Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Thing Or Two On Energy

Gas prices are considerably higher than they were three years ago, right?  Sure, it's tapered off a bit in the past few weeks, but with the Memorial Day weekend closing in (and summer right behind that) we typically see prices go back up again.  Regardless of the time of year, wouldn't we all rather pay less at the pump?  Actually, no, not all of us.  It's interesting to see what Barack Obama thinks (or claims to think) will bring the price down:

President Barack Obama said oil company profits justify abolishing $4 billion in annual oil and natural gas subsidies and shifting those savings to research on clean-energy fuels.

Um...really?  Making it more expensive for oil companies to do business will actually result in lower prices?  Of course, the Senate killed Obama's subsidy proposal anyway.  What you won't hear in the media about that vote is that the killing was led by Democrats.  Remember, the Dems are still in charge of the Senate, and that's where the legislation stopped.

Another common tactic he uses is to demonize self-appointed boogeymen like oil speculators:

President Obama unveiled a planTuesday to increase regulatory oversight of oil markets to limit the "illegal manipulation, fraud, and market rigging" that have contributed to gas price increases.  Citing many Americans' pain at the pump, the President asked Congress for an additional $52 million for the CFTC to clamp down on speculators.
Speaking from the White House's Rose Garden, the president said "we can't afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher — only to flip the oil for a quick profit."

Of course, that's not the correct answer, either:

Speculation is indeed a huge part of any commodities market, but hand-rubbing CEOs aren't the only ones who benefit from it -- even normal, everyday Americans like to grow their own personal wealth through investments in the futures market. The beauty of the free enterprise system is that it's just a collection of information, translated into prices through trading, and speculators do their best to hedge risk and predict price movements -- in the face of the global demand trends and the volatility in the Middle East that the president mentions.

The chairman of the world's largest futures exchange recently had some choice words on President Obama's crusade to punish oil speculation:

"People need to study their facts before criticizing speculators," Mr. Duffy, whose Chicago company is the largest futures exchange by volume, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Milken Institute's Global Conference. He argued that speculators provide vital liquidity to a host of markets. ...

Mr. Duffy dismissed the criticism, saying that speculators play an important part in financial markets. "When the Dow goes above 13000, Google goes above $600 per share and everybody celebrates, who do you think did that? The U.S. equity market is 100% speculators," he said.

It's a straw-man argument designed to push blame away from himself and his policies.  But there's another group of liberals who actually do understand what this proposal would have done, and they welcome it.  As we've discussed many times before, Barack Obama, his energy secretary, and other liberals like him genuinely want the price of energy (gas and oil in particular) to go up.  They've designed their policies to do just that, and they're succeeding.  The price of gas has doubled in the three years since Obama took office by his administration's strangulation of natural resource exploration, development, and production.

If you're wondering what universe Obama is living in, the correct answer is: liberalism.  I think that a lot of braindead liberals genuinely haven't stopped to think about what his policies actually mean.  They see the idea of sticking it to the rich oil barons and fly into an appropriately mindless fit of hooting and hollering about social justice and whatnot.  No logic, no common sense, no reality.

After all, the energy industry is pretty much the only sector of the U.S. economy that is genuinely adding jobs...despite what Obama has done.  And a lot of people (even Democrats) are now waking up to that fact.  For example, in a couple of recent Democrat primaries, we see this:

Barack Obama  had no national primary challengers in his second nomination race in most states, including Kentucky.  Who knew it would still be a tough choice for voters?  Kentucky voters in the Democratic primary preferred the empty slot to the empty suit, apparently:

About two out of every five Democratic voters in Tuesday's presidential primary in Kentucky chose 'uncommitted' instead of voting for President Barack Obama.

"I'm at a victory celebration for 'uncommitted' who performed admirably," said [state GOP chair Steve] Robertson. "I've never met the guy but know that he highly embarrassed Obama."

Robertson contended that the Democrats who vote most regularly -- those he termed 'the Democrats of Democrats' -- said 'no' to their president. If the Kentucky Democratic Party doesn't get it after this race, they need to stare long and hard at the results. This shows that Obama has even more than an uphill battle to win Kentucky in the fall."

That's not the worst of it.  Obama may end up losing as many as half of Kentucky's counties to 'Uncommitted' as well:

Kentucky's vote was notable, though, for the fact that there weren't even any other candidates on the ballot. The most the 'uncommitted' option won so far this primary season was previously 21 percent in the North Carolina primary earlier this month. Kentucky looks as though it will double that number.

In addition, Obama looked as though he may lose more than half of the state's 120 counties.

This follows on the heels of Obama's embarrassing outcome in West Virginia, where he lost 41% of the vote to a felon currently residing in federal prison in Texas.  Both states are big coal producers, and voters in both parties have become disgusted with Obama's attacks on the industry that keeps their economy running, and which keeps the lights on for the rest of the country.  Neither state was expected to support Obama in November, but this level of anger among rank-and-file Democrats has to have Team Obama worried about their prospects in coal-heavy Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are much more critical to their hopes for re-election.

On top of the embarrassing results in Kentucky, Obama also lost 40% of the Democratic vote in Bill Clinton's home state yesterday, too.  So far, challenger John Wolfe has 41% of the vote with 67 of 75 Arkansas counties reporting.  Wolfe appears to be carrying almost half of the counties in Arkansas as well, just as 'Uncommitted' did in Kentucky.

He's struggling to beat felons in prison and, well, no opponent at all in these the Democrat primary!

Let's hope this trend continues, and that Obama rides off into a much needed (for America, that is) retirement.  Only then, when his policies are wiped away, can this country truly get back on the road to economic prosperity and recovery.  It all starts with energy, and that's why he's desperate to point the finger at someone else every chance he gets: the eeeevil oil-loving, rich-white-man-business-supporting Republicans.

Reality not included.

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