Today’s Wall Street Journal has an
important front-page article on why oil is at an all-time
(non-inflation-adjusted) high even though inventories are at an
eight-year high. It’s well worth a read.
The short answer is that refining capacity hasn’t kept up, and that federal policies are a large part of the problem. Drilling is banned in an important part of Alaska, banned off the Virginia shore even though Virginia seems to want drilling, and banned so far off Florida’s shoreline that Floridians themselves should be embarrassed by the amount of ridiculous deference shown to them. And regulations of all sorts have made new refineries for 30 years a losing proposition — and until last year’s largely execrable Energy Bill, which at least had a few good provisions in it, nuclear power was similarly burdened and therefore far too little used. Then, of course, there’s this: “Even as crude stockpiles have swelled, U.S. inventories of gasoline have fallen as refiners have shut down operations to perform maintenance and prepare to meet new government-mandated fuel formulas….”
What happened is that first Congress encouraged a product called (I think it is) MTBE, and then ecofreaks started suing because MTBE supposedly leached into the ground water. So then Congress banned MTBE, and then refused to hold MTBE producers harmless for producing the product that Congress itself had encouraged. Then Congress mandated ever-increasing use of ethanol, even in the face of evidence that there may not be enough supply and that the transition to ethanol would require refineries to shut down in order to convert to the new requirements.
In short, this is all Congress’ fault. Or if not all, at least mostly. Which is nothing new. Aside from tax cuts on capital gains, Congress hasn’t done a darn thing right in about eight years.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online