The price of oil 165

After Solyndra, Keystone and promises of seaweed in their gas tanks, Americans sense a president so ideologically antipathetic to fossil fuels — which we possess in staggering abundance — that he is utterly unserious about the real world of oil in which the rest of us live. High gasoline prices are a major political problem for Obama. They are not just a pain at the pump, however. They are a constant reminder of three years of a rigid, fatuous, fantasy-driven energy policy that has rendered us scandalously dependent and excessively vulnerable. – Charles Krauthammer (here).

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Motivated by an irrational hatred of fossil fuels, President Barack Obama likes to say, “We’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.”

Yet it is a simple law of economics that if  the supply of something is increased, its price falls.

And yes, it is even the case with oil.

This is from Personal Liberty Digest:

President Barack Obama said: “We’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.” Actually, to a large extent, we can. For proof, let’s compare what’s been happening in California to the extraordinary accomplishments in North Dakota.

Thanks to years of placating environmental extremists, California’s anti-drilling regulations make it almost impossible to drill for new oil anywhere in the State, onshore or off. As a result, its production of oil has fallen by nearly one-third in the past 20 years. As oil production has declined, so has tax revenue. Even with several gigantic tax increases during that period, oil revenues in the State are down.

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed solution? Raise taxes even higher.

So you won’t be surprised to learn that wealthy Californians are fleeing the State as fast as they can. …

Let’s contrast the near-bankruptcy of the People’s Republic of California with what’s been happening in one of the most independent and entrepreneurial States in the union: North Dakota. …

Thanks to vast improvements in recovery technology as well as the discovery of vast new oceans of underground oil, estimates of “recoverable” oil in the Bakken Shale have tripled to 24 billion barrels. That is more oil than is being produced anywhere else in the United States, including Alaska’s famed Prudhoe Bay. But it’s a small fraction of what is possible.

Experts say that current technology can extract only about 6 percent of the oil they know is underground in North Dakota. Total estimated oil reserves are thus around 500 billion barrels. And new discoveries are happening all of the time.

Let me include an interesting footnote on the subject of “reserves.” In 1980, the oil reserves in the United States were estimated at 30 billion barrels. Yet in the intervening 32 years, this country actually produced 77 billion barrels of oil. …

Today, the numbers are even more staggering. The amount of “technically recoverable” oil in the United States is estimated at 1.4 trillion barrels. (Please note that is “trillion,” with a “T.”) Unfortunately for us, most of that oil is located in areas Obama says we can’t search for it: in portions of Alaska and in waters off our shores.

Combined with known resources in Canada and Mexico, total recoverable oil in North America exceeds 1.7 trillion barrels. How much is that?  Let me put it in perspective: It is more than all the oil the world has used since the first oil well was drilled in Titusville, Penn., 150 years ago.

So far, all I’ve discussed is oil. When natural gas and coal are added to the total, the numbers are clear: We have enough energy reserves in the United States to fuel all of our needs for 100 years, even if we never made another discovery. …

Back to North Dakota … The State has the lowest unemployment rate in the Nation, at just 3.3 percent. California’s, by contrast, is 11.1 percent. That doesn’t even count the unemployed people who have simply stopped looking for work. The true unemployment number is probably closer to 20 percent.

And while the State of California can’t begin to pay all of its bills — it even issued IOUs last year in place of tax refunds — the biggest argument in North Dakota’s State Capitol is how to spend all of the money that’s pouring in. …

What’s happening in North Dakota is a classic example of the one thing that would solve our energy problems everywhere — and most other problems in the economy, too. Unfortunately, it’s the one thing Obama and his team won’t even consider. … Let the market work.

Rather than foster energy independence, Obama wants to make us all dependent. Dependent on government, that is.

Want to reduce unemployment? Increase tax revenues? Get the economy humming again? Truly foster energy independence?

The answer to all of them is the same: Get government off our backs. Let the market work. The results will be amazing. Maybe next year we’ll have a government that’s willing to give it a try.

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Why do gasoline prices vary so much from state to state?

Not because “the price is set internationally” as Obama would have you believe.

Find out the answer here.