We are the 99%

August 6, 2008

GOP: Proud Of Its Ignorance!

Senator John McCain and the rest of the right-wing noise machine has been making a lot of, well, noise about when Senator Barack Obama said this:

Making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tuneups. You could actually save just as much.
They're even raising money ($25 much needed bucks a pop) by selling tire guages to the Republican faithful: The Republicans' mockery is on full display. The problem? Making sure tires are fully inflated actually works. Even John McCain says so:

Republican John McCain appeared to back down on Tuesday in his dispute with his opponent Barack Obama over tire pressure.

Last week in St. Louis, Obama told an audience that steps such as inflating tires to the correct levels could make a difference when it comes to conserving fuel.

Cue gleeful mockery from McCain. Obama was naive, inexperienced and not talking straight to the American people about energy, he said.

His campaign went further, distributing to reporters tire gauges engraved with the words “Obama’s energy plan.”

Predictably, Obama hit back calling McCain’s mockery “ignorant,” arguing his plans were being misrepresented and saying that experts backed his call over tire pressure. Equally predictably, McCain’s camp hit back.

The surprise came during a telephone town hall meeting McCain held on Tuesday with voters in Pennsylvania. “Obama said a couple of days ago says we all should inflate our tires. I don’t disagree with that. The American Automobile Association strongly recommends it,” McCain said.

Not only that, but Jake Tapper checked the numbers:
It means that if every American was running around with significantly underinflated tires and improperly tuned cars, then, yes, Sen. Obama is right, the savings from inflating the tires and tuning the cars could arguably match or exceed current output from the OCS.
"OCS" means "Outer Continental Shelf." That might be a stretch - that every American had underinflated tires but look at this:

However, since estimates of significant tire underinflation affect only about a quarter of the cars on road -- as we noted above with the NHTSA statistics -- and it’s highly unlikely that 100% of the cars are in need of tune- ups at any given time, the maximum savings amount is probably closer to 10%, Verrastro says.

"So the production offset is more likely to approach 800 thousand barrels per day – a tidy sum and a worthwhile target for savings, but not equal to OCS output," he rules. "Finally, without knowing what production volumes could be expected from lifting the ban on OCS drilling moratoria, it’s impossible to assert that taking these fuel savings actions would exceed future offshore oil volumes, and in fact, one might argue that the combination of achieving these savings AND developing new supply would doubly enhance US energy security."

800,000 barrels a day is a lot, isn't it?

That's pretty close to the estimated peak that would come out of ANWR if drilling were to occur there. A peak that we'd have to wait for:

If Congress approved development in 2008, it would take 10 years for oil production to commence, EIA said. With production starting, then, in 2018, EIA said the most likely scenario is that oil would peak at 780,000 barrels per day in 2027 and decline to 710,000 barrels per day in 2030. Currently, the United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day.

"EIA" means "Energy Information Administration" and it's the official source of information from the US Guv'ment.

So making sure tires are fully inflated would save as much oil now as would be pumped out of ANWR two decades from now. Yet the Republicans are mocking the idea. An idea that John McCain "doesn't disagree with."

Senator Obama said it:

It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant. They think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and make a difference.

22 comments:

John K. said...

John K: Actually we did the homework. And it never entered the head of a liberal, why would it their heads are full of mush, that if you inflated the tires and drilled the price of oil would drop by even more. Duhhhhhh LMAO LMAO Inflate the tires, LOL LOL

John K. said...

John K: I do have to tell you, if this is Obama's big plan for energy independence, LMAO, then you guys picked a GED graduate for President. LMAO

EdHeath said...

Yes, and if we push the price of gas down by drilling (and inflating our tires) people will think that oil will last forever and keep driving SUV's and pickups until the price skyrockets and cripples the economy. And then we won't have any domestic oil to cushion that blow.

How’s about this, we implement a European style tax, doubling the price of gas. We use to the proceeds of the gas tax to give a graduated tax rebate back to people, with the poor getting the most, and the rebate going down as you go up the income scale. We take the four billion in subsidies we are giving to the oil companies and instead give it to wind and solar research. We also institute a national 55 mph speed limit and make it a crime to ride on underinflated tires. And we implement European levels of average fuel economy standards. Then, a year later, we release the OCS for drilling. We leave the ANWR in reserve, for a more painful future.

Fair enough? Or don’t conservatives love America.

D said...

EDHEATH:

Now THAT is change we can believe in! I'd vote for that in a heartbeat. I don't see a downside to that plan whatsoever.

Jorcheim said...

By the way, everyone. This is D. I changed my name to my usual blog handle. For some reason it was using my first initial rather than my profile name. Sorry about that.

John K. said...

