Oil Bust in 4 Years? Prices Below $20 per Barrel Predicted

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I boldly predicted that oil prices would fall below $50 per barrel in 2007. (Admittedly I predicted the same thing for 2006 and I was wrong. However, prices did drop to around $55 which was considerably lower than a lot of "smart" people forecasted.) Regarding my 2007 prophecy, it seems to be on track. Prices fell to $51.88 per barrel yesterday but are rebounding a bit today.

But what about $20 per barrel oil by 2011? Oil analyst Peter Beutel of the energy consultancy Cameron Hanover thinks it could happen. Beutel told MSNBC:

"I believe we have that a lot more oil on this planet than people believe. And we are going to find it over the next few years."

Beutel thinks oil prices could fall as low as $20 a barrel in the next 4 to 8 years before beginning to rise again.

And why not? All other things being equal, higher prices encourage more exploration and more technical improvements which leads to more production. If Beutel's right, New York Times reporter John Tierney's $5,000 bet with peak oil alarmist Matthew Simmons is looking pretty good.  

Disclosure: Hmmm. Maybe I should dump those 50 shares of ExxonMobil I keep disclosing. Hey, then I wouldn't have to disclose them anymore. Bonus!

NEXT: Atlas Meets The Godfather Meets Braveheart

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  1. So the “oil scarcity will solve our environmental problems” line is operative this month?

  2. Why should anyone be surprised at this? I learned to drive in the late 70’s, and I remember how everyone was predicting the End of The Oil World As We Know It back then.

    By 1986, the price had collapsed, and I distinctly remember briefly being able to fill up my tank for about $.70 per gallon, a lower price than I paid for gas in 1980.

  3. I will single-handedly usher in an era of cheap gasoline.

    How, you ask? Simple. I will buy a hybrid. As soon as I do that, gasoline prices will plummet, defeating the whole purpose of buying a hybrid.

    Laugh if you will, but there’s only one reason the MP3 isn’t yet obsolete: I still don’t own an iPod.

  4. Ron, your stalker is back.

  5. Yee Haw. Time to buy stock in Hummer and Peace in Iran!

  6. This argument seems to be based on the reality of a tube of toothpaste. Sure, there’s always more toothpaste if you try hard enough, so why bother conserving any toothpaste?

  7. “I believe we have that a lot more oil on this planet than people believe. And we are going to find it over the next few years.”

  8. wouldn’t the further development of alternative energies, as opposed to just new exploration, also lower the cost of oil? personally, i’d rather have alternatives AND cheaper oil than just cheaper oil.

  9. Personally, I think the notion of $20 oil is ludicrous with a capital L.

    Increased demand from India, China, Russia, and the rest of the developing world for energy. Finite initial supply of oil. The US dollar declining in value against “stuff” of which oil is a part.

    Where do I place my $5,000 bet against $20 oil?

  10. Are you assuming that all alternative energy endeavors will now cease, downstater?

  11. You see, this is perfect.

    If there’s not enough oil, the WORLD is going to end.

    If there’s too much oil, then the world is going to END.

  12. When they wheel out Boone Pickens and yap about $100 oil, you sell.

    When they wheel out Daniel Yergin and reknown petroleum geologist Steve Forbes and yap about $30 oil, you buy.

    Trading range between $50 and $70 for years and years.

  13. sure theres tons more oil, but why should that drop the price? If it costs more to extract that oil, then wouldn’t the price stay where that venture is profitable? The only thing that will drop oil down alot is if the middle east opens the floodgates and starts dumping crude on the market. None of the majors have cheap, plentiful oil available, the oil they’re going for is an expensive long term investment that once produced, is not going to significantly reduce the price of oil. The recent dip in oil prices can be explained by the fact that before winter, refineries buy oil in case of a cold and energy expensive cold season. Come mid-winter, if temperatures aren’t as bad as expected, refineries stop hoarding and start producing full tilt to get their stocks down so they can negotiate their next batches for the spring. This relieves the market and dips prices. But this is not a long term trend. People are going to keep driving and oil, other than the middle east, is not just simply going to appear.

