USA: An oil rich nation after all

posted at 8:05 am on March 17, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

The President has been traveling on Campaign Tourapalooza 2012 this month and seeking to explain rising oil and gas prices. One of his favorite tag lines has been to say that you “can’t just drill your way to lower gas prices.” (And he’s partly correct there, but more on that later.) But he’s also tossing out another figure when he makes these remarks.

“With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” he said. “Not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.”

So is that actually true? Are we an oil barren nation? As John Merline points out at Investors Business Daily, it’s not even close to being accurate unless you’re really picking and choosing your terms. This is because the figure that Barack Obama is quoting relies on estimates of proved reserves.

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world’s proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves “are a small subset of recoverable resources,” because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports.

Proved reserves is a valuable number to keep track of, no doubt. It gives you a good snapshot of the amount of oil you’re currently tapping into, and that allows you to develop solid estimates of what’s going to be entering the pipeline each season. But by the same token, it’s not any sort of reflection of what your total assets are. That’s like saying that Bill Gates only has $20K of liquid cash in his primary checking account this month so he must be close to filing for bankruptcy. Here’s a more complete picture for you:

Oil Scarcity

  • At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered
  • About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.
  • Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope
  • Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.
  • As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands
  • A stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming

The main problem is that most of these resources are roped off. Just knowing the oil is there comes as little comfort if there are never going to be any leases issued by the government for energy companies to explore. And our ability to access the shale oil – while technically well withing our capability today – will be significantly hamstrung as long as activists continue to fight fracking and horizontal drilling.

But before we get too carried away, it’s still worth noting that one part of Obama’s claims is actually true. Even if we opened the floodgates and were able to jack up our domestic production by 20% overnight, it wouldn’t do much to move the needle on gas and oil prices in general. That’s because, as we’ve noted before, the idea of “energy independence” is something of a misnomer. Energy is traded on a global market, not compartmentalized by nation. When we produce more than we need, the rest is immediately sold as exports with few exceptions. When we don’t produce as much, we import more. It’s just the way the free market works.


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It would be a one time, temporary reduction in the price of gas. This time next year we would be in the same space. I know this is antithetical to that free market, financial quarter style of thinking, but at least *TRY* and think beyond the next 12 months would you.

libfreeordie on March 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM

And the reason for that “one time, temporary reduction in the price of gas” would be…..what, exactly?
It couldn’t be that your pResident wants lower gas prices in the few months leading up to the 2012 election, could it? Is lil barry just thinking short-term?

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Solaratov on March 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Look how this swine lies to the fools, media you the bigged idiots, that he “is for lowwer gasoline prices“.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling anew on Congress to end tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry, saying the nation needs to develop alternative sources of energy in the face of rising gasoline prices.

Only idiots believe him.

One of them is Romney, who said last night that “the economy is better, due to Obama”.

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

When will the msm report on Exxon’s record profits from the high gas prices? And will they ever report on how high prices only seem to hurt the poor?
Who am I kidding.

multiuseless on March 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM

When will the lame stream media report on the money the fed collects in taxes on every dollar of gasoline sold. In Calif, they collect 38 cents per gallon and add an additional 15% in state and local taxes and fees. Cut the taxes there, allow us to spend more of OUR money and the economy soars. Our property taxes are to repair the roads and infrastructure, not school lunches.

dthorny on March 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM

It was well known long long long before the current gasoline price crisis that US reserves of shale oil and oil sand even BEFORE adding Canada into the equation exceeded the ENTIRE Middle astern reserves four-fold. This does NOT include ANWAR or off-shore drilling.By utilizing these reserves we could not only be energy self-sufficient for over a century but concurrently be a major exporter of oil as well.

In doing so, we can not only dictate global economic terms but also turn the thieving price gougers –Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. into worthless piles of sand-robbing terrorists of their greatest assets (armaments and military training paid for by copious oil money) and threatening the end of at least the militant arm of Islam.In fact robbing the Middle east of its oil profits almost guarantees a better world for everybody else.

For years Democrats in the legislature have denied access to our own below-ground fortune and now Obama’s non-drilling policies are pushing us lower than whale sh– on the economic ladder.

MaiDee on March 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

It would be a one time, temporary reduction in the price of gas. This time next year we would be in the same space. I know this is antithetical to that free market, financial quarter style of thinking, but at least *TRY* and think beyond the next 12 months would you.

libfreeordie on March 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Then you are, of course, completely against Barak Obama and his releasing of any oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

itsspideyman on March 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM

That oil is not the oil for gasoline.

IlikedAUH2O on March 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Somebody should have told that to the Germans in WW2.

Solaratov on March 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Yes we need to go after all the oil we can. We are a energy rich nation. This will allow us to not be worried so much about the middle east.

But it’s not the problem.

No one will talk about the number one issue that is the reason we are getting screwed right now and have been for the past 10 years. Republicans and Democrates are both at fault and they know it. Producing more oil will not fix it. December 15, 2000 both houses signed off on one last appropriations bill for the year. Attached to the bill was an Admendment for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (CFMA). This is the bill that took authority away from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate oil margins, shorts and longs. (speculation). Read most of this report. Look at the graphs.

http://www.bakerinstitute.org/publications/EF-pub-MedlockJaffeOilFuturesMarket-082609.pdf

Our government knows the problem but will not fix it. Their to busy pointing figures at each other to score political points. All the while we are getting screwed. The media knows the truth. But everyone that I hear on my side of the aile just goes right along with the old drill, drill, drill. That will not fix THIS problem.

I want us to DRILL baby DRILL. but that is a different issue.

