As oil and gas prices have risen over the past few years,
more and more Americans have become familiar with the name Trilby Lundberg.
For those that aren’t, the Lundberg Survey has been the source
for information related to fuel prices, fuel taxes, and all things petroleum for over
With that in mind, Lundberg was interviewed by
the folks at CNN.com last Wednesday, and the never shy energy maven spoke
candidly about a variety of issues that most in the media would be afraid to
share with the citizenry (emphasis added throughout):
[T]here are several
reasons that there was so much refining capacity down [this year].
One was holdover
work from the 2005 hurricane damage. Many in the public may not realize that
[it] was not possible to fully repair all that since the second half of 2005. Another
cause was environmental protection regulations that have made maintenance and
repairs far more complex than they were in prior years.
is specific to the use of ethanol that makes getting ready for summer's lower
vapor pressure requirements more complex and more costly to achieve.
As many NewsBusters
readers are aware, both of these last two concerns of Lundberg’s are pet peeves
of mine that I’ve written a great deal about the past few years. It appears we
very much agree on these issues:
subsidization of alternative fuels -- non-petroleum fuels -- has already added
a great deal of cost for gasoline consumers here in the U.S.
To further mandate
these uneconomic sources that cannot compete -- even with heavy subsidy --
would make gasoline prices higher and hurt consumers. When the market is
ready -- if it ever is -- for such fuels, then they will not need subsidy. Meanwhile,
the much heavier use of ethanol in the United States is affecting world prices
-- not only U.S. gasoline prices, but world prices for those consumables that
use corn. And the planting of so much more corn here has displaced planting of other crops, so that there are other indirect effects.
And they're all negative.
The use of tax money
to prop up these uneconomic sources of fuel is itself a negative for consumers. ... The
use of ethanol, despite all that subsidy, makes gasoline prices higher than
they otherwise would be, through the difficulty of achieving EPA regulations
and the final gasoline product, and through the requirement from the 2005
energy bill that minimal volumes of ethanol are sold. ... It's even been shown
that the cost of tortillas in Mexico has been affected by our new
government-mandated consumption of ethanol, which has raised the cost of corn.
Sadly, the green media aren’t
interested in sharing such opinions about ethanol. Nor are they willing to tell
the truth about the following:
I think that there has been friendly as
well as unfriendly brainwashing taking place. And when I say friendly and
unfriendly, I'm talking about decades of extremist views that have now achieved
mainstream acceptance. And the No. 1 item among those affecting current oil
politics in Washington is the boogeyman, also known as global warming.
I don't accept it as established fact,
nor do I accept that it would be caused by petroleum consumption, nor do I
accept that the human species should not affect its environment. So even if it
were someday to be shown to have some small effect on the environment, I see no
crime. In fact, taking into account the many, many millions of people around
the world that envy our way of life, it would seem more humanitarian to wish them
the kind of plentiful petroleum products and vehicles ... that we enjoy ... to
lift themselves out of [a] backward, poor way of life.
In reality, there are many
international economists that share Lundberg’s view on this issue.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to hear their voices over the media’s manmade
global warming din.
Brava, Trilby. Brava.