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The Truth About Gas Prices: More U.S. Drilling Won't Help

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October 29, 2012

The Truth About Gas Prices: More U.S. Drilling Won't Help

By Bob Marshall

One of the most persistent and effective threats to public fish and wildlife habitat is the energy lobby. They push for access to public lands--even wilderness and roadless areas--and then they push to demolish regulations that would make them be sensitive to fish and wildlife values on that public property.  

And their most persuasive argument--visible everywhere during the current election season--is this: We need to drill more to lower the price at the pump.

In fact, the most effective tool America (and its politicians) have in reducing fuel costs is regulations that stress conservation.

That's not me talking. That's the word from energy economists--and always has been.

As the Associated Press explained in this excellent report, the U.S. could yield to the wildest demands from the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd--opening everything from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to every acre of public land, plus shipping dirty tar sands from Canada--and still not make a noticeable dent on the price of gas at your local filling station. 

That's because oil is a world market. And U.S. reserves are insignificant compared to other areas. We simply have little control over what we pay--which is why conservation is always a more efficient way to reduce our fuel costs.

“There are not many markets where the United States can't impose its will on market outcomes,” Christopher Knittel a professor of energy economics at MIT told the AP. "This is one we can't, and it's hard for the average American to understand that, and it's easy for politicians to feed off that.”

Unlike natural gas or electricity, the United States alone does not have the power to change the supply-and-demand equation in the world oil market, Knittel told the AP. American oil production is about 11 percent of the world's output, so even if the U.S. were to increase its oil production by 50 percent — more than drilling in the Arctic, increased public-lands and offshore drilling, and the Canadian pipeline would provide--it would at most cut gas prices by 10 percent.

Unfortunately, most Americans never seem to get that message--but hear all too often from the energy industry that rolling over fish and wildlife protections is in the nation's best interest. Since 1998 they have spent $3.8 billion helping to spread that message in Congress--$390 million last year alone, and $195 million so far this year (those figures are available at www.opensecrets.org). 

These are important facts for sportsmen to know--and have ready to quote the next time someone argues the nation needs to drill more to lower gas prices.

It won't help their wallets, but it will do serious damage to the future of public hunting, fishing and the outdoors recreation--which adds 9.4 million jobs and $1.06 trillion in total economic activity to the nation's economy each year.

And that's one market we can control, or destroy.

Comments (52)

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I already knew that domestic production had no relation to pump prices, as does anyone who has followed energy issues for the past decade or two or three. And you'll get no quibble out of me that we need to work on conservation more than anything else, I think we could cut consumption in half without much effort, look at similar places and their consumption.

Where we differ is on the amount of damage oil production does to the environment. And science bears this out. What affect does Prudoe Bay have on the Porcupine caribou herd? Just about none. Bears? same. I spent a long winter walking along the edge of ANWAR.

All the well heads and drill rigs in Wyoming? Not much that I've seen. After they are done they are gone, silence. biggest damage is the roads that allow people in.

The damage is once the stuff is out of the ground, refined, and burnt in big SUVs enroute to an Audubon meeting.

Not mentioned is the benefit to keeping dollars in the country supporting the 1% here instead of sending it to other countries to support the 1% there.

When I am king I'll tax the heck out of it.

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from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

RockRat- as far as WY goes, the Upper Green River Basin has seen major population declines in mule deer and startling ozone pollution and smog levels.

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia's output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts U.S. production could reach 13 million to 15 million barrels per day by 2020, helping to make North America "the new Middle East."

Still think those gas prices have anything to do with US production?! It's a political red herring. So yeah, let's not destroy our hunting & fishing grounds!

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from jay wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Yeah, I've read alot about the effects on mule deer migration routes being negatively effected by resource extraction in Wyoming. The building of ranchettes in prime wintering grounds is also a big culprit in the mule deers decline.

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I will agree with this article to a point. 1st point no matter how much we drill and put it into the world supply we will not lower prices, however that isn't what "drill baby drill" people are wanting people like me that want to produce our own energy wants it to be taken from North America and refined here and not supplied to the global market. So if this is the case the cost would decrease. 2nd If we want to lower prices of oil now without drilling we have to increase the worth of our currency, because global oil is bought and traded in the dollar not other currencies at this point. Finally what is the world more importantly America to do for energy? Solar and wind has been a bust to date. What about fueling vehicles? Ethanol isn't the answer we seen that come to a failure and at the same time raising the price on everything we eat. No one has a valid solution YET one will come but until then we need to keep America running.

I think I can talk for most when I say "Thank God RockRat will never be king"! Secondly this is America where the last king ruled some 236 years ago!

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from jryoung wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

We can't "drill baby drill" and keep the supply at home. We can think that is a good idea, but it is protectionist and goes against all free market principles. What drilling would do is help boost our economy, HOWEVER, it must be prudent, balanced and focused. Unfortunately, we have many good ideas and thoughts, but once special interest and politics get involved those good ideas and thoughts are always poorly executed.

As the global economy (slowly) recovers, demand will increase and so will prices. One of the key factors that will effect prices in the future is consumption, smarter consumption. Saudi Arabia is looking to install billions worth of solar because they see that burning their golden goose for energy is no longer a reasonable use of their only resource.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I'd like to see more oil jobs here in NA, but not that the expense of our hunting and fishing economy that is robust and sustainable. These boom and bust oil communities are good for no one.

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

And when that oils is gone because it went to Asia or Europe and we have nothing left to make plastic or fertilizer or any of the other things a modern society needs and some mega-rich CEO who cheats his own stock holders (that would be me, I own oils stocks in my portfolio and actually read the BS in the annual reports), is long dead, our descendants will find out what real poverty is.
For those us who actually think that oil drilled here will stay in the US, I suggest you look up the word fungible and learn about elastically of supply.

Our best hope is to develop cars that run on Natural Gas and (Yes I know what this sounds like), slowly ratchet up the price of gas until the Americans make other more economical choices. Our weasel congress persons anytime in the last 20 years could have done all this with a slowly graduated tax on fuel that increased almost imperceptibly and done properly, we would have a full treasury, no debit and could tell the Iranians, Chinese and Arabs to go do you know what to themselves. Instead the congressional cowards found it much easier to screw up the housing market, the financial system and take care of their campaign contributors in BIG PHARMA, BIG OIL and BIG TECH. And soon our wilderness will be gone. Great. Don’t worry about them taking our guns, because there will soon be no where to shoot them,

Why this RANT (and yep I am mad); Remember who left you this mess on election day and fire the SOB’s.

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from Michael Dezort wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In point of fact, drilling will drive prices down. We are one of the largest suppliers in the world and still have a profound impact on world oil market prices. It's not simply a matter of volume either. As we increase drilling and put more oil on the market, our competitors must drill more to maintain market share. That in turn, puts more oil on the market which drives prices down further. And as other responders have noted, there is little to no impact on wildlife when we drill more. Yes, we need to use natural gas as well, but as anyone in the oil and NG market will tell you, you must drill for that as well. Prefer electricity instead? Most is generated by digging coal from the ground or hydroelectricity. Which do you think has more impact on the environment and wildlife? A 5 acre drilling site or taking the top off of mountains and building dams?

