Warren Buffett, the Keystone Pipeline, and Crony Capitalism

Warren Buffett, the Keystone Pipeline, and Crony Capitalism

By Joe
Herring

A decades-long crusade by the environmental left to
convince us that oil is evil, unsustainable, and destroying our planet has yet
to accomplish its goal of eliminating oil as a fuel, but it has succeeded in
making oil damned expensive.  However, new technologies for the extraction and
transport of previously unrecoverable oil promise to reverse that
trend.

One such project is the TransCanada Keystone XL
pipeline, which will transport bitumen from the oil sands of Alberta to the
refineries and ports along the Gulf coast.  It will also feature a spur that
will pick up oil from the vast Bakken oil formation in North Dakota.  The
benefit to our economy and energy security is obvious.

I live in Nebraska, one of the states that will be
host to a segment of the pipeline. We have witnessed a remarkably contentious
debate locally regarding the construction of the Keystone XL, revealing some
rather disturbing attitudes regarding truth and its role in public discourse.  I
suppose it was naïve to think that the wild-eyed excesses of the radical leftist
environmental movement would find little purchase in the commonsense plains of
Nebraska, but the insupportable claims and charges being tossed about by the
anti-pipeline crowd have proven that green insanity can take root even in our
generally sensible state.

The opposition, led most loudly by a group called BOLD
Nebraska, claims a catastrophic risk of contamination to the Ogallala aquifer
should the pipeline suffer a breach.  The aquifer underlies virtually all of
Nebraska, and several other states, and supplies drinking water and irrigation
to millions of people.  It is understandable that reasonable people would
express concern over potential hazards to such a valuable resource, and it is
this reasonable concern that BOLD Nebraska is exploiting with a combination of
half-truths, innuendo, and outright lies.

As required by law, an Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) has been prepared for this project.  The science reflected in the
statement is sound, and it illustrates a comprehensive examination of the
project’s effects, likely risks, and reasonable alternatives.  The EIS arrives
at a conclusion supported by recognized scientific method and was conducted by
top experts in their fields.  The proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline
is, in fact, the safest of the available routes.

The reality of the geology and hydrology underlying
the proposed pipeline route precludes any wholesale contamination of the
aquifer.  To understand why, it is important to understand what an aquifer is —
and what it isn’t.  It is a geological formation that is structured in
such a way as to hold water in quantity.  It is not an “underground
lake.”  It is a vast filter system consisting of layer upon layer of sedimentary
rock, silt, clay, and sand that in Nebraska lies much closer to the surface on
the western portion of the aquifer than on the eastern
portion.

For this reason, the water flow within the aquifer is
easterly, making it a physical impossibility for any oil leaked along the
proposed route to flow “uphill” to the 75%-80% of the aquifer that lies to the
west of the pipeline.  Additionally, both the oil and the chemical additives
that make it easier to pump are lighter than water and would not emulsify.
Leaked oil will simply migrate toward the nearest substrate, remaining
localized.

This is according to Professor James Goeke, a
hydro-geologist who retired from the University of Nebraska earlier this year
after a forty-year career of studying the Ogallala aquifer and the Sand Hills
region that overlies it.  He is the foremost expert on the aquifer,
and he informs us that the geological structure of the formation precludes any
possibility that oil could travel for more than a few hundred feet in any
direction before encountering substrate.  Quite simply, the aquifer and the land
above it are not in any real danger from this project.

Given that the science clearly shows the that pipeline
opposition is persisting in perpetuating a demonstrable falsehood, it is
reasonable to question the opposition’s motives.  According to their own website
postings and
editorializing in
newspapers across the nation, their ultimate aim is not to reroute the pipeline,
but rather to halt its construction now and forever.  The thinking is, if the
pipeline is halted, then the oil will stay in the ground, thereby protecting the
earth from the ravages of such a “filthy fuel.”  Their tactic is to suggest a
simple rerouting around the aquifer for the sake of safety.

The environmentalists well know that changing the
route at this stage will result in the invalidation of the existing EIS (the
real aim of the protests), thereby creating a need to begin the entire process
anew.  This time, leftists are confident that they will be able to demagogue and
politicize that process sufficiently to preclude another approval, resulting in
the exercise of a “green veto” despite the clear conclusions of sound
science.

