How much has the drilling moratorium cost you?

How much has the drilling moratorium cost you?

Thomas Lifson
Much of the most promising American oil lands have been declared off limits for oil drilling and production for many years. This has cost us all lots of money at the gasoline pump, but the effects elsewhere may be even bigger. The office of US Rep. John E. Peterson has prepared an estimate of the royalties (which means government revenues that wouldn’t come from individuals’ taxes) that could be realized, and arrives at the astonishing figure of 2.5 trillion dollars.

This figure may be too high (and few details are on offer about the study), but even if the study doubles what would be realized, it would amount to a staggering sum. Not to mention the spin-off wealth and tax revenues from increased domestic economic activity, when drilling and production is done here instead of overseas. Plus the effects on retail prices of enhanced oil supplies from offshore, ANWR, and federal lands int he West.

 

Meanwhile, the Democrats in Congress remain committed to impoverishing oridinary Americans through restricting oil supplies. This is a natural issue for the GOP to use, if it has the wit and organizational ability to do so.

 

Hat tip: Nancy Coppock

McCain Calls U.S. Dependence On Foreign Oil Dangerous

You Can’t Fuel All of the People All of the Time

Check out these videos regarding gas prices:

McCain Scores With Offshore Drilling Proposal

McCain Scores With Offshore Drilling Proposal

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
FrontPageMagazine.com | 6/19/2008

John McCain has drawn first blood in the political debate following Barack Obama’s victory in the primaries. His call yesterday for offshore oil drilling — and Bush’s decision to press the issue in Congress – puts the Democrats in the position of advocating the wear-your-sweater policies that made Jimmy Carter unpopular. With gas prices nearing $5, all of the previous shibboleths need to be discarded. Where once voters in swing states like Florida opposed offshore drilling, the high gas prices are prompting them to reconsider. McCain’s argument that even hurricane Katrina did not cause any oil spills from the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico certainly will go far to allay the fears of the average voter.

For decades, Americans have dragged their feet when it comes to switching their cars, leaving their SUVs at home, and backing alternative energy development and new oil drilling. But the recent shock of a massive surge in oil and gasoline prices has awakened the nation from its complaisance. The soaring prices are the equivalent of Pearl Harbor in jolting us out of our trance when it comes to energy.

Suddenly, everything is on the table. Offshore drilling, Alaska drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar, flex-fuel cars, plug-in cars are all increasingly attractive options and John McCain seems alive to the need to go there while Obama is strangely passive. During the Democratic primary, he opposed a gas tax holiday and continues to be against offshore and Alaska drilling and squishy on nuclear power. That leaves turning down your thermostat and walking to work as the Democratic policies.

McCain has also been ratcheting up his attacks on oil speculators. With the total value of trades in oil futures soaring from $13 billion in 2003 to $260 billion today, it is increasingly clear that it is not the supply and demand for oil which is, alone, driving up the price, but it is the supply and demand for oil futures which is stoking the upward movement.

The Saudis have made a fatal mistake in not forcing down the price of oil. We could have gone for decades as their hostage, letting their control over our oil supplies choke us while enriching them. But they got greedy and let the price skyrocket. The sudden shock which has sent America reeling is just the stimulus we need for a massive movement away from imported oil and toward new types of cars.

The political will for major change in our energy policy is now here and those, like Obama, who don’t get it need to rethink their positions. To quote FDR, “this great nation calls for action and action now” on the energy issue. What has been a back-burner problem now has moved onto center stage and McCain has put himself in the forefront.

The Democratic ambivalence stems from liberal concerns about climate change. The Party basically doesn’t believe in carbon based energy and, therefore, opposes oil exploration. That’s why Obama pushes the windfall profits tax on oil companies – a step that tells them “you drill, you find oil, and we’ll take away your profits.” But Americans have their priorities in order: more oil, more drilling AND alternative energy sources, flex-fuel cars, plug in vehicles and nuclear power.

With his willingness to respond to the gas price crisis with bold measures, McCain shows himself to be a pragmatist while Obama comes off as an ideologue to puts climate change ahead of making it possible for the average American to get to work.

Of course, the high price of gas makes it inevitable that the US will lead the world in fighting climate change. With $5 gas, Americans will switch en masse to cars that burn less gasoline. Already we have cut our oil consumption by 500,000 barrels a day in the past year (about a 3% cut). The move away from oil will be exponential from here on out, dooming radical Islam and reversing climate change at the same time. But while we are getting new cars, we need more oil and McCain has flanked Obama on this issue. Big time.