Don’t believe me do some research and then contact your congressman. Any congressman or senator that is still in office that voted for this crap and does not come out and push for repeal or fix should be voted out of office.

BTW believe it or not the CFMA also had a hand in the rest of the economic issue we have faced. This does take blame for the socialist commie in the White House. It just gives him ammo.

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Honestly, it does not matter whether or not significant US oil drilling will make a dent in prices or not.

Right now, Oil prices are very high, so by sitting on our reserves and not drilling, we are basically burning barrels of money at time when we are going bankrupt. That just strikes me as really stupid.

If the prices don’t go down, we as a nation will be making money hand over fist. If the prices do go down, then we will have dramatically reduced our costs of doing business. About the only way we can lose out is if we don’t drill, don’t sell oil at the current high prices, continuing to buying it at the current high prices.

It’s not even going to save the environment either. Have you ever seen the damage that hungry scavengers can inflict upon an area? When biologists class us as “devourers of everything” they really mean it.

Voyager on March 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

This link too

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h106-4577

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

One of them is Romney, who said last night that “the economy is better, due to Obama”.

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

…oh golly!…we got another John McCain!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Every time we mention expanded domestic drilling, prices go down.

Hmmmm.

John the Libertarian on March 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Once again, free market conservatives abandon all their principles when it comes to oil.

libfreeordie on March 17, 2012 at 11:03 AM

This must have come in the newest talking points memo.

What would a leftist know about a free market? Their whole existence is predicated on a large, centralized government controlling every aspect of life.

Solaratov on March 17, 2012 at 1:23 PM

One of them is Romney, who said last night that “the economy is better, due to Obama”.

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Where’s your source on that one, Mr. Crazy?

Kriggly on March 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

But before we get too carried away, it’s still worth noting that one part of Obama’s claims is actually true. Even if we opened the floodgates and were able to jack up our domestic production by 20% overnight, it wouldn’t do much to move the needle on gas and oil prices in general. That’s because, as we’ve noted before, the idea of “energy independence” is something of a misnomer. Energy is traded on a global market, not compartmentalized by nation. When we produce more than we need, the rest is immediately sold as exports with few exceptions. When we don’t produce as much, we import more. It’s just the way the free market works.

bullcrap. the free market in general and the oil market in particular is controlled by speculators. which means that people place investments on future outcomes” the price of oil is a factor of what people think will happen not present circumstance. The stock price is based on future speculation on a companies profit. Etc. opening up drilling today means a direct decrease in the price of oil as traders take into account the increase supply that will flow into the market in the years to come. Anyone that thinks today’s price for oil is based on today’s demand and supply doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about.

unseen on March 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM

About the only way we can lose out is if we don’t drill, don’t sell oil at the current high prices, continuing to buying it at the current high prices.

It’s not even going to save the environment either. Have you ever seen the damage that hungry scavengers can inflict upon an area? When biologists class us as “devourers of everything” they really mean it.

Voyager on March 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Well we can win if the following is true also. Oil is really running out and we as a country are using other’s oil up saving ours for last. which me4ans when we finally tap into it we will make a killing. But most likely by that time the world as a whole will have moved away from oil and into other forms of fossil fuels like Nat gas.

The problem is and continues to be it is cheaper for the oil companies to drill and pump oil in other places than the USA as long as our military secures those fields. The oil companies don’t have to pay for the protection, the labor is cheaper, the materials are cheaper and the regulations and oversight are cheaper. Therefore if saudis can pump a barrel for $2 and it costs $30 to pump a barrel from AK or ND then the exxons of the world will continue to buy the cheaper produced imports.

unseen on March 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Jefferson helped set the path for power in this Country by adding a tariff to goods produced outside the USA, running the Country with no internal taxes What so ever.

My proposal is to establish a flat 10% tariff on oil or any other good produced outside the USA and open the floodgates to exploration, drilling, mining, refining and production within the USA.

I know that tariffs are a knee jerk anathema to Conservatives, but the real purpose of Free Trade agreements was to allow businesses to flee overseas to see a lighter regulatory/tax/labor environment. That is why everything from sniper scopes to toasters are made in China. We don’t need that if we are competitive here.

Seal the border, kick out illegals, and run the USA in a way that puts Americans First by slashing Government to its Constitutional limits. The way we are doing it now, people who have a product to sell explore manufacturing overseas first and only stay if it is too difficult to move the business (like Boeing). This has got to stop. If we are to be a land of Opportunity, businessmen should say “Thank God I am in the USA”, not “What can I get the Vietnamese to make this for?”

Bulletchaser on March 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

unseen on March 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM

And speculators just dream up values?

How much money have you made in options or futures?

Tell me how to do that.

watch whom you run your mouth at.

IlikedAUH2O on March 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM

libfreeordie on March 17, 2012 at ______

You have made a number of posts regarding a global market. They are correct we exist in a global market. The issue is that it is a controlled not a free market. The major oil producing countries formed a cartel way back in the 70′s to control the supply of oil being released into that global market. By controlling that supply they keep costs higher than they would be with free competition. If we were to develop our resources enough to fracture that cartel then costs would come down regardless of whether our supplies were used here in the US or sold on the world market.

chemman on March 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I’ve been following this conversation and it seems to me that the liberal argument is this:

We on a sinking ship without lifeboats. We’ve called the Coast Guard and they’ll rescue us at some time in the future. The captain and crew are bailing water as fast as they can while the passengers stand around and watch. The captain has determined that the ship will definitely sink, but instead of asking the passengers to pitch in to keep the boat afloat until help arrives, he just gives up believing that this action will force the Coast Guard to arrive more quickly.

