Friday, March 5, 2010

Oil Looms


Leading up to the recession, the cost of gas at the pump topped $4 a gallon and the screams from the rank and file were so loud that they led candidate Obama to promise to allow offshore oil exploration. Instead, since getting in office, Obama has not merely renigged on his promise, but made drilling for oil in the U.S. even more difficult - in addition to conducting what could only be described as a war on coal production.

Gas prices are climbing again - as are our dependence on foreign oil and our payments for foreign oil. A big part of our trade deficit lies with the latter.

The price of gas is an issue that will bite us every bit as much if not more than Obamacare when it rises to crisis levels again. This from PJM:

. . . After gas prices fell in late 2008, many of the “Drill Here, Drill Now” crowd apparently moved on to other causes. As a result, we didn’t drill here and we now face the prospect of paying $3.25 (or more) a gallon for our gasoline this coming summer. And estimates are that this approaching price increase will raise the average American’s monthly gasoline expenditures beyond what many can bear.

To put this into perspective, during the first week of 2010 gasoline prices had already increased so much that the Associated Press reported that “a typical motorist [would pay] about $50 more a month” for gasoline in the early months of 2010 than that same motorist paid during the latter months of 2009. Moreover, if we broaden our view so that it includes the country as a whole and not just individual motorists, a future without expanded domestic drilling looks bleak. According to Oil Price Information Service analyst Tom Kloza, “The current U.S. fuel bill [is] about $1.066 billion each day. A year ago, that daily outlay was about $625 million.’’

. . . What makes the pending higher gasoline prices so frustrating is that it doesn’t have to be this way. For example, we know that one area known as the Green River Formation (GRF) in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming “holds the equivalent of 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil.” That’s as much as America “would use in 110 years, at current consumption levels, and three times the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.” And if we consider the GRF, ANWR, and all our offshore opportunities together, our untapped reserves are “estimated at about 2.3 trillion barrels, nearly three times more than the reserves held by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand.” . . .

And who’s behind this lack of drilling? Are Chevron, Exxon, and that rascally Marathon Oil Corporation working together to make petroleum scarce in order to drive prices up? Nope. Instead, the usual suspects are at work here: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), along with President Obama and his interior secretary, Ken Salazar (D-CO). These people seek to hide their refusal to drill behind the mask of environmental concerns.

It was Salazar who recently halted drilling in the GRF until “stricter environmental standards” for the oil and gas companies can be implemented. “We don’t believe we ought to be drilling anywhere and everywhere,” Salazar told the Wall Street Journal, adding that instead, “we believe we need a balanced approach and a thoughtful approach.”

By now we should know we’re in trouble when a leftie like Salazar uses the phrase “thoughtful approach” when he stops domestic drilling in the name of saving rodents on the endangered species list. . . .

Yet I can scarcely find an elected Republican who’s calling for expanded drilling. Nor do I hear a peep out of the grassroots conservatives who, just two years ago, couldn’t quit screaming “Drill Here, Drill Now.”

Even if we take a pragmatic look at drilling, this widespread silence is crazy because this is a winning issue for conservatives and Republicans alike. Just like tax cuts, smaller government, and the Second Amendment, a renewed push for expanded domestic drilling is always a hit with free men who want to remain free. . . .

The left is suicidal in so many ways, this being just one of them. And I could not agree more with the author of the above article. This is an issue that needs to be brought front and center yet again.

1 comment:

heisenbug said...

They should just ship those endangered rodents off to DC - rodents and other vermin seem to do very well there.