"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,"
- Sec. Stephen Chu. (HT: Yahoo News)
When our illustrious president gets serious about a problem, he gets serious about making that problem go away. There are several ways to do this. The risk can be transferred, via blame, to another party. The problem can be assuaged by throwing money at it. Or, maybe, just maybe the president could actually attempt to solve said problem.
Whichever method he chooses to deploy, President Barack Obama can no longer deny that he has a persistent gasoline problem. His problem is that gasoline has become so expensive that people are being hurt by this increasing expense. This pain has been transformed into political pain that besets the Obama Regime. He feels it when you kick him in the poll numbers.
His first instinct is to find a good, fat speculator to drag forth and hang. In order to find the scapegoat we’ve been waiting for, he’s empowered his Attorney General, Eric Holder to empanel a Gas Price Fraud Working Group to go forth and blame. Mr. Holder describes the working group’s activities below.
The Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group will explore whether there is any evidence of manipulation of oil and gas prices, collusion, fraud, or misrepresentations at the retail or wholesale levels that violates state or federal laws and harms consumers or the federal government as a purchaser of oil and gas. The Working Group will also evaluate developments in commodities markets and examine investor practices, supply and demand factors and the role of speculators and index traders in oil futures markets.
I’m deeply perturbed by some of the people not being investigated by the Attorney General’s Task Force. Secretary Chu has been conspicuously absent. His stated desire to drive up gasoline prices to force consumers into alternative energy sources seems tantamount to rigging a market at the expense of the consumer.
Another group of people responsible for the recent travails at the gas pump would be the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. After the lifting of the deepwater drilling moratorium for The Gulf of Mexico, the BOEMRE stretched the approval process out interminably. Oil industry workers describe these activities below.
But ask anyone in the oil and gas business and they'll tell you a defacto moratorium remained in place because the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement didn't approve any exploration plans or drilling permits until February. BOEMRE is using new application processes for permits, requiring new safety measures and calculations that are dragging out the process, those in the business said.
This has lead people who actually work in the industry to leave the US and go to places like West Africa or Brazil instead so that they can earn a living. This lost expertise will in turn lead to lost industrial learning due to the Andelohr Effect. The longer BOEMRE drags its feet, the harder it will be for the US to restore its ability to mine and drill for domestic energy.
As The United States of America becomes less able to develop and use its own energy, we become increasingly beholden to events in the most God-forsaken places in the world. We are now forced to care who builds pipelines through Georgia and Afghanistan. We should be replacing Libyan production (Stimulus, Baby!), not bombing the genocidal idiot that misrules that particular garden-spot.
President Obama laughably proclaims that nobody will take advantage of Americans for their own short-term gain. Perhaps the Green Energy Boys at GE forgot about that part of the memorandum. Cargill. Monsato and Archer Daniels Midland didn’t get called into account for their own abuses of Federal Energy subsidies either.
The Streetwise Professor examines how two different academicians view President Obama’s. First we meet Dr. Laurel Harbridge who tells us the following.
Laurel Harbridge says the formation of the investigative group is a way for the president to take control of the situation without taking more extreme steps.
“Doing something that suggests that there’s at least the possibility that gas prices are high because of manipulation or something like that kind of turns the high gas prices into something that he’s combating and he’s against rather than either a problem that can’t be dealt with or something that’s due to domestic policy decisions,” Harbridge said.
Dr. Craig Pirrong is less forgiving.
“This is a transparently political fishing expedition that insinuates that fraud or manipulation is distorting oil prices without providing even the flimsiest factual basis for such a suspicion,” Pirrong said. “This is part of a broad effort by the administration to deflect criticism with regard to gasoline prices.”
(Streetwise Professor, ObCit.)
President Obama can go fishing for scapegoats and blame toilets all he wants. In the end, this will come back to him. He can only get rid of his Presidency’s persistent gas problems by curing them. He can only do that by changing policies that he deeply believes in. I wonder if he still believes he hasn’t made any mistakes yet in office?