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Kinsley flunks Oilnomics 101 |

Kinsley flunks Oilnomics 101

| Sunday, May 14, 2006 12:00 a.m

Michael Kinsley’s Sunday op-ed column, ” Tax the windfall profits on oil ” (May 7 and, has to be one of the most idiotic ramblings I have read in a long time.

I cannot cover all of the inane statements he made, so I will hit the wackiest:

  • “Nature produced the oil and charges nothing for it.”

    That’s right, Michael, just go right out in your backyard and gather some up! What do you suppose those $150 million offshore platforms cost to build and operate in the Gulf of Mexico• (Oops, I gave away the answer, didn’t I?)

  • “… (N)o one was forced to pump oil at gunpoint a year ago. So, however you figure, in April, 2005 it must have been possible to extract 150 million barrels of oil from American ground for less than $46 a barrel… .”

    Michael, do you think there will be any more efforts made with today’s higher prices to “extract” oil that is unprofitable to produce at $46 a barrel?

    Much of the reason that we import so much oil is that America is a mature, high-cost, producing region. A portion of our continuing domestic decline is due to the plugging and abandonment of uneconomic production — which may be reactivated at higher oil prices.

    Finally, Kinsley goes into a mind-numbing ramble in the last half of his article about tax breaks and Republicans. Hey, Mike, you know the $9 billion profit that greedy Exxon Mobil made in the first quarter• How does that compare to the total government tax of over $15 billion Exxon Mobil paid in the first quarter• (Oops, I gave the answer again! Hey, I guess we don’t need more taxes from Exxon Mobil.)

    Michael, the best cure for the high oil price is … the high oil price! It will encourage conservation by consumers and increased production by producers, which leads to … lower prices!! My ninth-grader could write a better article than Kinsley’s. Trib editors, in the future, please use contributing columnists who at least can string together a coherent argument for a salient point.

    Karl KimmichGibsonia

    The writer has worked in the oil and gas business for 25 years.

    Categories: News
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