The Corner

Petrovillains, Real and Imagined

On the homepage, the Editors argue that President Obama’s new “task force” on oil “speculators” is a smokescreen, a diversion meant to draw attention from policies that — necessarily — support higher energy prices:

Nor are the putative “speculators” — “investors” is the right word — themselves half the problem they are made out to be. In fact, they play a critical role in the marketplace. Among other things, they help companies with serious financial exposure to fluctuating oil prices (such as airlines and trucking companies) hedge against rising fuel costs. Unlike the U.S. government, FedEx can’t just print money when its expenses go up. The futures market provides businesses — and governments — with critical intelligence about the state of supply and demand for petroleum. An intelligent administration, or one at least less hostile toward profit-making businesses, would be looking for a more robust market, with more market participants, rather than hunting for villains.

What is causing high gasoline prices? Increased demand associated with the global economic recovery and (greater than average) Mideast instability certainly play their part, as does the continued control of a major portion of proven petroleum reserves by OPEC, a paradigmatic cartel whose very raison d’être is market manipulation. But the operant cause here, the main event to which this speculator business is a sideshow, is the man himself: President Obama, and his say-one-thing-and-do-another energy policies. He demagogues on oil speculators because he can’t — he won’t — do anything else.

Read the whole thing here.

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

Most Popular

White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More