published Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Energy Secretary Chu says high gas prices serve a good purpose

Shortly before he became President Barack Obama's energy secretary, Steven Chu declared, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe" -- which were around $8 per gallon at the time.

Has he changed his mind since then? It seems not. On Tuesday, during a hearing in the House of Representatives, Chu said high gas prices are helpful in spurring research on alternative energy.

A frustrated Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., asked Chu, "But is the overall goal to get our price" of gasoline down?

"No," Chu replied. "The overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy."

Well, if the goal is not to reduce budget-busting gas prices, then mission accomplished! We're closing in on $4 per gallon, and current prices are a record for this time of year. More discouraging still, the American Automobile Association says we may pay close to $5 this summer.

So Chu's goal of $8-per-gallon gas is not yet achieved, but the trend is moving in that direction.

The actions of bellicose Iran in the oil-rich Persian Gulf are part of the reason for higher gas prices, and the United States cannot snap its collective fingers and resolve that issue. But at the same time, the Obama administration is artificially hiking costs by restricting U.S. oil production. And what solution do some in his party propose? They want the president to sell oil from America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is supposed to be for genuine emergencies. That might reduce prices enough to get Obama through the next election, but it would do nothing long term to make gas affordable.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has a different approach: He wants to increase domestic production and bring gasoline prices down, not force them up.

Among the steps he would implement or seek quickly if elected:

• Strike down various bans on offshore and land-based drilling, boosting supplies, jobs and tax revenue.

• Get rid of market-distorting energy subsidies across the board, so that the best, most efficient energy sources can succeed based on real consumer choice, not on government picking winners and losers.

• Allow construction of the massive, job-creating Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to refineries in Texas. As it stands now, that oil from friendly Canada may wind up going to Communist China.

It is a myth that in the face of skyrocketing gas prices, all America can do is squander tax dollars on impractical wind and solar power and subsidies for things such as unpopular electric cars.

And it is encouraging that Santorum sees through the smokescreen.

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nucanuck said...

China is pouring investment into becoming the world's dominant producers of wind and solar energy equipment. Why would they do that if it weren't apparent that oil production growth was not going to be able to meet world demand? In a word, they wouldn't!

All available evidence indicates that the world has used approximately half of the world's oil...the easy to get to half. Demand growth continues at an exponential rate. Those two facts combined should tell us that oil is going to be rationed by availability and that no amount of local drilling can alter the world supply sufficiently to alter the inevitable price dislocation that is occuring without a radical change in energy sources and consumption patterns.

To pretend that Rick Santorum, Barak Obama, or Jesus Christ could modify US policy and bring down world oil prices is pure poppycock. The Chinese, at least, have identified the seriousness of the problem and are taking measures to place themselves in a position of preparation for the reality that is before us.

Editorializing that somehow we can reverse the most important growth component trend change of our time by government policy is to encourage the less informed to believe that which cannot be.

We can argue about whether natural gas, coal, geothermal, wind, solar, or conservation should be our best substitutes for oil going forward, but we had better recognise that increasing the world's oil consumption was a 20th century phenomenon. Those who prepare for the inevitable, as China is doing, will be the winners of tomorrow.

March 2, 2012 at 12:56 a.m.
EaTn said...

Those who drive big honking gas hog vehicles are the ones who suffer most when gas prices rise. Driving my gas sipping vehicle is much more pleasurable with these tanks sitting home.

March 2, 2012 at 6:22 a.m.
conservative said...

Notice that Obamination recognizes that increasing the supply of oil will bring prices down.

His answer is to tap the oil reserves to increase the oil supply, instead of drilling to increase the oil supply. I want his sheep to recognize this as well but also to recognize that our oil reserves were obtained by drilling! To increase our oil supply and reduce the price of oil we must drill for the oil.

So simple, so near, yet so complicated and so far away for kooks on the left.

March 2, 2012 at 7:12 a.m.
EaTn said...

If drilling in this country for oil is the solution, the oil man Bush had 8 years to have us totally overflowing with oil. Wall Street and other world speculators are what drive the price of gasoline, along with other commodities. Releasing some of our oil reserves takes some of the air out of their greedy balloon. Even Bush was smart enough to use that trick.

March 2, 2012 at 7:54 a.m.
conservative said...

There is a purpose and reason to drill. That reason and purpose is to extract oil which is refined into gasoline and other sources of energy such as diesel and jet fuel which is vital to our economy.

Drilling is the solution!

March 2, 2012 at 8:40 a.m.

Oil availability has very little to do with the price of gas at this point. The FED printing dollars non-stop is what is driving the prices up.

March 2, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.
nucanuck said...

c-man,

If we have 3% of the world's oil reserves and use 23% of the world's supplies, surely you are numerate enough to see that drilling is not even a good short term solution for the US. And with the many high value applications for oil, are we to use every last barrel in the short term for driving? Of course not.

March 2, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
Plato said...