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from johntalbott wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I am a staunch conservationist, and an engineer in the oil/natural gas industry. You are wrong on a few things 1. We do not have insignificant drilliable oil in the US. Oil Reserves are defined as the oil on land we can currently drill assuming current rates of production and no increase in rigs. Its a red herring- we have PLENTY of oil, enough for the next 100-150 years. The term "oil reserves DOES NOT simply refer to oil in the ground."

2. With a few more refineries, we COULD produce more oil and reduce costs.

3. Oil price increases are due in part to intentional inflation (QE1,2,3, etc.) of U.S. currency. Everything has gone up in price, oil notwithstanding.

4. Opening up drilling on federals lands could be done with conservation guarantees. In the state of Arkansas, Game and Fish lands were opened up to drilling for natural gas; to Chesapeake, and a few others. The state put in place stringent enviromental standards, including thousands of dollars worth of fines for spilling regular pond water on the ground. Literally water soaked up from local ponds- illegal to dump or even spill. The state negotiated MILLIONS of dollars worth of funding for the AGFC, which directly benefitted sportsmen and land projects. The energy companies were also responsible for ensuring that lands returned to their pre-drilling states once production was done.

We have MILLIONS of people out of work and underemployed. With biologists and guarantees that will expand public access and return lands, game and fish will benefit, as will the economy. We can make drilling on federal lands profitable for sportsmen and ensure that the money goes directly to expanded conservation.

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from krwheeler wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

To RealGoodMan - Have you seen any numbers corelated with the elk/mule deer/antelope decline with wolf predation? Neither have I. NOBODY has brought up that subject, and even WyG&F is in on the "hide and seek" numbers.

The Yellowstone pack(s) have been growing for a good couple of decades now, and the wolves are spreading out into Oregon, California, Washington, Montana, and South Dakota. And yet WyG&F WILL NOT acknowledge any wolves in Eastern Wyoming.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Before all you city dwellers condemn the energy corporations for the decline in numbers, the fault may not be just them. The "big bad wolf" has been helping that, and the people who live in Wyoming know this for a fact.

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from krwheeler wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Oh, and by the way... more government regulations and intervention will not help.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

As long as gas is affordable, conservation is the last thing on anybody's mind. When gas was $4.50 a gallon, the "Go Green" initiative really made some headway...seems like it has slowed significantly since gas has become more affordable. It'll take off again.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Cutting trees won't provide lumber. Farming doesn't grow food. Manufacturing doesn't provide goods. Going to work isn't how Americans earn their living.

What pill do you take to believe that stuff Bob? Does the Government give them to you for free?

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Good post Lab. Of course drilling would lower prices, and lower them immediately just given the psycho factor of furthering supply. Energy independence should be a goal of everyone given we know foreign petro sales invests in terrorism.

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from Bob81 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Lab and clinch,
Did you guys even bother to read the article? Did you get to the commentary by MIT Energy Economics Professor Christopher Knittel (prolly some lefty hack. Amiright?)

I ask because he pretty much addressed (and debunked) your attitudes directly. I'll also add that regular supply and demand forces are further complicated since the oil industry isn't exactly a free market.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Five years ago Bob could have written this article using natural gas instead of oil. The "experts" were wrong then and they will be wrong now. The real world is different than the projections that we pay the government to provide to us. Even if the only result was a reduction in our balance of payments, an increase of two million good paying jobs, and a strengthening of the dollar it would be worth doing. In Bob's World more regulaton of free individuals is the answer to every question. There is never enough rules on other peoples actions. Bob's elitist effluent has no odor.

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from Bob81 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

How does not allowing increased energy-company utility of public lands equate to increased regulation?

Really this comes down to priorities. I, Bob and many others on this blog believe that pristine public lands are more important than additional (and likely temporary) energy-boom jobs and a minor drop in fuel prices. I figure our grandkids are not going to be too impacted by the fact that in 2012 we paid five less cents at the pump for a gallon of gas, and that the unemployment rate was 7.079 percent as opposed to 7.08 percent.

You apparently disagree.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

The primary beneficiaries of public land extraction in the United States are Chinese industrial employees and the people who pillage US assets for their own personal gain. Lab and Clinchie have no compelling case to support their agenda based on economics, so they make their effort in the arena of name-calling. Why address the issue if you can call Bob an "elitist" without even having an idea of what the word means?

The key to rebuilding America's economy and creating domestic empployment has nothing to do with dollar value manipulation per se, although ANY competent economist would tell you that a LOWER valued US dollar, not a higher-valued one, will create more jobs in the United States.

The key to US economic recovery requires that the United States stop subsidizing other nations economies. Rather than destroying US strategic assets and recreational use jobs in service to the Central Planning Committee of the People's Republic of China (the world's most populous COMMUNIST nation), as Clinchie and Labbie would have us do, we must REJECT the mercantilist anti-American agenda they're pushing.

Stop providing US military defense for other nations.
Stop providing US raw materials to fuel the manufacturing sectors of other nations.

Do those two things and America will prosper.
Do otherwise, and America will be destroyed.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Pristine public lands? I wouldn't call all of our National Parks "pristine". If pristine is what you want, I shudder to think what you will get. Pristine will lead to no access for ordinary citizens. Pristine will get you no hunting, no fishing and no use by the public. A State like Nevada would have less usable land than Del.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Bob81s use of the word "pristine" is recognizable to honest people as tantamount to "lightly impacted." The difference between his position and yours, Labrador, is the difference between hunting on land and taking your trash with you, versus turning good hunting land into a massive garbage dump and toxic waste superfund site.

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from poetwild wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Since the value of gold is a constant and the price of an ounce of gold has gone from about $400 per ounce roughly 4 years ago to about $1,800 per ounce today, I would say the US dollar is very weak. Yet, no solid economic recovery is evident. Shoots a BIG hole in that theory of money and trade of yours. Also, if we buy a barrel of oil from foreign sources, they are going to demand a higher price since our dollar has been cheapened by poor national economic policy. Your theory of prosperity is false. We need domestic energy production to increase. Also, a gallon of gas has exorbitantly high federal and state taxes levied on it already if you want to consider the price distortion created by embedded taxes. Conservation refers to the wise use of resources and that includes the extraction and refining of oil and natural gas since those items have a marketable value. Appropriate controls need to be imposed to prevent negative impacts such as groundwater contamination and to ensure the appropriate corrective actions are taken if mistakes occur. Otherwise, energy appears to be an industry best left to free market pricing mechanisms. The government should manage towards proper multiple use of our resources not to curtail our economic growth. An alternative economic viewpoint that did not come from an ivory tower economic theorist. The value of the US dollar should mean something real to all of us and I would like mine to be worth more than what it buys today.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

You are incorrect. US exports have increased as the dollar's value has declined. Of course, price suppression on the Chinese side and worldwide trade barriers against US made goods is too big a cat for mere dollar devaluation to overcome.

You completely missed the point about energy production. The point is that ratcheting up US energy production does not reduce the price of energy within the USA if we allow fossil fuels extracted from the USA to be exported.

The other problem with your comment is that NO nation has a "free market." The energy sector is, for example, highly subsidized. These subsidies include global defense of world oil supplies (for which the US taxpayer covers 80% of the planet's cost even though we only use about 18% of the oil), tax credits to extraction industries, and taxpayer subsidized cleanup.