Dick Morris is a former adviser to Bill Clinton. Eileen McGann is an attorney and CEO of Vote.com. Together, they collaborate on books, columns and foreign political campaigns. To receive free copies of all of their commentaries, please sign up at dickmorris.com.

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring gasoline prices

Top 10 reasons to blame Democrats for soaring

gasoline prices

By William Tate

This started out as an attempt to create a light and humorous, Letterman-esque Top 10 list. But the items on the list, and the drain Americans are seeing in their pocketbooks because of Democrats’ actions (sometimes inaction) are just too tragic for that.

10) ANWR  If Bill Clinton had signed into law the Republican Congress’s 1995 bill to allow drilling of ANWR instead of vetoing it, ANWR could be producing a million barrels of (non-Opec) oil a day–5% of the nation’s consumption. Although speaking in another context, even Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, no proponent of ANWR drilling, admits that “one million barrels per day,” would cause the price of gasoline to fall “50 cents a gallon almost immediately,” according to a recent George Will column.

 

9) Coastal Drilling (i.e., not in my backyard) Democrats have consistently fought efforts to drill off the U.S. coast, as evidenced by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s preotestation against a failed 2005 bill: “Not only does this legislation dismantle the bi-partisan ban on offshore drilling, but it provides a financial incentive for states to do so.” 
A financial incentive? With the Chinese now slant drilling for oil just 50 miles off the Florida coast,  wouldn’t that have been a good thing?

 

8) Insistence on alternative fuels  One of the first acts of the new Democrat-controlled congress in 2007 was an energy bill that “calls for a huge increase in the use of ethanol as a motor fuel and requires new appliance efficiency standards.”  By focusing on alternative fuels such as ethanol, and not more drilling, Democrats have added to the cost of food, worsening starvation problems around the word and increasing inflationary pressures in the U.S., including prices at the pump. 

 

7) Nuclear power   Even the French, who sometimes seem to lack the backbone to stand up for anything other than soft cheese, faced down their environmentalists over the need for nuclear power. France now generates 79% of its electricity from nuclear plants, mitigating the need for imported oil. The French have so much cheap energy that France has become the world’s largest exporter of electric power. They have plans in place to build more reactors, including an experimental fusion reactor.

 

The last nuclear reactor built in the United States, according to the US Dept of Energy, was the “River Bend” plant in Louisiana. Its construction began in March of 1977

 

 Need I say more?

 

6) Coal   “The liquid hydrocarbon fuel available from American coal reserves exceeds the crude oil reserves of the entire world,” writes Dr. Arthur Robinson in an article on humanevents.com. The U.S. has approximately one-fourth of the world’s known, proven coal reserves. Coal would be a proven, and increasingly clean, source of electric power and–at current prices–a liquified fuel that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Yet Dems and their enviro friends have fought, and continue to fight, both coal-mining and coal plants. 

 

5) Refinery capacity  “High oil prices are still being propped up by a shortage of refinery capacity and there is little sign of the bottleneck easing until 2010,” according to Peak Oil News.  And, while voters in South Dakota have approved zoning for what could become the first new oil refinery in the United States in 30 years,  the Dems’ environmentalist constituency vows to oppose it, just like environmentalists opposed the floodgates that could have saved New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. 

 

4) Reduced competition  With consolidation in the oil industry, has come reduced competition. Remember, most of the major oil company mergers — Shell-Texaco, BP-Amoco, Exxon-Mobil, BP-ARCO, and Chevron-Texaco — happened on Clinton’s watch.  The number of oil refiners dropped from 28 to 19 companies during Clinton’s two terms.

 

3) The Global Warming Myth  At a Group of 8 meeting this week, host and Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari “described the issues of climate change and energy as two sides of the same coin and proposed united solutions … to address both issues simultaneously”.   As a result of Global Warming hysteria, the Al Gore-negotiated Kyoto Protocol created a worldwide market in carbon-emissions trading. Both 2005  –the year that trading  was initiated–and this year  –when the trading expanded dramatically — saw substantial and unexpected price spikes in the cost of oil, leading us to reason Number…

 

2) Speculation  “Given the unchanged equilibrium in global oil supply and demand over recent months amid the explosive rise in oil futures prices … it is more likely that as much as 60% of the today oil price is pure speculation,” writes F. William Engdahl, an Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.  According to a June 2006 US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report, US energy futures historically “were traded exclusively on regulated exchanges within the United States… The trading of energy commodities by large firms on OTC electronic exchanges was exempted from (federal) oversight by a provision inserted at the behest of Enron and other large energy traders into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000.” The bill was signed into law by Bill Clinton, in one of his last acts in office. 

