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October 30, 2007


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1. Point one. There is plenty of oil. High crude oil prices now are related to high speculative prices (due in large part to the malevolence of our enemies in the middle east) and the monopolistic pricing of OPEC.

2. Point two. High gasoline prices are due in part to high crude oil prices, but also to taxes and particularly to a shortage of gasoline refining infrastructure.

3. Point three. If you want to cut gasoline consumption, tax it. But Democrat-party bosses will never accept the political fallout that would flow, like an oil gusher, from such a tax.

4. Point four. It might be nice, for people who want to link auto traffic to the electrical power grid, to also support nuclear electrical generation.

5. Point five. Long before we "run out" (!?) of oil, it would become so expensive as to lead to great conservation. The beauty of supply-and-demand. In the meantime, with a vibrant economy, the genius of the marketplace is a LOT more likely to come up with a better solution to transportation energy needs than, say, Congress. Or the Brookings Institution. Let the marketplace figure it out. (Too bad the Brookings institution was not around in 1807, to predict that in 100 years, the world would "run out" of hay for horses, and the horse-waste-disposal problem would be so great that the economy would come to a halt.)

6. Point six. Ethanol. Reason No. 1,001 to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and to read its editorial pages is to take in the series of reports that various contributors have done on the costs of ethanol production. It is hugely expensive. It is little help in overall energy consumption. Ethanol production further skews farm production in the direction of government-subsidized argiculture. And ethanol sucks up fresh groundwater for the production process like you wouldn't believe.

Other than that, this was a really incisive interview.

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