So what happens if the pipeline is never built?  Well,
to fully explore that, it is instructive to look at the players in this game.
One can find the usual suspects among the hysterical left: Hollywood
environmentalists such as Daryl Hannah and progressive agenda-driven scientists
like global-warming alarmist James Hansen of NASA.  These, however, are merely
the “useful idiots” in the process, and not the actual players.  I mentioned
BOLD Nebraska earlier.  This group is funded almost entirely by Dick Holland,
who has been a close friend and business associate of Warren Buffett since the
1960s.

Holland was an original investor in Buffett’s
Berkshire Hathaway, and the two have remained close friends ever since.  Buffett
and Holland also share a similar political philosophy, both being liberal
Democrats, with Holland giving exclusively to the Democratic Party.  So why does
this matter?  It potentially answers a few questions about the recent behavior
of Buffett and Obama, and perhaps the real reason behind the Nebraska-centric
animus toward the pipeline.

A year after the election of Obama, Warren Buffett
bought a giant railroad, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
The BNSF has more than 32,000 miles of track and
right-of-way in this nation, running from the west coast and through the
agricultural heartland of America.  It is also hauls coal from the mines in
Montana and Wyoming and is the railroad with the best existing north-south
infrastructure.  In fact, it’s quite well-situated to perform precisely the task
for which TransCanada has proposed to build a pipeline.

Should the pipeline fail, the oil will still be
extracted, but it will then
be transported by rail
,
and Mr. Buffett, thanks to the efforts of his friend Mr. Holland, will be
uniquely situated to derive a fortune from that business, as well as enhance the
value of his holdings in Conoco-Phillips petroleum.  Is it possible that Warren
Buffett’s assistance to Obama in both policy and public relations lately may be
his way of trying to tip the regulatory scales in his favor?  After all, nothing
says “I love you” to a Democrat better than a public plea for more
taxes.

In any case, the opposition to the pipeline is not
only tainted, but intellectually and scientifically bankrupt.  BOLD Nebraska are
correct when they screech that there is an agenda being served here, but it is
not big oil, environmentalism, or even green energy; it appears to be
garden-variety crony capitalism, an Obama administration
specialty.

The author writes from Omaha, NE and welcomes comments
at his website http://www.readmorejoe.com

Oil could give kiss of death to recovery

Oil could give kiss of death to recovery

By Gregory Meyer and Michael Mackenzie in New York

Published: April 8 2010 18:51 | Last updated: April 8 2010 18:51

Oil graphic for Markets

This week oil climbed to $87 a barrel, its highest level since October 2008 and prompted concerns that triple-digit crude was once again in the offing.

This was after a period of eight months when oil traded between $70 and $80, a narrow band that pleased oil producers without hurting consumers too much.

The latest surge seems to have been prompted by rising confidence in a global economic recovery, even if most traders and bankers are still cautious about supply and demand fundamentals.

Worries about the Greek economy have pegged prices back over the last couple of days but the more bullish Wall Street banks see prices climbing further, with Barclays Capital forecasting $97, Goldman Sachs $110 and Morgan Stanley $100 next year.

But the higher prices go, the deeper the concerns that they will stifle global growth. Jeff Rubin, a former CIBC chief economist and author of a book on oil and globalisation, says: “Triple-digit oil prices are going to threaten a world recovery.”

Pricier oil and other key commodities, notably iron ore and copper, could ripple through the economy and financial markets, potentially triggering inflation and forcing central banks to lift interest rates from ultra-low levels. This could force bond yields higher, but lower the attractions of equities.

However, higher oil prices could lift energy shares. In the S&P 500 index, the energy sector is up just 2.4 per cent this year and was barely positive in the first quarter, lagging behind the index’s 6 per cent gain for the year.

Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group chief market strategist, says: “With crude oil prices marching steadily higher, portfolio exposure to the energy sector could well become a key determinant of overall investment performance through the balance of 2010.”

Oil prices first hit $100 a barrel in January 2008, before continuing their rapid ascent to peak at $147 in July of that year. They fell to a low of $32 in December 2008, before recovering again. On Thursday oil traded at about $85 a barrel.

