I’d Rather Drill on Mars!

I listened today to one of those cable political shows that featured the regular crew of clueless pundits. After a long discussion on how evil the oil companies are, one asked a very simple question: Why is it that oil companies would rather drill is Saudi Arabia, in Iraq where a war is going on, in Nigeria where you need a armed escorts to go to the bathroom, than drill in the U.S? Everyone ignored the question. You would have thought that this was the first time someone had ever asked such a profound question on cable T.V.

On the surface the answer might be simple. Drilling here is impossible, as is building more refineries to process the oil. Impossible is a strong word, but in the case it is not strong enough. This country has killed oil internal exploration and exploitation at every level of government and every branch of government. With increased prices come calls to add even more restrictions, including the ultimate restriction: < 0% return on investment, guaranteed.

But the bigger answer to this question is perhaps is at the heart of a lot of what ails this country. You can see it in the current election cycle where the press has proclaimed the current winning slogans are “Hope” and “Change”. I see these two slogans as religious propaganda. Words that make you feel good, that someone better than you is going to make your life better. That the future is not in your hands, but in the hands of others. That physics is not as important as meta-physics.

It reminds me of my Berkeley Econ professor who basically said that inflation will go down if we all believe that it will go down. What followed was 50% inflation over the subsequent 5 years (the Carter administration).

I guess we didn’t believe enough until Reagan came into office.

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