and grubbing for their piece of the pie. Enjoy it while you can because all good things always come to an end. For every positive thing some of you can say about oil and drilling for oil, there are probably as many negatives.

By most accounts, the world’s oil supply has peaked at a downward slide. Is it wise to say we need not worry because we have 100 years of oil left? Personally, I don’t think so. We will run out of oil; this is an absolute fact. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. Conservatives like to make fun of people that are concerned about the availability of oil and such resources as “tree huggers” and liberals. Actually, these concerns used to be the mantra of true conservatives, which rarely exist in this country.

I would sure like my 14-year-old daughter to live in a country that is aggressive and progressive when it comes to energy and energy use.

Tracy Joseph Bogert, an eighth-generation Texan, resides in Somerset and is active in the Democratic Party.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
April 3, 2012 1:44pm
 
"I'll try to dumb down my next contribution on this here "blog". " Is that even possible?

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
April 3, 2012 1:40pm
 
"Resident"...nothing you say needs to be dumbed down (what an assanine statement from you). You haven't said anything that wasn't understood and why quibble on the difference between 25% and 30%...only politicians, ... More ›

 
Resident  
Stockdale  
April 3, 2012 12:51pm
 
Sorry Rockin & 4th. I'll try to dumb down my next contribution on this here "blog".

 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
March 29, 2012 2:04pm
 
I missed the funniest part of that post: "Ms. Bogert".

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
March 29, 2012 12:53pm
 
"bwahaha.... and I thought my spelling was bad. Buddy, there just ain't no escuse for that. You cain't spel nuthin' rite." Spelin es ezay...jes tipe tha werd xackli lykes et sownds.

 
Rock'n chair Rambler  
Over Taxed, TX  
March 29, 2012 11:36am
 
"ps...sorry, not really sure how to spell disapated. " bwahaha.... and I thought my spelling was bad. Buddy, there just ain't no escuse for that. You cain't spel nuthin' rite.

 
Resident  
Stockdale  
March 29, 2012 11:27am
 
Ms. Bogert, Your rudimentary understanding of not only oil supplies but also economics precludes you from offering up reasoned commentary on this subject. For starters the decrease in oil production in the time period you ... More ›

 
Fred Ohnesorge  
Floresville, TX  
March 29, 2012 10:11am
 
I don't believe we are gonna put algae in the tank, so the real fact is the rest of the world is catching up to us in the use of cars and the neccessity for fossil fuels. This seems to me to be a great opportunity for AMERICAN ... More ›

 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
March 29, 2012 9:28am
 
Jimmy Carter delivered this televised speech on April 18, 1977. I REMEMBER IT WELL! I remember his very somber demeanor. And I remember the horribly long gas lines as people were panicked into thinking we were about to run out ... More ›

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
March 29, 2012 9:21am
 
Oil is a finite resource, so let's punish ourselves now instead of utilizing what God gave us as our natural resources. Sounds like Jimmy Carter's warning to Americans that WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF OIL! And while we are punishing ... More ›

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