Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Windmills do not work that way!

In keeping with the tradition of blaming everything bad that happens in the world on President Obama, the GOP's new line of attack is blaming the high gas prices on Obama and the Dems:

But the fact of the matter is, gas prices are going up, and that has an effect on GDP. If we're really focused on GDP growth, I'm looking forward to the president's proposal that we're going to start drilling using our own natural resources.

Drilling for oil and natural gas is a long process. It's not as if Obama can wave a magic wand and suddenly oil wells will spring up at full capacity, with the transportation and refining capacity to match. It would likely take decades for new oil fields to come on line. Even if they did, it's worth pointing out that we're not talking about much oil. The effect on prices of allowing offshore drilling or drilling in ANWR is likely to be minuscule to nonexistent.

The reason prices are going up is the same as it always is: instability in the Middle East combined with steadily rising demand from developing nations. The world is already pretty close to peak production capacity. A few extra barrels here and there isn't going to change the underlying fact that there's a finite amount of fossil fuels and the current rate of global consumption is unsustainable.

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