Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Democrats and Drilling -

Democrats and Drilling -

the anticarbon Speaker lampooned drilling as "a hoax on the American people," while Barack Obama called it "another Washington gimmick." Now the Democratic Presidential candidate has also said he might be willing to change his mind and tolerate the exploitation of domestic energy resources. The good news for converts like Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Obama is that they have immediate opportunities to quiet Republicans and other skeptics and prove their new pro-drilling bona fides.

the Democratic choice is between sticking with an anticarbon theology that opposes all new drilling, or siding with American consumers who want more energy supplies so they don't have to pay $4 for gas and blow their family budget to keep the lights on

How can such a respected newspaper print such baldfaced lies an obfuscation disguised as journalism?

I'll keep this simple.

The oil industry makes money when the price of oil goes up, and when the price of oil goes down. This is shown as these companys' profits hit new records each quarter (nothing wrong with turning a profit).

The Department of Energy, today and when describing George H. W. Bush's Executive Ban on Offshore Drilling in 1990 project that approximately 75-80 billion barrels of oil could be recovered from offshore and Alaskan resources.

The areas banned by this order contain between 1% and 7% of oil recoverable in U. S. waters. That leaves a lot of area already leased by the oil companies that has not been developed, even as we give huge tax credits and incentives on the federal level for them to explore for new oil.

Let's see the oil companies exploit their current leases first. Let's see them do so in a safe and clean manner. Then, let's consider less Federal regulation.

80 billion barrels of oil pumped here do not go directly into U. S. refineries to be sold to U. S. gas stations, increasing supply to lower cost. This crude oil goes into the worldwide market - this much extra supply would reduce the price of crude oil today by about fifty cents a day. Half a dollar.

Its effect on the price of crude in the 12-14 years before these new offshore/ANWAR wells can start delivering can't be predicted. It's effect on the price of gasoline at the pump would be minimal today, a few cents per gallon, and future price can't be predicted.

This ban was put in place by Republican President Bush in 1990 because the potential environmental costs far outweigh the negligible effect on gasoline prices, then and now. Congress, in 1982 under Republican President Reagan placed into the Department of Energy's appropriations the same ban on offshore drilling, for the same reasons. Current President Bush recinded his father's ban, but Congress rightly has left their ban on the books.

When John McCain takes a breath and spews "Drill Here and Drill Now," he gets a reaction from an ignorant faction of the public. Let's be smarter. Let's not be fooled.

Whether Congress recinds, partially or wholly, the Federal restrictions, State and Local governments will have much say in this. The potentially devestating effects on the local environment and economy of accidents and ongoing use of offshore drilling and pumping can be far too costly for any local governemnt to afford.

For this reason, the Federal government has every right and obligation to have the final say on reasonable restrictions. All else is short-term political pandering.

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