Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Politics of Petroleum

One of the key issues emerging in the Presidential race is the price we’re paying for gasoline.

The Energy Information Institute on Monday noted that prices have increased each week for the past dozen straight, and we’re now paying about 74.5-cents more per gallon than we were this time last year.

The average price for a gallon of regular stands at $4.082, so if you’re buying it for less, consider yourself fortunate.

Sen. John McCain and President George W. Bush are both back on the band wagon for lifting restrictions on drilling in parts of the U.S. where Congress has imposed a moratorium since 1981.
It's about time.

Bush ’41 placed an additional, executive ban on drilling in place…Mr. Clinton extended it…and Bush ’43 extended it again until 2012. Looks like both parties’ standard bearers could be blamed for a shared myopia on the issue. At least President Bush’s apparent flip-flop on this one is a positive change of position.

Sen. Barak Obama is agin’ lifting the moratorium, offering the shallow argument that anything we drill today will be five years in reaching your gasoline tank. Translation: it’s not going to help him in November. Trouble is, such flawed logic could actually hurt him at the polls, if he is perceived to be part of the process that continues the financial pain. Because for each month we delay resumption of exploration, that alleged five-year window keeps sliding farther and farther into the future.

Sen. McCain is correct about one thing: more drilling is not the solution to America’s addiction to foreign oil. Like anyone trying to kick a habit, less is more. A successful U.S. energy strategy will have to include measures for reducing our consumption, however possible.

By the way, that paragon of global warm mongering and apostle of environmental responsibility, Al Gore, is still out-performing his neighbors when it comes to electricity consumption.

According to the Tennessee Center for Public Policy, since installing measures to make his home more energy efficient, the Gore’s usage has increased 10%--burning 213,210 kilowatt hours of juice in the past year.

The average usage for a typical American home is 11,040 kwh a year. That’s an average number for an average sized house.

The modest Clanton Hacienda in the exburbs near Houston, Texas burned through 27,382 kwh in the past 12-months, where the summers are anything but average in temperature and length.

It’s certainly hotter here, and for longer, than in Tennessee, so running through nearly two and a half as much kilowatt hours of electricity as the average house does not necessarily make me a power pig.

Actual photo of my car's outside temp reading

in the church parking lot tonight, 8:45p CDT

I went back and looked at the previous year, and we actually have used less power in the past 12-months than we did in the previous 12-month period.

The Gore’s monthly power bill runs $16,533, according to the Tennessee Public Policy report.
Wonder if they’ve ever considered balanced billing?

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