Friday, May 14, 2004

Economics of oil, again (and blame the problem on OPEC, again)

So everybody is talking about a recent article by oil economist, Morris Adelman in Regulation. (To my regret, I was lazy when I wrote a paper on this issue for Resource Economics class). Adelman goes "...There is not, and never has been, an oil crisis or gap. Oil reserves are not dwindling. The Middle East does not have and has never had any 'oil weapon'.". Commenting on U.S. policy, Adelman writes "... From the Nixon White House to the present, all administrations have approached oil and energy with command-and control policies. None of them attempted to analyze the problem using the price mechanism...". He conludes, "... U.S. policies are based on fantasies not facts: gaps, shortages, and surpluses... The myth is part of the larger myth that the world is running out of oil".