Thursday, July 10, 2008

Press Release

RALEIGH (July 9) – Dr. Mike Munger, Libertarian candidate for governor released his position on off-shore drilling for oil and natural gas today.

"The proposals I see coming from both the Democrats and Republicans are half-measures and stop-gaps," Dr. Munger said. "And the sudden support for off-shore drilling by Mayor Pat McCrory and others, is a cheap gimmick. It will have no effect on the price of oil, and will do nothing to affect the prices that NC consumers pay for gas at the pump."

Dr. Munger has a PhD in economics and experience working in regulatory policy at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. He holds a current joint appointment in Duke's Economics Department. He believes that only comprehensive energy reform will work to solve the nation's energy security problems, and help consumers in our state.

"It's an election year, which means that it is silly season for politicians. The supporters of new drilling are promising miracles, and the opponents are predicting disaster. They are both exaggerating for their own political purposes," Dr. Munger said.

Dr. Munger's proposed comprehensive solution would require broad cooperation at the federal and state level. The key points are:

1. End tariffs on ethanol imports.

2. Allow drilling and new exploration for high-yield sources of oil and natural gas on Federal lands and offshore in all U.S. waters.

3. End domestic ethanol subsidies, which waste both energy and money.

4. Allow the increasing price of gasoline and oil to do its job, by encouraging consumers to conserve, and rewarding oil companies for finding new reserves.

5. Allow the immediate development of new domestic refining capacity and cracking facilities, which has been held up for more than a decade by short-run political gamesmanship.

"The key is to recognize that the increased price of oil and gas will solve this problem for us, if we let it," according to Dr. Munger. "Oil companies will develop new reserves, and new refining capacity. Consumers will choose more fuel-efficient cars, and heating options. Alternative fuels and energy sources will become competitive, and will be developed rapidly in the marketplace."

As for the current proposals by both Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory, "They will have no effect, and in fact they are not even making any real effort" to solve the problem," said Dr. Munger.


Dr. Munger is available for interviews. Call him at his direct cell number (919) 369-6453 or email

1 comment:

Dirty Davey said...

Have refineries really been held up by "political gamesmanship"? Or by the oil companies realizing that the profit from selling a bit less refined product at a significantly higher price exceeds the profit from selling a bit more refined product at a lower price minus the high cost of building the refinery?

The pattern is not of refinery permit requests being denied, but rather of oil companies not asking to build more refineries in the first place.

I assume you're not calling for government-owned or government-subsidized refineries... Given the current balance of supply and demand, it is unclear to me what action the government could take to lead oil companies to decide that refinery-building is a profitable exercise.