As we have noted many times, the United States is the only country in the world that deliberately fails to develop its own energy resources. Other than instituting price controls, this is the single most destructive economic policy that a country can pursue, which is why no one does it except us.
Brazil has one of the world’s most dynamic economies and is pursuing petroleum development on a grand scale. The Washington Post reports:
Everything about the shipyard here is colossal — the 4,000-man workforce, the billions sunk into it in capital costs, the half-finished 10-story-high production platforms.
But then, so is the challenge facing Brazil’s state-controlled energy company, Petrobras: developing a group of newly discovered deep-sea oil fields that energy analysts say will catapult this country into the ranks of the world’s petro-powers. The oil pools are 200 miles out in the Atlantic and more than four miles down, under freezing seas, rock and a heavy cap of salt.
Petrobras, which until recently was little known outside oil circles, has launched a five-year, $174 billion project to provide platforms, rigs, support vessels and drilling systems to develop tens of billions of barrels of oil. Energy officials here project that Brazil — still an oil importer five years ago — will in the next decade have one of the world’s biggest oil reserves.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if our government pursues policies intended to slow our economic growth, and Brazil pursues policies designed to accelerate its economic growth, before long Brazil will be richer than the U.S. What’s really interesting here, however, is the identity of one of Petrobras’s biggest shareholders:
With a market capitalization of more than $220 billion, Petrobras is one of the world’s 10 biggest companies. Over the past two years, it has been the most frequently traded foreign company on the New York Stock Exchange, trade data show. Among investors bullish on Petrobras is George Soros, who last year made the oil company the largest single holding in his investment fund, according to Bloomberg.
That’s right: the Godfather of the Democratic Party, who exerts his enormous political influence to prevent American oil companies from developing our own petroleum resources in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, has placed his biggest bet–not on the United States, but on Brazil. If Exxon Mobil can’t compete in the Caribbean with Petrobras, the value of Soros’s Petrobras investment will skyrocket. That’s the sort of thievery that lies behind the Democratic Party’s deliberate hobbling of the American economy.