July 31, 2007

Everybody’s Bitchin’…

…about the price of gas being over $3.00 a gallon at the pump, the cost of heating a home in winter and water year round with natural gas, and the cost of electricity going up as consumption increases, Democrats and Republicans alike. I’ve heard a vicious, nasty, ugly rumor that many on the left blame George Bush. Can you believe that? I mean, Democrats blaming Bush for something. Preposterous!

How could they? It is, after all, the Democrats who are responsible for the lion’s share of our dependence on greedy, terrorist producing countries for oil. They’re the culprits behind energy resources and capabilities laying fallow within the boundaries of U.S. territory and good old American know-how.

I ran across this spot-on commentary by Pete Du Pont in yesterday’s (30 July 07) Opinion Journal, titled Just Drill, Baby that literally brims over with information.

America’s domestic oil production is declining, importation of oil is rising, and gasoline is more expensive. The government’s Energy Information Administration reports that U.S. crude oil field production declined to 1.9 billion barrels in 2005 from 3.5 billion in 1970, and the share of our oil that is imported has increased to 60% from 27% in 1985. The price of gasoline has risen to $3.02 this month from $2 in today’s dollars in 1985.

Washington politicians will tell you this is an “energy crisis,” but America’s energy challenges are far more political than substantive.

First, we are not running out of oil. In 1920 it was estimated that the world supply of oil was 60 billion barrels. By 1950 it was up to 600 billion, and by 1990 to two trillion. In 2000 the world supply of oil was estimated to be three trillion barrels.

I can testify, personally, on the heady days of the late 1970s, when I worked in the offshore “oil patch” for awhile out of Louisiana. I say “heady” because every other week was seven days of party time on “the beach” (in Nawlins) between weeks on the rigs. Back then there was an oil boom in the Gulf of Mexico. Somewhere in the very early 1980s, the oil companies capped most of the wells in favor of keeping our domestic oil in reserve and buying from the Arabs.

Depending on the Mooslims for our main sources of energy and transportation fuel is pretty dumb when there are alternatives. Lately, OPEC went so far as to cap the amount of oil they produce in order to keep prices up.

And there are alternatives.

The U.S. has substantial supplies of oil and gas that could be accessed if lawmakers would allow it, but they frequently don’t. A National Petroleum Council study released last week reports that 40 billion barrels of America’s “recoverable oil reserves are off limits or are subject to significant lease restrictions”–half inshore and half offshore–and similar restrictions apply to more than 250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. (We consume about 22 trillion cubic feet a year.)

Access to the 10 billion barrels of oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve has been prohibited for decades. Some 85 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas exist on the Outer Continental Shelf, but a month ago the House again, as it did last year, voted down an amendment that would have allowed the expansion of coastal drilling for oil and natural gas. All of which leaves the U.S. as the only nation in the world that has forbidden access to significant sources of domestic energy supplies.

Just as we’re the only country on earth that permits rampant violation of our borders and permits our immigration laws to be made a mockery of, we are the only nation in the world that has forbidden access to significant sources of domestic energy supplies.

Then there are all the other energy ideas Congress wishes to adopt–better energy efficiency for washers, driers, boilers, motors and refrigerators; greater fuel efficiency for cars; and more use of wind, solar and geothermal power generation. Good ideas all–especially more fuel-efficient automobiles–but not substantively or immediately very helpful in meeting the challenge of increasing America’s energy supplies to keep our economy, jobs and prosperity increasing.

To do that we must build many more nuclear power plants and increase our drilling for oil and gas. The NPC report says it takes 15 to 20 years from exploration until production begins, and it costs $3 billion to build an average 120,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery. That is just the opposite of the current congressional policy of reducing oil use, blocking access to existing domestic oil reserves, not increasing nuclear power generation, and touting ethanol as another subsidy for farmers.

Ah, ethanol, ahem…

I’ve already posted on the reality behind the ethanol lie in the past. Evidently, Mr. Du Pont feels the same way I do about it.

Oil, natural gas and nuclear power are the indispensable energy resources to insure the prosperity of America’s economy. But that is not what the congressional leadership thinks. So if we mustn’t drill offshore for oil or natural gas, or build nuclear power plants, what is the politically correct action Congress intends to take?

Increasing ethanol subsidies for farmers is at the top of the list. Ethanol is a politically hot energy substance produced from crops like corn, soybeans, sunflowers and switch grass. Current law requires 7.5 billion gallons to be produced by 2012; the new Senate bill would increase that to 36 billion by 2022.

