Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Senator Byron Dorgan: A Man of “Great Ignorance” Speaks on Markets and Orgies

Senator Byron Dorgan, a Democrat from N. Dakota appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning and made a complete ass of himself. Mr. Dorgan replaced his intellectual equal, Harry Reid as Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, meaning that his goofy ideas are likely the ideas of his party. Mr. Dorgan has a plan for our nation’s energy policy, be prepared to pay more, lots more.

Mr. Dorgan is pushing a policy to tax all oil “profits” that accrue from oil prices above $40 a barrel. He chose the arbitrary price because he said that oil was recently trading for $40. I put the word “profits” in quotes because despite an MBA from U of Denver the guy clearly has little business knowledge. In fact his bio states that he has worked in government since 1968. That is a very long time to be out of work. He stated that the money would be “rebated” to us. I didn’t notice if he was planning a rebate for consumers of gasoline, for drivers, for taxpayers or for citizens. I’m going to guess that the answer is citizens. He states that the tax could be avoided by corporate “reinvestment” in drilling and refining capacity. This is from a guy who is a member of the reactionary Democratic Party that will not allow oil drilling in the US. They aren’t too big on refineries either, just look at Al Gore’s 2000 campaign. One of the CNBC commentators asked if this meant that the Senator would now support drilling in ANWAR. Mr. Dorgan said “that’s cute.” Cute? This is a serious issue and he thinks that people are playing “gotcha games” with him. Mr. Dorgan, it is Democrats who spend their waking hours thinking of more slick little “gotcha games”, not traders; we have better and more honest things to do with our time. Mr. Dorgan then went into the typical conspiracy theory that one could hear from many Democrats; he said that we are not drilling for oil off of Florida because President Bush was helping his brother.

Mr. Dorgan stated flat out that he supported drilling for oil off of Florida but that he does not support drilling in ANWAR. Sure pal, the area that encompasses ANWAR gets less than 100 often very well healed “eco-tourists” a year. Florida on the other hand receives approximately 40 million tourists a year; a fact that likely had something to do with the Federal decision to not allow drilling off of the Florida coast. The 17.3 million residents may also have weighed on the decision. ANWAR has a population of zero. I am old enough to recall hearing the same bogus arguments concerning Prudhoe Bay that I am now hearing on ANWAR. Many of the same people who are against ANWAR are making the same arguments that proved false 30+ years ago. Those people were once confidently saying, well actually screaming, that Prudhoe Bay would run out of oil twenty years ago; Prudhoe Bay is still producing over three-hundred-thousand barrels per day. There is a constant complaint that the caribou would be negatively affected by drilling in ANWAR, a position that spits in the face of current knowledge. I wonder; would Mr. Dorgan and his fellow Democrats support drilling for oil off of Democratic California? The Democrats are after all, the party that will not allow windmills off of the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port. Now if they could put those windmills off of the Bush estate in Kennebunkport; well, that is something that they could all get behind.

Mr. Dorgan claimed to like the free market, which I guess depends on the meaning of the phrase “free market” because Mr. Dorgan then proceeded to call the oil futures market “an orgy of speculation.” He also stated that oil couldn’t be a free market because of OPEC. All right pal, you want us to just fold our tents because of OPEC? We should not have a free market in the US because of OPEC? That ignorant comment was his lame attempt at the “gotcha game.” He probably thinks that the mere mention of OPEC would shut up any opposition, fat chance asshole! The idea that there cannot be a free market in oil here in the US due to overseas suppliers who will sell to the highest bidder is ludicrous. Calling the NY Merc’s oil pit an “orgy of speculation” just shows how uninformed and poorly educated this man is. Does this genius even know that his constituents are using the futures markets every day to protect their family farms? This is truly scary, for a farm state Senator (3rd term, 6 in the House) to not even understand the futures markets just boggles the mind. One trader I know just shook his head and said that such a comment “just shows great ignorance.” Another trader repeated his opinion that “they are going to go after those Merc guys.” I think that my friend is on to something, it does seem that the Democrats could very well be lining up to go after anybody, even people trading federally regulated futures contracts, especially the guys on the floor. Those Merc guys are lucky that Elliott Spitzer is otherwise occupied.


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