Sunday, December 28, 2014

John McCain, Drill Baby Drill, and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Remember when John McCain was agitating the right wing masses with chants of “Drill baby, drill?”

Oh yeah, he quickly gave lip service to alternative energy sources – a sort of kiss before sending alternative energy to the gibbet with a hooded executioner. The emphasis was clearly on getting all the filthy fossil fuel we could out of the earth and sending it up the chimney for the enrichment of oil interests that were backing mostly the candidates of the right.

Here’s a reminder if you need it, but keep reading after you watch.
Now, from the New York Times, comes this:
HOUSTON — States dependent on oil and gas revenue are bracing for layoffs, slashing agency budgets and growing increasingly anxious about the ripple effect that falling oil prices may have on their local economies. 
The concerns are cutting across traditional oil states like Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Alaska as well as those like North Dakota that are benefiting from the nation’s latest energy boom 
“The crunch is coming,” said Gunnar Knapp, a professor of economics and the director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Right-O John. The oil’s gushing like water and it’s the oil producing states that are getting screwed.
Of course, in a way everybody’s getting screwed, even as cheap oil for a while produces some prosperity. With oil selling for less than – well certainly less than bottled water – the impetus to turn to alternative fuels has gone up the chimney. So you can expect the auto makers to sell more SUVs this year and fewer fuel-efficient cars. You can expect the solar and wind industries to wither. And eventually, when somebody tightens the oil spigot, everybody’s screwed and we’ll all be right back to where we were a few years ago.
One way to ameliorate the situation at least a little bit – and to get some desperately needed infrastructure repairs financed at the same time – would be to slap cheap gasoline with a five cent, or maybe even a ten cent federal gasoline tax.
With a Republican Congress? I have to be kidding, right?
Right. So we might as well all lie back and enjoy getting scewed. Long live St. Ayn. Forget I said anything, kiddies. Go back to your economics textbook. You know the one I mean. “Atlas Shrugged.” The current situation gives new meaning to the title. 


The New York Crank said...

Once again, as a guest blogger, I find no remedy for my good old attention deficit disorder. I forgot to tack on the headline which was, "John McCain, Drill Baby Drill, and the Law of Unintended Consequences." And once I post things here, I can't edit them because Steve, perhaps wisely, hasn't offered us access to that feature.

For the same story with headline, and later edits, if I find any are needed, simply pay a quick visit to before returning here.

Yours crankily (and a bit absentmindedly),
The New York Crank

Victor said...

So, "The Fountainhead" of oil that states were hoped for and drilled for, gushed, and will now cost them the jobs gained - and then some!

"Lord, what fools these mortals be..."

Victor said...

"Hoping," not 'hoped for!'

Steve M. said...

Hi -- I was checking in again, so I added the headline.

jnfr said...

Just a quick post to say that I really appreciate when the headlines are there. I read via the RSS feed, and when it's just a string of "No title" it's hard to see what I might want to read.

The New York Crank said...

Thanks, Steve. It was hard running around with my head off, so I appreciate the fix.

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

The New York Crank said...

Thanks, Steve. It was hard running around with my head off, so I appreciate the fix.

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Yastreblyansky said...

Great piece, Nearly Headless Crank. If we keep talking about the gas tax maybe it'll slowly trickle up.

Ken_L said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if they announced that the Keystone pipeline was no longer a viable undertaking and nobody wanted to build it? One of the conservatives' favorite whines would suddenly look very silly.

Ten Bears said...

The anatomy of a manufactured bubble, Ken. The anatomy of a manufactured bubble.