Friday, June 6, 2008

New oil record - $138.54 / barrel

I've been home from California for about five or six weeks. I've been watching oil climb in price over the past little bit and this is just plain and absolutely ridiculous. Oil jumped on the following news:

"Oil jumped following a Morgan Stanley analyst's forecast of $150 oil by July 4, and in response to a drop in the dollar and fresh tensions in the Middle East."

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Because some bozo at Morgan Stanley said that it will go to $150 by the fourth of July, the market jumps. What kind of crap is that? Who is this guy? What is going on here? I don't buy into the whole oil shortage argument. I see the price pressure being caused by speculators. People who are dumping their money into oil. Just like houses, this bubble is going to pop. And I'll be glad when it does indeed pop. And I'm sure the rest of the world will also cheer when the oil bubble bursts.

Last Sunday I did something that I've never done before. I sat down and wrote a letter to President Bush. You might ask, why send a letter to the President of the United States about the price of a barrel of oil? What are you thinking? He can't do anything about it? Or can he? Maybe he can. Maybe he can't. But he needs to feel the heat that the common American is feeling about the increase in gas prices. I wrote the letter because I feel part of the problem is that the United States does not have a comprehensive energy policy. If the US had a comprehensive energy policy, then I think the price of oil would go down. Why? Because here is what I suggested in my letter:

The US needs a three tier energy policy. Short-term goals, mid-term goals and long-term goals to help get the price of oil down.

Short-term goals:

  • Open up drilling for oil and natural gas in ANWR (Alaska)
  • Open up drilling in other locations that are currently prohibited from drilling
  • Create incentives so that people will convert their vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG).
  • Encourage businesses to allow people to telecommute
  • Create incentives for people to car pool

Mid-term goals:
  • Research alternate fuels
  • Build more mass transit
  • Build geothermal power plants
  • Build solar power plants
  • Build wind power plants

Long-term goals:

  • Build nuclear reactors
  • Use fuel cells in automobiles
  • Move away from the use of fossil fuels and more to renewable fuels
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Biofuels (ethanol) are a mistake. They are driving up the price of corn in American and the world. The amount of corn it takes to fill one SUV's gas take can feed one person for a year. That isn't a very wise use of corn. I'd rather eat it than burn it in my car. Fuel made from things we can't/won't eat are OK. But don't use my food to propel my car.

Why will this work? Because if the President can sell the idea that there will be more oil out there on the market in a fairly short amount of time, the price of oil will drop. It has to. People are freaking out about oil. They are dropping money in it. In my opinion, the price is frothing. It is insane. People are going crazy. You drop a comprehensive energy policy on top of that stating that we will have more oil shortly and now the nation as a whole will move away from oil, that will cause these guys to lock in their profits and sell like crazy. The price will have to drop. But the comprehensive energy policy needs to be implemented or the whole feeding frenzy will reoccur at some future time again. And in all honestly, we should probably start moving away from oil quickly. The faster we move away, the better off we'll be. Why? So that we aren't dependent upon foreign oil. So we can quit funding terrorist nations like Iran. So we don't get screwed again by a major oil increase.

You'll notice that I put nukes here as something we should use. The US Navy uses nuclear power to power their submarines and aircraft carriers. Those are safe and efficient. Let's use nuclear power to split water molecules so that we can use the hydrogen to propel our fuel cell cars. If you are opposed to nukes, then use solar power. I really don't care. But use something to power the water molecule splitting so that we can use hydrogen.

Anyway, that's my proposal to President Bush. I think it would be a great thing for him to do. He's a lame duck President anyway. It would push the whole energy crisis into the 2008 election as a campaign issue. I don't know what Senator Obama's plans are for energy. Senator McCain's solution is to repeal the federal tax on gas. Ooooohhh. That's original and exciting... NOT! C'mon guys!! Let's get real here. Suspending the federal gas tax is like putting a band-aid onto an amputated person's leg right after surgery. It just won't help solve the underlying problem. Someone needs to take the energy bull by the horns and tame it. And it sounds like a great job for the President. So Mr. President, we're waiting....


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