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McCain ‘nukes the fridge’: Now he believes that doing nothing can lower oil prices

By Joe Romm  

"McCain ‘nukes the fridge’: Now he believes that doing nothing can lower oil prices"

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mccain-hug.jpgHow far we have come from the principled maverick of the 2000 campaign:

Republican John McCain on Wednesday credited the recent $10-a-barrel drop in the price of oil to President Bush’s lifting of a presidential ban on offshore drilling.

That’s right, the man who wants to be the next President of the United States believes that doing absolutely nothing — which is what Bush did when he reversed his father’s ban, since the congressional ban is still in place — dropped oil prices $10.

You know you have jumped the shark nuked the fridge (see below) as a candidate when even the White House paid shill press secretary won’t go that far:

The White House didn’t go that far. Presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said the price drop also could reflect diminished demand.

“I don’t know if we fully deserve the credit,” Perino said.

Considering that after Congress opened up most of the Gulf of Mexico to drilling in 2006, oil prices doubled in two years (see “Offshore drilling raises oil prices*“), how could not opening up the rest of the outercontinental shelf (which in any case has under half the oil of the Gulf) possibly drop oil prices?

Perhaps this is what Senator McCain meant when he said that:

Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial.

Apparently even thinking about exploiting those reserves has a psychological impact on energy traders. The Sierra Club describes this theory as “Jedi Mind Tricks.”

Previously, I would have said that McCain had jumped the shark to denote the point “at which the characters or plot veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline.” But that term that dates back to a 1977 episode of Happy Days. And while a very old cultural reference certainly suits McCain, I try hard to keep this blog at the bleeding edge. Now the term of art is “Nuke the fridge,” which is

A colloquialism used to delineate the precise moment at which a cinematic franchise has crossed over from remote plausibility to self parodying absurdity, usually indicating a low point in the series from which it is unlikely to recover. A reference to one of the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, in which the titular hero manages to avoid death by nuclear explosion by hiding inside a kitchen refrigerator. The film is widely recognised by fans as a major departure from the rest of the series both in terms of content and quality.

McCain is certainly a very long-running franchise, diminishing in both content and quality. I think “self parodying absurditydescribes his energy positions. And, of course, he is a huge fan of nuclear power (see “McCain says no to Boxer-L-W without giga-subsidies for nukes” and “McCain calls for 700+ new nuclear plants (and seven Yucca mountains) costing $4 trillion“).

So, nuke the fridge it is [notwithstanding the fact that I actually thought the recent Indiana Jones movie was okay].

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10 Responses to McCain ‘nukes the fridge’: Now he believes that doing nothing can lower oil prices

  1. paulm says:

    oh oh… looks like the price of oil is going to drop even more…

    Arctic May Hold 90 Billion Barrels of Oil

  2. Paul K says:

    The McCain/Republican message on energy – let’s go wholeheartedly to 21st Century technologies and efficiencies while maintaining economic viability during the transition period.

    The drop in the futures contract price that can be credited to the Bush policy shift is now closer to $20. There’s a chart out that shows that the sharp increase in gas prices coincides with the January 2007 Democratic takeover of the House. Could be a good time to explore the differences between coincidence, correlation and causation.

  3. Joe says:

    Paul — But the market knew that the Democrats were going to take over Congress in early November of 2006.

    And the market knows that opening the Gulf of Mexico to drilling did nothing to stop the price of oil from rising, and the Gulf has 2 to 4 times as much oil as the OCS.

    And that market knew that Bush would drop the executive order blocking the moratorium whenever Congress ended the moratorium.

    And the market knows that it is the Democrats who are serious about fuel economy standards and alternative fuels.

    If you seriously believe there is any quantitative basis underlying what you have written, then I’m afraid you have nuked the fridge too.

  4. thingsbreak says:

    You thought Crystal Skull was okay?

    I’m unsubscribing from your RSS feed and getting my energy news from Inhofe’s office from now on…

    PS: Bjorn Lomborg and RP Jr. are saying some interesting, if not particularly grounded in reality, things about Jim Hansen.

  5. Paul K says:

    Of course the price drop is just a happy coincidence, the kind that often propels successful campaigns. One concrete reason for the lower futures price is this week’s strengthening of the dollars vs the euro. Oddly enough, last week Bush voiced his support for a strong dollar policy. Again, is it coincidence or the result of brilliant strategy? (If I knew how to insert one of those smiley face emoticons, I’d put one here.)

  6. Ronald says:

    I thought that the timing of Pres. Bush was interesting. The adminstration would have known ahead of time whether the government report to come out would show lower or higher supplies of oil from previous levels. Just make the announcement that you are dropping the executive order about the ban of some offshore oil drilling and the if the oil prices drop because of the oil supplies report, you can attribute it to your annoucement. I’m thinking that’s pretty much what happened.

  7. Ronald says:

    should have had this in my post, but the executive announcement on offshore drilling was right before the announcement of higher than normal oil supplies.

  8. Nick Kong says:

    Unfortunately, it’s not a joke. I just heard the same argument on the floor. A Republican congressman repeated the idea that it was President Bush who lowered prices recently, not the fact that inventory levels are higher than expected due to lowering demand (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/business/24stox.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin).

  9. Paul K says:

    Nick Kong.
    It’s not an argument. It’s a slogan. The argument is that we must maintain economic viability during the transition to 21st Century energy which is already underway and will certainly be more than 80% complete by 2040.

  10. Chris says:

    It is good the price of petrol has gone down muchly in the last two weeks