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US: Oil (CBS 5/6-9)

Topics: National , Oil

CBS News
5/6-9/10; 855 adults, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CBS: Oil story, results)

National

Increase Off-Shore Drilling
46% Favor, 41% Costs and Risks Too Great

Oil Platform Collapse in the Gulf
51% Isolated Incident, 35% Indication of Broader Problem

Party ID
32% Democrat, 29% Republican, 40% Independent (chart)

 

Comments
Chris V.:

The longer this oil spill goes unfixed, the more I imagine support for offshore drilling will dwindle. Yet if gas shoots up to 4 dollars a gallon again, everyone will suddenly want offshore drilling again...because, surprise, the American public has the attention span of a housefly.

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GARY WAGNER:

Has Obama bought those 10 fire domes yet? Maybe that should be a priority now after going for 16 years without them. It's too bad we depend on big government to fix things. They just made things worse.

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obamalover:

@Gary Wagner

How has it made things worse? It was the private sector whose incompetence caused the oil spill. What universe do you live in?

You complain when the government is too involved in a crisis (financial meltdown) then you complain when they are not involved enough (oil spill). You are just looking for any reason to complain about government. No matter if it makes any sense whatsoever.

And could you please provide a link for that 10 oil dome claim.

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Field Marshal:

Incompetence? This is the first major spill in over 21 years. I thik the private sector has a fairly decent track record. I mean, hurricane Katrina went over these rigs and not one spilled anything.

If you want to see incompetence, look no further than our federal government. In virtually every area of it, they show the definition of incompetence.

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Aaron_in_TX:

It does seem like offshore drilling support has waned somewhat due to this leak. The 35% that sees this as indication of a broader problem seems higher than normal. Hopefully this crisis gets people thinking about developing alternate energy sources in earnest.

Everyone seems really impotent in solving the crisis. The government is not in the oil business, oil companies are. The government just buys it and issues drilling permits (or fights wars for it, lol). So I'm not surprised the government doesn't have many resources to respond to this kind of thing; it's the oil companies' jurisdiction. I would blame the government if we had a nationalized oil company, but we don't.

I googled variations of Gary's 10 fire dome claim and didn't find anything. It's probably something from right-wing blogs.

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Field Marshal:

Did anyone catch Jim Lehrer a few days ago when he had a couple of "expert" guests talking about the crisis? One of them said that if it truly was a methane bubble, it was a true black swan event and there was not much they could have done to prevent it. They both said no one will really know for a long time.

I hope the reactionaries don't do the same thing they did after 3 mile island and put our nuclear power industry back 30 years.

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Oil is an anachronistic commodity. We should do everything we can to hasten the end of the "oil era." Hopefully, it will be replaced by newer and cleaner -- and less expensive -- energy sources over the next 20 years.

For now we're stuck with using a lot of oil worldwide and to watch speculators strangle consumers with supposedly "honest" trading. In my view, the true value of a barrel of oil is probably in the $30-$50 range, yet it trades at almost two times that price. The solution is not to prohibit things like more offshore drilling, but rather to get the traders to become very bearish. Then, the lack of visible profits on expensive offshore drilling will make the energy companies totally lose interest in new drilling and let alternative and more ecologically friendly energy sources -- wind, solar, natural gas, fuel cells, nuclear, electric autos, etc. -- start grabbing more and more market share from oil. That will trigger more and more bearish outlook from traders and probably sink oil, over the next 3-5 years to a totally uneconomical (for new drilling anywhere) price of $10-$20/bbl.

And for those of you who think that's unrealistic, that was the price of a barrel of oil as recently as 1999.

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Field Marshal:

nelcon,

The fundamental price of oil, based on extraction costs, is probably in the $40 area, so you're right. But the reason for the price being double has nothing to do with traders and everything to do with China and India. The price is much higher because of the expectation of demand outstripping supply in the next few years because of the number of new car drivers getting onto the road. China adds over 1,000 new cars onto the road EVERY DAY! Just in the last 4 years, the number of highway miles in China has doubled. India is seeing the same sort of growth.

We do need to get off of oil, that's for sure. But what is the alternative? I would love to see the U.S. build 150 new nuclear plants around the country to reduce our coal dependency as well as develop solar and wind technologies. But what will power automobiles? Hopefully, we can get to the point in the near future where oil is ONLY used for gasoline and that cars start using natural gas.