  14. I don’t doubt that oil prices will fall in real value over the next few years, but I still think that oil isn’t properly priced because it’s price doesn’t include its inherent cost to the environment. If the environmental impact of oil (i.e. that the burning of it causes global warming) were integrated into the price (in the form of a carbon tax), I don’t think the drop in price would be as drastic.

    In any case, I think a carbon tax is a fair way to weight the environmental impact of oil vs. other alternative sources of energy. A carbon tax is far better than any subsidy.

  15. If the environmental impact of oil (i.e. that the burning of it causes global warming) were integrated into the price (in the form of a carbon tax), I don’t think the drop in price would be as drastic.

    That tax today would be less than 20 cents per gallon.

    I’m willing to lower the current gas tax to that. Are you?

  16. Good thing John Tierney doesn’t live in Fairfax. Send in the SWAT! Take him DOWN!

  17. > I’m willing to lower the current gas tax to that. Are you?

    Sure, if we can fund roads in an even more “user pays” manner.

  18. “Are you assuming that all alternative energy endeavors will now cease, downstater?”

    no. why would i?

  19. A: Each alternative energy source costs X to exploit.
    B: We won’t exploit alternative energy until the price of fossil fuels rises to X+1 and stays there.

    Conclusion: Burn all the oil as fast as we can, so we get to x+1 quicker. If that requires the price of oil to drop first, so be it. Fill ‘er up!

  20. If the environmental impact of oil (i.e. that the burning of it causes global warming) were integrated into the price (in the form of a carbon tax), I don’t think the drop in price would be as drastic.

    You get the prize! I was waiting for the first person to suggest/imply that if oil prices drop we should keep them high with “carbon taxes”. Bravo for being the first on this thread.

    The human race must pay a penance, dammit dammit dammit! Pay pay pay!!!!

    but I still think that oil isn’t properly priced because it’s price doesn’t include its inherent cost to the environment

    I think that you should do some re-thinking. The question is “of what value, and to whom?”

  21. jb, you clueless soul you.

    Conclusion: Burn all the oil as fast as we can, so we get to x+1 quicker. If that requires the price of oil to drop first, so be it. Fill ‘er up!

    You just don’t get it, do you? You should make sure you’re properly afraid before you open your mouth again.

    You are supposed to be afraid that the world will end tommorrow at 3:14 PM due to global warming. You must then conclude that the only solution is to end the world TODAY with the biggest, fattest carbon tax you and ram through Congress.

    You should then deny that your carbon tax will have any economic impact.

    Can you do this, my son? If not there are re-education camps.

  22. Sure, if we can fund roads in an even more “user pays” manner.

    Agreed. The gas tax is one of the fairest taxes out there. It could be more fair only by charging by the mile.

    I would propose the gas tax be retained at its current level, but that the first 17 cents be called the Pigouvian Penance. Nothing else changes.

    In twenty or thirty years when the Pigouvian Penance exceeds the actual pre-existing tax, then there is an issue. For a Pigouvian tax to be anything close to fair in my eyes, it either must be revenue neutral or its proceeds must go to the correction of the externality or its effects.

    Maybe in twenty or thirty years there will actually be effects of global warming to correct…

  23. You can’t have this conversation without bringing in this guy and his hypothesis, or wild-ass guess, about oil being self renewable.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/crispin8.html

  24. The idea that oil is a renewable resource isn’t new, it’s been around for decades. And some, though not all, of these theories actually make some sense.

    But the thing we’re supposed to be most afraid of is the Warm Globe Problem, so why worry about oil?

  25. A carbon tax is far better for the state to engorge itself with the spoils of it’s citizens’ toil, so that it may promptly piss it down a rathole of politico whoring, than any subsidy.

