Monday, September 22, 2008

Oil Kerfuffle

I could just spit.

Here is the article in today's Duke Chronicle. Key quote:

"It's an election year, which means that it is silly season for politicians," Michael Munger, the Libertarian candidate in the North Carolina Gubernatorial race and chair of the department of political science at Duke University, said in a press release. "The supporters of new drilling are promising miracles, and the opponents are predicting disaster.... They are both exaggerating for their own political purposes."

Munger's plan takes a hands-off approach, asserting that "the increased price of oil and gas will solve this problem for us, if we let it" by driving down demand and opening up new supplies. His plan does not address environmental concerns.

My response, just sent in as an LTE. We'll see if it gets published.

Dear Editor:

I appreciate your front page piece on the issue of "off shore" drilling.

But your claim that my "plan does not address environmental concerns" is a bit inaccurate.

Look, the reason we waste so much, and pollute so much, is that the price of oil is artificially low. It is subsidized by tax breaks to oil companies, and huge payments for unjustified foreign wars. If we had to pay the full cost of oil, two things would happen.

1. We would use less, a "demand side" response to high prices. (Environmental concern #1: Reduces pollution!)

2. We would focus on alternative, and likely less-polluting, energy sources. (Environmental concern #2: Make green energy profitable, and it would flourish.)

Both of my opponents want to use tax money to bring the price down. I say, charge the REAL price of gas, and let those prices produce the positive environmental effects. That's my plan. It is my opponents who refuse to address "environmental concerns."

Mike Munger
Libertarian Candidate for Governor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


i sympathize. i used to think that very few think before they talk/type. after a few years in the energy biz i came to realize most people:

1. have no idea what a "market" is, let alone how it works.

2. every problem can be solved by having the "good guys" force the "bad guys" to do something.

you're mistake was assuming that they would understand supply/demand and that you would not be so easily cast into the "bad guy" category.

i know this seems cynical, but i have come to realize it's simply reality. my cynical response would be much more descriptive.