I knew CNOOC. You’re No CNOOC.

Remarks like this (coming from U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), member of the House Appropriations Committee,) are why I don’t even believe that our government can do socialism properly, at least not today:

We (the government) should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.

I’ve done business with state-owned oil companies–ENAP (Chile,) PDVSA (Venezuela,) Petrobras (Brazil,) NPCC (Abu Dhabi,) and of course the legendary China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC,) the last of which I document in detail.  All of these have enough sense to know that, in order to run the refineries, one must have crude oil, which requires exploration and production development of one’s oil reserves.  The elevation of crude prices is what is driving the price of petrol and other fuels up.  Nationalising the refineries won’t help that; in fact, government interference with the construction of refineries in the U.S. contributes to the elevated price.

Congress’ lack of understaning for the need for reliable crude oil sources–the issue of the debate over offshore drilling–is at the centre of our problems, and only shows the childish level of our politicians and political debate.

But we’re not the only ones who haven’t connected the dots on this issue.  If Obama is elected president and he meets with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of the items everyone should insist be on the agenda is that both countries work together to beef up their respective refining capacities.  The Iranians, all the while developing their nuclear capacity, have to send their crude out to get it refined.  If we were to simply mine their harbours, we could bring their entire vehicle fleet to a standstill, even though Iran is a major crude exporter.

To paraphrase Lloyd "Tex" Bentsen’s put-down of Dan Quayle, I knew CNOOC and other state-owned enterprises, and Congress is no CNOOC when it comes to solving our problems.

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