ReaganWasRight on March 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

ReaganWasRight on March 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

LOL. You remember Jim Jones?

Well, we have a brainwashed leadership who think climate change and other problems spell doom for us. Fossil fuels must go.

We must pay high prices for the change we need to make. We are too weak to make the right choices.

Some will suffer more than others but it must be thus.

Only a transformational change will suffice and those who disagree are fools.

Any and all actions to save us are justified, even damaging or destroying the nation.

IlikedAUH2O on March 17, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas) production on Federal and Indian lands is the lowest in the 9 years EIA reports data and is 6 percent less than in fiscal year 2010.

Crude oil and lease condensate production on Federal and Indian lands is 13 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.

Natural gas production on Federal and Indian lands is the lowest in the 9 years that EIA reports data and is 10 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.

Natural gas plant liquids production on Federal and Indian lands is 3 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.

Coal production on Federal and Indian lands is the lowest in the 9 years of data that EIA reported and is 2 percent lower than in fiscal year 2010.

Akzed on March 17, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Science mag calls for steps toward global governance

32 leading governance experts argue in Science for fundamental reforms of global environmental governance and a ‘constitutional moment’ in world politics

Reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires a “constitutional moment” comparable in scale and importance to the reform of international governance that followed World War II, say 32 leading experts in an article in Science, published on 16 March.

Stark increases in natural disasters, food and water security problems and biodiversity loss are just part of the evidence that humanity may be crossing planetary boundaries and approaching dangerous tipping points. A more effective environmental governance system needs to be instituted soon, according to the article.

In particular, the group argues for the creation of a UN Sustainable Development Council to better integrate sustainable development concerns across the UN system, with a strong role for the twenty largest economies (G20).

The article also suggests upgrading of the UN Environment Programme to a full-fledged UN agency – a step that would give it greater authority, more secure funding, and facilitate the creation and enforcement of international regulations and standards.

In addition, the article calls for stronger consultative rights for representatives of civil society in global governance, based on mechanisms that balance differences in influence and resources among civil society representatives.

In order to improve the speed of decision-making in international negotiations, the article calls for stronger reliance on qualified majority-voting in international decision-making.

The scientists also argue for increased financial support for poorer nations, including through novel financial mechanisms such as air transportation levies.

etc

“We need tyranny to save the environment!!11!!!!!!”

Akzed on March 17, 2012 at 2:22 PM

He,as Chris Matthews said, is a gift from the world to us.

His ultimate loyalty is to the world.

He will wreck this nation to make an ideological point on this to serve the world.

And they are as amateur and dishonest as the Nixon White House.

Golly, I pray I am wrong.

IlikedAUH2O on March 17, 2012 at 2:22 PM

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Most domestic oil is already sold on contract and only indexed to the spot market, BUT with price differentials depending on TYPE of crude oil based mostly on API Gravity, Viscosity and Sulfur content.

There is a whole lot more to price of crude than the market for WTI or Brent.

Kermit on March 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

32 leading governance experts

Experts.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….

breathe

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

BobMbx on March 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Where’s your source on that one, Mr. Crazy?

Kriggly on March 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Just don’t call me common. You’d love to be as “crazy” as I am. Life is incredibly interesting.

Now, good luck for your Mitt, with this argument? What is the need to vote for him, he having ‘sold’ himself for a year as the one to “fix the economy”?

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

BobMbx on March 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Hey that’s a lot of CO2 you’re expending there…

Akzed on March 17, 2012 at 2:32 PM

BobMbx just used up his yearly hahahahahaha quota.

moonsbreath on March 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

He’ll have to go to heh heh heh.

Akzed on March 17, 2012 at 2:46 PM

BobMbx just used up his yearly hahahahahaha quota.

moonsbreath on March 17, 2012 at 2:43 PM

No way. I’ve got legislation working its way through the system to increase my haha limit.

BobMbx on March 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM

2303 Billion Barrels “Undiscovered Resources”

The undiscover’d treasures
to whose bourne no d’velopers may go.

Tzetzes on March 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Unseen has it right. The old and tired argument of oil drilling not affecting the prices is wrong and has been for a long time.

The oil market is an almost pure supply/demand example. What drives the prices is what speculators “think” that ratio will be in the future. That speculation occurs on the margins, and always has.

We see fluctuations in today’s market on almost an instantaneous basis based on the calculations made on future pressures. Do you really think we are paying 3.80 a gallon because of lack of the resource? No, we are paying it because the supply is being manipulated on the market. The Saudis just signaled a reduction in production last week which led to a spike. The concept of Iran closing the Strait caused a spike. If the supply side could be manipulated by our efforts through greater production, the spikes would be smaller if they existed at all. (Remember the Saudis stated openly several years ago they were very happy with retail prices between three and four dollars a gallon. They know we have become used to the price. It is very profitable, and we don’t complain too loudly. Win/Win)

Speculators are there to make money. They gamble on future outcomes. They aren’t there to loose money, so if they were faced with a certainty, for example that the U.S. is ramping up and maintaining production- flooding the market with available oil, the speculators would not bet on higher prices in the future. It would also take off the table a huge stick the OPEC scum-ags are using. Imagine us saying, “Go ahead and cut your production, we don’t need it anyway” and how they would react?

Not to mention us keeping our money here in the States to rotate through our economy. We send money overseas to buy oil and pay for drilling. If we kept the billions here, say like N Dakota is doing now, what kind of stimulus would that be? What if Obama had given 2 billion to a domestic company, or a series of smaller domestic companies, to drill here instead of Brazil.

