Wednesday, January 16, 2008

President Bush and His Oil Theory Fraud

We have a dishonest president. I don't know how much that has really sunk in with the American people. I could point to a wide range of issues where Bush's dishonesty is blatant and embarrassing. Today, I'll just focus on oil.

Dick and George, our two oil executives, have been lying to the American people for years about oil and energy. But the problem goes deeper than that. It goes back to President Reagan and the failure of his administration to deal with the energy problem. For years, Republican leaders in Congress and the White House have refused to deal with the simple fact that oil is finite. Where once we believed oil might last five hundred years, we know now the oil age will be relatively brief. If we are to sustain our civilization, we need other sources of energy. We knew this long before Global Warming became established as a threat to our world. We know now that fossil fuels emissions are a major cause of Global Warming. We have a problem. What we do not need are games.

Bush is urging Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production. It's a bit like asking your uncle to empty out his bank account for your expensive lifestyle (okay, never mind that the Saudis have been emptying out their own bank accounts for decades to maintain their own lavish lifestyle). I suppose Bush can't help himself. When Bush makes a blunder, his first response is to blame someone else. He has blundered on oil. And he has blundered on the economy. Here's the story from James Gerstenzang of the Los Angeles Times:
Producers should "realize that high energy prices affect the economies of consuming nations," he said. If those economies weaken, he said, they "will eventually be buying fewer barrels of oil."

Energy demand has "outstripped new supply," Bush told reporters. "That's why there's high price."

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Ibrahim Naimi said his country was sympathetic to such economic worries, but he refused to commit to increasing production.

"The concern for the U.S. economy is valid," he said. "But what affects the U.S. economy is more than the price of oil."
The Saudi Oil Minister has it largely right: what affects the U.S. economy is more than the price of oil. But the Saudis are reluctant to admit a more salient fact: their ability to increase production is limited. In fact, the ability of the world's oil producers to increase productivity is limited. This is a problem that cannot be wished away by presidential temper tantrums.

Oil prices have been slowing down our economy for more than two years. But the five year war in Iraq is also slowing down our economy despite the stimulus of war spending. We are engaged in a war we did not need and we see almost no benefit for the American people. Bush's lax attitude towards business ethics has also slowed down our economy. The failure of the Bush Administration to go after crooks in the loan and derivatives sectors is the back breaker that has set the stock markets roiling since summer. But Bush's many failures to protect the American economy can be found elsewhere. When the price of gold jumps 40% in one year, it's an indicator of serious systemic flaws, and those flaws can be traced to the White House. We're in new territory and we have a president and vice president who haven't a clue.

Democratic Primaries Note: I will support whoever wins the Democratic nomination but I still stand by John Edwards. The theme of change was Edwards' theme months before Obama and Clinton jumped aboard (isn't the fact that Romney jumped aboard a bit odd?). In fact, Edwards has driven the vision and policies that the other two major Democratic candidates have been borrowing. Of all the Democrats and all the Republicans, Edwards is the one who sat down and did his homework. He knows what we're facing. So I'm voting for him.

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