Dystopian States of America
just sat through an interesting meet the press focused on rising gas prices and government energy policy. sam bodman defended the administration's every move even though major holes were poked by dick durbin and jim cramer. cramer especially hurt bodman on the subject of ethanol, wondering why the administration did not anticipate the bottlenecks that have appeared in the supply chain due to the new rules eliminating MBTE fuel additive. cramer feels that fifty cents of the price of a gallon is due to mismanaged policy implementation.
might be true and if it is, would anyone be surprised that the current administration has handled it ineptly? of course not. but their incompetence is not the real culprit behind more expensive gas prices.
daniel yergin was also on the panel and kept reminding everyone that this issue is not as simple as: "are the oil companies colluding to drive profits?" in fact, the price of oil (and therefore, of gas) is set on a global market by traders. so speculation might be part of the equation, but i doubt collusion is a major part of the problem. the biggest explanation for the rising price of gas would be the supply situation, which appears to be constrained and incapable of growing to meet a rising global demand.
that is the underlying reality of the world we live in. it's fascinating to watch a panel of smart people dance around that point and avoid talking about the best ways to take some of the pressure off of the supply side: conserving. not one of these panelists talked about driving less, moving closer to work or dropping the highway speed limits. amazing, really. instead of talking about simple obvious ways we can use less of the stuff, these smart people want to discuss collusion and mismanaged policies.
things are pretty messed up and, if this episode of meet the press is any indication, things are only going to get worse before they get better. interesting times ... yes. dystopia? probably.