23 July 2008

Oh, Magoo, you’ve done it again

Vice-President Gore asserts that starting to drill for oil now in order to lower fuel prices today makes as much sense as responding to an attack from Afghanistan by attacking Iraq. This is ignorance, dishonesty, or self-deception.

(1) The world oil market fungible. That means that, for all practical purposes once you sink a well, anywhere in the world, the world’s oil supply has increased. Increasing supply in response to increasing demand does lower oil prices. Observe: as soon as the President announced an intention to lift the moratorium off-shore drilling oil prices dropped at bit. They are still slowly dropping. And, what’s more, they could (could!) drop down to as low as $50 per barrel, $35 more than they were trading in May 1998. That’s just following the announcement of an intention to drill. Let’s start drilling and see what happens. No, it may not mean an overnight drastic drop in the price at the pump. The price at the pump is related to factors other than oil supplies. That oil still has to be refined. But since crude price is not irrelevant to the price at the pump, it could yield a price at the pump which is perhaps a little more bearable for people than the present price.

(2) Had we been drilling for this oil already, the oil supply would already be larger and it is at least arguable that prices would not be what they are. To speak like a Democrat (most recently Barak Obama), We’ll never know what prices could be if we’d never put a moratorium on off-shore drilling and if we’d started drilling in Alaska ten years ago. (That’s what Democrats say when the want to blame Republican policies for anything. We’ll never know what things would be like if Republicans had implemented Democrat policies. It’s a cute trick.)

(3) We didn’t respond to an attack from Afghanistan by invading Iraq. The war in Afghanistan began 7 October 2001, almost one month after the 11 September attacks. We invaded Iraq 20 March 2003. Whether we should have invaded Iraq or not, we responded to an attack from Afghanistan by – what do you know – invading Afghanistan. Arguing that the invasion of Iraq is logically pursuant to the objectives of the War on Terror, which began as a response to the 11 September attacks, is not the same thing as arguing that the invasion of Iraq was a logical response to the 11 September attacks.

Al Gore has the eyesight of Mr. Magoo. Sadly, like Mr. Magoo, he never ends up paying much of a price – if any price – for his blindness. There is an obvious difference: Mr. Magoo really can’t see; Mr. Gore isn’t interested in seeing.

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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