Thursday, February 02, 2006

Oil - on Bush oil pledge

I have to say I was so happy to hear about Bush's oil pledge. But not for the reasons you might expect.

My number one reason: he basically stood up and said "whammo!, bet you didn't see that coming!"

Ok, ok, you can't be blamed for saying that maybe he makes an empty promise. Or he is only trying to placate the groundswell opinion that he is being an ignoramus on the environment and Kyoto.

But, then you have to step back and realize that the comment alone is worth billions of dollars. Billions in Losses!

So, now those that fervently hate Bush would say that he made a double whammy mistake by making the comment unwisely (trying to placate the greenies and hurting the economy).

So now I have to say, I think it was one of the smartest moves he could have made.

1. The US Economy is too dependant on Oil, but the US economy would be one of the first to create alternative fuels.

2. The greennies cannot afford to come out and say Bush makes hollow promises because at least he is now making a move in their direction. He has opened the discussion when only a few months ago they were adamantly opposed to speaking to anyone about it in the Montreal meeting.

3. War for Oil - the source of oil, the power from the oil producing nations... See where I am going here? Come on, its obvious. Lets reduce the region's influence on the world. Too troublesome.

Now for a dose of reality. Sure, it won't happen in my lifetime. Sure, it was going to happen sometime. Sure, it will be painful in terms of mega-industrial losses (and I am talking 'attitude only', not real life measures like penalizing auto companies if only 10% of their cars are hybrids, etc).

But overall, the power of the shock, the timing of it... was pretty cool. Notice, for instance the the reactions in the paper were a full day later. No one saw it.

Two good FT articles here and here. Don't agree with the second, but its brings up some issues.



rod said...

Let the backpeddling begin:

One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

...and why, pray tell, didn't he mean it "literally"? Maybe it had something to do with this:

Diplomatically, Mr. Bush's ambitious call for the replacement of 75 percent of the United States' Mideast oil imports with ethanol and other energy sources by 2025 upset Saudi Arabia, the main American oil supplier in the Persian Gulf. In an interview on Wednesday, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said he would have to ask Mr. Bush's office "what he exactly meant by that."

I'm sorry - you were saying?

Dantravels said...

Which proves the point, you are only reading what you wish to read.

My point was that while "maybe he makes an empty promise" , "greennies cannot afford to come out and say Bush makes hollow promises because at least he is now making a move in their direction".

I never said he was was smart to offer to wean the US off oil, I said it was a good move to 'say' he was going to do this.

I am not backpeddling when I say that, either. Remember I am being realistic (about politics, politicians).

Something that is difficult for others to be.

rod said...

First of all, I was not accusing you of backpedaling; I was accusing the Administration of backpedaling. I'm sorry if that was unclear (I can see how it might have been).

Second, I think perhaps you missed my point - the "greenies" certainly can accuse Bush of making hollow promises, especially when they are so very obviously hollow. If the man can't stand behind his words even for a full 24 hours, no one is going to take him the least bit seriously (after all, the Saudis don't). And I think that's the "realistic" view.