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 fifty years.
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.
Third 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:
The [government] 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.