It's all well and good to talk about conservation-minded leaders in the extraction industries who want reasonable regulations to protect groundwater. No such leaders EXIST in the extraction industries. You seem not to have been paying attention. The "drill baby drill" agenda is led by people who want ZERO regulation of their activities.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Mike thinks that all land east of the Mississippi River is a uninhabitable toxic dump. He denies the expansion of such delicate species as peregrine falcons, bald eagles and osprey. He sees the world through dung colored glasses that he bought used in a yard sale in Frisco circa 1965.

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from poetwild wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

No, you are incorrect. Does not matter about the increasing exports. We still have a massive trade imbalance. Along with a national debt of gigantic size, persistent high unemployment and a weakening dollar that penalizes savers, investors, pensioners and consumers.
Your characterization of the Chinese and other foreign actors is borne of a personal bias...just based some vague unproven theory.

As far as our selling of any resource, it is legitimate since all markets seek an agreement between supplier and buyer. We need to get paid for any commodity we sell. After all, we have some debts to pay and the satisfaction of those require something of value gets exchanged.

Your entire characterization of the energy market being subsidized borders on absurdity...compared to what? The auto industry? The housing industry? Look at the dollars steered by government in those and other cases (like green energy). As far as markets are concerned, they have produced extraordinary economic success. The story of America is about the success of capitalism (at least until very recently). Ours has been freer than most until present times.

Your overstated bias against business, oil, markets and other persons who don't agree with you says it all. It's some Keynesian, conspiracy theorist driven, populist colored and socialist bent concoction that does not have enough data nor common sense to support it. The world's dictators can always identify boogeymen...the oil companies, the wealthy, bankers, people who disagree with them....whatever. You have your opinion and you cherry pick your facts. The fact is, our form of free market capitalism had created the world's most successful economy over 2 centuries and you want to double down on excessive growth killing regulation. Energy is a commodity essential to economic success. The cheaper it's price, the lower the cost of production of other things of value. But you think its price needs to be set by some benign government that can't balance its own budget nor produce services that people value (Postal Service anyone?).

Love your pontificating about all the evil in others and the folly of free enterprise. You would make a great dictator.

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from treelimit wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Okay Bob, I'll bite. Your predilection for mischaracterization, obfuscation and hyperbole is exceeded only by your facility for remaining a fugitive from the obvious. Your caricature of the "energy lobby" as uniformly demonic in its motivations aside, that the object of said lobby, namely fossil fuels, might be located in "even wilderness and roadless areas" will I'm sure come as a great shock to the tens of people laboring under the misapprehension undeveloped energy stores were conveniently hard by existing thoroughfares like ball washers to a golf cart path. Nonetheless, I will at great personal peril (I would imagine my odds in future caption contests not involving tri-corn hats or leftover Nixon masks from the Point Break wardrobe department will be severely diminished by posts such as this) assist your readers in distinguishing your assertions from reality.

First, you conflate a desirable by-product (lower gas prices) of a policy objective with the policy itself (exploitation-- read: responsible utilization-- or our domestic energy resources) and insinuate that advocacy based thereon is specious. Second, you assert that the most "effective" path to lower fuel costs is through "regulations that stress conservation" although the meaning of the word "conservation" as you employ it is inchoate. Presumably, as "The Conservationist", you mean keeping as much of them in the ground as possible. In support, you cite an AP story whose primary emphasis is an analysis of the statistical relationship between domestic production and gas prices over the last 36 years (as an aside, may I suggest a more rigorous proof reading regimen, as the eighth paragraph of your post is lifted nearly verbatim from the referenced AP article without proper accreditation).

However, inconveniently, there exists ample reason for concluding not only that a 50% increase in domestic production is well within or reach, but that such production would indeed result in lower gas prices, quite likely even more significant than the "10 percent" you dismissively deride (as a second aside, I would invite any readers to do a little quick, back of the envelope math as to the implications of even a ten percent reduction in gas prices and ask yourselves whether that might be anything you'd be interested in. Where I live, a ten percent discount would mean paying $3.50 a gallon instead of $3.90, a savings of $9.20 every time I fill my SUV). And there is ample reason to believe the reduction would be even greater. However, in consideration of the time and space required to explore concepts such as "scarcity", "market clearing", "demand destruction" and "market shock absorption", I will outsource more specific rebuttals to entities equal in stature to AP, USA Today and Fortune magazine. See the following to learn why the ideal response to current high gas prices involves both conservation AND drilling. You just might learn something that's "important [...] to know--and have ready to quote the next time someone argues the nation needs to drill more".

Links to follow

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from treelimit wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2012-05-15/1A-COV-ENERGY-INDEPENDENCE/54977254/1

finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/03/the-3-biggest-benefits-of-producing-more-oil/

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Once again, Labrador demonstrates his penchant for hystrionics rather than facts and logic. Labbie, I lived my first 34 years east of the MI. You have claimed to be some sort of wildlife biologist; I doubt your claim. A real wildlife biologist (and almost anyone who has studied the most elementary precepts of ecology) understands that a single species is not usually a very good indicator of an ecosystem's health. Your pathetic incessant recourse to the "example of the Bald Eagle" would be worthy of humorous derision were it not a political weapon that you use to attempt to deceive others. The plain fact is that most of those waterways are still in dire shape; that is why, for example, you can't safely eat more than one fish per month from the Great Lakes. Perhaps your training never got as far as the periodic table of the elements, wherein you may find mercury (Hg) - toxic in small amounts woth severe health effects especially in the young. Perhaps you never heard of dioxin. Or perhaps you have, it's just that your own self-interest overrides any concerns about others' health or other stakeholders' interest in land use. As for the peregrine falcon; it's not even a native species to the United States. Any competent wildlife biologist (which you seem not to be) would remind you that they have spread in the United States largely because of the co-occurrence of tall urban structures (p.f.s natural habitat is cliff faces and other rocky areas) and easy prey (pigeons).

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@poetrionist -

You are incorrect. Beyond that, having read your response twice, I note a complete lack of facts. You should be a hot air balloonist. You would not even need the propane tank.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Here's a link to a good article about some of the concerns I have raised around here. My point has been that a single focus lens on energy does not come close to capturing a complete view of how our economy works and the MANY things that we need to do to repair it.

www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/opinion/sapolsky-military-spending/index.html

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king!
In the land of the insane, the half-wit is hanged!
Sure are a bunch of "Owebamatrons" spouting off!
poetwild, labrador12, treelimit, you guys are wasting your time!
I've tried to "reason" with this bunch in the past. They live for people to "minus" into oblivion with their "pen is mightier than the sword" thinking, the whole while, showing their ignorance.
It's hard for me to believe that F&S actually allows Marshall and Herring to even submit articles.
As far at the Marshall/Herring automatons go...."There are none so blind as those who refuse to see!", and they prove it every time Marshall and Herring post an article!
Watch me gather the "-1's" now.
I'd bet Diehl zaps me first!
You go Mikey!!!

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Peregrines are native to North America and the US. The rest of your postings are just as accurate as your fact about peregrines. Energy is not the single focus of rebuilding the US economy, however, the denial of supply for a market is a symtom of how the government control is distorting and delaying our recovery.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Common pigeons, rock doves, are not native to North America. Peregines thrived before rock doves were imported to this country. Peregrines were called "duck hawks" back in the day.

