The Happy Arab News Service

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Obama and his technocrats

US secretary of energy said gas tax is not feasible in the US at the moment. However, this is not such a big deal really, as in the coming decades petrol prices will go up "naturally".

By Carola Hoyos, Fiona Harvey and Clive Cookson in London
Published: May 28 2009

In the past Mr Chu, a Nobel laureate, has argued that if the US wanted to reduce its carbon emissions, policymakers would have to find a way to increase petrol prices to levels in Europe. But in an interview with the Financial Times, he said: "At this moment, let me be frank, it is not politically feasible."

. . .

Mr Chu's move against using taxes to raise US petrol prices is likely to frustrate environmental advocates who believe the only way to change Americans' consumption habits is through higher prices. US fuel taxes are much lower than in Europe, leading to pump prices that are often one-third lower and to the average American consuming double the amount of oil as his European counterpart.

. . .

But Mr Chu warned that Americans will have to learn to live with higher petrol prices even if Washington does not enact policy that boosts them. "Regardless of what one does in any sort of taxation, I believe that prices of oil and natural gas will go up in the coming decades," he said, adding: "They will naturally go up just because of fundamental supply and demand issues."

Source: Financial Times

What Chu is basically saying is that the US does not really need to have energy policy because the Saudis are already taking care of the matter. I would suggest that the US does not really need its own energy chief since it has the Saudi one. I would also venture to predict that in one year from now Chu will be arguing that the US does not need gas tax either as it's already paying one to the Saudis (And this may happen to be very true by the end of the next year).

It may be uncomfortable to admit for some people, but after watching the debut of this administration one can only conclude that by now it's only the Saudis who can tax the US all the way into energy independence. However, the Saudis are smart enough to be not counted with OPEC's hawks and they are generally not into trying to squeeze the last dollar out of the price. These people know how to inflict the pain of energy dependence without getting it hurt so much as to stop the US gas junkie from coming back for more. Having been in the business of running OPEC for decades, the sheikhs have learned well how to milk the stupid cow. Our hapless messiah, however, insists on making sure the Saudis are as smart as they are. They are, mr. president. Don't worry.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he would discuss oil costs when he meets with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah next week and plans to say that big price rises are not in Riyadh's interests.

"I don't think it's in Saudi Arabia's interests to have a situation in which our economy is dependent -- or disrupted constantly -- by huge spike in energy prices," Obama said when asked by a reporter what his message would be during his June 3 visit to Saudi Arabia.

Source: Reuters

Though I have to admit I find the multilateralism part of it very touching.


This post is an update to How to Make Sense and Influence People. If you have any comments leave them there. This one is closed for comments.

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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 12:09 PM