The latest rise comes as the economic recovery fuels a jump in oil demand after the first global decline in a quarter century. Supply is not a worry, as the Opec oil cartel has more than 6m b/d of capacity to spare in a pinch.

One difference from last year is that then the oil price was rising against the backdrop of a weaker dollar. This year crude and the dollar have risen together.

Policymakers seem untroubled. Energy ministers at the International Energy Forum in Mexico last week embraced less volatility, not lower prices. Lawrence Summers, director of the US National Economic Council, in remarks this week bemoaned his country’s dependence on foreign oil supplies, but did not complain about prices.

Some economists do not view $80 oil as a threat to global growth, which the International Monetary Fund projects at 4 per cent this year. James Hamilton, an economist at the University of California, San Diego, is author of a paper that found oil’s 2008 surge to $147 a barrel helped tip a housing-led slowdown into a recession. This time, the relatively steady nature of the price rebound has allowed consumers to adjust.

“The shock value is gone now,” Prof Hamilton says.

Hussein Allidina, commodity strategist at Morgan Stanley, says the $100 oil he predicts next year would increase the “oil burden” – a function of demand, prices and global output – to about 4 per cent from 2.8 per cent late last year. This would hurt developed economies more than emerging ones, as the latter are powering global growth and can afford fuel subsidies, he says. The IMF estimates consumer petroleum subsidies will reach almost $250bn this year.

“If we were to move to $100 a barrel, economic growth would start to slow, but ‘derail’ is likely too strong a word,” Mr Allidina says.

A move to higher oil prices would not necessarily generate corresponding gains in retail fuel prices, as new refining capacity has made petrol markets more competitive. In the US, filling stations in most states still sell petrol for less than $3 a gallon, well below the peak of 2008. In the UK, however, petrol prices are close to record highs, even though crude is well below its peak.

In any case, prices are as much an effect of the economic expansion as a threat to it. China, the fastest-growing economy, is alone expected to consume 520,000 b/d more this year than last, contributing a third of global demand growth, according to International Energy Agency estimates.

“You can’t have a global recovery without the oil price recovering as well,” says Lutz Kilian, a University of Michigan economist who has studied the effects of oil shocks. Because demand is fuelling prices, “the only way to keep oil prices down is to remain in a recession, which hardly sounds attractive”.

The prospect of higher prices is still alarming to many observers. Olivier Jakob, of Swiss consultant Petromatrix, said in a note that the “recovery of 2009 was fuelled with crude oil at $62 a barrel, not at $90 a barrel or $100 a barrel. We fear that the latest run on WTI will be the kiss of death for a global economy that was trying to avoid the possibility of a double-dip recession.”

When oil prices last surged to $100 a barrel in late 2007, US and other rich-country consumers blunted the impact by drawing on home-equity loans and credit cards to finance petrol purchases, says David Greely, energy economist at Goldman Sachs.

“It does raise the issue if we’re in a much more credit constrained world going forward, are consumers able to do that or will they be more sensitive?” he asks.

Getting Gas Wrong

Getting Gas Wrong

Posted By Rich Trzupek On April 8, 2010 @ 12:04 am In FrontPage | 9 Comments

In an economy full of problems there are still a few high points. One of them, as you may have noticed if you pay attention to your utility bills, is that natural gas prices are relatively low. Back in mid-2008, natural gas prices hit record highs. The market reacted as it is supposed to: exploration took off, production increased and now, almost two years later, the cost of natural gas has stabilized [1] at a comfortable level, amid normal seasonal variations. We shouldn’t have to worry about this sector of the economy, but there is a dark cloud looming on the horizon in the form of yet another environmental initiative that the Obama administration is pushing forward, one that has the potential to cut domestic natural gas production, cost us jobs and revenue and force energy prices upward.

There is quite a bit of natural gas and oil trapped in shale and rock formations located thousands of feet underground. The tried and true technique of “hydraulic fracturing” has been used for about sixty years to coax these hydrocarbons to deep wells, where they can be recovered. In simple terms, hydraulic fracturing fluids are pumped down into a deep well under pressure. The fluid consists mostly of water and sand, with a small amount of other chemicals. As the pressurized fluid is distributed along a horizontal plane, it creates micro-fractures in the rock holding the natural gas. The sand particles hold these fractures open, allowing gas to flow along the path of least resistance up into the borehole of the well.

