Drill baby drill?—what is wrong with this picture

Did enyone else get a queasy feeling when everyone at the Republican convention started chanting “drill, baby, drill”?  It was a little bit like seeing some one yell “Let’s party” with car keys in hand.

Tonight the other shoe dropped when I heard Terry Gross interview Tom Friedman.  Usually I don’t have time to listen to stuff, but if you have not yet heard this interview, go over to NPR and listen to it.
Sure, Friedman is selling his new book and yes, he’s vastly overrated, and yes, I cringe whenever Charlie Rose, who I otherwise admire, starts acting like he’s the Messiah. But Tom Friedman does give a good interview, he is energized by what ever he talks about, and this interview was about oil prices.

Some of Friedman’s points:

  • Oil prices in the 80’s dropped from $80 a barrel to $10 a barrel as a result of car mileage legislation, which worked so well it was dropped.
  • The Soviet Union, a big oil producer, collapsed as a result of the change in oil price.
  • Iran is in the same position today as the Soviet Union was then, and would collapse if the price of oil collapsed.
  • Legislation giving tax advantages for developing wind and solar applications is expiring.  Companies that made use of those tax breaks to make advances in alternative energy sources are now taking their discoveries to Europe where there are still tax breaks and a market for the products.

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