America’s Leading Energy Expert

September 19, 2008

On export bans:

Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it’s Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It’s got to flow into our domestic markets first.

It’s very difficult to know what to make of this. Watching it doesn’t help. Yglesias thinks she is supporting the idea, but only after explaining why it doesn’t make sense. Hilzoy seems to think she’s just talking to no purpose, trying to cover for the fact that she has no idea what’s going on. It’s really too incoherent to be sure, but my guess is that she knows exactly what the answer is, but she hadn’t been coached on what McCain thinks. So she spells out why it’s obviously a terrible idea (which she’s pretty clear on, despite the akward talk of molecules) then does her best to construct a case in favor of it on the fly. This way, whatever McCain’s position turns out to be, she can say she was endorsing it – along with some obvious qualifications – in her folksy way, and screw you and your ivory tower if you think she should have been clearer.

Under the circumstances, I’d say she didn’t do all that badly.

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