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from poetwild wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

First Bubba....you nailed "IT" and Mikey the "Ultimate Expert in Everything All of the Time" so very well. Labrador12, I think you sound fairly knowledgeable to me on a whole lot of things despite your detractor.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@1stWackjob: You don't get to call me "Mikey," tinkerbelle.

@Labrador: There is no denial of supply, Labrador. The limit on gasoline in the USA is pretty much set by refining capacity.

My point has been all along that there are multiple uses of the land. Some forms of land use exclude all other uses for centuries if not millennia. Toxic runoff isn't a non-issue just because you can find an eagle flapping around. That seems to be the objection that you constantly raise, and your objection is rebutted by the EPA, the US FWA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and every game and Fish Dept bordering the Great lakes and in the northeastern states.

You can deny deny deny all you want, but you will still be on the losing side of the scientific argument.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

At the time of the introduction of the first "Earth Day", the bald eagle was a sign of the failure of the US ability to manage resources wisely. In 1970 the bald eagle was extinct as a breeding bird south of the Canadian border and east of the Mississippi River. Today despite Mikey's "facts", bald eagles are thriving and have reclaimed much of their lost habitat. In NY many pairs are even fledging 3 young, which is a sign of a exceedingly good quality habitat. Bald eagles require clean non-toxic food, mainly fish and water related species, clear water in which to hunt, as they are sight hunters, and relatively little disturbance at their nest sites. I find it amazing and gratifying that as our country has doubled in population in my lifetime that it has become a place with less pollution and better quality of habitat in that 60+ year period. Our ability to utilize resources wisely is illustrated by species such as the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. It is further illustrated by the eagle using areas such as Oil City Pa which had been devastated by poor resource extraction in the past. Today oil and natural gas extraction and bald eagles and ospreys co-exist in the same area.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

labrador: every single time i say this and i never get a response from you. do you know why bald eagles are making comebacks? because of government regulations like the clean water act. i cannot believe you don't realize it but every time you repeat yourself you are basically proving bob marshalls point.

the people of this country were not meant to have the government regulate their activities because they did the right thing. however, americans have changed. people these days in this country are spoiled and selfish and need others to uphold rules so that they are required to do the right thing. sad...........but true

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

labrador: every single time i say this and i never get a response from you. do you know why bald eagles are making comebacks? because of government regulations like the clean water act. i cannot believe you don't realize it but every time you repeat yourself you are basically proving bob marshalls point.

the people of this country were not meant to have the government regulate their activities because they did the right thing. however, americans have changed. people these days in this country are spoiled and selfish and need others to uphold rules so that they are required to do the right thing. sad...........but true

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

people who whine the most about high gas prices wouldn't save anything with lower prices anyways, they would just waste that money on silly things like fast food, starbucks, and golf!

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from treelimit wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Lord almighty. We have reached the logical terminus of the American experiment when the nominal power of the individual to engage in the act of simple commerce is described as "waste". The AFSCME-ization of the republic is complete.

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from shane wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

No one is asking for more regulations. We just don't want less. Same does not = more.

Apparently you guys just cover your eyes and ears every time more news of increased production comes out. We are in second place now. It isn't helping. It never will.

That is unless, like Dcast suggested, we nationalize the resource. That's right. Dcast suggested the most big-government socialist sounding idea I've heard in a while.

"No one has a valid solution YET one will come but until then we need to keep America running."

Tell that to Spain and Germany. Trains and solar and wind power, uhh, don't work. Don't go and look. It's not there, happening right now. It's, umm, a conspiracy. Stupid leftists with their technology.

"PLENTY of oil, enough for the next 100-150 years. The term "oil reserves DOES NOT simply refer to oil in the ground."
2. With a few more refineries, we COULD produce more oil and reduce costs."

Say there's that much oil. We use it all. 100-150 years later: Now what??? Who cares because we'll be dead? Let's not even try to cut into the addiction to help out future Americans?

More refineries? Why don't the refineries we have just start running at full capacity? What's with that?

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from shane wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"In Bob's World more regulaton of free individuals is the answer to every question."

In your world, are corporations and industry people? What freedoms do you lose when we prevent more of that all-too-familiar ecological destruction from re-occuring? Do you feel that you have a right to seeing the Cuyahoga catch fire again?

I'm so sick of this "take our freedoms" crap. That line's been being towed for decades. It has nothing to do with your freedoms or my freedoms, it's only in protection of the bottom lines of special interests.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

i think i know who bobs voting for next week...

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Shane did you miss that regional EPA administrator who was talking about "crucifying oil and gas companies just to get their attention"? I'm not for eliminating regulations but I am for bringing The EPA into the real world and ending its Utopian mandate. Oil and gas prices might be lower if we had a foreign policy that put US interests higher than those of the barbarians in other parts of the world.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"Blah blah blah bald eagles blah blah blah bald eagles blah blah blah."

Hey, WINGNUT. There is more to a healthy ecology than ONE DAMB SPECIES!

It is as though your monumental ignorance is something that you seek intentionally to maintain and in which you revel.

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from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Huh...I guess supply and demand is a farce after all...and the fact that the U.S. could become energy independent rather easily is b.s.

I am now enlightened by the Obamanites, and will henceforth become an Obamabot like all the other enlightened folks...thank ya'll so much for enlightening me!

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from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

just kidding...I don't want to be mistaken for a "convert" and subsequently drooled upon as one of their own...

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from shane wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Supply and demand? Do you honestly think our gas prices are set by pure, good, old fashioned supply and demand? Demand was down but prices still went up. Oil and gas/diesel are about as far from free market as you can get.

What's with the diesel prices for the last few years? Diesel is a less refined product than gasoline. Why do they charge more?

The answer is they are anti-American and want to hurt our economy if it means more money in their pockets. They know that we can just buy any number of cars (finally the US caught up with the world) that get truly good mileage, much better mileage than the market was giving us a few years ago (again, demand is down), but the people that keep this country running with their diesel-fueled fleets have no choice. They can't just replace all their trucks, they can't just walk or ride a bike or go on less vacations. They have to keep running the same miles every day and are forced to pay just about whatever these economy killers charge.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Check out the taxes per gal Shane. In Canada diesel is cheaper than gas. We have a perverted EPA mandated system that causes diesel to be taxed at a higher rate because of the higher particulate matter involved in diesel combustion. The uncertainty of supply in Wackistan plays a role as well. The veto of the keystone pipeline and the failure of the US to utilize its resources further causes price instability.

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from Rgw3 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Obviously you missed the high school economics class about supply and demand. Demand will affect the cost of the supply. If you add competition, such as more U.S. oil production, prices will drop.

I recognize that you are a very left- leaning socialist type, but you should really have legitimate economic facts to back up your argument. UT BA Economics '96, UNC MBA Finance '04.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Domestic prices will only decrease if the domestic supply increases. The people here who are criticising Marshall missed the point. Extracting more energy does NOT reduce domestic energy prices if you put that energy on the world market.

As Shane, however, has pointed out, most of the market price for oil isn't driven by end-used demand. It's driven by multiple factors, including market arbitrage.

The US could be energy independent inside one year if we took the money that we spend defending OTHER NATIONS and securing the world's access to Persian Gulf oil and diverted it to solar, wind, and nuclear power. The radioactive waste problem is solved. Reprocessing is the answer.

