9/30/2005

Sadly, No!: Phillip V. Brennan Blows Into Town With Category 5 Wingnuttery

Last week, Bill O'Reilly asked the following idiotic question: "[A]fter all the experts we've talked with, after all the research we've done, we still can't find out who exactly sets the price of a gallon of gasoline. Which human being in America does that?"

Thankfully for Bill, NewsMax's Phillip V. Brennan has an answer. A really, really stupid answer:

Who's Really Behind Soaring Oil Prices?
Philip V. Brennan

When you stand at the gas pump and watch those numbers spin by so fast you can't read them, keep in mind that the soaring price of gasoline is no accident – it is the work of a new fifth column.


And who are these evil "fifth columnists" that keep gas prices so high? That's right: environmentalists. Or more specifically, people who claim to care about the environment but are really Communists. Seriously.

This fifth column is rich and powerful. Just one environmental group, the Sierra Club, boasts of an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars and almost 600,000 members.

Wow! The Sierra Club has a budget of tens of millions of dollars! How will the oil companies ever compete? I mean, last year poor Exxon-Mobil only pulled in a paltry net income of $25.3 billion. Chevron is in even worse shape- last year, they hauled in a measly $13.8 billion.

Their political contributions reach into the millions. A Sierra Club attack on a congressman's environmental voting record, no matter how distorted, can be a kiss of death.

Yeah, the Sierra Club's attack on George W. Bush's environmental record absolutely doomed him in the last election.

The sudden rise in the cost of oil, which translated itself into pump prices was the application of the law of supply and demand – there are more and more consumers of petroleum without a corresponding increase in the supplies of black gold. The Chinese, for example, have abandoned rickshaws in favor of gas-guzzling automobiles and their demand for oil is getting astronomical.

That was bad enough, but along came Katrina and Rita, both of which curtailed refining of crude oil supplies from here and abroad. That's part of the story of our present situation. But it's only a tiny part of the energy crisis now afflicting the U.S.


Actually, that's not a tiny part of the problem. Right now, the cost of crude oil accounts for roughly one-half of the price of gas. When you couple high oil prices with a decline in production from refineries because of Katrina and Rita, you get high gas prices. It really is that simple.

Thanks to the environmental fifth column, the United States has been unable to take advantage of its own crude oil supplies. Abundant supplies of crude oil beneath the U.S. mainland and offshore, locked in shale deposits, and in Alaska's North Slope remain untapped thanks to the environmentalists who have stopped development of our natural oil resources.


Sigh. If we drilled for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, it would take at least 20 years to reach peak production. That does little to affect gas prices today. Try harder, Phil.

Sadly, No!: Phillip V. Brennan Blows Into Town With Category 5 Wingnuttery

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