John K: So ED, if I drive my electric car on the turnpike, where do I recharge and how long does it take? If you get only 300 miles to an electric car and it takes a full night of recharging to continue on with the trip then a journey from here to DC would be faster on a bicycle.
Until those problems are solved, drill thru a polar bear's head to get at the oil, do it now so it is there in 10 years and provide some space to allow the rest of these alternative energy sources to catch up.
By the way ED, electricity in this area is produced by coal.

m dachshund said...

Senator McCain is the poster child of C and D students--especially those folks who are either a) too lazy to do their homework, or, b)too mired in their ignorance that they actually think they possess knowledge.

I listened to him speak a day or so ago, while not looking at the visual image on TV. For a while I actually thought I was listening to a senile radio show caller. I remember particularly his saying, " Barack Obama does not believe nuclear energy is safe. I was as a soldier on the nuclear ship the U.S.S. Cole. I knew then that nuclear energy was safe, just as I know now it is..."

Eric W said...

"How’s about this, we implement a European style tax, doubling the price of gas. We use to the proceeds of the gas tax to give a graduated tax rebate back to people, with the poor getting the most, and the rebate going down as you go up the income scale. We take the four billion in subsidies we are giving to the oil companies and instead give it to wind and solar research. We also institute a national 55 mph speed limit and make it a crime to ride on underinflated tires. And we implement European levels of average fuel economy standards. Then, a year later, we release the OCS for drilling. We leave the ANWR in reserve, for a more painful future."

Yikes. Let's not and say we didn't. *shudder*

Jorcheim said...

John K:

Answer me this question, if you can.

Before there were gas stations everywhere, where did people fill up their cars?

And as far as drilling through a polar bear's head, we knew 30 years ago that there would be a major shortage of oil at some point in the not-so-distant future, thanks to the oil shocks. It is precisely the kind of claptrap and bullshit and apologia for big oil companies like you spew here that kept us from pursuing a cogent energy policy for the past 3 decades. Your kind has been proven wrong on practically every subject thus far, but particularly on energy policy and economics. So just calm down, shut up, and let the adults handle this problem, before you mess anything else up.

Jorcheim said...

ERIC W:

Any reason why not? I'm interested to hear your ideas.

EdHeath said...

John K, as you point out, there are not a whole lot of electric cars available for sale or on the roads right now. There are a couple around CMU, FWIW.

In Europe a lot of people travel by train or bus (mostly train). But to answer your question directly, we may end up using plug in hybrids, so you would go 40 miles or maybe three hundred miles on electricity, and then the rest of the way on gas/electricity. So yes, we will still need gasoline for trips, for a long time to come. When you have reached your desitnation, then you would plug in over night, and have 40 or 300 miles worth of electricity available the next day.

But it's going to be decades before one hundred percent of us have plug in hybrids, and maybe longer before we completely get off oil. That's why I would rather wait to drill, to keep that oil available for twenty to fifty years from now. But if drill we must, to satisfy oil junkies like you (and me), then at least let's also conserve as much as possible.

Eric W said...

My solution?

* Stop kissing Big Oil's ass.
* Don't subsidize any particular alternative energy source.
* Allow more domestic drilling (with appropriate environmental oversight).
* Leave speed limits to states.
* Don't waste police and court resources harassing people with under-inflated tires.
* Let oil get scarce and expensive. Necessity is the mother of invention, so let the market sort out which methods are feasible and profitable.
* Don't raise taxes.
* If taxes must be raised, tax based on consumption, not income. Remove taxes for quantities below an amount that will allow the poor to the consume.
* Give tax rebates for use of alternative energies.
* Keep strategic reserve for use as a stop-gap when oil scarcity drives the price to intolerable levels.

How's that for a start?

Eric W said...

I don't support "sin" taxes, which include increased taxes on fossil fuels. It's better (i.e., more productive) to reward good behavior than punish bad behavior, especially when it's not criminally bad. Also, sin taxes tend to make bad industries hard to eliminate. This is because governments become dependent on revenue from sin taxes, thus removing their impetus to stop people from committing those sins. As (according to Weird Al) Yoda said, "I know Darth Vader's really got you annoyed, but remember if you kill him then you'll be unemployed." If 100% of sin tax revenue was spent on making people less dependent on bad things and cleaning up the mess those bad things create, sin taxes would be less of a problem. In the real world, though, most sin tax revenue is used for unrelated purposes (c.f. the Allegheny County 10% drink tax).

jaywillie said...

Nice attempt, John K., at floating the current GOP meme that this is Obama's "big" energy plan. Is there any honesty or integrity left on the right or have you guys just decided to resort to every last lie and smear you can pull out from you-know-where?

Unlike your buddy McCain - the True Political Celebrity - Obama isn't offering a $4 billion tax cut to Big Oil.

EdHeath said...