No, I don’t buy the “it won’t make a difference” offered by those who hope we don’t catch them cheating.

archer52 on March 17, 2012 at 3:27 PM

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM
Most domestic oil is already sold on contract and only indexed to the spot market, BUT with price differentials depending on TYPE of crude oil based mostly on API Gravity, Viscosity and Sulfur content.
There is a whole lot more to price of crude than the market for WTI or Brent.
Kermit on March 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Oh I know there are more things involved. BUT the CFMA made it easier for non consumer speculators to get in and to over sight away from the CFTC. You can see a direct relationship to this in the graph I provided. Other things do affect oil no doubt but this is the biggest and it needs to be fixed.

Some one prove me wrong with facts, figures. You can’t. So everyone is just spinning in circles not talking about the major problem RIGHT now. And that’s what both sides want.

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 3:36 PM

My reply starts at oh above. Did not break quote thingy. Oops

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Republicans and Democrates are both at fault and they know it. Producing more oil will not fix it. December 15, 2000 both houses signed off on one last appropriations bill for the year. Attached to the bill was an Admendment for the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (CFMA). This is the bill that took authority away from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate oil margins, shorts and longs. (speculation). Read most of this report. Look at the graphs.

http://www.bakerinstitute.org/publications/EF-pub-MedlockJaffeOilFuturesMarket-082609.pdf

Our government knows the problem but will not fix it.

This is all true- and what’s even worse is that the markets operate without transparency. If you wanted to find out how much oil prices are influenced by speculative trades, it’s impossible to find out because the markets operate largely as back-channel, opaque exchanges for insiders. In most truly capitalistic markets, information flows freely and openly. The government needs to bring transparency to these markets now.

By the way, it should come as no surprise that this lack of transparency also persists in the credit default swaps and other markets that played a central role in the near collapse of our economy.

bayam on March 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered

Ok, I’m all for drilling here and drilling now, but honestly:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered

Isn’t that a bit like “jobs saved or created” in terms of nebulous-potentially-intentionally-inaccurate-and-distorted-statstics?

Midas on March 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

By the way, it should come as no surprise that this lack of transparency also persists in the credit default swaps and other markets that played a central role in the near collapse of our economy.

bayam on March 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Are these transactions less transparent than the routine transactions we all make in the market with mutual funds, futures, options, etc? If you tried to find out what I’ve been trading, I’d think that privacy rules (you might call it ‘lack of transparency’) would prevent that – are oil speculation and credit swaps specifically different such that this privacy that you and I enjoy is somehow a bad thing?

Midas on March 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Isn’t that a bit like “jobs saved or created” in terms of nebulous-potentially-intentionally-inaccurate-and-distorted-statstics?

Midas on March 17, 2012 at 3:58

Shhhhh! I’m trying sell shares of my 400lb undiscovered solid platinum nugget.

BobMbx on March 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

bayam on March 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Look at the graph in the link I provided. You can see the impact.

Midas on March 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

This has nothing to do with privacy or the free market or capitalism. It was working just fine before this.

Again no facts just opinions. Those who will defend the CFMA are profiting from it some how.

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 4:24 PM

I’m as much of a free market fan as anyone, but I think there needs to be a distinction made in our understanding between domestic trade (where, at least in theory, there is an even playing field) and international trade (where there obviously isn’t). In some rare cases, protectionist measures are necessary for the sake of our economy and national security. We can’t let our country suffer because of foreign demand (e.g., China) and/or foreign market manipulation (e.g., Saudi Arabia).

Expand domestic production (including natural gas production), and establish measures to siphon and retain energy resources. This is not in any way inconsistent with Conservative free-market principles. If you think of the US as a business, that would make us more competitive, not less. The current structure amounts to legally sanctioned treason-for-profit. And the speculators, in general, will go whichever way the market goes.

WhatSlushfund on March 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I was trained as a geologist, and we were taught (going back to the early 80′s) that we were on the extreme downside curve of provable/exploitable resources. Predictions at that time were that we would be totally out of oil by 2000, or before.

However, over time, technological improvements (both on the production and exploration side) revealed significant advancements in secondary and tertiary recovery of proven deposits, as well as many promising new reserves.

I no longer believe what I was taught, as the doom preached at that time has failed to manifest itself. In fact, one book used in my Economic Geology class (written in the mid-70′s) predicted disaster by the 1990′s (also way wrong). Despite skyrocketing demand in Asia, we still have oil, and it still isn’t as rare as dodo eggs by any means.

I actually believe this analysis.

Mr Galt on March 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

I’m as much of a free market fan as anyone, but I think there needs to be a distinction made in our understanding between domestic trade (where, at least in theory, there is an even playing field) and international trade (where there obviously isn’t). In some rare cases, protectionist measures are necessary for the sake of our economy and national security. We can’t let our country suffer because of foreign demand (e.g., China) and/or foreign market manipulation (e.g., Saudi Arabia).

Expand domestic production (including natural gas production), and establish measures to siphon and retain energy resources. This is not in any way inconsistent with Conservative free-market principles. If you think of the US as a business, that would make us more competitive, not less. The current structure amounts to legally sanctioned treason-for-profit. And the speculators, in general, will go whichever way the market goes.

WhatSlushfund on March 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM

If you are talking about forsaking free market principles for narrowly defined national defense objectives then I am with you. We need to retain our ability to make the weapons and equipment (and oil) that we need to defend ourselves. This also includes space exploration.

