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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, June 18, 2007

RE: Oil prices may remain high as expansion plans scaled back

Oil-industry executives no longer believe that there will be the demand for gasoline over the next 10 years to warrant the billions of dollars in refinery expansions - as much as a 10 percent increase in new refining capacity.

This is nonsense. There is no evidence to suggest that demand for gasoline will do anything but increase over the short run. Ten years is a very short horizon for strategic planning like this. Add to this the fact that they wouldn't even consider investing in a refinery expansion unless it had less than a 24 month return on investment and I have to wonder what the real truth is.

Biofuels are a shell game as far as conventional internal combustion engines are concerned. It has been repeatedly shown that ethanol, when used in sufficient quantities to make a difference, is detrimental to engine performance and longevity. I read one analysis that indicated that the fossil fuel economy achieved by biofuels would be largely offset by the increased energy use resulting in decreased engine longevity.

Who knows? Maybe this direction taken by the Bush Administration and the oil companies is a bow in the direction of the dependency relationship oil and automobile manufacturers have with one another.


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