    There, fixed that for you.

  26. I think an overall price on oil nearer to $20 a barrel is more likely than not. As the author pointed out oil is much more common than many people think. It is nothing more than liquified carbon. Carbon being the most common element on planet earth.

    On a less esoteric note, there are many reasons to expect a drop in oil prices. First, the traditional sources of oil are inherintly miss managed. 75% of oil sources are currently in the hands of state run companies. These companies are ill run, inefficient at reinvesting and subject to political manipulation. Production from these sources is likely to decrease as two of the larger producers, namely Venezuela and Iran, are effectively not reinvesting in the maintenance of their respective oil production facilities at this time. Combine this mismanagement with a rapidly growing demand for oil and private industry steps in. Massive oil discoveries in Africa, the Artic and off shore in general over the last two years are indicative of this.

    Second, the technology to drill deep wells has become mature over the last few years. This now allows access to sources in the Gulf of Mexico and the Spratley Islands that are known, but effectively off limits in the past.

    Third, rising demand will result in freeing of previously off limits assests in more transparent societies. While the US currently imports about half of its needs in oil this is laregely unnecessary. Current, obstructionist, laws prevent drilling in places like nature reserves and most areas offshore in places like Florida and California. These prohibitions were largely put in place due to environmental concerns govering the drilling process in the past. Modern drilling technology is much more environmentally friendly and this combined with the need to stop providing hostile governments with US dollars will result in the opening of many of these areas.

    Fourth, the price fixing and production management scheme set up by OPEC will become more and more irrelevant as time goes by. The Russians and none of the new finds in Africa are signatories to the OPEC system. As the production of these “alternate” sites becomes mature and as production from Venezuela and Iran continue to decrease OPECs influence on the market will lessen. At this point, barring the ability of a large number of disparate nations to agree on production controls, the price of oil will more closely mirror that of a free market.

    Fifth, the development of “alternative” fuel will continue to flounder barring any significant breakthroughs in technology. The most attractive alternative to oil is synthetic oil production from the gasification of coal. With currently available technology this costs between $35 and $45 per barrel. All of the other currently available alternatives are much more expensive. This cost combined with unstable oil prices in general makes investing on an industrial level unattractive to people with money.

    Just my 2 cents,

    Peacedog

  27. thoreau,

    I already drive 2 hybrids (see link in handle). Adding 2 more carbs on the Charger sounds so much more appealing with cheaper oil 🙂

    A supercharger for the hybrid Jeep sounds sweet too.

    Headers, yes they also sound sweet. X crossover on the Charger of course.

    Maybe a classic 426 Hemi for the Charger? Naaa, that’s a little too much for my wallet, but the dream is so sweet.

  28. Wayne said “Where do I place my $5,000 bet against $20 oil?”

    In the oil futures market.

  29. And then there’s this from the Toronto Star:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0111-02.htm

  30. Guy,

    Why do you have to torture me with stories of your Charger? I can think of few things better than owning a classic muscle car but can’t afford one. God I hate you being able to.

  31. Peacedog,

    Well, it is not quite “liquified carbon” it is a collection of organic molecules. The ones distilled out for gasoline are (mostly) C8H18 and C7H16, octane and heptane respectively.

    When one writes “liquified carbon” it gives the vision of a collection of carbon in liquid form.

    Before petroleum was in vogue a renewable organic fuel was in use. It would be nice to go back to melon oil, but too propoganda from certain quarters prevents that.

    I am a proud user of organic fuels as anybody can see from my many posts on the topic.

  32. John,

    Why do you have to torture me with stories of your Charger?

    Because I am saving the stun-gun batteries for someone else 🙂

    God I hate you being able to.

    Now that is just silly class warfare! Silly because you could go to Craigs List and find a good deal just like I did. Even after a summer/fall of body work I only have about $7,000 in the car, including purchasing the car.

  33. Guy,

    Chargers are unPatriotic.