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obamalover:

@FM

You must be living in some fantasy land. The government always cleans up the messes of the private sector. What just happened with the financial crisis? Massive deregulation, and the private sector proved it couldn't act responsibly without the government having to hold its hand 24/7. Now the Federal government and the Federal Reserve has to clean up the private sector's mess.

And there have been other spills. Exxon Valdez, which hasn't been completely cleaned up, the Santa Barbara offshore platform spill etc.

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obamalover:

@FM and nelcon

Here is a chart that depicts how "beneficial" offshore drilling can be:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9ks36c549BI/S-dFVw9XfzI/AAAAAAAABWM/UfZ8ydQbiRg/s1600/oilconsumption_0.JPG

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Aaron_in_TX:

"But what is the alternative? I would love to see the U.S. build 150 new nuclear plants around the country to reduce our coal dependency as well as develop solar and wind technologies. But what will power automobiles?"

I can talk on my cel-phone for 8-12 hours, or it can be on for 72-96 hours without charging it, and that battery is tiny. This is something like quadruple what they could do 15 years ago. There's got to be a way to make electric autos that can drive for as far as a tank of gasoline (250-350 miles) on one charge.

Nuclear is probably one way to transition away from oil, although it's very expensive to build and maintain those plants and uranium is a limited resource as well, it would alleviate some of the problems.

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Field Marshal:

"You must be living in some fantasy land. The government always cleans up the messes of the private sector. What just happened with the financial crisis? Massive deregulation, and the private sector proved it couldn't act responsibly without the government having to hold its hand 24/7. Now the Federal government and the Federal Reserve has to clean up the private sector's mess."

And who cleans up the federal governments messes? Seems to me that a major spill every couple of decades isn't "always cleaning up their messes."

As for the financial crisis, do you honestly think that the government didn't have a significant hand in causing that as well. Get real.

Offshore drilling isn't the answer but it will help to create tons of high-paying jobs, increase supply slightly which will decrease the price slightly, increase tax revenues, and help our overall economy since people will spend less of their income on gasoline.

Aaron, I agree with you on the battery power. I think its a bit down the road though to get the same duration, power, and distance as the internal combustion engine. That's why i think nat gas is a great stopgap. We are the Saudi Arabia of nat gas.

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Aaron is correct. New battery technology + conversion of the alternate power train to run on natural gas could make hybrid vehicles totally eliminate the need for gasoline. And, as to the comments about China & India, while true in terms of the numbers of vehicles being added to the roads, they could simply add them using new hybrid/electric technology.

If either or both China or India announced such a plan, and we got good storage technology on solar & wind power for electric generation, oil trading would turn so bearish you'd see it at $8-10/bbl in almost no time.

It is the speculators that are keeping it up, as witness the last 2 weeks of trading. First, it jumped to the high 80s and then did an abrupt turnaround to fall to the low 70s -- all based on rumors about the Gulf platform. And you can tell me that price moves like that are not based on speculation?

Give traders a "bear story" and the bottom would fall out of the oil market, instantaneously, thanks to our "fail-safe" (????) electronic trading in the markets today (see Stock Market 20-minute crash!!!!)

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obamalover:

@FM

"As for the financial crisis, do you honestly think that the government didn't have a significant hand in causing that as well. Get real"

Great argument. Because, you know, it was the government who forced AIG to issue credit defualt swaps. It was the government who forced Lehman and Bear Stearns to invest in all those risky derivatives. LOL! Let me guess it was Fannie and Freddie, private companies, who caused all the crisis eventhough they accounted for only 25% of the sub prime market?

It is estimated by Bush's energy department that drilling in ANWR would save 3 to 4 cents, and it is estimated by the Natural Resource defense counsel that offshore drilling would save a similar amount. An average american saving $30 a year on gas is not going to do a whole lot to help the economy so much. And global warming could do a whole lot more to hurt our economy.

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Field Marshal:

OL,

Would AIG be in any trouble if the housing market didn't collapse due to, among other players as well, Fannie and Freddie issuing nearly half of all subprime loans, and most of the NINJA loans.

Its the old chicken and the egg type thing. Yes, AIG was negligent with the CDS exposure, but the CDSs wouldn't have been exercised had Frannie and Freddie along with the other mortgage lenders, giving a loan to anyone with a pulse.

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Field Marshal:

"It is the speculators that are keeping it up, as witness the last 2 weeks of trading. First, it jumped to the high 80s and then did an abrupt turnaround to fall to the low 70s -- all based on rumors about the Gulf platform. And you can tell me that price moves like that are not based on speculation?"