But ethanol is not a good gasoline substitute. It takes some seven gallons of oil to produce eight gallons of corn-based ethanol–diesel fuel for the tractors to plant and harvest the corn, pesticides to protect it, and fuel for trucks to transport the ethanol around the country. So there is not much energy gain, nor with all the gasoline involved does it help with global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. And ethanol yields one-third less energy per gallon than gasoline, so that mileage per gallon of ethanol-blended auto fuel is less than gasoline mileage.

Ethanol is a politically popular subsidized product. Producers get a 51-cent-a-gallon subsidy and are protected from international ethanol imports by a 2.5% tariff and an ethanol import duty of 54 cents a gallon. These subsidies have brought more than 100 American ethanol refineries into operation, and another six dozen are going to be built, which has nearly doubled the price of corn, raised the cost of beef and other corn-fed livestock, and increased the cost of milk and corn syrup for soft-drink manufacturers.

(Above emphasis mine, though I will add that I disagree with Mr. Du Pont’s intimation regarding man’s activities having any effect on climate change, ie nor with all the gasoline involved does it help with global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, though the Goremongers might give it some thought)

It’s quite obvious that the reason a large number of these people we elect to the Senate and the House pursue lifelong careers in politics is because they wouldn’t last a week in the private sector…at least as businessmen and businesswomen. Corporate shareholders wouldn’t stand for being bankrupted by incompetents the way we Americans tolerate these idiots bankrupting our country, creating unnecessary inflation and squandering our taxes.

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11 Responses to “Everybody’s Bitchin’…”

  1. University Update - George W Bush - Everybody’s Bitchin’… Says:

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  2. Ken Taylor Says:

    Liberal environmental whaco policy which began in earnest during the Carter years are directly responsible for the price of oil/gas today. Had Carter not stopped new refinery constructon then we would have the capacity to keep up with demand.

    Had drilling here at home not been stopped by the whacos we would not have to buy oil from other countries. In fact the in ground supply here is so much that other countries would actually be buying oil from us and we could very possibly be having gas prices under one dollar if the whacos and Democrats had not had their way.

  3. Seth Says:

    Ken –

    And they use as much gas and other energy as the rest of us (except their leaders, who use up exponentially more, many while flying around the world spreading the word about the evils of energy consumption).

    When this wingnut Congressional majority comes to an end in early 2009 and another Republican President is in the White House, it would be a great time for a grass-roots movement to start building more nuclear reactors and drilling more on our turf. Let the liberals look that up in their Funk & Wagnals: and let’s see if they complain that their energy bills and gas prices are too low while they rail against the nuke plants and domestic drilling.

  4. Angel Says:

    thanks for enlightening me Seth……truly.
    hiya Seth…………..Just as we’re the only country on earth that permits rampant violation of our borders and permits our immigration laws to be made a mockery of, we are the only nation in the world that has forbidden access to significant sources domestic energy supplies….I admit I was unaware!

  5. Seth Says:

    Angel –

    The high prices of all our energy sources, from gas to electricity, as well as our country’s lack of energy independence, can be laid right at the feet of liberal politicians. It can be argued that during the first 6 years of the Bush Administration, when we had a Congressional majority, this could have been resolved, but face it: most of the Republicans on the Hill are afraid of crucifixion by the left wing media, as to them, their careers come before the good of the country.

    This is why I became a proponent of Congressional term limits — without a career in government to protect, these folks would be more likely to do what we expect of them.

  6. The Gray Monk Says:

    Seth, I couldn’t agree more! There needs to be a limit to the length any one person may spend in parliament, congress or whatever you call the legislative body of a country. That term should also include the ruote to that position as in this country they start out at Local Government level or Trade Union Executive and work their way through the political process into the halls of government without ever holding a real job.

    As to the high fuel prices I think you should consider the link between the vested interests of energy companies (make as much profit for the share holders as possible) and the politcians. There is a link - the politicians “Green” agenda can be used to further the interests of high turnover and profit generation if you play the cards right and keep the oil/energy prices high by creating a shortage….

  7. Seth Says:

    Gray Monk –

    This is one of the things that seems to fall into the heading of portside agendas — as they clamor repeatedly for higher taxes, the left also endorses every cause they can that will take money away from the people, such as man-made global warming agendas along the lines of Kyoto and their recent $30.00 a week minimum wage hike that will undoubtedly cause staff reductions in numerous businesses, thereby increasing unemployment figures (here in the U.S., for example, payroll deductions for Social Security increase with higher pay, and the employer has to match them — while the $30.00 a week figure is small, the larger the number of employees one has, the more those increases add up — and with the pay raise come like raises for all employees, not just those on minimum wage levels — even our Congress got in on the act, giving themselves an increase of over $4,000.00, and this when they’re turning in the shoddiest performance in modern history), putting more people on what you folks across the pond call so appropriately term “the dole”. Even now, they are using the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota to demand higher taxes to devote to “infrastructure”, most of which they would divert to other liberal projects.