  34. Or you could go the other way and consider the discovery of more oil in the Gulf off Lousiana:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14678206/

  35. joe,

    Chargers are unPatriotic.

    That is just what a commie like you wants us to think.

    Now, when you are driving a hybrid like me I might believe your environmental nonsense 😉

  36. Guy,

    Only Joe would think a car like a charger is unpatriotic. Ugh. I ride a motorcycle that gets 42 MPH in the city and has a catalytic converter everytime I can. Like your hybrid, i think that justifies me getting a 427 with dual carbarators and a positraction rear end. Joe you will get my V8, if I ever get one again, when they pry my cold dead fingers from the steering wheel.

  37. They have predicted the end before and have never been right, therefore they never will be. That is because the supply of oil on earth is infinite, it is impossible to run out no matter how much we use.

  38. John, Guy,

    We already had the conversation on hybrids+chargers vs motorcycles, and I think we established that the motorcycles were superior in everyway, except in the ‘pedestrian-elimination-to-ease-gaia’s-burden’ category.

  39. They have predicted the end before and have never been right, therefore they never will be.

    So far, so good…

    That is because the supply of oil on earth is infinite, it is impossible to run out no matter how much we use.

    …but you got the reasoning wrong. The earth will never run out of oil because the price will rise to the point that no one buys it: either alternatives will become cheaper, or increasingly large segments of the population will simply not be able to afford it.

  40. Pretty brave prediction there!

    Can I get some of this action? Heck, I’ll even offer 2 to 1!

  41. “Only Joe would think a car like a charger is unpatriotic. Ugh.”

    John, you must be the dumbest human being I have ever encounterd. How do you manage to remember to breathe?

    Look at the capitalization in the word “unPatriotic” in my post. Then think really, really hard about the upcoming weekend.

    On second thought, don’t bother. That whooshing sensation on the top of scalp just now? Don’t worry about it.

  42. I support a carbon tax not in order to keep the price of oil high, but rather because it’s the only way to account for the environmental effect of burning oil. Individuals who use alternative fules can’t sue those who burn more oil and contribute to global warming, so the next best thing is to tax that which causes global warming. “The world” has no owner, so the checks and balances offered by property rights break down. Something has to act as a proxy for earth ownership and defend the interests of the earth.

  43. defend the interests of the earth.

    Geebus, since when does ‘earth’ have interests. And why the hell do we care about Gaia’s fancies?

    Since interst is generally a human trait, I think we are gonna put human interest before Gaias. And this human’s interet involves driving a big SUV on $20 dollar a barrel oil, with seats made out of baby seals.

  44. Fine. The combined interests of the humans inhabiting the Earth.

  45. > And this human’s interet involves driving a big SUV on $20 dollar a barrel oil.

    That’s fine, but why shouldn’t you have to pay for the effect that action has on the parts of the planet which are experienced by others than you? If you pollute a river, and I’m downstream, most libertarians would agree that I should be able to sue you because you ruined the water which I enjoy. So if you ruin “the environment” with emmissions from oil, the property rights-based check would be for the owner of “the environment” to sue you. But no one owns “the environment.” Ergo, taxes on carbon as the next best thing.

  46. I support a carbon tax not in order to keep the price of oil high, but rather because it’s the only way to account for the environmental effect of burning oil.

    The big problem with this argument is that the recipient of this balancing of accounts is the government. The government is not only a terrible steward of this collected tax, it actually gets to decide the amount of the tax!

    For those like me who think that government generally misspends anything it gets its hands on, a Pigouvian tax amounts to damaging the economy twice. First, someone damaged the economy by releasing a negative externality into it. Then, to add insult to injury, the government takes the same amount of money out of private hands and misspends it.

    Thus any Pigouvian tax either must be balanced by a decrease in other taxes, or its revenues must be used to directly address the actual damages of the negative externality.

  47. John, you must be the dumbest human being I have ever encounterd.

    I guess that lets me off the hook, then.

