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Letter: Oil-supply column perpetuated myths

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Frank Jerome


Received: March 27

Re: Opinion column on 3-26 “Drilling Won’t Help”

It is sad to see propaganda being touted as opinion. The article is replete with half-truths and falsehoods. The authors’ backgrounds are in global warming and a safe environment. That sets the bias of the article.

One solution touted seems to be raising the average mph into the 50 mpg range in 12 years. A riding mower would have trouble making that. Also driving less was an option, which will not go over big in California, Montana and Texas.

It is true that drilling more wells won’t help particularly when we are exporting 5 percent of refined fuels now. If that were only sold in the US they would have to lower the gasoline price to get rid of it. Selling it overseas cuts the supply here, raising the price.

When they achieve this mystical 50 mpg (impossible without hybrids) the government will be hard pressed to collect enough tax, so they will start monitoring how many miles we drive with GPS devices. Just the hybrids will probably necessitate this new method of taxing vehicles. Expect that debate soon.

One of the biggest myths they perpetuate is that we only have two percent of the world’s oil reserves. The new numbers show America with huge reserves of oil and natural gas dwarfing other countries. There is enough for two hundred years of consumption without oil imports. Readily doable options such as natural gas vehicles are not mentioned.

Right now we are using half of our corn crop for ethanol, which is not workable without a large subsidy. When corn is turned into ethanol it sharply drives up food prices.

Most of the volatility in oil prices is due to speculation. Speculators can now buy oil futures with no cash, just borrowed funds. Even requiring 12.5 percent cash would slow them down. A much higher cash requirement might make them look for another way of fleecing the public.

I suggest locally written columns and when there are strong positions on either side, dual columns. When the authors are local they will only give opinions they can defend.


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