December 3, 2021

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

The oil crisis is resolved!


Editor’s note: Ms. Missouri, our economic correspondent, is practically catatonic with joy at the good news that President Biden is simultaneously resolving the oil shortage and the rising gas-prices crisis, while slaying the inflation dragon. Her doctors continue to experiment with drug treatments that possibly could overcome her “temporary” medical issues in the long run, more or less. In the meanwhile, she is advising people to buy stock in bicycle companies.
YES, FRIENDS, IN SOME of the immoral words of Lewis Carroll, it is indeed “brillig, and the slithy toves do gyre and gimble in the wabe since all mimsy are the borogoves, and the mome raths do outgrabe.” Mark ye all this historic date, November 23, 2021, as did the AP with this headline: “Fighting gas prices, US to release 50 million barrels of oil.” Hallelujah! Gas prices currently are up over 50 percent compared to last year, sez the American Automobile Association, so all will soon be well when the regime begins to release oil “from the nation’s strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs, in coordination with other major energy consuming nations, including China, India and the United Kingdom.” This will occur with dizzying, nose-bleed speed when the gummint begins “to move barrels into the market in mid to late December.” Help is on the way! (How long can you tread water?) Just in time, too, as inflation has just had its biggest 12-month jump since 1990. Methinks the Bidenistas hope that the tiny effect of this dollop of oil will temporarily take the edge off consumer discontent around Christmas.

The AP helpfully tells us that “[t]he Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency stockpile to preserve access to oil in case of natural disasters, national security issues and other events. [The alert reader will note that at the very least the gummint is tacitly admitting that their policies so far constitute a “natural disaster.”] Maintained by the Energy Department, the reserves are stored in caverns created in salt domes along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. There are roughly 605 million barrels of sweet and sour petroleum in the reserve.” It further tells us, a bit further down in the story, that “Americans used an average of 20.7 million barrels a day during September.... That means that the release nearly equals about two-and-a-half days of additional supply.”

Yowsa! This inflation-killing release will provide 21/2 days of relief. Not a lot, you say? But don’t forget there’s 605 million barrels where that comes from. Do the math! We’ll have 505 million barrels left, or roughly 241/2 more days up our sleeves! In total, the reserve could provide us with 27 days of relief! Put in layman’s (or layperson’s) terms, that’s like a whole month more to go before you have to pay your credit cards.

And don’t forget, we’ll be working in “in coordination with other major energy consuming nations, including China, India, and the United Kingdom.” (What? No France, Germany, or Italy? Ooops!) The story doesn’t exactly explain what this means, and later in the story confusingly adds, “The White House decision comes after weeks of diplomatic negotiations and the release will be taken in parallel with other nations. Japan and South Korea are also participating.”

OK, now I get it. Probably they are all going to release oil from their strategic reserves. What, you say? Except for the Russkis, the others don’t have any oil reserves? Lucky for us, Putin is our buddy. Just look into his eyes! At last Trump’s Russian connection is paying off! It really is a wonderful world after all. [Ed. — At this point, Ms. Missouri burst into song about the plans that the Davos and Climate Change crowd have for a better world, something about “And furnish it with love, grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow-white turtle doves” and teaching “the world to sing in perfect harmony,” buying everybody some cocaine (“I’d like to buy the World a Coke.” [sic] Hah! Hunter Biden’s connections paying off as well!) and like that. But then she resumed dictating this report.]

Actually, the Climate Change people are a little uneasy about this, along with Sleepy Joe’s plea to oil-producing countries to crank out more oil. (Shouldn’t Joe the Climate-Warrior President be giving oil-producing countries the middle-digit salute instead of groveling to them and asking for their help in continuing to pollute a planet already in “Code Red,” “Beyond the point of no return,” and so forth?) But never fear! “Biden and administration officials,” the AP reports, “insist that tapping more oil from the reserve is not a contradiction with the president’s long-term climate goals, because this is a short-term fix to meet a specific problem, while climate policies are a long-term answer over decades.” Avoiding the opening here for a cheap shot remark about Hunter Biden and fixes, we should note that the erstwhile presidential would-be, ol’ John Kerry, while aboard his enormous-carbon-footprint private jet, made similar remarks along the lines of, “I was in favor of imposing Draconian climate-change policies before I was against them.”

Onward: “White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday evening that the White House would also keep tabs on the oil companies, too. ‘We will continue to press oil companies who have made record profits and are overseeing what we consider to be price gouging out there when there’s a supply of oil or the price of oil is coming down and the price of gas is not coming down,’ Psaki said. ‘It does not take an economic expert to know that’s a problem.’” Too true, too true. The shortage of economic experts in the Biden regime turns out not to be a problem either! (No word on whether economic experts will soon be released from the Strategic Economic Experts Reserve at the Mises Institute.)

And note that Ms. Psaki has already moved on to providing the “explanation” of why gas prices didn’t drop to last year’s levels: price gouging by oil companies. Note, too, that this might lay the ground for the only real “solution” to the problem: governmental gas stations that won’t price-gouge, won’t make “record profits” (you can take that one to the bank), and (spoiler alert!) will have long lines at the pump when they have gas available. But as we all know, we need to drive less anyway to protect the environment. And who says these people don’t learn some things from history? They are very cagey about avoiding the capital blunder Al Gore made when he nearly won the presidency: openly saying that gas prices on the European level ($8–$10 a gallon) were desirable because it would cut down on driving. (I don’t remember whether he said the same thing about private jets, which as everyone knows are essential for the 1 percent.) [Ed. — Holey Moley! “Gore for President!” “Kerry for President!” Occasionally we do dodge bullets.]

The long and short of it is that it doesn’t take an economics expert to realize that the release of 21/2 days of oil from strategic reserves will have close to a zero effect on an oil shortage primarily caused by regime policies. (I was going to say here that the 50 million barrels from the reserve is just a drop in the bucket, but our not-so-friendly totalitarian Strakon blue-penciled it. OK, just kidding, Nick.) The AP does admit that since last year “U.S. production has not recovered. Energy Information Administration figures indicate that domestic production is averaging roughly 11 million barrels daily, down from 12.8 million before the pandemic started.” And why is that? The story alleges that “Republicans have ... seized on Biden’s efforts to minimize drilling and support renewable energy as a reason for the decreased production” but tries to deflect that by commenting that “there are multiple market dynamics at play as fossil fuel prices are higher around the world.” What these “multiple market dynamics” are isn’t spelled out, but one doesn’t need to be an economist to figure this out, just a legacy media hack who thinks that supply is generated by producers and not demand.

The Bidenistas had better get that $12,500 electric car subsidy for rich people passed soon or they will begin to alienate their key constituency, for whom $5–$6 a gallon of gas is the price “we” have to pay for progress, and for whom living expenses are a fraction of the upper 1 percent of their wealth. There may be a silver lining to our current cloud, anyway. Ω

December 3, 2021

Published in 2021 by WTM Enterprises.

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