    I support a carbon tax not in order to keep the price of oil high, but rather because it’s the only way to account for the environmental effect of burning oil.

    Step One: We collect a carbon tax!

    Step Two:

    Step Three: We have mitigated the environmental impact of burning oil!

  48. First off all I was making fun of the way you personalized ‘earth’ and attributed her YOUR OWN interests.

    So now you have ran a global census and decided that the collected interest of people inhabiting the earth are best reflected in carbon taxes? Im going to guess that to the majority of earth’s population living in near-poverty and disease, carbon emmisions arent not a foremost thought.

    Again, if you have an opinion on something, state it as your own and defend it. Dont try to attribute it to earth or the world population.

    But no one owns “the environment.” Ergo, taxes on carbon as the next best thing.

    Thats quite the logic leap there. And what in your opinion are these taxes going to accomplish except for redistribute wealth?


  49. Step One: We collect a carbon tax!

    Step Two:

    Step Three: We have mitigated the environmental impact of burning oil!

    heh, a slashdot reader eh?

  50. RC,

    Don’t worry, I have the unique ability to bring out the worst in Joe. As annoying and nasty as he can be, he still makes me laugh. I really think sometimes that he is puting on one of the best comic ironic imitations of the nasty self rigous liberal in web history.

  51. We could always let the United Nations set and collect the carbon tax; we can trust THEM to spend it wisely and in the best interests of Mother Earth!

  52. . . . I think we established that the motorcycles were superior in everyway, except in the ‘pedestrian-elimination-to-ease-gaia’s-burden’ category.

    Well, no it was asserted but never established.

    An un-mentioned superior quality of the Charger is the 12 dead hooker capacity of the trunk vs. 0 for the motor bike.

    Oh, jon, thanks for explaining the joke. I got it as soon as I read your follow-up 🙂

  53. I think we are gonna put human interest before Gaias. And this human’s interet involves driving a big SUV on $20 dollar a barrel oil, with seats made out of baby seals.

    You just made my day. Where do I go to get those baby seal skin seat covers?

  54. [taking joe’s side][pun]something about chargers being unpatriotic[/pun][/taking joe’s side]

  55. Well, no it was asserted but never established.

    Bleh, I generaly assume that anything I say is already established. I also assume that the person Im conversing with assumes the same.

    An un-mentioned superior quality of the Charger is the 12 dead hooker capacity of the trunk vs. 0 for the motor bike.

    With duct-tape and/or bungie cords the back seat has a dead hooker capacity of 1.

  56. Where do I go to get those baby seal skin seat covers?

    Dont be lazy, go out and club your own. You can also invite Guy , he needs the seat covers to cover up hooker blood.

  57. joe, can you break it off in me?

  58. heh, a slashdot reader eh?

    Actually, a South Park fan.

  59. Don’t forget that cartels are still very much subject to the forces of supply and demand. If OPEC raises prices too high, people will curb consumption and OPEC loses money.

    – Rick

  60. >We could always let the United Nations set and collect the carbon tax; we can trust THEM to spend it wisely and in the best interests of Mother Earth!

    Ha ha.

    A carbon tax, like any tax, isn’t without costs to the economy (obviously). Such a tax should never be used to redistribute wealth. The revenue from such a tax should only be used to deal with the negative effects of global warming, however that might be (and I don’t mean welfare checks for people who, due to the warmer weather, lost their job welding chairlifts for a ski resort). Only obvious, direct, negative effects. Not even funding for alternative energy…that should sink or swim on its own.

    A tax on anything should be a last resort, so a carbon tax is not a *good* thing, it’s just the best possible thing. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

    Is the unlimited expulsion of carbon into the atmosphere a good thing?

  61. If the environmental impact of oil (i.e. that the burning of it causes global warming)

    Global warming means I burn less oil, gas, and coal to heat my home. Sounds like a wash which means the impact is already in the price.

