Tuesday, March 13, 2012

John Hofmeister on the Price of Gasoline, Oil Speculation, and U.S. Energy Policy

Written : Mar. 13, 2012

John Hofmeister, author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies, and the former president of Shell Oil (2005-2008), admitted that corporate profits are up, way up. On Washington Journal, on March 11, 2012, he informed us that world demand is also on a steep incline, and that most of that overage is re-invested into maintaining and improving oil industry technology. In addition, speculators don’t affect the price of gasoline as much as one might think. Hofmeister predicts: “If we stay on the plan we’re on – which is no plan whatsoever – we’ll be at $5.00 [prices] next summer, or $5.50 the following summer.” He warned us of the need to get our hands on the politicians who will not deal with our future energy needs. It’s just unconscionable [that some Americans are paying over $5 or more a gallon] when we live in such abundance that we’re not allowed to touch.”

These sound like the claims of an alarmist, until one realizes that Hofmeister, in 2010, foretold the price would reach $5 by 2012, either in quarter two (Q2) or (Q3). “And yet, here we are – arguing about whether or we should or should not drill in our own country…we’re not going to have enough oil to fill our tanks every day.” Agreeing with those who claim that the world’s need for oil is driving the price up, he said that demand for oil in developing countries is growing by double-digit percentages each year. ”While [China’s demand for oil] has gone from 5 to 9 million barrels a day and on its way to 15, the U.S. has gone from 20 to 18… India has gone from 4 to 7 (by 2015)”.

”The sooner we get a plan for energy, the better off every American will be.” Hofmeister said, “We need to have a long-term, comprehensive plan” for current sources using a 0-10, a 10-25, and a 25-50 year plan. “Let’s transition intelligently with the technologies we know.” Fossil fuel, coal, oil, and natural gas are the ones we know best. “And we can’t just write that off, but some people want to.” The former president of Shell said we need around 20 million barrels a day more than we produce now. He said that we can’t drill our way out of the problem, but drilling should bring us to about the 10 million barrel mark. Then we can improve our efficiency by producing ethanol and methanol, hydrogen fuel cells, and natural gas. Next we could do deals with Canada and Mexico to lift us up, over the top.

This registered Democrat blames both political parties for the lack of progress in this area over the years, but he said, “[President Obama] and his administration have done more harm to the future of domestic natural resource production than any administration since Nixon.” When Mr. Obama says we have only 2% of the world’s oil, he conveniently uses the term “proven reserves.” He is ignoring the other two - “possible reserves” and “probable reserves.” John Hofmeister said that the oil companies know that the U.S. has more oil than Saudi Arabia. Put that in your gas tank and fire it up!


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