April’s Fools – Missing forests for trees

On this day of trickery, the The Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming is meeting to discuss and stew over high fuel prices and the idea of energy independence. I sincerely wish I could say our elected officials were intelligent enough and insightful enough to ask the correct questions and approach the real problems behind US energy dependence, but I cannot.

We all know fuel prices are up, this is no mystery. Everyone is well aware that oil values have doubled. What none of these cads seem to grasp is that federal intervention is the problem, not the companies that fuel the world. We will be trapped in an April Fools’ Day version of “Groundhog Day” unless we wake up and force these federal tentacles out of our free market.

So here are some questions that should really be addressed today (thanks to an objective, like-minded industry observer):

Who voted to delay drilling ANWR so we could have a $36.5 billion bigger trade deficit, a weaker dollar and higher crude prices?

Who voted to not drill into proven reserves off of California? Florida? The East Coast?

Who voted to increase the cost of gasoline blending by 48¢/gallon so we could have cleaner, lead-free air to breathe?  

Who debated increasing CAFÉ for years so America could need more gasoline and be more dependent on imported oil supplied by nations that do not like us?

Who voted to increase the use of ethanol – which increases NOx and VOC emissions and at best gives back 1.5 times the energy required to make it – while essentially ignoring renewable diesel fuel, which could reduce NOx, VOC, PM, CO and Air Toxics emissions while giving back 3.5 times the energy required to produce it?

When do we investigate the corn farmers who are reported (DOA in this morning’s WSJ) to be conspiring to plant 8% fewer acres this year? **Don Lando personally spoke this week with refiners who explained that ethanol is a foolish and unsustainable energy alternative that ultimately consumes more energy than it can provide

Who formally thanked the refining industry for making fuels that decrease automotive pollution 99%?

It seems to me that the all-seeing eye of US government is missing a few steps here. They should be handed a mirror before being allowed to place blame for what is essentially a socialist nightmare and the centralized regulatory destruction of our energy sector, independence and freedom.

Write or call your congressmen and women and hold their feet to the fire with FACTS, not feelings. It’s easy to blame oil companies on account of their huge returns. But we must remember that the truly free market will always manage these intricacies better than a bunch of special-interest serving lawmakers.

Post script: While Don Lando sees evidence that the oil companies are not primarily to blame for rising gasoline prices, he agrees that with less government intervention those companies should be willing and allowed to drill proven reserves without regard for flawed American foriegn policy decisions.