01. February 2006 · Comments Off on Austin Bay Has His Head Up His Ass · Categories: General

On his blog, Austin Bay, a commentator I generally revere, celebrates President Bush’s decrial of America’s “addiction to oil.”

Bay, you are a fucking idiot. America has no addiction to oil. What we are addicted to is energy. And, as I will show later, that is hardly a bad thing.

But, let us assume for the moment, that we are “addicted to oil”, and with us, of course. the entire modern world. Well, can we agree that the most egregious manifestation of this “addiction” is the dependence upon foreign sources? And as such, we should drill in such places as ANWR? NO! absolutely not! (Except for that the persons to whom that resource rightfully belongs – the citizens of Alaska, and, mostly, the native Americans who live there, WANT it exploited.) As long as we can afford to buy it, we should suck the rest of the world dry. And then, when the end times come, we can say, “fuck you – we got oil, you got nothin’.”

But, all that aside, let us talk about “America’s ‘addiction’ to oil:” This is total fuckin’ green-speak: I am amazed that our President is buying into it. We are not “addicted to oil;” we are addicted to energy. And this is a good thing.

I would like to see a President deliver a SotU address, saying “I intend to have this nation double it’s energy consumption in the next five years.”

And why, you ask? Because, truth be told, energy consumption is directly analogous to “wealth”. The greenies like to kvetch over the fact that “we consume one forth of the world’s energy,” This is fitting, as we produce one forth of the world’s wealth.

And this has nothing to do with efficiency. Indeed, we are making twice the out put, per unit volume of energy, as we were 25 years ago. And this is a number, contrary to the Rousseauian pipe dreams of the greenies, the “emerging economies” of the world can’t nearly match.

So, “addiction to oil”…

Yes, most certainly, we use lots of energy. And, personally, I couldn’t give a shit if that energy was used to take Khan Jr. to soccer practice, or create a revolutionary new heart valve. But, you know what? We do both! And we do it better than any society in human history.

And the lefty-greenie-apocalypse folks (wow, isn’t that some sort of weird dichotomy?) Are aghast at this: surely we could have all the benefits of modern technology, without it’s costs!

And does that mean we are “addicted to oil?” Bullshit: we are “addicted” to wealth. And, we are addicted to efficiency. Why? you ask…

Because efficiency yields the most wealth for the least input. And, just now, petroleum is the most efficient means of delivering energy, and wealth. But, wake up Bush, the free market is way ahead of the curve here.

Update: Austin has done an update, and I agree, when viewed as a message to foreign oil exporters, rather than domestic greenies, the “addiction to oil” line makes much more sense.

Sand and shale oil is our ticket out of this conundrum. And, at $60+/bl. it’s profitable (IIRC, Suncor has said they make money at $40)

And, of course, the Arctic (which Russia claims about half of) has yet to be explored.

Update 2: In today’s WSJ Best of the Web James Taranto gets it right:

One decidedly false note came when Bush complained that “America is addicted to oil” and promised new government programs aimed at a great goal: to replace more than 75% of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.” This seemed just like wrongheaded palaver, boob bait for bobos. If we’re going to democratize the Middle East, why do we need to reduce imports of oil from the region?

Update 3: I am currently watching Edward Murphy, Refining Director of the American Petroleum Institute, on C-SPAN. And, as I have explained in the comments, biofuels from virdin stock is a fool’s game. But, he seems to feel that. The focus of Mr. Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative would be ethanol from bio-waste. While I still don’t believe we need a government prgram to promote it, that could be a viable technology.

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