More on Boone Pickens' "Boone Doggle"
Boone Pickens says we spend $700 billion a year on foreign oil, which he calls a "transfer of wealth." But exchanging money for oil at the market price is an exchange of things of equal value. If we didn't value their oil more than our dollars, we wouldn't participate in such a bargain (MP: ECON 101).
He laments that the U.S. consumes "25% of the world's oil." The phraseology is common, and misleading. Oil is produced to meet demand. He might as well complain that, with 25% of the world's GDP, we consume 25% of the world's advertising.
As Mr. Pickens says, we can't drill our way out of the dilemmas of living in the world. But drilling is one of many things we can do that are worth doing. Over time, the price mechanism and technology will tell us how to harness the energy that is infinite around us. There's the sun, the tides, geothermal and nuclear -- energy is not in short supply; only know-how is. And a shortage of know-how is a problem that our society, as long as its basic incentives remain intact, is constantly solving every single day.
~Holman W. Jenkins in today's WSJ