The reason why we do not do such things is because there are people in the USA who would rather sell out the US to China and other overseas interests than solve the problem.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

"Check out the taxes per gal Shane. In Canada diesel is cheaper than gas. We have a perverted EPA mandated system that causes diesel to be taxed at a higher rate because of the higher particulate matter involved in diesel combustion."

The EPA did not mandate that system. Congress did. The reason for the change was SO2, a toxic gas that combines with moisture to produce HsSO4 (sulfuric acid). The acid has caused all manner of ecological problems in the northeast. The cost increase reflects the decision to not pass the cost of the entire nation on solely to the northeastern states.

That, by the way, is one of the reasons why the EPA is a great thing. It prevents morons from crapping in the well.

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from shane wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

The tax on Diesel vs. Gas doesn't explain the price difference we see now. Not even close.

Is it not obvious that the Keystone pipeline doesn't magically produce oil, it just reduces shipping costs for the oil people?

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

The primary beneficiaries of public land extraction in the United States are Chinese industrial employees and the people who pillage US assets for their own personal gain. Lab and Clinchie have no compelling case to support their agenda based on economics, so they make their effort in the arena of name-calling. Why address the issue if you can call Bob an "elitist" without even having an idea of what the word means?

The key to rebuilding America's economy and creating domestic empployment has nothing to do with dollar value manipulation per se, although ANY competent economist would tell you that a LOWER valued US dollar, not a higher-valued one, will create more jobs in the United States.

The key to US economic recovery requires that the United States stop subsidizing other nations economies. Rather than destroying US strategic assets and recreational use jobs in service to the Central Planning Committee of the People's Republic of China (the world's most populous COMMUNIST nation), as Clinchie and Labbie would have us do, we must REJECT the mercantilist anti-American agenda they're pushing.

Stop providing US military defense for other nations.
Stop providing US raw materials to fuel the manufacturing sectors of other nations.

Do those two things and America will prosper.
Do otherwise, and America will be destroyed.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Bob81s use of the word "pristine" is recognizable to honest people as tantamount to "lightly impacted." The difference between his position and yours, Labrador, is the difference between hunting on land and taking your trash with you, versus turning good hunting land into a massive garbage dump and toxic waste superfund site.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Domestic prices will only decrease if the domestic supply increases. The people here who are criticising Marshall missed the point. Extracting more energy does NOT reduce domestic energy prices if you put that energy on the world market.

As Shane, however, has pointed out, most of the market price for oil isn't driven by end-used demand. It's driven by multiple factors, including market arbitrage.

The US could be energy independent inside one year if we took the money that we spend defending OTHER NATIONS and securing the world's access to Persian Gulf oil and diverted it to solar, wind, and nuclear power. The radioactive waste problem is solved. Reprocessing is the answer.

The reason why we do not do such things is because there are people in the USA who would rather sell out the US to China and other overseas interests than solve the problem.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

"Check out the taxes per gal Shane. In Canada diesel is cheaper than gas. We have a perverted EPA mandated system that causes diesel to be taxed at a higher rate because of the higher particulate matter involved in diesel combustion."

The EPA did not mandate that system. Congress did. The reason for the change was SO2, a toxic gas that combines with moisture to produce HsSO4 (sulfuric acid). The acid has caused all manner of ecological problems in the northeast. The cost increase reflects the decision to not pass the cost of the entire nation on solely to the northeastern states.

That, by the way, is one of the reasons why the EPA is a great thing. It prevents morons from crapping in the well.

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from jryoung wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

We can't "drill baby drill" and keep the supply at home. We can think that is a good idea, but it is protectionist and goes against all free market principles. What drilling would do is help boost our economy, HOWEVER, it must be prudent, balanced and focused. Unfortunately, we have many good ideas and thoughts, but once special interest and politics get involved those good ideas and thoughts are always poorly executed.

As the global economy (slowly) recovers, demand will increase and so will prices. One of the key factors that will effect prices in the future is consumption, smarter consumption. Saudi Arabia is looking to install billions worth of solar because they see that burning their golden goose for energy is no longer a reasonable use of their only resource.

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. I'd like to see more oil jobs here in NA, but not that the expense of our hunting and fishing economy that is robust and sustainable. These boom and bust oil communities are good for no one.

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from johntalbott wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I am a staunch conservationist, and an engineer in the oil/natural gas industry. You are wrong on a few things 1. We do not have insignificant drilliable oil in the US. Oil Reserves are defined as the oil on land we can currently drill assuming current rates of production and no increase in rigs. Its a red herring- we have PLENTY of oil, enough for the next 100-150 years. The term "oil reserves DOES NOT simply refer to oil in the ground."

2. With a few more refineries, we COULD produce more oil and reduce costs.

3. Oil price increases are due in part to intentional inflation (QE1,2,3, etc.) of U.S. currency. Everything has gone up in price, oil notwithstanding.

4. Opening up drilling on federals lands could be done with conservation guarantees. In the state of Arkansas, Game and Fish lands were opened up to drilling for natural gas; to Chesapeake, and a few others. The state put in place stringent enviromental standards, including thousands of dollars worth of fines for spilling regular pond water on the ground. Literally water soaked up from local ponds- illegal to dump or even spill. The state negotiated MILLIONS of dollars worth of funding for the AGFC, which directly benefitted sportsmen and land projects. The energy companies were also responsible for ensuring that lands returned to their pre-drilling states once production was done.

We have MILLIONS of people out of work and underemployed. With biologists and guarantees that will expand public access and return lands, game and fish will benefit, as will the economy. We can make drilling on federal lands profitable for sportsmen and ensure that the money goes directly to expanded conservation.

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from Bob81 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Lab and clinch,
Did you guys even bother to read the article? Did you get to the commentary by MIT Energy Economics Professor Christopher Knittel (prolly some lefty hack. Amiright?)

I ask because he pretty much addressed (and debunked) your attitudes directly. I'll also add that regular supply and demand forces are further complicated since the oil industry isn't exactly a free market.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

You are incorrect. US exports have increased as the dollar's value has declined. Of course, price suppression on the Chinese side and worldwide trade barriers against US made goods is too big a cat for mere dollar devaluation to overcome.

You completely missed the point about energy production. The point is that ratcheting up US energy production does not reduce the price of energy within the USA if we allow fossil fuels extracted from the USA to be exported.

The other problem with your comment is that NO nation has a "free market." The energy sector is, for example, highly subsidized. These subsidies include global defense of world oil supplies (for which the US taxpayer covers 80% of the planet's cost even though we only use about 18% of the oil), tax credits to extraction industries, and taxpayer subsidized cleanup.

It's all well and good to talk about conservation-minded leaders in the extraction industries who want reasonable regulations to protect groundwater. No such leaders EXIST in the extraction industries. You seem not to have been paying attention. The "drill baby drill" agenda is led by people who want ZERO regulation of their activities.

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from treelimit wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Lord almighty. We have reached the logical terminus of the American experiment when the nominal power of the individual to engage in the act of simple commerce is described as "waste". The AFSCME-ization of the republic is complete.

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from shane wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

The tax on Diesel vs. Gas doesn't explain the price difference we see now. Not even close.