However, if you are taking about protectionist measures for anything broader than those narrowly defined objectives, then I part company with you. The fact of the matter is that these kinds of protectionist methods aren’t necessary; what we need to do is to stop having the government obstruct development of our own resources. We have plenty of everything (gas, coal, oil, nuclear, etc.) that we need, and the incentives to develop them and bring them to market are strong.

As for speculators… they are just a red herring used to distract folks from the fact that the market is being prevented from developing our resources. Speculators can’t make prices defy the laws of economics for very long.

ghostwriter on March 17, 2012 at 5:10 PM

More drilling here means more jobs for Americans, more profits for oil compamies, more taxes paid by oil companies and higher stock prices and more dividends for stock holders. What is wrong with this picture? It’s win win.

2012chuck on March 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

It would be nice if Rumney would take a time out from hammering republicans and all three hammer the Lyin kING.

Of course Gingrich was winning when he did that until Rumney unleashed tens if not hundreds of millions in attack ads against Newt.
This is shaping up the same way as always, Repunks too stupid to make hay while they have the microphone and too damn stupid to realize they won’t have it anymore once a winner is declared as the Presstitutes are down on their knees for their Messiah!

ConcealedKerry on March 17, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Funny how quiet they get after they call you crazy. You may be many things to many people but crazy is not one that would come to mind.

Bmore on March 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM

More drilling here means more jobs for Americans, more profits for oil compamies, more taxes paid by oil companies and higher stock prices and more dividends for stock holders. What is wrong with this picture? It’s win win.

2012chuck on March 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

It doesn’t fit the Hope and Changey game plan of humbling America and redistributing the wealth.
It doesn’t help the pants around their knees professional baby makers and don’t wanna workers.
We are to be redistributed into a third world country where everything is fair!

ConcealedKerry on March 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Cost cost cost.
Kermit

Okay, let’s talk cost. The cost conversion of coal to liquid fuel ranges from $30 to $70 a barrel, depending on the type of technology used. Right now the cost of a barrel of oil is what? $100 and climbing. So the gross profit of a barrel of converted coal fuel is at minimum $30. A coal to oil refinery producing 10,000 barrels a day would be generating at a minimum a gross profit of over $100 million dollars a year. You argument about cost is pretty thin. There is money to be made off of a technology once used to fuel Nazi Panzers blitzing across Europe.

If the goal is make the United States energy independent then all sources of energy have to be on the table. If we remove the bogus concerns about CO2 as a greenhouse gas then our options expand dramatically. Again, the goal is complete American independence from foreign sources of energy. We have VAST hydrocarbon resources that can be tapped. Coal is one of those. With the price of oil over $100 the coal to liquid fuel option is economically viable. Suppose we removed the stupid ethanol, biofuel, solar and wind subsidies and redirect them toward subsidizing coal production and its conversion to fuel. Think it would have an impact on world oil prices? You betcha!

BTW, the typical final product mix from coal to fuel conversion contains between 70 and 80 per cent diesel fuel and 10 to 20 per cent jet fuel, with chemical and burning qualities equal to and in some case better than their petroleum counterparts. Another advantage is that “coal fuel” can be used in current engines without adaptation, and are easily transportable and marketable, as they are compatible with the existing petro-fuel distribution infrastructure (unlike ethanol-blended petrol, bio-diesel and more radical alternative fuels).

So tell me again why we shouldn’t be putting this option on the table? I’ll say it again. It all gets down to political will.

Tarnsman on March 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Dear Unseen

I apologize for comments made above. I was baiting you to teach me a lesson. You sure ain’t a lab rat.

Dear Mr. President

Watch this whole higher price program on oil and forcing folks to pay for contraceptives. And I did hear of that woman on MSNBC whose “pills” cost $1,200 a year but get real.

What I mean is look above, to unseen. If we have to pay for $200 a barrel oil, fine, we are tough and we will follow you.

Just have a good reason and tell us the plan for our humble sacrifice. Most of us would die for this country.

We love her.

Try to understand that.

IlikedAUH2O on March 17, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Can we quit pretending this President, of whom we know very little but of what we do know indicates he hates us, is looking out for the best interests of America or Americans?
He is systematically changing this country into socialist state where government and big business collude to steal us blind and control every facet of our lives.
This form of government does not work, but it is the wet dream of academia and theorists worldwide.
Those who have no experience at running anything other than their mouths are purposefully running America into the ground.

ConcealedKerry on March 17, 2012 at 6:07 PM

This is the bill that took authority away from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate oil margins, shorts and longs. (speculation). Read most of this report. Look at the graphs.

Am I the only one that remembers what happen when the world stockmarkets took a nose dive and the oil speculators stopped speculating? The price of gasoline dropped below $2.00 at the pump. What does that tell us? To lower gasoline prices at the pump, stop the speculation on oil.

Speculation is basically betting that the price will go up by a future date at which time it is sold, thus setting the stage for the next rise in oil prics.

Don’t look for it to happen. The Democrats and socialist are pushing for green energy. Green energy and control of production are the top political priorites of the communist and socialist and have been for decades from when todays green energy was called anti-pollution laws. The problem is green energy is vastly more expensive compared to what we are using. The solution is to make what we are using more expensive than the cost of their green energy so people will use it. Just ask Obama’s energy advisor, Chu, about how that is suppose to work. He thinks gas prices in Europe are where we should be. The whole of Europe could fit into Texas, Oklahoma and Lousianna. They don’t drive much more than the people living in Dallas do. Sure the tax on the gas is high in Europe. If it were not, with the short distances they drive and a well funcitioning transit system that we do not have, it would not be worth the trouble of taxing it.