Eric W, it was 1979 when I first learned Congress was raiding the Social Security trust fund to make themselves look better. And it's not like they were going to put the money back later. So yeah, I understand that when you hand government revenue, like a gas tax, if you going to use it for a specific purpose like tax rebates to compensate people for the higher price (with this tax) of gas, you better transfer it to the people immediately. Or the government will use it for something else, sure as a bear in the woods is Catholic.

But I have to tell you that allowing the price of oil to rise unchecked and uncontrolled will bring dire social consequences. The poor will become convinced the rich are being given special favors by the government (not too far from the truth) and may start rioting. Because it is not just getting to work, it is the cost of the food we eat, the clothes we wear, anything brought by truck. And then landlords will raise the rent to cover their own living expenses, etc etc. We could be looking at stagflation again.

Contrast that with Europe, which has had four dollar taxes on gas for sometime now. They don’t have gas tax rebates, but they do have single payer medicine and an extensive social welfare system. So the government pays back a lot of their taxes. And people make choices, like living near bus and tram routes, taking trains when they travel distances and riding bicycles a lot. And guess what, by some silly third party study, Denmark is the happiest place on earth. Not giddy, laugh out loud happy (not John K), but apparently an Obama like sense of contentment (snooty bastards).

By the way, how do we stop kissing the ass of big oil? By driving 55 mph, keeping our tires inflated, switching to smaller, more fuel efficient cars, in other words, reducing demand and thus their profits (and doing all the things I said)? Or do we just flip them the bird every time we pass a gas station?

Eric W said...

"By the way, how do we stop kissing the ass of big oil?...[D]o we just flip them the bird every time we pass a gas station?"

I was thinking we'd stop giving them political favors and subsidies, but I guess that wasn't as obvious as I'd believed.

"By driving 55 mph, keeping our tires inflated, switching to smaller, more fuel efficient cars, in other words, reducing demand and thus their profits (and doing all the things I said)?"

Those are all good ideas, but they should be implemented voluntarily. Don't give Caesar more power in a vain attempt to change the behavior of his subjects. Rather, change people's minds, and they in turn will back rulers that agree with them.

Fillippelli the Cook said...

I'd like to hear your definition of "subsidize," Eric W. Does that include not funding research into alternative energy, as is done for other types of research? Would it preclude small business-type grants for companies just getting off the ground with a new energy "product"? Or do you mean it in the strictest sense of tax breaks and direct payments a la what is done for commodity crops like corn and soy? Just want to be clear on that.

Eric W said...

"I'd like to hear your definition of 'subsidize,' Eric W...."

The government should not give preferential treatment to any technology in the form of grants. Unlike a lot of libertarian types, I don't have a problem with federal funding for science. However, it should be done through an impartial body, such as the NIH. Funding should be based on scientific importance and feasibility, not politics.

I'm not a big fan of tax breaks and direct payments for businesses, either. I prefer incentives and disincentives to be aimed at consumers rather than producers.

John K. said...

John K: You guys really screwed up. Obama is getting pounded on this tire inflation thing. It is as dumb as Jimmah telling us to put on sweaters and turn down the thermostat.

John K. said...

John K: Jorchiem--Be quiet and go check your tire pressure. You obviously do not understand oil production and oil usage.

jaywillie said...

Not so much, John K.

Since you're man, McCan't, announced yesterday that he agrees with Obama on the tire pressure "issue" it's kind of taken the teeth out of the whole ridiculous affair.

I'm sure within the Echochamber of Limbaugh/Hannity it sounds like that, but it's a well known fact that many things often get lost there, like the truth, reason and facts.

Hopefully, you're man will pick Pawlenty-o-nothing, so that a nice ad can be put together showing McCain agreeing w/ Obama on tire pressure and Pawlenty, only a few days earlier, leading the smear against Obama - McCain doesn't even agree with his own VP(if it is Pawlenty, though it will work w/ Mittens Romney too).

It would really serve your man better if you kept Joe Lieberman nearby to whisper sweet smears in McCain's ear when he forgets, which he does a lot, like when he needs to ask someone what his position is on an issue or needs Lieberman to tell him what to say, etc.

And on a side note, just wondering if you think it's age discrimination when a number of professions have age limits:

Air Force: "The mandatory retirement age for all general [Air Force] officers is 62 (this can be deferred to age 64 in some cases)." (About.com)

State and local police (55-60)
firefighters (55-60)
federal firefighters (57)
federal law enforcement (57)
federal corrections officers (57)
air traffic controllers (56, if hired after 1972)
commercial airline pilots (60) (65)
(source CATO, 2004)


Technically, McCain is too old for all of these positions - is that discrimination, John? Is the Presidency, especially at such a difficult time with so many big challenges facing us, somehow less strenuous than, say, being a commercial pilot?

Sorry but McCain's age is FAIR GAME.

John K. said...

John K: Come on Jaywillie, just look in the mirror and admit you are a bigot. It'll make life easier.