Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Scientists report that there is enough energy in the jet stream to satisfy all of the world's energy needs if we could only find a way to capture it. Anyone who has flown across the country from California to New York has probably benefited from the lower reaches of the stream. It can provide quite a boost in airspeed. It will be interesting to see if anyone can come up with a feasible way of capturing the stream's energy.

Meanwhile, the price of gasoline and diesel fuel is rising to record levels all across the USA and the whiners are again attacking the oil companies for their "exorbitant" profits. Ignored in their protestations is the fact that federal and state taxes make up a sizeable portion of the pump price. Here in Florida, for example, the total tax on a gallon of gasoline exceeds $0.81. And let us not forget that until now several Gulf Coast refineries ave been down for normal maintenance and repairs, thereby reducing supplies. The last time I looked the law of supply and demand hasn't been rescinded, and any time supply is squeezed the price goes up.

There is talk in some Democrat circles of trying to impose price controls on petroleum fuels. Such a move won't solve the problem; in fact, it will make it worse. Supplies will slow down just enough to cause long lines at retail outlets as bad or worse than those that followed the embargo in the '70s. I can hear the complaining now.

There is only one way to bring prices down and that is to increase supply and to reduce our dependence on foreign crude oil. That means we must allow drilling on the Continental Shelf, in ANWAR and the Gulf of Mexico. This must occur even with progress in developing alternative energy sources.


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