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  • Morning Bell: Pelosi Running Out the Clock at Expense of National Security

    The Politico reports today that according to Democratic House aides, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “energy agenda has been carefully gamed out in strategy sessions” with Pelosi taking “heat on gas prices while tacitly encouraging more vulnerable Democrats to publicly disagree with her and show their independence.” One senior House Democratic aide said, “The reality is we will have a new president in three months … we have many more options postelection.”

    To deflect “heat” on energy prices in the short term, Pelosi is advocating releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which she says “would bring immediate relief within 10 days.” Pelosi’s plan is not entirely fanciful. A major release of oil from the SPR could reduce gas prices. Pelosi, however, does not say how much oil she wants to release. And the exact size of the release would directly impact the size of the price relief — and our national security.

    The United States consumes 20 million barrels of oil per day. Selling 70 million barrels of oil, like Barack Obama suggests, could reduce gas prices — for all of four days. Then, since there would still be no long-term increase in supply, the price would shoot right back up to its previous level. The United States could release 3 million to 4 million barrels per day, which would lower prices at the margin, but the SPR could maintain that pace for no more than six months. After that, the price of oil would return to its previous level, and the SPR would be empty. And at what cost? Our nation’s security would be at the total mercy of Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin and the oil states of the Persian Gulf.

    Far scarier for the American consumer is what Pelosi and her liberal allies plan to do if they succeed in ducking votes on expanded domestic oil production this year. With increased majorities in the House, Senate, and with a sympathetic White House, the left will quickly move to increase energy prices.

    Obama’s energy plan released yesterday calls for “an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.” Such a plan would not just raise gas prices, which have already sent unemployment to a four-year high. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman even admits “a cap-and-trade system would in effect be a tax on carbon, and really would raise energy prices.” The Lieberman-Warner energy tax bill debated this summer only sought to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2050, and economists predicted that that bill would lead to job losses approaching 1 million annually and a cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) loss of $4.8 tril­lion by just 2030.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr intends to disarm his once-dominant Mahdi Army militia and remake it as a social-services organization.
    • In 2004, government-sponsored entity Freddie Mac chief executive rejected internal warnings from Freddie Mac’s chief risk officer cautioning that the firm was financing questionable loans that threatened its financial health.
    • MoveOn.org is urging its supporters to “push back hard” against House Republicans, who have been seeking to pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to allow a vote on offshore drilling.
    • The Democrat-controlled Congress and the Bush administration have presided over a surge in new federal spending obligations that may be the most enduring legacy of the 110th Congress.
    • According to Rasmussen Reports, only 39% of voters favor a windfall profits tax on oil companies.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Morning Bell: Pelosi Running Out the Clock at Expense of National Security

    1. Vern says:

      Selling some oil when the price was $160 per barrel was a good idea, but the idea came on a day when oil had dropped to $120? I suspect this is the kind of President Senator Obama will be: 2 weeks late and $40 short!

    2. Jack Kyle says:

      Anytime the democrats promise to use something and then replace it, I think of what happened to our Social Security Program. President Johnson and the democrats promised that the money they would take from the Social Security "Lock Box" would all be replaced – we are still waiting 40+ yrs.later. So it will be with the oil taken from the oil reserves.

    3. Robert Chatham, Hous says:

      Two THINKS come to MY MIND, when I hear what "SPEAKER" Pelosi, and "COMRAD" Obama,say when THEY speak.:

      (1) I believe that NEITHER, (One of these people) , Have EVER, Run any type of business, , Other , than Prehaps, a Government (or Like) Funded organization.. A situation where PROFIT, and REAL business Practices Count. ,,,OR:

      (2) Ms. Pelosi, is actually a "TRAITOR", to This Country,, And is Doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, Possible to WEAKEN this Country

      to make it EASIER for Foreign Invasion.



    4. Roger l. Cooper, Ver says:

      Approval for immediate drilling is a critical issue in the outcome of the current presidential election.


      Nancy Pelosi is dangerous on the front end for an energy crisis solution! America needs immediate action to the likes of T. Boone Pickens proposal. It just makes good sense for all Americans! Foreign oil dependence is a plague to our suffering economy.

    6. Edwin Buck, Albuquer says:

      Say, what's this, insulting Lady Pelosi, one of the few people that's trying to save the planet, and saving us from our own greed. We can't have that. Lady Pelosi should be sainted for what she's trying to do. According to St Pelosi, we will thank her for her sacrifice, later on. And, should she be prooved wrong in the future, well, her intentions were good. That's all that counts, the good intentions. NOT

    7. Evan, Houston says:

      Did I read that high gas prices lead directly to the high unemployment we are seeing. That's an awfully simplistic and incorrect view of the world. There is no good answer to high energy prices other than change the way we use that energy. Our lifestyles need to adapt to the new costs of our ways. It has happened all over the world. The Republican's plan of "produce more, use less" will have NO effect for almost 10 years on the price of energy, as it takes nearly that long to make a new oil field productive. The only silver bullet is conservation, and it's a difficult one. And Washington is flailing around trying to promise simple change when it simply isn't possible. Buck up.