Franklyn on March 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM

…oh golly!…we got another John McCain!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Worse. Much worse.

riddick on March 17, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Space Pr0n—check out this cool ride.

ted c on March 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Franklyn –

All of what you said is true. I don’t disagree.

Everyone needs to realize speculation has been around for years and years. But there were regulations and the CFTC had oversight. The CFMA took that away and lower the standards to get into that market, thus there was a stead growth in non-consumer speculators. The major majority of folks in this business prior to the CFMA was the producers and the consumers (airlines, refineries, etc). The percentage of non-consumers was very small.

So there is a lot of stuff that has been posted by folks in this tread that is really really good. And it needs to be done. We need to tap our resources. The liberals want high gas prices (that includes some RINOs). Green energy, there is no such thing. When wind and solar account for less than 2% of energy in the USA, that can’t be counted as energy. Ethnol is useless. Its been driving up the cost of food for 4+ years now. ( I know other things have too, but this is a big one).

So I say again, the number one problem RIGHT NOW, is the CFMA. Yes more oil, rumors of oil will bring down oil, but only for a short time. Supply is very important we need it. But now and for the future CFMA has got to be repealed or fixed. Bottom line.

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

For all the Obowma tools who claim increased oil drilling will not lower oil prices, explain when Bush opened offshore drilling in 2008, prices dropped dramatically?

The same applies to all commodities. If there is a frost in Florida, OJ prices will increase. Why? We have less supply.

dthorny on March 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Speculation has its place. It allows for certainty in an area that needs it. For example, an airline company can lock in fuel prices at a certain level a year out, then transfer that fixed cost to their pricing of tickets. That’s a good thing. No business will survive without certainty. Imagine selling tickets at X price for a profit based on Y price of fuel, then the day you fly that passenger, fuel prices triple. You would either not fly or go out of business quickly.

That said, for those who don’t think speculators are sensitive to rumors or potential increases in supply look that the daily caller piece just posted.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/17/oil-prices-fall-on-rumor-but-obama-insists-nothing-can-be-done/

…President Barack Obama repeatedly says there’s no magic wand to force down gas prices and salve the public’s increasing anger.

His spokesmen say there’s no magic wand, quick fix, or silver bullet.

But mere rumors quickly cut $2 off the $106 per-barrel Thursday morning,

The price fell because traders reacted to rumors that the White House was going to sell oil from the nation’s oil storehouse, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The prospect of a sudden increase in supply, amid slack demand in a stalled economy, prompted a rush of oil trades which dropped the price by just over $2 in one hour. …

Yes, there are other factors, none will work as quickly as increased supply amid a faltering economy. Remember, the profit or loss is at the margins. We could have 2.00 a gallon of gas in a month if we wanted it.

archer52 on March 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

One of them is Romney, who said last night that “the economy is better, due to Obama”.

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Where’s your source on that one, Mr. Crazy?

Kriggly on March 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I don’t know what Romney said last night, but he has said similar things recently, see Mitt Romney: Of Course The Economy Is Getting Better and Romney: U.S. economy ‘getting better’ under Obama.

Gladtobehere on March 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Here in New York State the combined Federal and State tax per gallon of gasoline is 67 cents. 49 for the State and 18.6 cents for the Feds. The politicians love it while the public blames the high cost on every thing under the sun the States love this tax. http://nation.foxnews.com/gas-prices/2012/03/17/ny-highest-gas-prices-us

The profit margin on gasoline is very low compared to the taxes the Federal Government and State government pile on each gallon of gas. How else is NYS going to pay for all those entitlement goodies that keep appearing. You’re sitting in front of a computer, Google a couple of questions you have been wondering about.

mixplix on March 17, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Funny how quiet they get after they call you crazy. You may be many things to many people but crazy is not one that would come to mind.

Bmore on March 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM

….ahhhh no…not Schadenfreude!…ahhhhhhhhhh…KOOLAID2… maybe!

KOOLAID2 on March 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered

Isn’t that a bit like “jobs saved or created” in terms of nebulous-potentially-intentionally-inaccurate-and-distorted-statstics?

Midas on March 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

My dad worked on rigs drilling several wells offshore on the East Coast in the late 70′s early 80′s. They found oil.

Shortly thereafter the government both state and federal shut down any further exploration.

Anyone remember the bumper sticker,”Let them freeze in the dark”?

It’s like the windfarm on Nantucket. NIMBY. Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Idaho, MOntana, North Dakota, California for crying out loud along with other states allow drilling, and the Feds also allow drilling, but in only very specific areas. A lot of people on the East Coast as well as Florida do not want any drilling in or near their states. Fine. Let them purchase their gasoline and diesel fuel from the Saudis.

Tenwheeler on March 17, 2012 at 9:26 PM

archer52

I agree 100%. The thought of or influx of product right now will impact speculation down ward.

But it will not fix the problem created by the CFMA.

If oil should be $40 a barrel now and speculation is driving it up to $100. Let’s say the influx or rumors drove it down to $60. Once the steady flow of new oil and the continued influx of new oil, speculation (the kind opened up by the CFMA) will continue to drive up oil prices.

Speculation is good for the market. It’s needed and has been around for years. What the CFMA has done to us is nothing but a big screwing of Americans.

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 9:44 PM

***LINK BROKE***
linking to this same page.

Thanks!

Glenn Jericho on March 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Yeah, but it’ll take ten years for that stuff to reach the gas pump. Let’s not do anything for another ten years and then take another look at the problem.

Finbar on March 17, 2012 at 9:26 AM

SIMILARLY:

* There is no point in working if you’re broke because it will take a week for you to get paid.