Great response nucanuck - too good to die on the internet. This should be submitted as a letter to the editor in response to the demagoguery being disguised as an editorial.

One pants-on-fire lie I would like to respond to is that the Obama administration is "artificially restricting oil production". This graph from the Energy Information Administration says it all:

http://www.enviroknow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/oil_production_chart.png

And BTW Keystone is an export venture. The oil produced will be sent to Europe mostly for diesel. It will do nothing to add to supply or change the price of gas at the pump.

March 2, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
tipper said...

Conservative: You are on the short end again on this one. Where do you think that oil will go...exported to other countries. Where does it always go? The oil industry now has more contracts to drill than at any other time in history, yet it sits on them because it knows if it can get into sensitive areas it can win politically. I have always wondered why the oil companies can get cheap leases from the government to extract our oil to sell elsewhere. Then again, when you consider its lobby and its cronies in Congress, it's not too hsrd understand. It is unfortunate that the Keystone XL pipeline will likely become a reality. Once again we will see an out-dated, out-of-control industry ingnore the health and welfare of the nation and stomp up and down to keep the country from developing a sounder energy policy.

March 2, 2012 at 2:19 p.m.

Lots of made-up crap coming from the progressives as always. Maybe we can use that to make methane and become energy independant. It seems to be infinitely renewable.

March 2, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.
conservative said...

""Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe"

What kind of mind would think like that? The Lieberals who comment here are most often the ones who don't pay federal income taxes due to their low incomes. They suffer the most now at $3.79 a gallon and the suffering will greatly increase if gas were to go to $8 a gallon. Yet they voted for Obamination and will vote for Obamination again! They have to be on drugs.

March 2, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
EaTn said...

conservative....until those who drive gas guzzling tanks start feeling the pain at the pump we will never get our country's energy independence under control. How many of these big pickup and suv's do you see driving down the road that could easily be replaced with vehicles that use at least twenty five percent less gas?

March 2, 2012 at 4:43 p.m.
conservative said...

FPSE :

I believe like you that inflation does have a lot to do with the spike in oil prices. However, the Lieberal press has indoctrinated the sheep ( sheep are dumb ) in America with the notion that Presidents are responsible for spikes in gas prices. Let the LAMBS STEW in their own juices.

March 2, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

MR CHU IS AN IDIOT,,,,OUR COST OF LIVING IS NOT AS HIGH AS THEIRS

March 2, 2012 at 5:13 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

WHEN YOU PAY 8,00 FOR A GALLON OF GAS YOU ARE NOT MAKING 7.00 AN HOUR. IN EUROPE ,,, AND MR CHU DOESN'T KNOW THE PRICE OF GAS ,,,,IT IS MORE THAN 8.00 A GALLON,,,,I WAS RECENTLY THERE

March 2, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
conservative said...

EaTn:

How many of your proposed replacement vehicles that use 25% less gas could be replaced by bicycles, donkeys, rickshaws, and mopeds just like other third world countries which have no economy and a whole lot of poverty and are run by dictators.

I thank GOD for the propserity that oil and coal has brought our nation.

March 2, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
conservative said...

I am constantly amazed at what sheep believe and what they try to get other sheep to believe. One belief is that the world is quickly running out of oil. They have been saying for years that America has only 3% of the world's oil supply. America has been drilling and pumping oil for almost 200 years! That 3% sure has gone a long way. Now if you subtract 3% from 100% you have 97%. That 97% is what the rest of the world has of the oil. The logical conclusion is - THERE IS A LOT OF OIL IN THE WORLD! Using their math, how could the world be out of oil?

March 2, 2012 at 7 p.m.
conservative said...

The we are out of oil sheep like to tell potential sheep that America has only 3% of the world's oil but use 23% of the world's oil. Their point seems to be that it is not fair that America uses so much oil or to put it another way, we should only use 3%.

Now what kind of an economy would we have with a Jimmy Carter 3% allocation? Well very few cars, forget air travel ( except the Al Gores ), we would have to live close to work if you were fortunate enough to have a job, forget cheap food prices, forget anything cheap. Why can't people think instead of being led like sheep?

Do they see virtue in having a third world economy?

March 2, 2012 at 8:42 p.m.
conservative said...

Many sheep complain that our oil is going to other countries, not understanding the world market for oil. These also complain we have 3% of the world's oil while consuming 23% of the world's oil ( see prior comments ) . However, by their own logic America is receiving more oil from other countries than other countries are receiving from us! If the world is running out of oil as they contend, don't we benefit if we receive more oil than we give?

I would gladly trade one 57 Chevy in pristine shape to one of these sheep for three 57 Chevies in pristine shape.

March 2, 2012 at 9:43 p.m.
acerigger said...

con,I must say,,,, you're really "out there".But,that's ok,it's all good,'cause your dumaz whining will not change 1 thing!

March 2, 2012 at 11:23 p.m.
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