Thursday, April 14, 2005

Head Off To Mormon Country

This story gives me some hope for our economy and our dependence on foreign oil.

It seems that there are enormous oil reserves under Utah and Wyoming. The problem is, the oil is difficult to extract and refine.

The story detail the possible involvement of the Fed to get this jump started now that it's economically feasible to do so.

Getting the Fed involved would be the worst thing that could happen.

The best thing that could happen is that the Fed could turn this land over to the states and let the states either sell it to private parties or lease it to the oil companies. I'm sure the EcoFreaks would have a cow over it and probably try to blow up the refineries etc. Politically speaking there is no way we're going to get out of this without huge concessions from the environmentalists. They're going to be absolutely rabid about it.

One of the good things that could come from the discussions over this is that the environmental lobby might concede to allow drilling in ANWAR rather than in the lower 48. If they were smart, they'll throw that on the table when the time comes. Another terrorist attack or two though and the public is going to be clamoring to turn the Middle East in to a sea of glass even if we get a lot of our oil from them. That will bring pressure to bear on getting our domestic oil pumped out of the ground.

One thing I can see happening and I almost hate to bring it up is that some dumb Republican will float the idea to have total Federal control over this oil supply and replace the income tax with the revenue from it. They would promise low oil prices and an abundant supply for many years to come. The Democrats might even buy in to it. At first, all would be as promised and then both parties would start playing politics with it. They vote to add a couple cents a barrel to pay for some important program. Then the flood gates would be open and we'd have very expensive gas. The environmental lobby would be at work full time trying to get prices raised to pay for remediation to the area no matter if any damage was real or imagined.

If we can develop these fields in fairly short order (5 to 7 years), by the time they're even close to being depleted, we'll have developed better energy technology and it won't be much of an issue.