    It could be more fair only by charging by the mile.

    That’s not fair. Charging by ton/mile is fair, which is closer to the how the existing tax works than your idea.

  62. Only obvious, direct, negative effects.

    I guess that would be the biggest problem with that idea. Since its not even established that human released carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming. How will you be able to tell who gets the money and who doesnt.

    You say that the tax on anything is the last resort, yet you are proposing it as the first resort. Infact you are proposing it as a preemptive solution.

    Also when do you propose we start collecting the said tax? We havent began to feel the predictted effects yet and will not be feeling them for a long time to come (unless you subscribe to the most alarmist views). So why should we start penalizing people now for something that hasnt happend and hasnt even been proven to happen?

    Also the western world already has a system to deal with settling damage disputes and that would be the court system. If at some point you feel that you suffer from global warming, you can go ahead and try to sue for whom ever you feel is responsible for those damages.

    Is the unlimited expulsion of carbon into the atmosphere a good thing?

    So far its neither a good thing nor a bad thing, as there is not enough evidence to classify it as either.

    p.s. Please do not bring up the IPCC TAR as your evidence for anthropogenic global warming, id rather not get into that debate again this week.

  63. A carbon tax, like any tax, isn’t without costs to the economy (obviously). Such a tax should never be used to redistribute wealth.

    But, it will be. It always will be. Wishful thinking is not a substitute for a well reasoned argument.

    The revenue from such a tax should only be used to deal with the negative effects of global warming, however that might be (and I don’t mean welfare checks for people who, due to the warmer weather, lost their job welding chairlifts for a ski resort).

    The private sector already will be doing that in one fashion or another. Why should we add another drain onto the economy?

    A tax on anything should be a last resort, so a carbon tax is not a *good* thing, it’s just the best possible thing.

    A tax is usually the first resort, especially when it’s easy pickins’ like this. “You don’t want to pay your carbon tax? You must be one of those tools on the take from Exxon.”

    And no, a tax is never the “best possible thing.”

    Is the unlimited expulsion of carbon into the atmosphere a good thing?

    As long as it’s a net gain and not a loss, why not? We have benefited greatly as a result. There is absolutely no harm done so far. Lots of conjecture, fancy computer models and speculation about it, but no actual harm.

  64. A tax on anything should be a last resort, so a carbon tax is not a *good* thing, it’s just the best possible thing.

    Provided the global warming consensus is correct, it’s the best possible thing — but only barely, and only when you do not consider the costs involved in having government implement it.

    I’ve discussed this before, but if you look at Table 7.3 of William Nordhaus’s 2000 book, you see some interesting numbers.

    In net present dollars, the optimal carbon tax alleviates 283 billion dollars of the 3.9 trillion dollar damage from global warming at a cost of 92 billion dollars. Of all the carbon abatement strategies he evaluated, this was the only one that offered a positive payback, modest as it is. Furthermore, its impact on temperature is also extremely modest, lowering the predicted 2.5 degree warming over the next century to 2.4 degrees.

    Professor Nordhaus looks at these results and says, “We need a carbon tax.” I look at these results and say, “This meager improvement is not worth the actual and potential costs of giving governments the authority to collect a carbon tax.”

    Does anyone else have any suggestions?

    Doing absolutely nothing looks like the best deal possible to me.

  65. John, you must be the dumbest human being I have ever encounterd. How do you manage to remember to breathe?

    Come on, joe, you and John were having a lovefest a couple of days ago on the Hackett thread. Can’t we all just get along? Why must you always argue?

    Give Peace a Chance!

  66. “And why the hell do we care about Gaia’s fancies?”

    Because she’s an absolute freak.

    She tells you to bring handcuffs, you do it.

  67. “Pretty brave prediction there!

    Can I get some of this action? Heck, I’ll even offer 2 to 1!”

    It would stand to reason that in about 1,000,000 years, the planet will be human-free and still producing oil, just like it did prior to our arrival. The prediction makes sense to me.