 

1) Defeat of President Bush’s 2001 energy package   According to the BBC, “Key points of Bush(‘s 2001) plan were to:

 

-Promote new oil and gas drilling

 

-Build new nuclear plants

 

-Improve electricity grid and build new pipelines -$10bn in tax breaks to promote energy efficiency and alternative fuels

 

A New York Times article, dated May 18, 2001, explained:

 

“President Bush began an intensive effort today to sell his plan for developing new sources of energy to Congress and the American people, arguing that the country had a future of ‘energy abundance if it could break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates.
Mr. Bush’s plea for a new dialogue came as his administration published the report of an energy task force containing scores of specific proposals… for finding new sources of power and encouraging a range of new energy technologies.” 

[The Bush plan] “mentions about a dozen areas including land-use restrictions in the Rockies, lease stipulations on offshore areas attractive to oil companies, the vetting of locations for nuclear plants, environmental reviews to upgrade power plants and refineries that could be streamlined or eliminated to help industry find more oil and gas and produce more electricity and gasoline.”

 

The article went on to quote some rather prescient words from the President, “this great country could face a darker future, a future that is, unfortunately, being previewed in rising prices at the gas pump and rolling blackouts in the great state of California” if his plan was not adopted in 2001.

 

The Times account continued:

 

“Mr. Bush talked not only of blackouts but of blackmail, raising the specter of a future in which the United States is increasingly vulnerable to foreign oil suppliers…Mr. Bush was praised by many groups for laying out a long-term energy policy. His report contained 105 initiatives…”

 

Just as President Bush’s predictions have been born out, the article quoted from that most sage of Democrats, former President Jimmy Carter:

 

“World supplies are adequate and reasonably stable, price fluctuations are cyclical, reserves are plentiful,” he (Carter) argued. Mr. Carter said “exaggerated claims seem designed to promote some long-frustrated ambitions of the oil industry at the expense of environmental quality.”

 

But, as a later Times article notes, “the president’s ambitious policy quickly became a casualty of energy politics and, notably, harsh criticism from Democrats enraged by the way the White House had created the plan.”

 

In other words, Democrats refused the President’s plea to “break free of the traditional antagonism between energy producers and environmental advocates.”

 

Remember that the next time you pull up to the pump … or the voter’s booth.

 

William Tate is a former award-winning journalist and the author of the new ovel, A Time Like This  (www.atimelikethis.us/)

The Climate Alarmist Manifesto

The Climate Alarmist Manifesto

By Marc Sheppard

Just as class struggle forms the nucleus of Marxism, so does it sit at the very core of the Left’s climate alarmism.  At a glance, the regressive nature of fiscal Carbon control schemes, be they taxation or cap-and-trade, would appear to be antithetical to liberal thinking.  But beneath the veneer of both the domestic and international green agenda lies a devious wealth-redistribution plan compared to which all predecessors pale.

Take, for instance, the recently tabled Lieberman-Warner Bill.  The Act would have empowered government to control key aspects of — while extracting trillions of dollars from — our economy by forcing the auction of greenhouse gas (GHG) credits upon industry and power companies.  And, while the left lauds penalizing bourgeois “big business” success, advocates for the poor were quick to point out that the inescapable consequent increase in energy costs across the board (electricity, home heating, gasoline, etc) would have placed a disproportionate burden upon proletarian lower wage-earners.

 

Ah, but the Democrats — champions of the downtrodden that they are — were just as quick to respond.  Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) offered a substitute amendment bearing her name, Subtitle I of which provided “Financial Relief for Consumers” as follows:

 

“The bill sets aside a nearly $800 billion tax relief fund through 2050, which will help consumers in need of assistance related to energy costs. The precise details of the relief will be developed by the Finance committee.”

 

And if Senator Boxer’s plan of doling out $800 billion in industry profits to the “needy” sounds like class warfare to you, just wait until you hear what’s brewing down the hall. 

 

Late last month, chairman of the Special House Committee On Global Warming, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), unveiled even harsher climate change legislation.  Unlike Lieberman-Warner, which would have at least eased industry and power companies into compliance over time, Markey’s bill would require permits for virtually all emissions right from day one, in a crazy effort to roll atmospheric CO2 back to levels 85 percent below 2005 by 2050 (that’s 15% more than even the doomed Senate bill). 