Is it not obvious that the Keystone pipeline doesn't magically produce oil, it just reduces shipping costs for the oil people?

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from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

RockRat- as far as WY goes, the Upper Green River Basin has seen major population declines in mule deer and startling ozone pollution and smog levels.

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from jay wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Yeah, I've read alot about the effects on mule deer migration routes being negatively effected by resource extraction in Wyoming. The building of ranchettes in prime wintering grounds is also a big culprit in the mule deers decline.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

As long as gas is affordable, conservation is the last thing on anybody's mind. When gas was $4.50 a gallon, the "Go Green" initiative really made some headway...seems like it has slowed significantly since gas has become more affordable. It'll take off again.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Cutting trees won't provide lumber. Farming doesn't grow food. Manufacturing doesn't provide goods. Going to work isn't how Americans earn their living.

What pill do you take to believe that stuff Bob? Does the Government give them to you for free?

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from clinchknot wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Good post Lab. Of course drilling would lower prices, and lower them immediately just given the psycho factor of furthering supply. Energy independence should be a goal of everyone given we know foreign petro sales invests in terrorism.

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from Bob81 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

How does not allowing increased energy-company utility of public lands equate to increased regulation?

Really this comes down to priorities. I, Bob and many others on this blog believe that pristine public lands are more important than additional (and likely temporary) energy-boom jobs and a minor drop in fuel prices. I figure our grandkids are not going to be too impacted by the fact that in 2012 we paid five less cents at the pump for a gallon of gas, and that the unemployment rate was 7.079 percent as opposed to 7.08 percent.

You apparently disagree.

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from poetwild wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Since the value of gold is a constant and the price of an ounce of gold has gone from about $400 per ounce roughly 4 years ago to about $1,800 per ounce today, I would say the US dollar is very weak. Yet, no solid economic recovery is evident. Shoots a BIG hole in that theory of money and trade of yours. Also, if we buy a barrel of oil from foreign sources, they are going to demand a higher price since our dollar has been cheapened by poor national economic policy. Your theory of prosperity is false. We need domestic energy production to increase. Also, a gallon of gas has exorbitantly high federal and state taxes levied on it already if you want to consider the price distortion created by embedded taxes. Conservation refers to the wise use of resources and that includes the extraction and refining of oil and natural gas since those items have a marketable value. Appropriate controls need to be imposed to prevent negative impacts such as groundwater contamination and to ensure the appropriate corrective actions are taken if mistakes occur. Otherwise, energy appears to be an industry best left to free market pricing mechanisms. The government should manage towards proper multiple use of our resources not to curtail our economic growth. An alternative economic viewpoint that did not come from an ivory tower economic theorist. The value of the US dollar should mean something real to all of us and I would like mine to be worth more than what it buys today.

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from treelimit wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Okay Bob, I'll bite. Your predilection for mischaracterization, obfuscation and hyperbole is exceeded only by your facility for remaining a fugitive from the obvious. Your caricature of the "energy lobby" as uniformly demonic in its motivations aside, that the object of said lobby, namely fossil fuels, might be located in "even wilderness and roadless areas" will I'm sure come as a great shock to the tens of people laboring under the misapprehension undeveloped energy stores were conveniently hard by existing thoroughfares like ball washers to a golf cart path. Nonetheless, I will at great personal peril (I would imagine my odds in future caption contests not involving tri-corn hats or leftover Nixon masks from the Point Break wardrobe department will be severely diminished by posts such as this) assist your readers in distinguishing your assertions from reality.

First, you conflate a desirable by-product (lower gas prices) of a policy objective with the policy itself (exploitation-- read: responsible utilization-- or our domestic energy resources) and insinuate that advocacy based thereon is specious. Second, you assert that the most "effective" path to lower fuel costs is through "regulations that stress conservation" although the meaning of the word "conservation" as you employ it is inchoate. Presumably, as "The Conservationist", you mean keeping as much of them in the ground as possible. In support, you cite an AP story whose primary emphasis is an analysis of the statistical relationship between domestic production and gas prices over the last 36 years (as an aside, may I suggest a more rigorous proof reading regimen, as the eighth paragraph of your post is lifted nearly verbatim from the referenced AP article without proper accreditation).

However, inconveniently, there exists ample reason for concluding not only that a 50% increase in domestic production is well within or reach, but that such production would indeed result in lower gas prices, quite likely even more significant than the "10 percent" you dismissively deride (as a second aside, I would invite any readers to do a little quick, back of the envelope math as to the implications of even a ten percent reduction in gas prices and ask yourselves whether that might be anything you'd be interested in. Where I live, a ten percent discount would mean paying $3.50 a gallon instead of $3.90, a savings of $9.20 every time I fill my SUV). And there is ample reason to believe the reduction would be even greater. However, in consideration of the time and space required to explore concepts such as "scarcity", "market clearing", "demand destruction" and "market shock absorption", I will outsource more specific rebuttals to entities equal in stature to AP, USA Today and Fortune magazine. See the following to learn why the ideal response to current high gas prices involves both conservation AND drilling. You just might learn something that's "important [...] to know--and have ready to quote the next time someone argues the nation needs to drill more".

Links to follow

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from treelimit wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2012-05-15/1A-COV-ENERGY-INDEPENDENCE/54977254/1

finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/03/the-3-biggest-benefits-of-producing-more-oil/

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@poetrionist -

You are incorrect. Beyond that, having read your response twice, I note a complete lack of facts. You should be a hot air balloonist. You would not even need the propane tank.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Here's a link to a good article about some of the concerns I have raised around here. My point has been that a single focus lens on energy does not come close to capturing a complete view of how our economy works and the MANY things that we need to do to repair it.

www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/opinion/sapolsky-military-spending/index.html

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

labrador: every single time i say this and i never get a response from you. do you know why bald eagles are making comebacks? because of government regulations like the clean water act. i cannot believe you don't realize it but every time you repeat yourself you are basically proving bob marshalls point.

the people of this country were not meant to have the government regulate their activities because they did the right thing. however, americans have changed. people these days in this country are spoiled and selfish and need others to uphold rules so that they are required to do the right thing. sad...........but true

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from shane wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Supply and demand? Do you honestly think our gas prices are set by pure, good, old fashioned supply and demand? Demand was down but prices still went up. Oil and gas/diesel are about as far from free market as you can get.

What's with the diesel prices for the last few years? Diesel is a less refined product than gasoline. Why do they charge more?

The answer is they are anti-American and want to hurt our economy if it means more money in their pockets. They know that we can just buy any number of cars (finally the US caught up with the world) that get truly good mileage, much better mileage than the market was giving us a few years ago (again, demand is down), but the people that keep this country running with their diesel-fueled fleets have no choice. They can't just replace all their trucks, they can't just walk or ride a bike or go on less vacations. They have to keep running the same miles every day and are forced to pay just about whatever these economy killers charge.

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from CL3 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year. That would be a record for the U.S. and just below Saudi Arabia's output of 11.6 million barrels. Citibank forecasts U.S. production could reach 13 million to 15 million barrels per day by 2020, helping to make North America "the new Middle East."

Still think those gas prices have anything to do with US production?! It's a political red herring. So yeah, let's not destroy our hunting & fishing grounds!

