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Friday, July 25, 2008

Why this blog misses the point on energy prices

If you read this piece, you're left with the impression that Democrats may be clinging to policies that keep energy prices high and that they're endangering their environmental message as people pay more attention to their pocketbook.  (Note: who has a pocketbook, anyway?  Gotta love the media for the inane metaphors for America's tough problems). 

The implicit message is that energy prices could be lower, if only we did something else. 

Wrong.

Energy prices are going up.  Period.  Oil is becoming more scarce relative to demand.  Same for coal, natural gas, etc.  Demand keeps rising (it's a world market, and the Chinese and Indians want to drive, too).  So even if we drilled our brains out, we're not going to be able to put enough oil on the market to drive prices down.

Renewable energy will prove cheaper in the long run, because fossil fuel price inflation will soon pass the cost of renewables (and has, in several markets).  And because many renewables are fuel-free (solar, wind), they won't become more expensive over time (though new wind turbines and solar panels can become more expensive, since they're made of metals and other materials that are also on the world market). 

So, America, listen up: THE ERA OF CHEAP ENERGY IS OVER.  Anyone who says differently is selling something.

1 comment:

rick said...

I disagree, the impression I get from this article is that the Democrats may be tempted to give up ground on environmentally-friendly positions if Democratic strategists come to think that the party will lose voters.

It seems to me that the columnist recognizes that in fact, certain proposals (gas tax holiday, more drilling) won't do much to lower prices.

On the other hand, he does seem to criticize taxing oil profits and attacking speculators, and perhaps rightfully so.