WEBCommentary Guest

Author: Alan Caruba
Date:  August 4, 2006

Topic category:  Other/General

Exploiting Oil for Votes

Despite the U.S. Senate’s August vote to end the quarter century ban on offshore drilling, the Democrats could not resist recklessly exploiting the current price at the pumps and oil company profits for political gain while ignoring the most fundamental economics of our national dependence on this energy source.

Despite the U.S. Senate’s August vote to end the quarter century ban on offshore drilling, the Democrats could not resist recklessly exploiting the current price at the pumps and oil company profits for political gain while ignoring the most fundamental economics of our national dependence on this energy source.

The bill now goes back to the House, which already passed it where a committee will work out an agreement on the separate versions.

On June 29th, House Democrat Leader, Nancy Pelosi, attacked the bill to permit offshore drilling. “This bill is bad for the environment of coastal states. By revoking the ban on drilling for oil and natural gas, it will subject many sensitive coastal areas to harm.” As proof, she cited an oil spill that had occurred decades ago in California off of Santa Barbara. There is no evidence of any long-term damage. The same holds true for the famed accident in Alaska. In the real world, accidents happen. In the real world, Nature makes the necessary corrections.

Instead, Rep. Pelosi said, “Democrats have a New Direction for America. We will energize America with farmers fueling our energy independence.” This is so stupid as to defy belief. This suggests that somehow American farmers can grow enough corn—without using a lot of oil and gas in the process—to reduce our use of gasoline.

“The populist rant that this (oil prices) is the fault of ‘rapacious’ oil companies is a glib and false response,” wrote Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News & World Report, in the August 7th edition, “and it’s especially unattractive when it comes from Democrats, who have systematically blocked attempts to increase domestic oil productions. Oil prices, in fact, are determined by a complex, and increasingly competitive, global market.”

“The roots of our predicament,” wrote Zuckerman, “don’t lie in the boardrooms of Big Oil but at our own back door.” He noted that, “Two thirds of our petroleum consumption is for transportation.” While 3 out of 4 Americans commute to work via their automobiles, part of the price factor reflects the fact that “Last year, for the first time ever, Asia consumed more oil than North America. China is already the second-largest importer of oil.” 

Part of the answer to gas prices is the simple equation of supply and demand, and America has the potential to increase domestic production by more than two million barrels a day, but only if we permit oil companies to drill for it and to expand and build new refineries.

Democrats, however, continue to demagogue the issue of oil. After ExxonMobil Corporation announced its profits in late July, the Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, called the company’s profits “shocking” and part of the Republican Party’s “backhand to the American people.”

Sen. Reid, like his colleague, Rep. Pelosi, is pushing the Democrat plan, the “Clean Edge Act” which is filled with notions of alternative sources of energy and the reduction of U.S. consumption of oil to six million barrels a day by 2020. I call it the “Corn Edge Act.” It is bunk. It is worse than bunk. It is a refusal to deal with the every day realities of oil consumption by Americans and, increasingly, but nations coming out of their Third World status to join the rest of the world in the consumption of oil.

The environmentalists have been blathering about global warming for decades now for the sole purpose of forcing America and other industrialized nations to reduce energy consumption in anticipation of a climate change that is not happening. I do not care how many phony computer models they produce, there is solid science that demonstrates global warming is not occurring.

Yet Rep. Pelosi has joined with some thirty House Democrats to sponsor the “Safe Climate Act of 2006” charging that, “For decades, Big Oil and other polluting industries have undermined and obstructed the voices of scientists on global warming…The Bush Administration and the Republican leadership in Congress are willing partners in this dance of lies, muzzling government scientists or attacking their credibility when they refuse to remain silent.”  In short, this is legislation that throws out the First Amendment protection of free speech in order to insure there is no real scientific debate over the validity of global warming occurs.

The notion of “polluting industries” is a lie and the worst kind of political bombast. The Earth itself is a polluter, emitting tons of gases every minute and not just from its hundreds of active volcanoes. Ever since the passage of the Clean Air Act, America has had decades of increasingly clean air, but the Democrats are not interested in science or facts.

Every time you hear the words “alternative energy” you should keep in mind that they come with a price too. One of those prices is their failure to produce a sufficient amount of energy to be viable without government subsidies. Remove those subsidies from ethanol and it would cease to be manufactured. Ethanol produces less energy per gallon than gasoline. While Democrats cry out against Republicans for their support of Big Oil, ethanol is a big, political gift to the farm states where corn is grown. I like corn, but I don’t want to waste it to fill my gas tank and pay extra for the privilege.

The only alternative energy I like is nuclear energy and it does not emit any pollutants! America is decades behind other industrialized nations in authorizing the building of nuclear plants to produce the increasing amount of electricity we need. Or would you prefer acres and acres of “wind farms” which are highly dependent on whether the wind is blowing. While environmentalists decry offshore drilling rigs no one will ever see, they love the notion of filling up these same shores with these monstrous machines.

We have national elections coming in November. If you vote to put Democrats in control of the House and Senate, you are voting to increase the price of gasoline and natural gas. It’s just that simple.  

Alan Caruba
National Anxiety Center

Biography - Alan Caruba

Alan Caruba passed on June 15, 2015. His keen wit, intellect, and desire to see that "right" be done will be missed by all who his life touched. His archives will remain available online at this site.

Alan Caruba was the founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about media-driven scare campaigns designed to influence public opinion and policy. A veteran public relations counselor and professional writer, Caruba emerged as a conservative voice through his weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Center's Internet site (www.anxietycenter.com) and widely excerpted on leading sites including this one.

A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and a charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, Caruba applied a wide-ranging knowledge of business, science, history and other topics to his examination of issues that included protecting our national sovereignty, environment and immigration, education and international affairs.

Caruba resided in New Jersey and had served in the US Army, had been an advisor to corporations, trade associations, universities, and others who used his public relations skills for many years. He maintained a business site at www.caruba.com.

Caruba performed many reviews of both fiction and non-fiction at Bookviews.Com, a popular site for news about books of merit that do not necessarily make it to the mainstream bestseller lists.

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