    8. Laurel, Medford,OR says:

      With the Russians and the Chinese buying up and making deals for the world's oil reserves, the US is facing an energy crises like we have never seen. Russia is now claiming the oil reserves on the sea floor under the Arctic ice caps (and I haven't heard a word out of Al Gore). Obama and Pelosi are so short sighted they can't see this coming. They are only interested in short term political power, regardless of the "unintended consequences" of their actions. I think back to Jimmy Carter and his rationalizations of his failures as a leader…remember the "misery index?" I'm sure we will hear more of the same. The American people will suffer at the failings of our leaders.

      If the SPR is dumped the oil will have to be bought back, but at what cost? The US is going to be forced into energy independence, or radically change it's national lifestyle, because other nations will control the world's oil supply due to our political short-sightedness. Paris Hilton's energy policy made more sense than what Pelosi or Obama have proposed.

    9. mark , Houston says:

      Hey Evan here in houston , how does that obama kool-aid taste ?….did you here that Iraq has billions of dollars in surplus this year? they have a huge oil deposit right under their feet . they have the facilities to handle it too.So , dont you think that maybe , just maybe we should ask for some(if not all) of that oil . after all who's blood was it that freed that rotten country ? As for pelosi, the only thing she wants to here from american citezens is "seig heil"!

    10. R.O. Dufort, MA says:

      There is no doubt that we must reduce our dependence on foreign energy resources, foreign meaning any country outside of the United States.

      All energy options need to be on the table for open and transparent debate minus the usual ad hominem onslaughts from politicians on either side of the aisle. Americans are understandably disgusted and frustrated with the dichotomizing polical mindset of the last decade or so. We should not be thinking, speaking, nor acting in blue/red, left/right, liberal/conservative polical "constructs" and return to our true heritage: "e pluribus UNUM." Joyce was so correct when he wrote that things fall apart and the center does not hold.

    11. Tim Arnold says:

      Watching this phenomenon of lemmings dashing to the edge of the cliff is truly a marvel. Talk about alternate energy sources, what about the Kool-aide that powers these "enlightened ones" racing to their own ruination. Thank God MOST of us aren't imbibing.

      Thank you, Heritage Foundation for paying attention.

    12. Donny Letson, Hartse says:

      I am outraged at how Pelosi is turning a crisis for the american people into a political game. I am sure that Barak Hussein Obama supports the actions she has taken. I hope that all voters realize that we cannot believe a word any of the democrats that are running for office say to get elected. We don't need rich politicians telling us to conserve, either. I urge everyone to call the US capital at (202)224-3121 and ask for Nancy Pelosi's office and voice your outrage. You will have to call after 8:30am because her voicemail is full. Thanx to Heritage Foundation.

    13. Dave; Miami says:

      Indeed relieving to see people of this mind set and their feedback. All is not lost to the Left and Progressives as the MSM is portraying.


    14. Leslie I. Bustamante says:

      In all this talk about drilling for, and developing resources available here in the US, It seems we are being convinced not to move forward because of time frames, and the environment.

      I for one, am not looking at alternatives in terms of an immediate solution. I don't really care if it takes 10 years to develop new technology, or process USA crude oil.

      I believe as Americans, we have the right to demand from our Senate, and Congress, that our country become independent of those who wish our destruction.

      Should the future of this country suffer for lack of action being taken by Democratic Politicians today, I will consider them guilty of nothing less than treason! Do they not know, or care that these United States are in peril?

    15. Allan Nostwick, Hunt says:

      The strategic reserve is intended to allow our military to continue to fly airplanes and run ships, tanks, and assault vehicles if our outside oil supplies could be cut off by an attacker. Would someone try to explain this to our brain damaged liberals? While you are at it, mention something about getting wet if you stay out in the rain.

    16. Deb, Albuquerque, NM says:

      To those who say we have to change our habits, I agree-with a caveat: while I'm no fan of wasting anything, this country uses roughly 25% of the world's energy AND produces roughly the same amount of goods and services. How many other countries in the world are using energy at the same capacity as their output? To conserve energy, should farmers here who grow food for the world go back to horse drawn equipment? What about the extra CO2 from all those additional horses? Skews the "fix global warming" thing up, don't it if the EU and UN are right about livestock farts and feces being the cause.

      Allan in Huntington, Ind. is exactly right about the strategis reserve. It's primarily for military and emergency vehicle use in a crisis if supplies are compromised…not for an extra trip to the store or Pelosi's plane. An aside here-this is some great CHANGE she's leading, huh?

    17. Deb, Albuquerque, NM says:

      The time to drill our way out of this problem was 10 or 20 years ago. But drilling now will stop this from being a constant problem in our future. By the way, even if cars stopped using gasoline, we'd still need oil for all the other things (like plastics, tires, road surfaces, etc.)whose use will increase if our economy grows (and let's hope it does. If you're one of those who want to live in a shiriking economy, try France or perhaps the Sudan.

    18. jono, iowa says:

      mark of houston-

      if u actually get this-whos blood was sacrificed and what for? over 1,000,000 dead iraqis-yep, they obviously haven't paid at all. how upset were you after 3,000 were dead in our country? what would you do if 1,000,000 were killed in your country?

      and by the way-from your koolaid comment i can only ascertain that you are fan of oreilly. why don't you read some actual journalism from credible sources. do some research. oreilly is a joke when it comes to the news and journalism. fox news puppet

    19. Pingback: Morning Bell: Hold Pelosi to Her Promise | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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