Wednesday, May 03, 2006

And if we glow in the dark we'll need fewer light bulbs

Wherein I propose the worst metaphor of the day: "drilling like a dentist at a hooker convention"

First, the updated paperbook version of The Fair Tax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS comes out tomorrow. I'm ordering about a dozen to hand out and I suggest you do the same.

Neal Boortz wonder why anyone voted Republican:
The Washington Times is reporting this morning that Republicans on Capitol Hill are strongly divided about what to do about rising gas prices. The reason they're worried about this is because politicians have spent generations convincing the American sheeple that the government is always there to smooth every bump in the road and straighten every tight curve. These "freedom loving" Americans look to the government every time they get a runny nose. The American sense of self-reliance is on the way out, and the politicians know it. That's why they're so concerned about gas prices.

There are some Republicans who are considering raising taxes on the oil companies. Yup .. you got it. Raising taxes. The government already takes five times as much out of the proceeds of the sale of a gallon of gas as do the gas stations that sell the stuff. Five times! Now they're talking about taking even more! Every penny that these oil companies pay in taxes ends up reflected in the cost at the pump .. so these pandering Republicans come up with the brilliant idea of forcing gas prices even higher as a response to concern over high gas prices? What kind of representation is that?

Here's a rough draft of a proposal. Insteading of raising taxes, the government should keep the gas and oil taxes as is and just redirect them. Let's use that money for two purposes:
  1. Build nuclear power plants on every other corner.
  2. Fund a Mercury or Apollo style program into alternative fuel sources

Additionally, we start drilling everywhere. Historically, our gas prices aren't the highest they've ever been (adjusted), but if we can pay less for fuel, why not? But that's not the main reason I want us to drill. Increasing our own fuel production should create pressures on the middle eastern producers. The goal, however, is not to force OPEC to lower prices, the goal is to buy less OPEC oil. Bankrupt them, force them to create their own technologies and markets. We should stop funding countries and organizations that just want to use our largesse and resources to attack us.

For the short term (10-15 years?), we should be paying much more for fuel and the OPEC countries should be imploding from corruption, fundamentalism, and lack of innovation. You want to put a big plug in the terrorist organizations? Stop giving money to the countries that fund them. It's likely that Russia and China will try to prop up the OPEC countries, but those suckups are already positioning to take our place. Let them. Let them deal with the mess, because we all know how well Russia and China respect Muslim fundamentalists. Not that we should entirely bug out. We should fully support any country making legitimate efforts towards democracy. Otherwise, we should be opening the taps off our shores and in Alaska.

More oil rigs and refineries. And nuclear power, lots of it. And SUVs that get 50mpg.

/End rough draft.

Update: Through Instapundit is a link to Max Boot in the LA Times:
If oil were a commodity like any other, the free-marketers would be right. But it's not. Most oil reserves are controlled by governments, many of which conspire through the OPEC cartel to manipulate the market. These governments aren't the kind that any sane person would want to see in control of such a vital asset. Their power can only be countered by action from our own government.

Of the top 14 oil exporters, only one is a well-established liberal democracy — Norway. Two others have recently made a transition to democracy — Mexico and Nigeria. Iraq is trying to follow in their footsteps. That's it. Every other major oil exporter is a dictatorship — and the run-up in oil prices has been a tremendous boon to them.

...In the meantime, there are some unilateral steps we can take: Drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Ease restrictions on building new refineries and pipelines. Eliminate the 57-cent-a-gallon tariff on ethanol imports made from Brazilian sugar cane. Increase federal funding for research and rollout of fossil-fuel substitutes such as hydrogen, cellulosic ethanol (produced from grasses and agricultural waste) and plug-in electric engines.

5 Comments:

Blogger James Aach said...

If there were a federal Manhattan Project style effort on energy, I would like to see it focus on energy storage. This is the pinch point in using energy from different, more diverse sources. We need better, lighter batteries and other ways of storing energy efficiently in small packets.

If you'd like to an entertaining layman's guide to nuclear energy, see my website for my novel "Rad Decision". It's available at no cost to readers - who seem to like it, judging by the homepage comments they are leaving.

5/03/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Icepick said...

Bill, forget more funding for alternative energy sources. We've been hearing that all our lives, and it just isn't working. We need more nuclear power plants, period.

Also, if we pull more oil out of the ground domestically, it may or may not have any appreciable impact on the global markets and on OPEC profits. It is a commodity, after all, and all things considered a cheap one. The market is global regardless of where we pull the oil out of the ground.

Even considering how much money pours into the Middle East from our oil habits, it is doing us far more good than it has for them. (And I'm including the costs of dealing with terrorism in that statement.) It has been a cheap and convenient energy source that can be used and stored in multiple ways, and we (the Western Industrialized nations) have built a series of scoieties more fantastic than anything imaginable 200 years ago. All the oil barons of the Middle East can do is buy some of our stuff.

But really, the way to go is nuclear. It is relatively clean and safe, and even if there were no concerns about global warming, I would still like to see less reliance on fossil fuels: the stuff just makes the air nasty.

5/03/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Icepick said...

Boortz wrote: So these pandering Republicans come up with the brilliant idea of forcing gas prices even higher as a response to concern over high gas prices? What kind of representation is that?

Stupid representation, and it's what we deserve. I know we deserve it because the alternative (Democrats) are just as stupid and pandering, they just do it in a different way.

Great post, BTW. Lots of stuff one could comment on.

5/03/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Icepick said...

Boot's argument has some validity, but he also cheats to make his point: Top oil EXPORTING nations are not necessarily top oil PRODUCING nations. More later.

5/03/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger XWL said...

I guess you're onboard with the 'IMBY, please' movement.

5/03/2006 09:22:00 PM  

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