* There is no point in buying food if you’re hungry because it will take hours and hours of preparation before you can eat it.

* There is no point in encouraging a society to have children because it will be 21 years before they become productive citizens.

* GM should not waste money buying engines, because it will be months before they can be made into a salable auto.

/assinine_arguments>

landlines on March 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM

When will the msm report on Exxon’s record profits from the high gas prices? And will they ever report on how high prices only seem to hurt the poor?
Who am I kidding.

multiuseless on March 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM

As a Exxon stock holder, I am counting on them having high profits. But the oil companies pay much more in taxes than what they make in profit. The biggest winner with high gas prices and profits is government.

In 2011 XOM earnings were $41.1 billion, and they paid $108 billion in taxes, on revenue of $486 billion. $9.02 billion was distributed to share holders as dividends.

Dasher on March 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM

If Obama made a turn and told the world that we will release the hold on all these potential oil drilling projects, the speculators would drop the price of oil like a hot potato.

Christian Conservative on March 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Schadenfreude on March 17, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Funny how quiet they get after they call you crazy. You may be many things to many people but crazy is not one that would come to mind.

Bmore on March 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Crazy like fox!

Laura in Maryland on March 18, 2012 at 12:06 AM

If Obama made a turn and told the world that we will release the hold on all these potential oil drilling projects, the speculators would drop the price of oil like a hot potato.

Christian Conservative on March 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM

They aren’t really speculators… normal people would call them hedging. Airlines do a lot of hedging to minimize their risk to higher fuel prices. But sometimes they get burned too when prices fall `unexpectedly`.

Also these so called speculators work both sides, betting on lower prices too. They don’t drive the price only up. Most people call it market forces.

Dasher on March 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Energy is traded on a global market, not compartmentalized by nation. When we produce more than we need, the rest is immediately sold as exports with few exceptions. When we don’t produce as much, we import more. It’s just the way the free market works.

That’s the ideal but the reality is that OPEC is still a very powerful cartel and the ‘free market’ in petroleum is often irrational. American production will thrive if prices remain this high.

lexhamfox on March 18, 2012 at 1:53 AM

Read and learn: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/energy-futurist/oil-demand-shift-asia-takes-over/400

libfreeordie on March 17, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Ok, oil prices are driven by supply & demand.

Demand is controlled more by Asia than by us, so we can’t control demand.

Therefore we can do nothing, because oil prices are controlled by supply and demand… and we can’t affect demand so we’re done.

Was it so hard to see the two choices, see that one is out of our control, and think “maybe we should try to do something with the other one”? Why do you for some reason ignore that we can do something with half of the equation?

Is the concept of raising supply, by drilling, and having that economic growth, jobs, and less expensive fuel/transportation so horrible that you refuse to even consider the notion?

gekkobear on March 18, 2012 at 3:39 AM

Kara26

I read up on the Act you mentioned. Good point. Often an attempt to deregulate in order to bring clarity allows for people of lesser ethical standards to take advantage.

Cavuto interviewed an old retired CEO of a major company. The man was from the era of the post depression/WWII gang. He was by nature a cautious man who had a sense of greater responsibility to the company he worked for and the nation he lived in. He was a good citizen.

His lament was that his era was dying or being put out to pasture as the “whiz kids” of Wall Street were taking over. This started in the eighties and was resisted by the old guard who controlled the youngsters with cautionary tales of disaster if they did not follow certain rules. The gang you see in charge now are those whiz kids. They really think they are smarter than any generation before them. Tim Geithner is one of those guys.

The market created by the deregulation seems functional, if there were some controls put on the number of transactions, but who is smart enough to figure out what that number is? Certainly not Geithner. We need to be able to soften the blow of fluctuating market supply. I agree the deregulation in this particular manner may have helped the investors, but it certainly did not help the consumer. (Then again, pension funds, which belong to the consumer could benefit, as did other consumer based funds.) So is the question should we eliminate the market, or just tighten it down, or do we find a way to control it by market forces?

One way to bring it under control is to increase domestic production. You get out of that a better control of your supply, internal rotation of funds- thus speeding up the economy, gaining tax revenue, and reducing the need for the Fed to throw money out into the economy like water on a fire.

But I could be wrong. The market could adjust and start the upward pressures again. But our economy would be in a better place regardless. Sending our cash to Chavez is stupid in my opinion.

archer52 on March 18, 2012 at 7:57 AM

archer52

Good points. And by all means I want us to go after every drop here at home we can.
And what speculators are doing right now is well with-in the law.
I agree many a folk have prob bennifited from this process through there pen…. Or m.funds. But it still is the problem.

On the point of more oil more everything, good for everybody- you are correct, but remember Mo Money Mo Problems! LOL.

kara26 on March 18, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Gekkobear

There is three choices not just two. By focusing on 1 we will continue to lose the war on pricing. We may win a short term battle.

Two choices
1. Fix or repeal CFMA
2. Drill baby drill

That’s it end of story. The data does not lie.

kara26 on March 18, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Gerrymandering crude and nat. gas stats has become a way of life for the “green regime”. These clowns have always operated on the theme that there is no higher honor that the next biggest lie we will tell. And, it shows.I just looked up some of the stats on Alaska oil. They don’t count all of it and nat.gas since there is no “conveyance to get the oil to the coast.”
In other words without a pipeline the oil does not exist. and guess who is going around saying “no” to pipelines either here or in Alaska,if you said “The Joker”– score $250 and pass Go.
Tall about New-speak, rat/chat or 1984/Atlas Shrugs wisdom. It’s here and playing in dc as a way of life.

rodguy911 on March 18, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Oil reserves are roped off by regulation and recovery costs. Improvements in technology, productivity and infrastructure can help to lower recovery costs. Improvements in government will ease the regulatory burden. But never-mind all that, let’s focus on social issues …

carl todd hand on March 17, 2012 at 8:20 AM

This is a social issue. The development or nondevelopment of natural resources stems back directly to someone’s moral proclivities. Barack Obama and those who think like him find it “morally” reprehensible to drill for oil, since in destroys the environment in their eyes. Never forget, their gods are Molech and Gaia.