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from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

And when that oils is gone because it went to Asia or Europe and we have nothing left to make plastic or fertilizer or any of the other things a modern society needs and some mega-rich CEO who cheats his own stock holders (that would be me, I own oils stocks in my portfolio and actually read the BS in the annual reports), is long dead, our descendants will find out what real poverty is.
For those us who actually think that oil drilled here will stay in the US, I suggest you look up the word fungible and learn about elastically of supply.

Our best hope is to develop cars that run on Natural Gas and (Yes I know what this sounds like), slowly ratchet up the price of gas until the Americans make other more economical choices. Our weasel congress persons anytime in the last 20 years could have done all this with a slowly graduated tax on fuel that increased almost imperceptibly and done properly, we would have a full treasury, no debit and could tell the Iranians, Chinese and Arabs to go do you know what to themselves. Instead the congressional cowards found it much easier to screw up the housing market, the financial system and take care of their campaign contributors in BIG PHARMA, BIG OIL and BIG TECH. And soon our wilderness will be gone. Great. Don’t worry about them taking our guns, because there will soon be no where to shoot them,

Why this RANT (and yep I am mad); Remember who left you this mess on election day and fire the SOB’s.

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from Michael Dezort wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In point of fact, drilling will drive prices down. We are one of the largest suppliers in the world and still have a profound impact on world oil market prices. It's not simply a matter of volume either. As we increase drilling and put more oil on the market, our competitors must drill more to maintain market share. That in turn, puts more oil on the market which drives prices down further. And as other responders have noted, there is little to no impact on wildlife when we drill more. Yes, we need to use natural gas as well, but as anyone in the oil and NG market will tell you, you must drill for that as well. Prefer electricity instead? Most is generated by digging coal from the ground or hydroelectricity. Which do you think has more impact on the environment and wildlife? A 5 acre drilling site or taking the top off of mountains and building dams?

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from krwheeler wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

To RealGoodMan - Have you seen any numbers corelated with the elk/mule deer/antelope decline with wolf predation? Neither have I. NOBODY has brought up that subject, and even WyG&F is in on the "hide and seek" numbers.

The Yellowstone pack(s) have been growing for a good couple of decades now, and the wolves are spreading out into Oregon, California, Washington, Montana, and South Dakota. And yet WyG&F WILL NOT acknowledge any wolves in Eastern Wyoming.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Before all you city dwellers condemn the energy corporations for the decline in numbers, the fault may not be just them. The "big bad wolf" has been helping that, and the people who live in Wyoming know this for a fact.

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from krwheeler wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Oh, and by the way... more government regulations and intervention will not help.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Five years ago Bob could have written this article using natural gas instead of oil. The "experts" were wrong then and they will be wrong now. The real world is different than the projections that we pay the government to provide to us. Even if the only result was a reduction in our balance of payments, an increase of two million good paying jobs, and a strengthening of the dollar it would be worth doing. In Bob's World more regulaton of free individuals is the answer to every question. There is never enough rules on other peoples actions. Bob's elitist effluent has no odor.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Once again, Labrador demonstrates his penchant for hystrionics rather than facts and logic. Labbie, I lived my first 34 years east of the MI. You have claimed to be some sort of wildlife biologist; I doubt your claim. A real wildlife biologist (and almost anyone who has studied the most elementary precepts of ecology) understands that a single species is not usually a very good indicator of an ecosystem's health. Your pathetic incessant recourse to the "example of the Bald Eagle" would be worthy of humorous derision were it not a political weapon that you use to attempt to deceive others. The plain fact is that most of those waterways are still in dire shape; that is why, for example, you can't safely eat more than one fish per month from the Great Lakes. Perhaps your training never got as far as the periodic table of the elements, wherein you may find mercury (Hg) - toxic in small amounts woth severe health effects especially in the young. Perhaps you never heard of dioxin. Or perhaps you have, it's just that your own self-interest overrides any concerns about others' health or other stakeholders' interest in land use. As for the peregrine falcon; it's not even a native species to the United States. Any competent wildlife biologist (which you seem not to be) would remind you that they have spread in the United States largely because of the co-occurrence of tall urban structures (p.f.s natural habitat is cliff faces and other rocky areas) and easy prey (pigeons).

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king!
In the land of the insane, the half-wit is hanged!
Sure are a bunch of "Owebamatrons" spouting off!
poetwild, labrador12, treelimit, you guys are wasting your time!
I've tried to "reason" with this bunch in the past. They live for people to "minus" into oblivion with their "pen is mightier than the sword" thinking, the whole while, showing their ignorance.
It's hard for me to believe that F&S actually allows Marshall and Herring to even submit articles.
As far at the Marshall/Herring automatons go...."There are none so blind as those who refuse to see!", and they prove it every time Marshall and Herring post an article!
Watch me gather the "-1's" now.
I'd bet Diehl zaps me first!
You go Mikey!!!

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Peregrines are native to North America and the US. The rest of your postings are just as accurate as your fact about peregrines. Energy is not the single focus of rebuilding the US economy, however, the denial of supply for a market is a symtom of how the government control is distorting and delaying our recovery.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Common pigeons, rock doves, are not native to North America. Peregines thrived before rock doves were imported to this country. Peregrines were called "duck hawks" back in the day.

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from poetwild wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

First Bubba....you nailed "IT" and Mikey the "Ultimate Expert in Everything All of the Time" so very well. Labrador12, I think you sound fairly knowledgeable to me on a whole lot of things despite your detractor.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@1stWackjob: You don't get to call me "Mikey," tinkerbelle.

@Labrador: There is no denial of supply, Labrador. The limit on gasoline in the USA is pretty much set by refining capacity.

My point has been all along that there are multiple uses of the land. Some forms of land use exclude all other uses for centuries if not millennia. Toxic runoff isn't a non-issue just because you can find an eagle flapping around. That seems to be the objection that you constantly raise, and your objection is rebutted by the EPA, the US FWA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and every game and Fish Dept bordering the Great lakes and in the northeastern states.

You can deny deny deny all you want, but you will still be on the losing side of the scientific argument.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

labrador: every single time i say this and i never get a response from you. do you know why bald eagles are making comebacks? because of government regulations like the clean water act. i cannot believe you don't realize it but every time you repeat yourself you are basically proving bob marshalls point.

the people of this country were not meant to have the government regulate their activities because they did the right thing. however, americans have changed. people these days in this country are spoiled and selfish and need others to uphold rules so that they are required to do the right thing. sad...........but true

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

people who whine the most about high gas prices wouldn't save anything with lower prices anyways, they would just waste that money on silly things like fast food, starbucks, and golf!

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from shane wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

No one is asking for more regulations. We just don't want less. Same does not = more.

Apparently you guys just cover your eyes and ears every time more news of increased production comes out. We are in second place now. It isn't helping. It never will.

That is unless, like Dcast suggested, we nationalize the resource. That's right. Dcast suggested the most big-government socialist sounding idea I've heard in a while.

"No one has a valid solution YET one will come but until then we need to keep America running."

Tell that to Spain and Germany. Trains and solar and wind power, uhh, don't work. Don't go and look. It's not there, happening right now. It's, umm, a conspiracy. Stupid leftists with their technology.

"PLENTY of oil, enough for the next 100-150 years. The term "oil reserves DOES NOT simply refer to oil in the ground."
2. With a few more refineries, we COULD produce more oil and reduce costs."

