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Opening Arguments

Gas attack

It won't take, but some Economics 101 advice for John McCain and Hillary Clinton:

Strong demand and limited supply of a product lead to price increases. If you artificially lower the price of something -- i.e., waive taxes for a period of time -- all you will have accomplished was stimulating more demand. The higher demand and increased consumption eventually lead to even higher prices.

Hence, the expression the cure for high prices is high prices.

Jill Long Thompson and Jim Schellinger could benefit from the advice, too.

Posted in: All about me


Bob G.
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 11:36am

Back during the oil embargo in the 1970s, GAS RATIONING wasn't all that bad a thing either...


tim zank
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 11:41am

Neither McCain or Hillary (and to some extent Obama) are willing to blurt out the complete truth. That being, there is more than enough oil to supply our wants and needs for hundreds of years, you just have to DRILL for it and REFINE it and make it the gasoline all ONE GRADE.

Todays technology can clean drill and refine without harming a hair on an antelopes ass, so the environuts don't have a valid argument anymore to hold us up for ransom. Think of the job creation and economy boom we'd have if we built 10 to 20 new refineries AND started drilling too in North Dakota, or 75 miles off of Florida and Texas, or ANWR.

Harl Delos
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 12:46pm

Drilling for petroleum is a sub-optimum solution. The locations you cite don't give us light sweet crude; they give us something closer to sulfur tar.

About 55% of the petroleum goes to transportation. We can make it go nearly twice as far by building nuclear power plants for baseline production, and fluidized-bed coal power plants for handling peak demand, without all the problems associated with low-grade petroleum.

You can make a liquid fuel from coal; the Germans did that in the 1930s. You can also use electrical energy to create fuels. Hydrogen is easy to create, hard to store and use; other fuels are harder to create, easier to store and use.

Gas rationing in the 1970s wasn't really gas rationing, Bob. It simply made it less convenient to buy gas, rather than restricting the amount you could buy. The thing that worked was letting high prices encourage people to carpool, to conserve - or to park with your girlfriend, instead of cruising all night long. That's why Hillary's "tax holiday" is a bad idea. (It might be a good idea to raise gas taxes, using the money to fix potholes. If your car is out of alignment, it wastes gas and rubber.)

A J Bogle
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 1:23pm

Oil is a finite resource - the only real way is to develop alternatives and use the current supply more efficiently.

I don't buy the no refining capacity argument either - why not build refinieries on the sites of old ones that have closed? Toledo for example had three at one time - down to ne - yet the filed still stand vacant - or at Gladieux here in town for example - would get much less objection to reusing an existing site than a new greenfield site

Daron Aldrich
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 1:29pm

ummmm Tim they are drilling in North Dakota. All over North Dakota. North Dakota and Eastern Montana have some of the largest oil fields in North America.

Thu, 05/01/2008 - 1:41pm

It seems funny that this paper would endorse Hillary since you know all she is doing is pandering for votes. I just hope the people of Indiana realize that Hillary must think we are stupid to not realize what she is doing. There is no way Congress will approve a new tax during a political season and all John McCain wants to do is borrow the money for this gas tax holliday. Even their supporters are not behind this dumb idea.

Leo Morris
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 1:45pm

Define "pandering for votes." Can you name a candidate who has never done this?

tim zank
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 4:53pm

AJ...in r/e your question "why not build refinieries on the sites of old ones that have closed?"

They can't get permits. The EPA runs them through ten years worth of hoops...The first new refinery in this country in 30 years is being built in Arizona. They started the process in 1997 and it just this year got the state approval on their air pollution figures and output. The plant will not be operational until 2011.

Thank your legislators, environuts, the EPA and other government bureaucracies for the high price of crude and of course gasoline.
Think of the wonderful job they'll do with your health care!!!

Thu, 05/01/2008 - 5:07pm


Good news fron North Dakota:

"Estimates are anywhere from a conservative 25 billion barrels of oil in place, to a high estimate by the United States Geological Survey of 400 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken formation. Not only is the oil plentiful, but it's high quality too, 41 degree light sweet crude. The Bakken formation is a formation of black shale, siltstone, and sandstone. The formation lies beneath the Mississippian formation, Saskatchewan's current source of light sweet crude. The Bakken formation is situated beneath southeastern Saskatchewan, southwestern Manitoba, and North Dakota."

A single well in Parshall, ND is expected to yield 700,000 barrels. This is quite an oil patch! They know of 400 billion barrels down there, but some experts say that there could be far more than that.

tim zank
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 5:11pm

And Harl's 8 paragraph response begins in

Harl Delos
Thu, 05/01/2008 - 8:51pm

Tim, you were complaining that I was writing only 3 or 4 paragraphs. Make up your mind.

Gadfly, it doesn't matter how much light sweet crude is there if it can't be pumped. The oil that might eventually be recovered is oil is not 400 billion barrels, but 2.6 billion (federal estimates) or 2.1 billion barrels (state estimates.)

"What industry is mostly concerned with is to find - economically - what is going to work in the Bakken," according to Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. He said. "What we have right now is one big scientific experiment going on out there." The daily drilling reports (on the ND site) are not encouraging at all.

Fri, 05/02/2008 - 6:02pm


Who am I to believe if I cannot believe the US Geological Survey folks?

At $116 per bbl, I would think that there is lots of oil in capped fields all over the country as well as in the Bakken region that could be pumped economically, even if it takes extra refining steps.

Until a substitute for oil can be developed (and ethanol ain't it), we need to bring the crude out of our ground ...unless we are prepared to suffer third-world living conditions.