PalinLover on March 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

kara26 on March 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM
Most domestic oil is already sold on contract and only indexed to the spot market, BUT with price differentials depending on TYPE of crude oil based mostly on API Gravity, Viscosity and Sulfur content.
There is a whole lot more to price of crude than the market for WTI or Brent.
Kermit on March 17, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Good stuff. Forget where I read it but I did see somewhere that the crude coming in from the Canadian oil sands is a heavy crude tougher to refine similar to that of Venezuela. We are set up to refine fat hugo’s crude in Texas.
If zero was to sign on to the Canadian pipeline we would no longer need Fat hugo’s oil. Plus the additional 800k/1 million barrels per day from Canada could concievably lower prices unless the Sauidis lowered production. The heavy crude from the Canadian oil sands could easily replace what we get from the marxist venezueleans.
All good commies know however we couldn’t have that. Betraying a fellow leftists by trading in a commie regime to a capitalist neighbor!! That would be horrible!! So zero vetoed the pipeline.His only real choice in the world of American Marxism.
Makes perfect sense to me.

rodguy911 on March 18, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Not sure I agree with the last paragraph. If we were allowed to bring as much oil to the market, the price of crude would indeed fall. It is, afterall, the the way the free market works. Furthermore, I would maintain that without the factor of Middle East tensions and instability that spikes prices of crude constantly, a steady source of oil from stable nations like Canada and US would indeed make prices lower and more stable.

stop2think on March 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

One of his favorite tag lines has been to say that you “can’t just drill your way to lower gas prices.”

More drilling and more refining would absolutely lower gas prices.

Just the possibility of more drilling lowers gas prices. Look at what happened in 2008…

July 14, 2008:
President Bush lifted an executive order banning offshore oil drilling, and urged Congress to follow suit.

September 16, 2008:
The U.S. House of Representatives approved on a 236-189 vote legislation that would open waters 50 miles off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts to oil and natural gas development.

September 27, 2008:
The U.S. Senate by a 78-12 vote eliminated a 27 year ban on offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States.

And what effect did those three things have on gas prices?

U.S. city average price of unleaded regular gasoline

July 2008: $4.090 per gallon

December 2008: $1.689 per gallon

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Data: U.S. city average: Gasoline, unleaded regular, per gallon

Gas prices dropped more than 50% (almost 60%) in just five months!

And that wasn’t the result of increased drilling, but merely the possibility of increased drilling (which brought speculation of future prices down, which brought down prices at the pump by more than 50% in just 5 months time.

Then what has happened under the Obama administration?

The return of the moratorium, and higher gas prices.

ITguy on March 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Is the concept of raising supply, by drilling, and having that economic growth, jobs, and less expensive fuel/transportation so horrible that you refuse to even consider the notion?

gekkobear on March 18, 2012 at 3:39 AM

Yes! Next question. The aspirations of libfreeanddie and he/she/it’s ilk is to be European without having to actually live in Europe. They have a fundamental disconnect from the concept of freedom.

jdkchem on March 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I know I’m posting this to late in the game for anyone to really read but I fell it is important to say. The vast available natural resources of this Country have been know and admired for Hundreds of years. No surprise here. What I can not except nor any sane person in any Country should every be excepted to except is the lack of truth, honesty and veracity in their elected leaders. I personally hold these values to be of the absolute highest level of humanity above even my very life itself. An elected official such as Obama who’s continuation in office depends solely on misrepresentation and partial truths is the very definition of tyranny. This discussion on oil reserves points on that there is no end to the depths of depravity that this man will go to continue his position.

jpcpt03 on March 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports.

Oh, so now we trust the government…

Also, I’m pretty sure that if it were profitable, the oil producers would already be exploiting these resources-the fact that they haven’t been as much is because the oil reserves we do have aren’t the type that are easy (thus less expensive/more profitable) to bring up.

When peak oil is fully reached in the Middle East then we’ll see more of the domestic sources exploited—at much higher prices than even what we’re used to now of course.

Government interference is certainly a problem at any rate. Another thing is, I believe that the oil drilling concerns should have to pay fair royalties to the people of the various states on state land, and to the people at large on Federal lands. Remember that much of it is/will be sold overseas.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

…I’m pretty sure that if it were profitable, the oil producers would already be exploiting these resources-the fact that they haven’t been as much is because the oil reserves we do have aren’t the type that are easy (thus less expensive/more profitable) to bring up….

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

INCORRECT: It is government regulations which are BLOCKING (that is, OUTLAWING) perfectly viable recovery methods, ongoing exploration activities, new refineries, and refinery upgrades. The oil companies have not been allowed to participate in the marketplace because of the government.

The only reason there are new gas supplies coming on line is because there are large gas fields on private property. These fields are not as vulnerable to government roadblocks and general regulatory stupidity.

landlines on March 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Surprise! That pyramid graphic..the one that shows a trillion barrels of recoverable oil…has been pulled from the Department of Energy website. Go figure.

Tomolena1 on March 19, 2012 at 7:09 PM

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