2 thoughts on “It Was About The Oil

  1. Hype
    Leopold has a strange interpretation of the document. Here is the context in which his supposedly incriminating snippet is embedded. Suffice to say, few will be sharing Leopold’s take:
    Taking the Easy Approach
    Clearly the path of maintaining the status quo of no energy policy is by far the easiest short-term option. This is obviously the path of least resistance. Under such an approach, very little initiative would be needed and could be limited to a very circumspect focus: reviewing the size and mechanisms associated with the SPR and its coordinated use with other countries in the International Energy Agency. This limited policy would dictate that the United States simply muddle through any portending crisis that might occur by reducing the pain of such an actual event through the use of emergency measures at the time of the event.
    It is a path that could readily be chosen for two reasons. First, there is the ever-present hope that the market, left to its own devices, will eventually correct itself and overcome current supply problems. Secondly, history seems to justify this approach. Major oil disruptions with serious consequences seem to occur only every decade or so, it can be argued, seemingly limiting the costs of doing nothing. Electric power shortages will eventually get sorted out, and in any case states rather than the federal government bear the brunt of citizens’ claims. This approach obviates the need to tackle the difficult political issues that would have to be resolved to forge an energy policy consensus in Congress. No comprehensive policy means Congress does not have to make the compromises required to enact the legislation to backstop a more effective, comprehensive approach.
    One clear benefit of this approach is that the short-term costs to the consumer would be limited and that no hard sacrifices would have to be made. The costs to U.S. taxpayers seem minimal and indirect and in any event they can be postponed. Consumers have the prospect of the market assisting them yet again in achieving low energy costs. Some of the real costs, such as the high-cost U.S. military presence in the Middle East, are already accepted and forgotten by the public.
    But the problem is that there is overwhelming evidence that there will be no “free lunch” for taxpayers. A disruption might well occur at a time when the mechanisms for dealing with it have become outmoded, too narrowly confined to too narrow a segment of the world community to make a difference. And meanwhile, the market volatility of the past few years may be a precursor of much worse to come—a roller coaster of prices confusing the investment climate and impeding the marshaling of capital required to overcome supply obstacles whose emergence triggered the new critical state to begin with.
    Under this scenario, the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma, suffering on a recurring basis from the negative consequences of sporadic energy shortages. These consequences can include recession, social dislocation of the poorest Americans, and at the extremes, a need for military intervention. Moreover, this approach leaves festering the conflict between rising energy demand and its potentially devastating impact on the global environment.

  2. Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone says Goldman is creating the next great Bubble for Cap and Trade.
    Corporations deliver gas to the pump so I can drive.
    Corporations help create Cap and Trade to presumably lower carbon usage.
    In the first case I am happy to get it. In the second case, I doubt that is necessary.
    Univ of AL, Huntsville satellite shows the current global temperature is zero degrees above the 30 year average.

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