Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fads that Time Forgot: Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesdays

To the best of my knowledge, the first use of "Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesdays" as an on-going blog theme in the Cheddarsphere was on July 29th of this year, when Silent E, Sheboygan Shenanigans, No Runny Eggs, Sean Hackbarth, and Bill Widgerson decided to appropriate a gimmick from a blogger with a genuinely awful name for a blog.

So how'd it go?

Well, it didn't exactly turn out to be the online show of solitarity (or attention span) that the organizers likely had in mind. Steve Egg proclaimed that the feature "will appear here every Tuesday (whether I’m here or not; the only difference is I won’t be able to update the current gas price while on vacation) until Congress wakes up and allows a lot more domestic drilling (I’m not talking about just ANWR, or just off the Florida coast where Cuba, Red China and Brazil are preparing to drink our milkshake, or just the shale fields in the Rockies)."

Emphasis his.

Hackbarth and the blog about sex offenders in Sheboygan didn't even make it to the next week. Widgerson became an ocassional contributor.

By mid-October, when gas dipped below $3.00 a gallon the determination of Silent E and Steve Egg began to noticable wane. There hasn't been a Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesday since Wednesday, November 19th when gas was under $2.00 gallon. Even Jessi, who started the whole project off, hasn't chipped in lately.

So, I think it's fair to call Drill Here, Drill Now Tuesdays a total bomb.

Here are the lessons:

Drill Here, Drill Now presents only one solution to the economic (I'm not even going to bother with the environmental or foreign policy issues in this post) problem of high gas prices: more supply. Well, in the months that gas dropped from more than $4.00 to less than $2.00 a gallon supply has actually been cut to stem the tide of lowering prices. So even though production is at or below summer levels, the price is nearly half of what it was.

What gives? Demand is not what it was.

Part of this is seasonal. Americans drive more in the summer than they do in the winter and the late economic meltdown has probably lead more than a few people and businesses to cut down on their transportation budgets.

So can someone explain to me in simple terms what increasing domestic supply would do that decreasing demand hasn't already done? (And I don't necessarily mean going cold turkey off oil, but maybe just decreasing demand through more efficient use?)

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