There are more than a million natural gas wells that utilize hydraulic fracturing in the United States. About ninety-five per cent of natural gas wells in the country use this form, or an analogous form, of reservoir enhancement to recover energy. The process is an important – some would say vital – piece of the puzzle if the nation is going to maintain some degree of energy independence. However, the technology caught the attention of Barack Obama’s EPA, which recently confirmed [2] that it is “studying the issue [3]”. When uttered by members of this administration those three words generally sound rather ominous and this is no exception. “Studying the issue,” whatever the issue, typically means more regulations, more restrictions and higher costs. When it comes to a part of our economy as vital as the energy sector, one has to wonder: how many more studies and subsequent “recommendations” can we afford?

Why is the EPA studying hydraulic fracturing? For environmental reasons of course. Scattered, unconfirmed and wholly anecdotal claims that hydraulic fracturing has contaminated drinking water in a few locations across the nation spurred the EPA into action. From a scientific point of view, it’s hard to understand why the EPA would lend any credibility to these tales, much less allocate $1.9 million dollars to take another look at a technology that has been studied to death, not only by the oil and natural gas industries, but by the EPA itself. A 2004 EPA study concluded that hydraulic fracturing didn’t present any threat to human health and the environment, but of course that was George W. Bush’s EPA, so any of its decisions are subject to a Barack Obama do over.

There are a number of reasons why it’s just plain silly to spend almost two million dollars to reconfirm what we already know. Chemically, as noted above, hydraulic fracturing fluid is overwhelmingly water and sand (or ceramic, or some other inert solid used to keep rock pores open). Other chemicals, which are often proprietary, represent a very small fraction of the whole. Geologically, the formations holding the gas and oil are located thousands of feed underground, under layers of different strata, while drinking water aquifers are typically no more than a few hundred feet below ground. The natural gas recovered, like the fracturing fluid, will naturally follow the path of least resistance and flow to the bore hole that’s been drilled for that purpose, rather than try to find a tortuous path through all of the layers of rock and sediment containing it. Plus, consider this: even as the EPA looks at ways to restrict an important means of producing energy, they’re simultaneously developing regulations that encourage another segment of the power industry to inject chemicals deep underground without the kind of relief valve that a bore hole represents. Carbon storage and sequestration is the leading, EPA approved way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. In this case, carbon dioxide is injected deep underground at high pressures, but because there is no well to relieve the pressure, it’s free to find fractures that will carry it, and any contaminants from the stack gas that remain, into aquifers.

The Environmental Engineering Committee (EEC) of EPA’s Science Advisory Board [4] is in charge of studying hydraulic fracturing. The EEC has sixteen members [5], fourteen of which are academics and two of which are consultants. Not a single industry expert sits on the committee. The energy industry will be free to comment on the committee’s work of course, but is Obama’s EPA likely to pay serious attention to experts who represent evil corporate interests?

According to a study conducted by IHS Global Insight [6], a ban on hydraulic fracturing would cost the United States $374 billion in lost Gross Domestic Product by 2014, would result in the loss of about 3 million jobs and would require a sixty per cent increase in imported oil and natural gas to make up the difference. Placing restrictions on the fluids that can be used for hydraulic fracturing would be slightly less painful, but painful enough. In that scenario, IHS’s study foresees a $172 billion reduction in GDP, 1.4 million jobs lost and a thirty per cent increase in energy imports.

It should be noted that hydraulic fracturing is already regulated on the state and federal levels. Studying the practice once again will lead to one of two results. Either the EPA will conclude that existing regulatory protections are sufficient, which doesn’t seem likely given this administration’s record when it comes to environmental issues, or the EPA will deem it necessary to pile another layer of crippling regulations onto an industry that has been one of the few bright spots in a floundering economy.

Oil in the Western USA and Obama is pushing Ethanol DUH!

Subject: Fw: oil – you better be sitting down when you read this!

 By the way…this is all true. Check it out at the link below!!! 

