Download now: How To Invest in the Coming Bitcoin Boom

One Million Truckers United to Fight Obama

Is Obama Keeping Us Addicted to Foreign Oil?

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted September 19, 2013 at 8:00PM

There's a new protest brewing, and I suspect it's about to get a lot of press.Freedom Watch

Under the moniker "1 Million Truckers United Drive to DC," a group of justifiably frustrated Americans is looking to organize one million truckers for a convoy to Washington.

What's the goal?

Here's a description from the organizer's Facebook page:

Join this event whether you are an Owner Operator or just a fan of the Independent American Truck Driver working hard to bring home the bacon and a whole lot more.

Under Barack Obama these men and women that keep America going have been penalized at the pump and this is what this ride to DC is all about. To Protest the Fuel Policies of the Socialist that wants to keep us dependent on foreign oil while we can easily be self-sufficient right here at home!

While I'm certainly a vocal critic of many of this presidents' policies, agendas, and bold-faced lies, the good folks putting together this protest have been misinformed about these so-called “fuel policies of a socialist”...

Fantasy or Reality?

Not to sound like a broken record, but the price of oil is not determined solely by U.S. production.

Sure, with the rapid development of fracking operations across the nation, certainly we've been able to bring more domestic oil onto the market. And yes, this does offer a bit more energy security than we had just a few years ago.

But it's definitely not enough — no matter how hard and fast we drill — to make us completely self-sufficient. The argument that we can survive without imports is ludicrous, no matter how many talking heads on the Internet and television recite the refrains of this energy independence fantasy.

As energy analyst Brad Plumber reported in the Washington Post:

... even if the United States does become the world's biggest producer of oil, natural gas and biofuels by 2020 — an impressive achievement, for sure — we'd still be importing 22 percent of our oil and gas from abroad. To put that in perspective, that would still leave the U.S. more dependent on foreign energy than it was back in 1973, when OPEC oil shocks were kneecapping the economy.

But here’s the kicker: Even if the United States goes further and somehow manages to produce every last drop of the oil and gas it needs to run its economy, the country would still be vulnerable to events in the Middle East, tensions in Iran, strikes in Venezuela and other disruptions in the oil markets.

Plumber makes a very good point, one that shouldn't fall on deaf ears.

If folks oppose fuel-related policies of this administration, they should focus less on the myth of energy independence, and more on pushing the president and Congress to end these never-ending wars in the Middle East.

Not only are we spilling our blood and treasure in a region of the world where we are not wanted, but we're actually instigating more unrest, which results in price spikes.

Just look at what happened to oil a couple of weeks ago, when President Obama told us that he was ready to give the order to launch an attack in Syria... In less than 48 hours, oil was up 7%.

Demand Energy Independence

Also worth review is this chart. . .

rtlgas

As Plumber writes:

These three countries are all in very different oil situations. Canada is a net exporter of oil — it’s achieved the dream of “oil independence.” The United States, by contrast, still imports around 60 percent of its crude. And Japan imports just about all of its crude. Yet gasoline prices have followed the same pattern for all countries, rising and falling as global events dictate. (The absolute levels are a bit different among the different countries because of taxes and fees.)

Of course, this doesn't mean an increase in U.S. oil production is fruitless...

Certainly a decrease in oil imports can help narrow the U.S. trade deficit — and no one should complain about keeping more dollars in this country instead of sending it overseas.

But to demand energy independence is absurd. That's like demanding an illusion become a reality.

It's not going to happen, and no amount of chest pounding over it is going to reduce the price of fuel.

Pilfered!

In addition to coming to terms with the fact that energy independence is little more than a fairy tale, those wishing to protest something related to energy policy should protest this country's ethanol scam, which was started under President Bush and has continued under President Obama.

Although ethanol lobbyists will tell you that corn-based ethanol can save us from high gas prices, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, while ethanol advocates rant and rave about the economic benefits of ethanol, they rarely discuss how much of your hard-earned cash is being pilfered by way of exorbitant subsidies for the Big Ag machine, which irresponsibly grows an abundance of corn with dangerous pesticides and GMO concoctions that are also heavily subsidized by you, dear taxpayer.

Cheap ethanol? Not a chance.

There's nothing cheap about a fuel that requires government welfare and the decimation of our natural resources. And certainly the mere idea of dumping food into our fuel tanks while people are going hungry in this country and around the globe is not only unethical... it's downright criminal.

But that doesn't stop the peddlers of corn ethanol...

No, they'll continue to tell you that ethanol makes gasoline cheaper.

Never mind the fact that since the introduction of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in 2005, which mandated that 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into gasoline by 2012, gasoline prices have actually risen.

This isn't solely because of the RFS; there are a number of factors that have resulted in higher gas prices. However, the continued production of corn-based ethanol in the United States could actually push gas prices even higher this year...

You see, shortly after the initial RFS was put in place, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was passed, which required the RFS to be increased to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Of course, if certain refiners are unable to blend enough ethanol, they can purchase what's known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) from other parties that have exceeded their RFS requirements.

RINs allow the EPA to track compliance with the RFS. Each gallon of renewable fuel is assigned an RIN.

The problem is the cost of RINs has gone from just pennies a gallon to more than $1 per gallon. And according to analysts at Barclays, this could cost refiners $7 billion this year alone.

The ethanol industry claims that in an effort to avoid paying high prices for RINs, refiners should just blend more ethanol. How convenient!

Meanwhile, refiners don't want to increase their ethanol blends beyond what the EPA and automakers have recognized as “safe.” Certainly there are liability risks there.

Either way, consumers are the ones that are ultimately going to take it on the chin on this one. What a mess!

And as should be expected with any kind of government scheme designed to save us from ourselves by inventing various mandates and regulations, the RFS has been victimized by crooks and hustlers.

Over the past couple of years, there have been numerous cases of brokers and biofuel companies selling millions of dollars' worth of fake RINs. One guy actually sold more than $9 million worth of fake RINs from his garage in Maryland. He never produced a single drop!

Now Congress claims it's seeking new methods for combating fraud. But this seems like an awful lot to go through for something that is neither economically nor environmentally sustainable.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily directly affect truck drivers. After all, corn-based ethanol is used as an additive to gasoline, not diesel... although there's little difference in pushing corn-based ethanol and pushing soy-based biodiesel, which is also heavily subsidized and used in trucks.

At the Expense of Taxpayers

All in all, I don't mean to sound overly critical of this trucker protest. But if you're going to organize such an event, you should at least know why you're protesting, other than the fact that you don't like the president, which is pretty much the vibe I get from reading that Facebook page...

Of course, if these folks take the time to educate others on the real dangers of our energy policies — instead of trying to fire people up by using words like 'socialist' and posting images of Gadsden flags instead of relevant facts — I'll be more than happy to support their efforts. Hell, I'll even go down there myself and offer my services as a speaker, at no charge.

Bottom line: If we truly want to protect our liberty against the dangers of unethical lawmakers who use their positions solely as a way to build their own wealth at the expense of taxpayers, and we want to stop these folks from unapologetically dismantling our Constitutional and civil rights every single day... we must fight with valid arguments and facts, not hyperbole.

Because the truth is it's the former, not the latter, that effectively defeat dictatorial regimes.

And if you don't think that's what we have in Washington right now, then you're not paying attention.

Live honorably, live free...

Jeff Siegel Signature 

Jeff Siegel for Freedom Watch

Comments

Buffett's Envy: 50% Annual Returns, Guaranteed