House subcomittee votes to keep oil supply at the mercy of foreign powers
Yesterday, Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) tried to get an amendment added to a DoI spending package that would have opened up more area of our coastal waters to oil exploration. His idea was to permit this in the 50-200 mile offshore distances. (Closer than 50 miles would still have been left alone.)
The amendment was rejected 9-6, a party-line vote. Faced with the fact that the price of oil has gone through the roof and with indications that it’s going to stay there, the Democrats on this subcommittee voted, en bloc, to do nothing about it. All of the oh-so-typical reasons are being brought out again.
“We are kidding ourselves if we think we can drill our way out of these problems,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., said during the bill mark-up session.
And why is that? The real kidding is that some people think we can conserve our way out of them. Or that some magical technology will pop up in the next 3 months that will offer cheap, clean, abundant energy to all and we won’t have to use oil for anything but the bearings on all of those wind generators that other Senators won’t let us build.
Sierra Club lands program director Athan Manuel told a House committee Wednesday that drilling has been unsuccessful in driving costs down.
“The disappointing part about some of the energy policies being promoted (is) that it calls for more drilling when drilling really is the problem. And all we’ve got to show for pretty aggressive (domestic) drilling for the last 35 years is, again, $4 for a gallon of gas,” Manuel said, adding “since the first Arab oil shock in the 1970s, the U.S. has produced almost 90 billion barrels of oil since then, so we’ve tried drilling our way out of the problem and it just hasn’t worked.”
Environment Florida spokeswoman Holly Binns told the Media General news group that offshore drilling has no immediate impact on prices.
“It would take anywhere from seven to 10 years to bring those resources to shore — to have any measurable impact on supply,” Binns said, advocating renewable energy sources.
These are exactly the same arguments that were brought out 7 years ago after 9/11. (And before that, actually.) If we had done the correct thing then and started our efforts to produce more of our energy domestically we’d be getting that production’s full benefit right now. To those that talk about how it takes years to impact supply, I’d have to ask why such an action must have immediate benefits to be the correct one to take? There are no alternative energy technologies that have the capability to replacing the energy demand answered by oil production that are going to become viable in the next 10 years, either. Yet we’re just supposed to wait while they get here? And I’d like to point out that they’re not guaranteed to perform, either. We know very well the energy properties of petroleum. Drilling for the reserves located within the United States absolutely will produce energy that can meet the demands and I’m not sure it would take 10 years to get done.
As far as the notion that we’ve had “pretty aggressive domestic drilling” goes, that flies in the face of the discussion we’re having right now. How can we have been “aggressively drilling” in places where it’s been illegal to drill? We haven’t been, that’s how, and it’s the issue of getting at those reserves that’s at the heart of the discussion.
Barak Obama let slip the Democrat mask a bit yesterday when he suggested that a “gradual adjustment” to the high prices would have been the better thing than the fast climb that we’ve seen. Translation: high gas prices are just fine with him and “the market” – that’s you and me, in case you weren’t aware – just needs to adapt to this situation as the new norm. In short, folks, if you think he and the rest of the Democrats in Congress are going to do a damned thing about the gas prices, guess again. They aren’t saying it aloud, but they’ve wanted gas prices through the roof for decades and now that it’s happened, they’re going to make sure they stay that way.
Elections have consequences, folks.