NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Monday, September 26, 2005

We caused the high gas prices

The Union Editorial Board, Our View: Gas tax waiver no solution, September 23, 2005
We're sorry. The federal government is, and has always been, a contributing factor to the rising costs of gasoline and a 30-day cease fire will do nothing to address the problem. Instead of focusing on short-term solutions, our congressman ought to be promoting conservation (through greater tax incentives, etc.) and demanding an investigation of the oil companies that are showing record profits amid consumer suffering.
We certainly agree, that short term solutions will not work. We need a long term strategy. If we need any investigations, it should be why the US refining capacity it at 98 percent of capacity. The free market only works, when there is excess supply to drive down prices. Yes, the government is at fault for allowing environmental wacko’s and NIMBY’s from delaying the building of new refineries. Yes, we are also at fault for allowing this to happen. We elected weak legislators who caved into the environmental community, accepting junk science to define non-existing problems.

It is happening now, in California we are allowing the State legislature to implement greenhouse gas regulations using junk science. This is going to cost car buyers $1,000 to $3,000 per vehicle, and each vehicle will be smaller and lighter than those on the road creating safety problems. Raising the price of transportation in California will drive more business to Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and Utah that do not allow junk science legislation.

Think about it, we are part of the problem. We are the government, we are the consumers. We are stock holders in the those evil oil companies. Those excess profits show up in our dividend statements. Sell your oil company stock and demand more refineries, demand that the government and environmental community stop constraining fuel production. Let the free market produce excess capacity, and gas prices will fall big time!

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4 Comments:

Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Yes, and those high gas prices need to be there, as the true social cost of gas is nowhere near what is paid at the pump or even through taxes.

Mon Sep 26, 04:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Frederic Christie said...

Of course, it's actually the case that government has artificially DEFLATED oil prices, through subsidies to oil companies, control of the oil supply in the Middle East through military expenditure, allowing companies to get away with egregious ecological/health/etc. violations, etc.

Tue Sep 27, 02:31:00 AM PDT  
Blogger steve frisch said...

I just can not see how the argument that "environmnetal wacko's" led to the lack of refining capacity can be taken seriously.

Besides, what exactly is "environmental wackoism" anyway?

Is a legitimate concern about the health effects of refineries a wacko position? Even though there is absolute proof that refineries and the industrial infrastructure necessary to support them cause respitory disease and death?

Try this on for size: one in six children in LA have asthma or the precursors to asthma.

I would say that society is making a conscious choice through the marketplace and with the imposition of environmnetal regulation: that the increased cost of gas is worth the improvment to human health.

I do not remember the last time a refinery was proposed in California.
Is that because of "wacko's", or is it due to other costs and considerations of the industry?
Like the time period necessary to repay the investment in comparison to the certainty of the oil supply over the life of the investment?

Why blame the environental regulatory cost if the cost of infrastructure is really the main cost?

Could it be because refineries are extremely expensive to build, from a pure construction cost, and that US oil producers believe that they have enough refinery capacity for existing oil supplies?

Do we actually seriously believe that if a major american oil comapany wanted to build a refinery it could not do so, even if it was in any of a dozen locations that would be friendlier than San Francisco or LA?

I don't believe it for a second.

If oil refineries really make sense for the oil comapnies they will build them.

I think major amerian oil companies are interested in investing in only enough infrastructure to meet their needs, with little consideration of the shock caused by temperary shortages, when they in fact reap windfall profits due to their lack of investment.

Lets see, say theoretically it cost 2 billion dollars to build a refinery and 20 million of that is environmental controls?

Is the impediment environmental controls, or is it the overall cost of the investment?

Tue Sep 27, 08:52:00 AM PDT  
Blogger steve frisch said...

Since we have a running theme of global peak oil, energy efficiency and promoting changing technology I thought I would post this artile from the Independent.

Riddled with problematic claims and all, it is interesting. I suspect peak oil critics will be quoting it for years.

http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article315546.ece

Wed Sep 28, 07:05:00 AM PDT  

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