 

Also unlike its Senate counterpart, Markey’s Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act (ICAP) requires no amendments to begin redistributing the profits of domestic commerce.  Actually, Subtitle A: Climate Trust Tax Credits and Rebates is quite clear in describing how $4.3 trillion (which represents an estimated 55 to 58.5% of auction proceeds) will:

 

“be used for refundable tax credits and rebates for middle- and low-income households, to compensate for any increase in energy costs resulting from the bill. Tax credits will be used to reach middle-income wage earners and senior citizens, and cash rebates — distributed through the Electronic Benefits Transfer systems used for food stamps — will be used to reach low-income households. All households earning under $110,000 will be eligible. Virtually all costs from climate regulation will be covered for households earning under $70,000, with benefit levels phasing out gradually for households earning $70,000 to $110,000.”

 

Of course, under the cloak of a “market-based” solution, cap-and-trade’s government command-and-control system is, as George Will so brilliantly describes it, already nothing more than “a huge tax hidden in a bureaucratic labyrinth of opaque permit transactions.”  Adding unabashedly obvious wealth-redistribution to the formula merely strips any façade of capitalism’s skeleton beneath. 

 

It seems that giddy anticipation of further power gains next year — combined with hope of the most liberal among them living in the White House — has caused many Dems to lower their guard with respect to their aims.  Just last month, before a House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters apparently cared little for Shell Oil President John Hofmeister’s response to her questions about guaranteeing a drop in oil prices were he allowed to drill off US shores.  Visibly flustered, the California Democrat let slip to an astonished audience:

 

“And guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal would be all about socialize — uh, uh, would be about basically taking over and the government running all of your companies.”

 

What still escapes me is just why anyone might be surprised by her faux-pas.  Such is precisely the Left’s rationale for jumping aboard the bogus GHG bandwagon in such earnest almost to the very man and woman.

 

In the section Das Klima Kapital of my recent piece celebrating the death of Lieberman-Warner for its lack of scientific merit, I also pointed out why cap-and-trade is the perfect liberal synergy of environmentalism and socialism:

 

“In 1867, Karl Marx argued that capitalism’s cycle of labor exploitation could not endlessly sustain itself and would ultimately be its doom. Modern greenies insist that capitalism’s cycle of environmental exploitation will not endlessly sustain itself and will ultimately be not only its doom — but the entire planet’s.”

 

But, indeed, the reach of this ecosocialism extends far beyond our borders.

 

Internationally, the Left has always accused capitalist western nations of growing fat through the exploitation of poorer countries.  And they now argue that those same fat-cat nations have exploited the planet to the brink of doom, also to the simultaneous exclusion and detriment of those less fortunate.

 

And for their imaginary sins of both economic and ecological abuse at both the national and global level, liberal-elitists have decreed that now is the time for the successful to atone. Translation: “developed” nations must not only clean up their own mess, but also pay to help “undeveloped” nations clean up theirs.

 

Much as Vladmir Lenin promised in 1920 that centralized electrification and “advanced technology” would abolish “the division between town and country” and “conquer completely and decisively the backwardness of the countryside, its scattered economy and its ignorance,” so do the ecosocialists plan to uplift “developing nations.”  But unlike the first soviet leader’s GOELRO project, which coalesced Russian scientists and peasant cooperatives to bring modernizing power to their own country, contemporary ecosocialists would simply play Robin Hood with the wealth and patented technology of “prosperous” nations under the false pretense of “saving the planet.”

 

Through Carbon trading, taxes, mandatory “clean energy” technology transfers, and other austere regulations, proposed UN-controlled international climate treaties to succeed Kyoto would penalize wealthy, innovative, capitalist countries while subsidizing poorer nations with waivers and foreign aid.  And with most “good governance” requirements for beneficiary nations lifted, this equates to coerced underwriting of military regimes, dictatorships and, of course, socialists.    

 

In his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program, Marx defined the basis for a communist society with the words “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”   What a marvelous creed for today’s climate alarmists, who would steal from flourishing countries, enterprises and citizens in order to give to those they deem chronically underprivileged.  And, by spreading their woefully unproven yet widely accepted GHG horror stories, would do so on a global level that Marx and Lenin themselves dared only dream of.   And would wield more centralized control of international economies than either ever dared envision.  

 

In his book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles, Vaclav Klaus wrote:

 

“The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.”

 

With all due respect to the wise Czech President, they are indeed one in the same.

 

Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.
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