“We’re looking at the options,” including drawing on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, William Daley said. “It is something that only is done—and has been done—in very rare occasions. There’s a bunch of factors that have to be looked at. And it is just not the price.”
In the recent two years, oil has gotten progressively more expensive and as a result, gasoline prices have followed a similar trajectory. That was until two weeks ago, when both of these commodities blasted to the moon in response to the uprising-cum-civil war in Libya. This leaves our current Presidential Administration with two sets of choices of how to handle the resulting public suffering from expensive gasoline.
The choice the administration makes depends upon what they interpret the problem to actually be. If the problem consists of a bunch idiots waving tea bags, and stopping the brilliant and civic-minded governmental over-class from implementing solutions to all of mankind’s problems, the administration implements one sort of solution. This sort of solution would consist of a panacea designed to get rid of the inconvenient anger. They throw the whinging dogs a few hush-puppies and get back to the glorious business of saving the planet.
Another alternative involves the administration believing that the current protests offer a very useful data point. This data point informs them that their current policy direction leads to utter failure, and therefore needs to be reversed. This would result in the administration inaugurating a plan that attacked the root cause of the problems. They would address the economic threat posed by long-term increases in the prices of gasoline as those increases relate to the increased price of its fundamental root commodity – petroleum oil.
Barack Obama would never go down that road, because of the implicit introspection involved and its potential to refute his solipsistic philosophy of Barack Infallibility. So we look then at what our poor, overburdened Pericles on The Potomac can do to placate these idiot mobs who want affordable fuel.
The Obama Administration has two policy prescriptions available that would possibly provide short-term downward pressure on the price of gasoline. These policies involve actions to either increase the flow of petroleum oil to US refineries, or to reduce the perceived uncertainty of future oil supplies. The short-term supply to US refineries can be augmented from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The uncertainty of future supplies could possibly be assuaged by sending in the USMC to brutally stomp some of the rebellions and civil wars going off in oil country.
The current administration at least bluffed at breaking a few heads in Libya, when the USS Kearsarge was sent to nearby waters with elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force. He has fortunately been a wise enough Harvard man not to commit to the idiocy that would unfold if we went in to “stabilize” and “democratize” the barren wastes of Libya. This leaves the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on his menu of feel-good, quick-hit, palliate-the-Tea-Partying-Mob solutions.
This comes with encumbered with its drawbacks. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is intended for strategic uses. This store of oil is intended to provide the US military with a cache of POL (Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant) products that they can use to fight a long-term, protracted, medium intensity conflict.
In WWII, Patton’s Armies had to stop frequently when the US tanks ran out of gasoline. US military decision-makers don’t want the next General Patton to have to take forced rests because of petroleum shortages. The more mechanized and jet-fueled the American military becomes, the more POL we will need to defeat the next Herr Rommel.
Our current Boy President is risking our ability to maintain long-term military operations against a well-armed opponent over the political ramifications of expensive gasoline. America’s seed corn is what’s for breakfast during this short-sighted, puerile and overly-political administration. Decisions like this make me long for an American President who will suspend the campaigning operations for a bit after actually winning an election.
Just to be complete in this post, I’ll briefly outline some of what this administration actually could be doing if they viewed the rising prices of petroleum to be an existential problem, rather than a political and perceptual one. China, for example, has bravely pushed forward on a program to build Molten Thorium Salt nuclear reactors. They are working to actually decouple their national interest from the corrupt kleptocracies of the Arabian Peninsula. In America, meanwhile, our POTUS furrows his brow and expresses deep concern.
As Erick Erickson points out today, America does in fact, actually have domestic reserves. A resourceful nation, facing a shortage of petroleum, replete with its own minable stock, would be expected to actually break ground and extract their own resources to assuage the high prices. I’m not talking brilliance, here – just plain, simple basic logical thinking. As Voltaire once put it succinctly; man’s best course is to tend his own garden.
But we can’t bother with that. We have elections and futures to win. Or was that just future elections? I think it was just future elections. Our current leadership could truly care less about the commonweal of The American People in the future. Nothing reveals the utter contempt and disrespect that The American Left has for the American People like their current proposals to solve America’s energy problems.
Just releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to temporarily knock down gas prices is akin to giving a cancer patient a couple of Advil so he won’t gripe so loudly over at the nurses’ station. It shows no regard for the future this administration supposedly has committed itself to winning. It shows an utter absence of regard for the people forced to live through this administration’s predictably dystopic future outcomes. It shows the utter absence of thinking we’ve grown to regard as typical from the man whose favorite solution to the crisis of the day is voting “present.”