    You are right on target in attributing higher prices to the “green” side of the equation, but also to all politicians who are in bed with the oil companies. On that side, pressure needs to be brought to bear by the consumer, even if it hurts a bit — in all the largest U.S. cities, millions of people so shun the “indignity” of using public transportation, which is subsidized by their own tax dollars anyway, that they prefer to spend as much as an extra hour or more per day in frustrating, inch-by-inch traffic gridlock.

    The oil companies no doubt appreciate this as fuel is being burned uselessly throughout, and when such people kvetch about the high price of gas at the pump, they need only blame themselves — if these people had even an ounce of common sense, they would realize that their cooperation with liberal agendas helps keep up domestic demand, and therefore prices, of gas.

    If people talked more with their “wheels” and at the same time flooded their representatives in Congress with demands that we begin availing ourselves of our natural resources rather than sitting on them, we would be hitting the issue from both ends, and would get results, ending in both energy independence — watch how “reasonable” OPEC would suddenly become :-), and lower gas prices at the pump.

    Term limits on politicians would also contribute proactively, as they wouldn’t be around long enough to become too complacent about accumulating favors from lobbyists.

  8. Flanders Fields Says:

    I thought your post was great. I was with you to the end, but I think we tend to give business leaders credit when it isn’t deserved. It is due for the small and medium businesses, but not for the Corporatists and MultiCorporatists who are almost solidly leftist.

    Notice that it is they who are the first to adopt those social and fiscal policies which assist advances of leftist thought and practices into our workplaces and daily lives. Businesses often adopt them even before required to do so by law or regulation. The Corporatists fund the left in government and appreciate the control and social engineering of our society. They have a mutual symbiosis wherein the left confers them oligarchic power and freedom to engage in activities while competitors are strung by legislation and policies passed by the those politicians of the left. Business funds (the part not funded by our tax dollars) and supports the left in building their power.

    We don’t live in the free society which we are led to think. We are managed and so is our information, through MSM and media. We should wake up to how business and the left work for and with one another. Neither of them work for us, the people. They both work against the people. If it doesn’t change soon, we are in for problems which we have not truly considered.

    Like I say, I liked your analysis and report. I just differ on that aspect relating to big business.

  9. Seth Says:

    Flanders Fields –

    Welcome and thanks.

    My reply was a bit long in coming due to yesterday being frought with celebrating my birthday offline, then convalescing from same. :-)

    I think your assessment is spot on, and that there is a long, hard battle to be fought if we wish to contain this situation, though I confess that I’m at a loss as to how it can be done. No matter what the form of government, wealth actually does the governing when The People fail to keep an eye on things, as most of America has these last few decades. Our politicians have been permitted to become a career ruling class rather than representatives of The People, and they have become more concerned with their own fortunes than they are about the country and its citizens.

    We’ve allowed the media to become a rather blatant propaganda system for the left (by continuing to buy MSM newspapers and watch alphabet network news, supporting their commercial airtime rates) and continued to tolerate unreasonably inflated prices via indulging ourselves rather than simply doing without, thereby sending a message that “your price is unreasonable, I’ll buy your product again when you come back to reality”.

    In the past (I’m nowhere near finished, just researching) I have posted on the North American Union (NAU) agenda being “stealthed”-in by Bush, the leaders of Canada and Mexico, and “corporate” America under the guise of the North American Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP). A few politicians, like 2008 Presidential candidate/ Congressman Tom Tancredo, have caught on to this agenda (Tancredo has vowed that there will be no NAU — the plan is projected to reach fruition in 2010 — on his watch if he’s elected POTUS), though many more Canadians are aware of the agenda and are also speaking out against it, doing their best to promote public awareness before it’s too late.

    As far as individual sectors such as energy are concerned, as I inferred in my reply to Gray Monk’s comment, as long as we continue to avail ourselves of their products without sacrificing some convenience, they will have control over us and our wallets. It’s when we start letting them know “we’re not gonna take it”, forcing them to find alternatives (such as building more nuclear power plants and recovering our own oil and natural gas) that will enable them to bring their prices down to reasonable levels, that the marketplace will again fulfill its function as intended. This will also entail, of course, making Congress, via a non-stop tsunami of emails, letters, faxes and telephone calls, abandon their policy of sitting on our resources and capabilities.

    The vast majority of our fellow countrymen need to start addressing their responsibilities, big time, as both consumers and voters before we see anything positive begin to occur.

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