Nelcon,

The whole commodity market is speculation, so thus you are correct. Oil trades in US dollars only and in the derivatives market. Its all a zero-sum game (as opposed to the stock market) so its a true supply and demand market. I think, when you say speculators, you are talking about 'traders'. But i would argue that the oil market is one of the most efficient in the world because there are so many participants that it is impossible to manipulate the trading.

I would agree with you on the hybrid tech though. It would be great to get it to be cost-effective enough so that emerging markets as well as the developed world would all be buying it. I would also like to see nat gas/electric cars as well.

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Aaron_in_TX:

The subprime loans were a small part of the mortgage market. It was the speculation that caused financial stocks to completely crater, putting potentially half of GDP at risk, given that 6 banks control 60% of the country's capital, or something like that.

Government did enable the subprime mess, but it was the private financial sector that f**ed everything up.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

I think the polls clearly show that a majority of Americans want financial reform and want the federal government to regulate the banking and finance industries.

There probably is wide support for looking into the dealings of Freddie and Fannie, but with 70% of Americans owning stock and many of whom have their retirement accounts, 401ks, based on stocks, people are looking for the federal government to reign in the private sector.

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Field Marshal:

Aaron,

I would agree with you there on the private sector and the enabling. But while subprime was only a small part, there was a contagion effect that spread to other areas of the mortgage market. Kind of like a domino effect. The idiots were the investment bankers that used rosy modeling that assumed housing prices would never fall more than a few percentage points. DUMB!

Do you know that Fannie and Freddie have more debt outstanding than the federal government? Amazing.

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LordMike:

"Incompetence? This is the first major spill in over 21 years. I thik the private sector has a fairly decent track record. I mean, hurricane Katrina went over these rigs and not one spilled anything."

That's nice... The fact is, the last spill 21 years ago still is affecting the Alaskan coastline, and this spill will literally kill the gulf of Mexico for several generations.

That's like saying a murderer has a pretty decent track record 'cos he only kills people once every 20 years.

Considering the catastrophic failures that spills cause, a zero failure rate is the only acceptable number.

What if one of our nuclear bomb silos would explode every 20 years and destroy millions of acres of land with radiation. Would you consider that to be a "decent" safety record for nuclear weapons?

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LordMike:

As for your second point, "If you want to see incompetence, look no further than our federal government. In virtually every area of it, they show the definition of incompetence. "

This is the kind of attitude that doesn't allow us to "have nice things". Of course the government is competant, when legislators want it to be. But, the halls of congress are filled with folk who WANT the government destroyed (i.e. conservadems and republicans) 'cos it makes the wealthy more powerful and the middle class weaker.

BP lobbied to reduce safety requirements on their rigs. The "anti-government" forces in congress complied. Now look what happens. Of course, the anti-government people will blame government, even though government never had a chance 'cos it was sabotaged from within.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy... In the end the people lose when they have a government that cannot function fully because it has been compromised by self-serving jackals who serve their corporate masters instead of the people.

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Field Marshal:

LM,

I know you don't really believe that last post. I just hope you really don't believe that post. I'm scared that you do however.

Its akin to saying the libs will do anything to destroy private industry and free markets. The pro-government forces are spending and bankrupting the nation. Yet you have faith in these people? See how it goes both ways when you propose insanity?

As far as your more sane first post, what would you have us do? Every time something goes wrong anywhere, simply pack and make it illegal to do it any longer? Give me a break.

Someone got in a car accident on the road i take to work and was killed. Should we ban all cars since we lose 15,000+ per year in vehicle accidents? Who makes that determination?

I saw, find out what went wrong, fix it, clean up the mess and move on. The enviroloons are out in full force on the airwaves saying that we should stop drilling for oil. They won't be satisfied until we are all back to living in caves and hunters and gatherers. Actually, i'm sure they are all vegans so meat is out of the question. Maybe eating weeds because farming is not acceptable to some of these nuts.

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obamalover:

@FM

LOL. Fannie and Freddie (who, again, were privately held companies) by law can't engage in subprime lending. They collapsed because they invested in sub prime securities just like Lehman, Bear Sterns etc. They weren't the lenders of sub prime loans.

As for AIG, sub prime by definition are risky hence SUBPRIME. They like all the other idiots in the private sector made the conscious decision to take on huge amounts of risk and put the nation's entire economy at risk so they could be greedy and make a few extra bucks.