  68. An un-mentioned superior quality of the Charger is the 12 dead hooker capacity of the trunk vs. 0 for the motor bike.

    With duct-tape and/or bungie cords the back seat has a dead hooker capacity of 1.

    Ha! The Hemi powered Ram 1500 quad cab can tow 8,600 pounds. At say 125 lbs per hooker and 2,400 pounds for the trailer that works out to about 50 dead hookers.

  69. “This argument seems to be based on the reality of a tube of toothpaste. Sure, there’s always more toothpaste if you try hard enough, so why bother conserving any toothpaste?”

    Argument by idiotic analogy. Nice try, Gigit.

  70. MikeP,

    A tax on anything should be a last resort, so a carbon tax is not a *good* thing, it’s just the best possible thing.

    Provided the global warming consensus is correct, it’s the best possible thing

    So, provided the extraterrestrial concensus is correct you would also support a carbon-based-life-form-tax?

  71. Don’t forget that cartels are still very much subject to the forces of supply and demand. If OPEC raises prices too high, people will curb consumption and OPEC loses money.

    Cartels are also subject to greed and OPEC is one leaky cartel in that regaurd. Every single “embargo” they have called resulted in a greater supply of oil, due to cheating by it’s members, than the supply available before the “cutback”. The prices only rose due to bidder panick with no true supply reduction at all.

  72. val,

    Where do I go to get those baby seal skin seat covers?

    Dont be lazy, go out and club your own. You can also invite Guy , he needs the seat covers to cover up hooker blood.

    Man are you batty? No blood in the Charger, they are all kosher hookers.

    On the seat covers . . .

  73. MikeP,

    Yes, I saw your point but I can never resist posting about the UFOligists whenever i see the word “concensus”.

  74. a carbon-based-life-form-tax

    Hey, now you’re getting somewhere.

  75. Also when do you propose we start collecting the said tax?

    Don’t be absurd. This is a penance. Everyone knows that a penance must be paid immediately, and forever more into the future.

    And don’t worry about our governments wasting the money. If you’re thinking along those lines then you’ve completely misunderstood the purpose of a penance.

  76. Cartels are also subject to greed and OPEC is one leaky cartel in that regaurd. Every single “embargo” they have called resulted in a greater supply of oil, due to cheating by it’s members, than the supply available before the “cutback”. The prices only rose due to bidder panick with no true supply reduction at all.

    Excellent point. I think Greenspan wrote a great paper about this back when he was an Objectivist.

    – Rick

  77. Speaking of extraterrestrials, why don’t we just spend a few billion on a giant transmitter and ask for some tips on fusion or even better means for producing energy? Sure, it’ll take a while, but we’re not exactly getting over the hump on new energy sources, either.

    “Hi, this is Earth. We’d like to borrow ten billion cups of oil. Say, that recipe for controlled nuclear fusion you have looks tasty. Can we have a copy? We can give you some cows to mutilate in exchange.”

  78. If we would just breeding whales for their intended purpose we would have a renewable organic source of oil in a few months.

  79. But then you’ll contaminate the atmosphere with whale farts and the ocean with whale shit. Then we’re really screwed.

    I like the idea of asking for alien assistance. Call it a form of Earth Prayer if you like. We could dress up the antennas to look like some sort of gods.

  80. well, remember from that earlier post about 4.5 billion non-believers to die by 2012, if you do not believe in global warming science you are doomed.

  81. If the above series of comments represents the consensus of the Libertarian Party about an energy policy, I predict you people will remain out of power a loooong time.

  82. grumpy realist

    I don’t think you understand.

    Libertarians don’t want power. Rather we want to limit the power others have over us.

    As to libertarian energy policy, the way I would express it is:

    “You want energy? Buy it. If you don’t, shut the fuck up and leave people who do alone.”

    Oh wait that’s libertarian policy for about everything.

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