Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Red Coat Petroleum RCP

I watched and listened to the President speaking to us from the oval office. I am not his biggest fan but I think he has finally got it right on how to handle BP, the company I shall now refer to as RCP or Red Coat Petroleum. RCP also means Ruined Coast Petroleum or Really Crappy Petroleum. Enough about the Pommies! The rest of BO's speech was pure nonsense on how the US will invent renewable energy to replace the fossil fuels. Reminds me of old W and his Hydrogen nonsense. Come On let's get real and face the fact we have to stop using so much energy. Our problem is not the fuel it is how we use the fuel! Like I said before there is nothing like an old fuel and fossil fuels are very old. I am working on how the US can reduce energy consumption by 20% in three years. First we need the massive carbon tax equal to $100 per ton of CO2 or $1 per gallon of gas. Second we need to reward citizens that carpool or take the bus or the train. Third we need to insulate homes, offices and businesses. Fourth we need to turn down the thermostat in winter and turn it up in summer. Fifth we need to impose import duties based on carbon emissions associated with these imports. Sixth we need to tax vehicles based on their MPG. Hummers and SUVs should be taxed at $20,000 a year and the Prius at zero. Please Mr. President while you are keeping your left foot on the neck of RCP please help us remove our right feet from our accelerator pedals.


  1. There is no doubt that BP is at fault and should be entirely accountable. The risks were not managed appropriately. However let's also admit that all these oil companies have the same bad practices and it is only luck or circumstance that it's not Chevron, Exxon, Shell etc in the spot-light.

    As for taxing for fuel and MPG/CO2, sure, join the club, the USA is already years behind much of Europe on this front...

  2. Yeah Paul it is not only BP but all of the Seven Ugly Sisters that could have experienced the calamity. They all had the same worthless contingency plan. I will focus my next few blogs on positive developments and real policy. The US has to wake up to the fact that we cannot continue to be the biggest wasters of energy

  3. I like using "EVs" as a measure. Maybe we'll have a larger unit too: BPGBO = BP Gulf Blowoutl. Time will tell how many EVs = 1 BPGBO.

    Short term, why not use super tankers to take up all that oil? Isn't that the reason the blowout still continues? Sounds like the Saudis in 1993 at a 65 EV spill that was unreported, and that was managed using supertankers.


    Long term, what we face may be a seemingly unprecedented need to convert society from one technology to another. I can think of two modalities: Economic/technological and Political/moral.

    Option 1:
    When oil first came into use, it replaced whale oil, coal gas, wood, but that was before whales were completely extinct (tho' England was probably largely deforested by the 19th c.). The technological optimist believes that as the old commodity runs out, its price increases enough to make substitutes more affordable, which then take over. Is this the modality by which we will make the change away from fossil fuels? Stated differently, at what ratio of

    old commodity cost / substitute's cost

    did the substitute finally win out? 1? 5? 10? Where was the tipping point?

    Option 2:
    The other example of a society-wide change in technology is not economic but political, moral. This might be abolition (and later, the elimination and regulation of child labor). We had whole national economies dependent on an input that people realized was morally repugnant. Is that the modality by which we will successfully move away from fossil fuels?

    As for long term option 1, how about replacing the payroll tax with the carbon tax. This could be revenue neutral. Increase the personal deductible for individual income taxes so that the carbon tax is not regressive, but does not reward the use of excess fossil fuel machines. Soon you can increase the tax at a higher rate than the personal deductible as society makes long term changes that make it easier for individuals to rely on fossil fuels less.

    As for long term option 2, perhaps a few more Gulf Oil spills will be needed.


  4. Great ideas but would the US public ever accept them. They are not keen on new taxes. It will take great leadership to convince them that the hour is late.

  5. A slightly different idea of a "feebate" has been kicked around and studied extensively. The feebate is a revenue-neutral market manipulation system with MPG pivot point around which fees are added for gas-guzzlers and rebates given to fuel-sipper vehicles. This has the effect of raising overall fleet fuel economy significantly (up to 29% in this recent study http://cta.ornl.gov/cta/Publications/Reports/FeebateEnergyPolicy_FINAL.pdf) and boosting sales revenue.