Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some People Still Don’t Get It

I don’t didn’t want to take away from the discussion of the “Haynesville” movie, but I had to say something about the some of the inane audience questions from the panel discussion following the screening. Clearly, many people just don’t get it (or maybe it’s just the clueless people who need to raise their hands and spout off in public). This is not the fault of the film, however, but a comment on the complexity of energy and the misinformation that abounds.

One audience member in particular stands out. The man, a self-professed libertarian with a taste for “small government,” couldn’t understand why the state of Louisiana auctioned off leases for state owned land to drilling companies. He believed that the state itself should produce the fields and build the infrastructure, sort of a nationalized energy company. The panel was a bit dumfounded at the suggestion. I ended up in a conversation with the man after the screening. He told me that the state should also build pipeline infrastructure for everyone’s benefit and then put a high tax on gas production to encourage production (encourage?). He may have been off the wall, but I can’t help but wonder how many people are this misguided.

I also had to wonder how a self-declared Libertarian could advocate for the government producing its own gas, building pipelines for the benefit of producers and taxing gas at a high rate. Somewhere in Texas Ron Paul is violently convulsing.

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