Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tear Up Your Shell Cards...

John Hofmeister, the president of Shell Oil Co., which is the US division of Royal Dutch Shell, said in an interview Wednesday with CNN that to solve the problem of high gas prices in this country, we ought to produce more gasoline in this country. Money quote:

If the U.S. set a goal to produce 2 to 3 million barrels more a day in this country, we would send a shock around the world that would immediately say to the speculators, hey, U.S. is serious. President [Bush] said something yesterday about this. I didn't hear him, but I think that's good news. But we should set a specific target.

The presidential candidates should be out there on the postings saying let's increase domestic production by 2 to 3 million barrels a day. That would be something that would put money back into this country, jobs back into this country, and it would bring more supply toward the Americans who need it.

One would expect a load of horseshit like this to come from an oil company executive, especially support for Bush's energy policy (whatever that is). But when he mentions the speculators that need to see how serious we are about stabilizing the price of oil, I have to laugh. As if the problem were that simple. First, which speculators is he talking about: the ones who are betting that the price of crude oil will increase, or those that are betting on a weaker dollar? Both of them tend to have an upward effect on the price of oil. But only a stronger dollar will break the vicious cycle of the weaker dollar's buying power meaning less oil is bought for the same amount of money. A stronger dollar means we can by more oil with that dollar. And since supply and demand seem to be somewhat stable for now, having greater buying power means the price of oil comes down. This is the same with food supplies.

No, producing more oil isn't the answer; using less oil is. The real message the United States needs to send the world is that we are going to lead the way to reducing our oil consumption, our carbon footprint, and the greening of our planet.

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