published Friday, January 13th, 2012

High gas prices show need to unleash U.S. energy potential

President Barack Obama's unwise delay of a decision on a large oil pipeline project is coming into even more painful focus with predictions about how high gasoline prices may go over the next few months.

In case you missed it, oil industry experts are saying that by Memorial Day, the American people may be paying $4.50 a gallon for gas.

Do you think that current local gas prices in the $3 to $3.50 range are too low? Do you think the nearly $4,200 that the typical American household spent on gasoline in 2011 wasn't enough?

More to the point, have your wages been increasing enough over the past months and years that you can readily afford to pay a dollar to a dollar and a half more per gallon? That would come to an additional $12 to $18 on just a 12-gallon fill-up!

Of course many factors that affect gasoline prices are largely beyond U.S. control. We cannot guess, for example, what anti-American strongman Hugo Chavez may do in Venezuela, a nation where Chavez's socialist policies have led to great privation despite vast oil reserves. Neither can we predict the next steps radical Iran might take in the Persian Gulf -- from which much of the world's oil is shipped -- in response to sanctions over Iran's nuclear weapons program.

But those uncertainties make it all the more frustrating that the United States is not making full use of our own supplies of oil and natural gas in Alaska and off our coasts -- despite our country's strong record of environmentally safe energy production.

And it is almost as frustrating that the president has postponed a decision on a pipeline that would bring oil to refineries on our Gulf Coast from friendly Canada -- creating thousands of jobs and serving as a counterweight to our troubling dependence on oil from dangerous or unstable regimes. The oil is expected to be sold to Communist China if it is not brought into the United States.

There is no reason -- other than placating his environmental activist backers -- for the president to delay the decision on the pipeline.

And there is certainly no reason to keep so much of our domestic energy supplies out of reach -- and to keep us at the mercy of overseas radicals.

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EaTn said...

Why would we want to pump crude hundreds of miles to the Gulf coast unless the oil companies plan to put the gasoline on the world market? Instead of building a major pipeline, maybe the govt should force building a refinery close to Canada so that the gasoline could most economically be used in this country.

January 13, 2012 at 8:27 a.m.

Why not do some unleashing of our engineering know-how? There are many more options than just a single pipeline of questionable safety and even more doubtful honesty.

Wouldn't reducing oil consumption be a more effective tool, one that had long-term impact, rather than the short-term grabbing at a less than desirable resource?

January 13, 2012 at 12:29 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Oil is fungible!

The price of oil is determined by world demand and the US can have very little downward impact on the price of oil, no matter what we do. World demand is rising by 1-1.5% per year and new supply and discoveries have been unable to match that growth when combined with the rapid depletion of older oil fields. US reserves are not large enough to offset this reality.

Oil is going to be sold to the highest bidder and sold into the world market. Higher gas prices are in our future and our only effective defense is to consume less. Neither fracking,tar sands nor shale oil will make a substantial difference.

Reduced consumption is America's way forward.

January 13, 2012 at 2:13 p.m.
jesse said...

make gas $10.00 a gal.and watch consumption go down!

eatn had the right idea,build a refinery on the canadian bord.

January 13, 2012 at 6:32 p.m.
hambone said...

If people posting here would bother to check they would find out that a new oil refinery is under construction in South Dakota.

It is the first and only new refinery the EPA has recieved a request for in the past 35 years.

and if people would bother to check they would see that the US has been exporting oil products lately.

But then again it is election time.

January 13, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.
EaTn said... why the h#ll are some fighting to build a pipeline to the gulf if they have plans to construct a refinery near the source?

January 13, 2012 at 8:01 p.m.

Lately? You mean Alaskan oil exports to Asia? Various exchanges with Canada and Mexico? I won't count that as a net export.

January 13, 2012 at 8:54 p.m.
hambone said...

EaTn, It has to do with who will profit from oil sands (dirty oil) being exported from Canada.

Can you spell K-O-C-H Industries?

January 13, 2012 at 9:42 p.m.
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