Because apparently, this is a business that any dummy could run. Take Ed Markey’s new bill, for instance:
“Big Oil is more interested in pumping up prices and pumping up their own profits rather than pumping more oil,” said Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), who has co-sponsored a bill to charge oil companies a fee for land they hold that’s not producing oil. “We should not even begin discussing handing over more public land to the oil companies until they first use [the land] they already hold.”
You would think it would occur to oil companies to develop the land currently under lease. They must be even dumber than the likes of Markey, who should have obviously been an oil company CEO.
The oil industry says it pays millions of dollars for these leases, and not producing oil on them is something they would not intentionally do.
“No one is sitting on leases these days,” said Rayola Dougher, senior economic advisor for the American Petroleum Institute. “Those making those assertions don’t understand the bidding and leasing process.”
Now, now. That’s what we would expect the oil industry to say.
So who’s right?
The oil industry is correct about not hoarding oil, said Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit. With prices at $135 dollars a barrel, everyone is trying to pump as much as they can, he said.
But fearing oil prices will eventually fall, the industry is leery about making too many investments in the fields it has – many of which are in deepwater areas that can be pricey to develop.
Personally, I think Markey should just set up a hotline, so oil companies could call him up and ask which areas should be developed. Of course this is the same guy who screams that 1). Gas prices are too high; and 2). Carbon emissions are too high. Apparently, the irony of his positions has been lost on him.