Oil “hearings”

It probably is not very accurate to call them hearings as there is not a great deal of listening going on by our wonderful senators:

Senator Chuck Schumer claims that coercing Saudi Arabia to increase oil production by 1 million barrels a day would drop the per barrel price by $25, saving Americans 62 cent per gallon at the gas pump. Yet, somehow, that same amount of oil coming from Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would only ease oil prices by a penny.

In a Senate floor speech he gave on May 13th, the New York Democrat insisted that:

“If Saudi Arabia were to increase its production by 1 million barrels per day that translates to a reduction of 20 percent to 25 percent in the world price of crude oil, and crude oil prices could fall by more than $25 dollar per barrel from its current level of $126 per barrel. In turn, that would lower the price of gasoline between 13 percent and 17 percent, or by more than 62 cents off the expected summer regular-grade price – offering much needed relief to struggling families. “

Schumer repeated these words almost verbatim when grilling oil company executives during yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Yet Schumer’s daily magic number of 1 million barrels is the exact increase experts believe we would today be pumping through the Alyeska pipeline had Bill Clinton not vetoed ANWR drilling back in 1995.  And even the most rabid anti-domestic-drilling Democrats don’t take issue with that figure. 

So then, the increase he demands of “Bush’s friends,” the Saudis – which he claims would reduce prices by up to 25 percent — is the exact amount he argued earlier this month would only “reduce the price of oil by a penny” were it coming from ANWR – eco-sacred breeding ground of the Porcupine Caribou.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D in economics to know that both figures can’t be right.

Nor one in Poli-Sci to know why they’re so starkly different nonetheless.

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