GOOGLE it, or follow this link.  It will blow your mind. 

 http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911 

Here’s an interesting read, important and verifiable information : 

About 6 months ago, the writer was watching a news program on oil and one of the Forbes Bros. was the guest. The host said to Forbes, “I am going to ask you a direct question and I would like a direct answer;  how much oil does the U.S. have in the ground?”  Forbes did not miss a beat, he said, “more than all the Middle East put together.”  Please read below. 

The U. S. Geological Service issued a report in April 2008 that only scientists and oil men knew was coming, but man was it big.  It was a revised report (hadn’t been updated since 1995) on how much oil was in this area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota, western South Dakota, and extreme eastern Montana …… check THIS out: 

The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable…. at $107 a barrel, we’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5..3 trillion. 

“When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea..” says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature’s financial analyst. 

“This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,” reportsThe Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  It’s a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the ‘Bakken.’  It stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada.  For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end.  Even the ‘Big Oil’ companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves….. and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels.  And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! 

That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.  And if THAT didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should – because it’s from 2006! 

U. S. Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World 

Stansberry Report Online – 4/20/2006 

Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than 2 TRILLION barrels.  OnAugust 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In three and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling? 

They reported this stunning news:  We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth.. Here are the official estimates: 

– 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia 

– 18-times as much oil as Iraq 

 – 21-times as much oil as Kuwait 

 – 22-times as much oil as Iran 

– 500-times as much oil as Yemen 

and it’s all right here in the Western United States . 

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy…..WHY? 

James Bartis, lead researcher with the study says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East -more than 2 TRILLION barrels untapped.  That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports The Denver Post. 

Don’t think ‘OPEC’ will drop its price – even with this find?  Think again!  It’s all about the competitive marketplace, – it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists? 

Got your attention yet?  Now, while you’re thinking about it, do this: 

Pass this along.   If you don’t take a little time to do this, then you should stifle yourself the next time you complain about gas prices – by doing NOTHING, you forfeit your right to complain. Copy and paste to your e-mail

Now I just wonder what would happen in this country if every one of you sent this to every one in your address book.

Americans more interested in energy than environment

Americans more interested in energy than environment

posted at 8:48 am on April 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

Maybe it took an extended economic collapse for Americans to get practical about energy production.  It could also have some relation to the Climategate scandals and the collapse of credibility for anthropogenic global-warming advocates.  Either way, Gallup’s latest survey shows Americans prioritizing energy production over environmental concerns for the first time since Gallup began polling on the issue in 2001:

Americans are more likely to say the U.S. should prioritize development of energy supplies than to say it should prioritize protecting the environment, the first time more have favored energy production over environmental protection in this question’s 10-year history. …

The current data represent a continuing shift in opinion toward energy production. Since 2007, when Americans’ preferences for environmental protection were the greatest (58% to 34%), Americans’ opinions have shown significant movement each year in the direction of prioritizing energy production. This change has been evident among nearly every major demographic subgroup, although self-identified liberals have remained relatively steadfast in saying the environment should be a higher priority.

At the same time, Americans continue to advocate greater energy conservation by consumers (52%) over greater production of oil, gas, and coal supplies (36%) as a means of solving the nation’s energy problems. Americans have always come out in favor of greater consumer conservation, though this year marks the highest percentage favoring production (by a percentage point) in the last 10 years.

Interestingly, the change doesn’t come from crisis-mode thinking, at least not on energy supplies.  Two years ago, spiking gasoline prices inspired the “Drill Here, Drill Now” movement.  Today, though, only 34% of respondents think the energy-production situation in the US is “very serious,” a decline of eight points in a year.

Most likely, this comes from economic concerns.  The chart Gallup has on its site shows that support for prioritizing environmental restrictions over energy production peaked in 2007, just before the start of the recession.  Another poll earlier this month showed that respondents also prioritized economic expansion over environmental protection for the first time, and today’s chart shows that energy production has become more important as the economy worsened.  People understand that high energy prices retards growth, and that we need cheap energy to expand.

With this in mind, Barack Obama’s decision to drill in certain areas might be seen as a pre-emptive move to get ahead of this curve.  The poll also shows, though, that Republicans don’t need to support cap-and-trade in order to get better energy-production policies.  The public has grown up a bit in the last few years, something that adversity usually accomplishes.