Say there's that much oil. We use it all. 100-150 years later: Now what??? Who cares because we'll be dead? Let's not even try to cut into the addiction to help out future Americans?

More refineries? Why don't the refineries we have just start running at full capacity? What's with that?

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from shane wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"In Bob's World more regulaton of free individuals is the answer to every question."

In your world, are corporations and industry people? What freedoms do you lose when we prevent more of that all-too-familiar ecological destruction from re-occuring? Do you feel that you have a right to seeing the Cuyahoga catch fire again?

I'm so sick of this "take our freedoms" crap. That line's been being towed for decades. It has nothing to do with your freedoms or my freedoms, it's only in protection of the bottom lines of special interests.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Shane did you miss that regional EPA administrator who was talking about "crucifying oil and gas companies just to get their attention"? I'm not for eliminating regulations but I am for bringing The EPA into the real world and ending its Utopian mandate. Oil and gas prices might be lower if we had a foreign policy that put US interests higher than those of the barbarians in other parts of the world.

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from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Huh...I guess supply and demand is a farce after all...and the fact that the U.S. could become energy independent rather easily is b.s.

I am now enlightened by the Obamanites, and will henceforth become an Obamabot like all the other enlightened folks...thank ya'll so much for enlightening me!

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from BackRoad600 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

just kidding...I don't want to be mistaken for a "convert" and subsequently drooled upon as one of their own...

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from rock rat wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I already knew that domestic production had no relation to pump prices, as does anyone who has followed energy issues for the past decade or two or three. And you'll get no quibble out of me that we need to work on conservation more than anything else, I think we could cut consumption in half without much effort, look at similar places and their consumption.

Where we differ is on the amount of damage oil production does to the environment. And science bears this out. What affect does Prudoe Bay have on the Porcupine caribou herd? Just about none. Bears? same. I spent a long winter walking along the edge of ANWAR.

All the well heads and drill rigs in Wyoming? Not much that I've seen. After they are done they are gone, silence. biggest damage is the roads that allow people in.

The damage is once the stuff is out of the ground, refined, and burnt in big SUVs enroute to an Audubon meeting.

Not mentioned is the benefit to keeping dollars in the country supporting the 1% here instead of sending it to other countries to support the 1% there.

When I am king I'll tax the heck out of it.

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from Dcast wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I will agree with this article to a point. 1st point no matter how much we drill and put it into the world supply we will not lower prices, however that isn't what "drill baby drill" people are wanting people like me that want to produce our own energy wants it to be taken from North America and refined here and not supplied to the global market. So if this is the case the cost would decrease. 2nd If we want to lower prices of oil now without drilling we have to increase the worth of our currency, because global oil is bought and traded in the dollar not other currencies at this point. Finally what is the world more importantly America to do for energy? Solar and wind has been a bust to date. What about fueling vehicles? Ethanol isn't the answer we seen that come to a failure and at the same time raising the price on everything we eat. No one has a valid solution YET one will come but until then we need to keep America running.

I think I can talk for most when I say "Thank God RockRat will never be king"! Secondly this is America where the last king ruled some 236 years ago!

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Mike thinks that all land east of the Mississippi River is a uninhabitable toxic dump. He denies the expansion of such delicate species as peregrine falcons, bald eagles and osprey. He sees the world through dung colored glasses that he bought used in a yard sale in Frisco circa 1965.

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from poetwild wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

No, you are incorrect. Does not matter about the increasing exports. We still have a massive trade imbalance. Along with a national debt of gigantic size, persistent high unemployment and a weakening dollar that penalizes savers, investors, pensioners and consumers.
Your characterization of the Chinese and other foreign actors is borne of a personal bias...just based some vague unproven theory.

As far as our selling of any resource, it is legitimate since all markets seek an agreement between supplier and buyer. We need to get paid for any commodity we sell. After all, we have some debts to pay and the satisfaction of those require something of value gets exchanged.

Your entire characterization of the energy market being subsidized borders on absurdity...compared to what? The auto industry? The housing industry? Look at the dollars steered by government in those and other cases (like green energy). As far as markets are concerned, they have produced extraordinary economic success. The story of America is about the success of capitalism (at least until very recently). Ours has been freer than most until present times.

Your overstated bias against business, oil, markets and other persons who don't agree with you says it all. It's some Keynesian, conspiracy theorist driven, populist colored and socialist bent concoction that does not have enough data nor common sense to support it. The world's dictators can always identify boogeymen...the oil companies, the wealthy, bankers, people who disagree with them....whatever. You have your opinion and you cherry pick your facts. The fact is, our form of free market capitalism had created the world's most successful economy over 2 centuries and you want to double down on excessive growth killing regulation. Energy is a commodity essential to economic success. The cheaper it's price, the lower the cost of production of other things of value. But you think its price needs to be set by some benign government that can't balance its own budget nor produce services that people value (Postal Service anyone?).

Love your pontificating about all the evil in others and the folly of free enterprise. You would make a great dictator.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

At the time of the introduction of the first "Earth Day", the bald eagle was a sign of the failure of the US ability to manage resources wisely. In 1970 the bald eagle was extinct as a breeding bird south of the Canadian border and east of the Mississippi River. Today despite Mikey's "facts", bald eagles are thriving and have reclaimed much of their lost habitat. In NY many pairs are even fledging 3 young, which is a sign of a exceedingly good quality habitat. Bald eagles require clean non-toxic food, mainly fish and water related species, clear water in which to hunt, as they are sight hunters, and relatively little disturbance at their nest sites. I find it amazing and gratifying that as our country has doubled in population in my lifetime that it has become a place with less pollution and better quality of habitat in that 60+ year period. Our ability to utilize resources wisely is illustrated by species such as the bald eagle and peregrine falcon. It is further illustrated by the eagle using areas such as Oil City Pa which had been devastated by poor resource extraction in the past. Today oil and natural gas extraction and bald eagles and ospreys co-exist in the same area.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

i think i know who bobs voting for next week...

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from Mike Diehl wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

"Blah blah blah bald eagles blah blah blah bald eagles blah blah blah."

Hey, WINGNUT. There is more to a healthy ecology than ONE DAMB SPECIES!

It is as though your monumental ignorance is something that you seek intentionally to maintain and in which you revel.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Check out the taxes per gal Shane. In Canada diesel is cheaper than gas. We have a perverted EPA mandated system that causes diesel to be taxed at a higher rate because of the higher particulate matter involved in diesel combustion. The uncertainty of supply in Wackistan plays a role as well. The veto of the keystone pipeline and the failure of the US to utilize its resources further causes price instability.

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from Rgw3 wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Obviously you missed the high school economics class about supply and demand. Demand will affect the cost of the supply. If you add competition, such as more U.S. oil production, prices will drop.

I recognize that you are a very left- leaning socialist type, but you should really have legitimate economic facts to back up your argument. UT BA Economics '96, UNC MBA Finance '04.

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from labrador12 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Pristine public lands? I wouldn't call all of our National Parks "pristine". If pristine is what you want, I shudder to think what you will get. Pristine will lead to no access for ordinary citizens. Pristine will get you no hunting, no fishing and no use by the public. A State like Nevada would have less usable land than Del.

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