One of the few banks that did well during this period is the Publicly owned bank of North Dakota. They invested their clients money wisely and limited their risk, which is why North Dakota has weathered this recession much better financially than other states thanks to their sate owned bank.

Some things should be privately owned and some things shouldn't; commercial banking shouldn't. Extreme capitalism is just that: extreme.

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Field Marshal:

North Dakota did well because of the Bakken formation bringing in huge amounts of capital to the state.

You are saying commercial banking should be state run? Why on Earth would we do that?

Those greedy bastards out to make a buck. How dare they? Its as if this country is capitalistic or something. CRAZY!

Fannie and Freddie bought and GUARANTEED these subprime loans from other lenders, no, they are not an originator. They are also one of the biggest securitizers. The heads of these GOVERNMENT SPONSORED ENTITIES were, and are, Obama supporters.

Seems to me that some things shouldn't be government owned as well.


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obamalover:

@FM

Greed is ok in some industries. But it is not ok in healthacare, for example. People should not be profiting off someone's life.

And the only innovation that goes on in commercial banking is the bad kind (i.e. derivatives that allow easy money to people who can't afford it). Banking should be boring; not what it has become.

Well Fannie and Freddie are now in receivership, and were before Obama became president, and they may never exist again. So I'm not quite sure how they have had any undue influence on his presidency since they haven't really existed since the government took them over when they collapsed in 2008. Sounds like you are making wild and irrational accusations about Obama that sound slimy, but in reality don't make any sense.

Anyhow, the problem with Fannie and Freddie is since their inception is that the government has had less and less influence over their affairs, particularly which investments count as their targets. Bush's HUD in 2004 lifted restrictions on which kinds of subprime securities could count towards their targets. That is in part where things went wrong.

But like I said before, they counted as 25% of the subprime securities market, and they are a privately held corporation as a government sponsored entity. Basically a GSE is a private company doing a government job that the government should be doing. The private sector shouldn't be doing government work, because they are greedy and just plain not good at it.

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obamalover:

@LM and FM

And we don't hate the private sector like you guys hate the government. We believe some capitalism is good and some government is also good. Republicans are extremists; you guys believe all government except for the bare essentials (like the military) is bad. Actually, I forgot about blackwater, so actually Republicans believe all government and even the bare essentials are bad.

You can't have a government run by people who hate government. That is just a recipe for disaster (e.g. starve the beast mentality).

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Aaron_in_TX:

"You can't have a government run by people who hate government."

That was a Bill Clinton quote wasn't it? I remember thinking it was a good line.

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Field Marshal:

Continuing with the hyperbole that is this conversation, by your broad stroking lumping of conservatives, i would assume its okay to say that all liberals hate the private sector and would like to see it destroyed because profit, in any form, is unfair.

Aaron, that's absurd. The right doesnt hate government. They just realize its limitations. The left seems to think government is the answer to all problems while the right feels they are not.

Having people who hate government in charge of it may be a good thing since it produces nothing and tends to metastasize like a cancer eating away at the productive members of society.

You can't have a government that hates capitalism; especially since that very capitalism drives all the innovation, productivity, and wealth that this country creates. Its the kill the provider mentality.

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obamalover:

@FM

Um no. The Right says they hate government pretty openly on a regular basis. The left does not do the same with the private sector. They don't openly say the hate the private sector. And in fact we don't, but we realize sometimes government is better in certain situations. I have never heard one liberal activist or politician say they hate government.

The left believes in a middle ground between government and private sector. The Right believes in no government: extreme capitalism.

Anyhow, your post in itself is a joke. It proves you are a hypocrite:

"The right doesnt hate government. They just realize its limitations."

Then you go on to say:
"Having people who hate government in charge of it may be a good thing since it produces nothing and tends to metastasize like a cancer eating away at the productive members of society. "

Wha.. Wha... What? You don't hate government but you liken it to cancer? That is hypocrisy at its finest. But that is what I can expect from a conservative. LOL!

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obamalover:

@correction to above post

I have never heard one well known liberal activist or politician say they hate THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

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GARY WAGNER:

@Obamalover:

It made it worse because the government told the private sector to not worry about it - they had things covered. Why doesn't BP have their own fire domes? Because they aren't stupid. Why would they buy something that the government is required to supply?

When the government say it is can do something and it can't - things are worse than if they had stayed out of it altogether.

Want a link for the fire domes?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36912754/ns/us_news-environment/

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