Drill Maybe? Drill! (The Cartoon)

Stall, Baby, Stall [Sarah Palin]

Stall, Baby, Stall   [Sarah Palin]

Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again “all talk and no real action,” this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations.  Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall.”

Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide.  And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

 

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”

 

I’ve got to call it like I see it: The administration’s sudden interest in offshore drilling is little more than political posturing designed to gain support for job-killing energy legislation soon to come down the pike.  I’m confident that GOP senators will not take the bait.

 

Next week I’m headed to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, where I look forward to discussing what “Drill, baby, drill” really means.

 — Governor Sarah Palin is a former Republican vice-presidential nominee and author of the bestselling Going Rogue.

Boehner: A Little Less Bullshit, A Little More Oil

Boehner: A Little Less Bullshit, A Little More Oil

March 31st, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Boehner

Politico:

The top House Republican said the White House’s decision to begin offshore drilling across huge expanses of ocean is a “positive step,” but he still blasted the Obama administration for keeping areas on the West Coast closed to such exploration.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said that the administration “continues to defy the will of the American people” who, in 2008, supported a congressional decision to allow oil exploration off the Pacific Coast and Alaska.

“Opening up areas off the Virginia coast to offshore production is a positive step, but keeping the Pacific Coast and Alaska, as well as the most promising resources of the Gulf of Mexico, under lock and key makes no sense at a time when gasoline prices are rising and Americans are asking ‘Where are the jobs?’” Boehner said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday morning.

The decision to drill off the coasts of the United States has long been championed by Republicans, while many environmental activists have opposed such exploration.

Obama’s decision to open up certain Atlantic and Gulf Coast drilling will be announced Wednesday morning at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Boehner’s mixed reaction is a preview of the likely Republican response.

“It’s long past time for this administration to stop delaying American energy production off all our shores and start listening to the American people who want an ‘all of the above’ strategy to produce more American energy and create more jobs,” Boehner said in his statement.

Obama Unveils Offshore Oil Drilling Plans, Auto Regulation on the Horizon

Obama Unveils Offshore Oil Drilling Plans, Auto Regulation on the Horizon

March 31st, 2010

FOXNews

 Obama combines a flip on drilling, with a costly new auto regulation scheme

President Obama, reversing a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling, on Wednesday unveiled a plan to allow oil drilling off the Eastern seaboard and potentially the western coast of Florida.

The president, stressing he did not come to the decision “lightly,” said domestic oil production will not solve the country’s energy problems but that “homegrown fuels” are needed to move away from foreign oil and help “transition” to more clean-energy sources.

“The bottom line is this — given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth, and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy,” Obama said.

Though the plan is sure to rile environmentalists who have long opposed more oil platforms off the U.S. coastline, the announcement also comes a day before the Obama administration is set to firm up sweeping regulations on U.S. auto manufacturers.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation on Thursday are expected to sign the final rule establishing emissions and fuel economy standards for the U.S. auto fleet. Those standards call for new vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. It will cover model years 2012 through 2016, and is estimated to cost up to $1,300 per new vehicle.

Read More:

Obama’s Offshore Oil Feint

Obama’s Offshore Oil Feint

March 31st, 2010

By Nancy Thorner, American Thinker

 Obama is trying to distract people with a diversion

What is behind Obama’s announcement of today to support off-shore oil drilling?   

Later on this morning President Obama will be announcing his support off-shore oil drilling.  His announcement will open a door to expanded off-shore oil-drilling on the Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.  In his announcement Obama will propose further investigations of possible oil rich areas.  

Obama’s reason to drill after he vehemently opposed drilling in the past seems fraught with cynicism.  The stated reason of the Obama administration is to “lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.”

Might the real reason for Obama’s change of heart be related to the uproar the White House is anticipating when in a few days the EPA announces a controversial ruling that will declare CO2 as a toxic and which will finalize the emission standards of light trucks, etc.   What a devious way to divert the public’s attention from what is to come by announcing a policy that the general public is generally in favor of!

The Obama administration is fully aware and is confident that environmentalists will stop in their tracks for years to come through court action any investigative studies into oil exploration.

Read More: