• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Pelosi Asks, We Answer

    Feeling pressure from the House Republican revolt on energy prices, Speaker Nancy Pelosi took time from her busy book tour — current Amazon sales rank No. 1,631, and priced to sell at $16.29, down from the original $23.95 — to release a “Top Ten Questions for the House GOP on Energy.” The first thing one notices about these “10″ questions is that there are only nine of them. But leaving math aside, and ignoring two political questions addressed to John McCain and past Congresses, here are policy answers to the remaining 7 questions:

    1. House Democrats have put forward 13 major proposals that would increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers and transition America to a clean, renewable energy-independent future. … How can Republicans claim to want to help consumers and businesses when they oppose these policies?

    Of the 13 proposals Pelosi cites, only three could possibly claim to increase energy supply. Two of them involve either tax incentives or increased government investment in renewable energy. We’ll address renewable energy mandates below (see question No. 9). Pelosi also cites her efforts to require “oil companies to drill on 68 million acres they already control.” This is the silliest claim of all. Oil companies can only drill where oil is. There are 9.4 billion acres on the moon. Pelosi could require oil companies to drill there, but it wouldn’t produce one drop of oil.

    2. Releasing a small amount of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has proven in the past to be a critical way to reduce energy prices in the short term used in 1991, 2000 and 2005. Why not support Democrats’ effort to free a small amount of the taxpayer-funded government stockpile to influence the price of the pump within days?

    Releasing oil from the SPR could reduce gas prices; but how big of a reduction and for how long directly depends on how much is released. 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.

    3. Exxon Mobil announced the highest ever quarterly profit by a U.S. corporation in history last week. With Exxon Mobil making $1,500 a second, how can House Republicans continue to block efforts to repeal tax subsidies to Big Oil?

    Ranking all industries by profit margin, oil and gas production is 60th. That means there are 59 other industries that are more profitable than the oil industry. Exxon Mobil already pays more taxes than the bottom 50% of taxpayers and the company invested a record $25 billion in capital and exploration spending this year.

    4. According to the Bush Administration’s own Energy Department, if we repealed the offshore drilling ban today, oil and gas production would not begin there until 2017, and the impact on prices before 2030 would be “insignificant.” Why do House Republicans keep calling for an action that they know won’t solve today’s energy problems?

    Pelosi does not provide a citation here, but we think she is referring to this Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. If so, Pelosi has her facts wrong. The report clearly states it is only looking at the Outer Continental Shelf ban being lifted in 2012. So Pelosi is just dead wrong when she says the EIA says production would not begin until 2017. If the ban were lifted today, production could begin in 2013. More importantly, though, Pelosi shows she does not understand commodities markets. It is well established that present prices are impacted by anticipated future supply change.

    6. If House Republicans are for “all of the above,” why do you oppose efforts to protect consumers like price gouging and holding OPEC accountable for price fixing?

    Price gouging in all industries is already illegal under existing antitrust laws.

    8. Democrats will continue to push for legislation to end undue speculation in the oil market that many analysts say has increased the price of a barrel of oil. Will House Republicans support it?

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a report in July, which found no evidence that institutional investors were driving up oil prices. Don’t believe the government? Both the New York Times editorial board and liberal columnist Paul Krugman have debunked the idea that restricting commodity markets will lower energy prices.

    9. House Democrats have reiterated their support for a Renewable Electricity Standard to transition electricity sources to renewables. Will House Republicans support this effort?

    Renewable energy accounts for 7% of U.S. energy consumption. Once you throw out hydropower (since Pelosi’s leftist allies are bent on shutting dams and not building new ones), renewable energy accounts for only 4% of U.S. energy consumption. Biomass is at best suspect as “renewable” source since up to 74% of its energy actually comes from the coal and natural gas sources needed to convert into fuel. Not to mention biomass’ role in world hunger crisis. Throw out biomass, and renewables contribute less than 1% of America’s energy — nowhere near enough to meet U.S. energy needs.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Morning Bell: Pelosi Asks, We Answer

    1. Steve Brink, Belling says:

      I would quibble a little bit on your conclusions regarding biomass. I think your conclusion is talking about biofuel.

      Using wood waste to generate electricity is a winner. Compared to open-burning agriculture and forest biomass (or worse, watching our forests go up in smoke in a wildfire) there's a 98% reduction in GHG emissions by using the material as feedstock in a biomass powerplant.

      We know that for every 1 bone dry ton of wood waste used to generate electricity, there is at least a net 1 ton reduction in GHG emissions compared to a natural gas or coal-fired powerplant.

      Biomass-generated electricity in California is currently produces about 1.5% of electricity consumed; it could be 8%. Though not huge, this is a substantial renewable energy component.

      The other benefit of wood as a feedstock for power generation is that, like hydro, it's 24 hr/day – 7 day/wk power (known as baseload power in the electric sector) whereas wind and solar are intermittent sources of power.

    2. Dave, laguna niguel, says:

      It pains us all to finally accept the fact Nancy Pelosi is an idiot first. Second, she is bought and paid for by the environmentalist whackos who MUST be elliminated from our society. Their moronic solutions just to correct "theories" have had a detrimental effect on our society as a whole and have completely dismantled the workings of the greatest country on earth. Our country has only ONE HOPE, immediate allowance of drilling WHEREVER OIL IS FOUND, coal mining and building refineries and neuclear reactors, all with SMART environmental protections. Energy drives our economy and the democrats have gotten our economy right where they are, lifeless, no direction and down right nasty! Just LOOK at Pelosi and LISTEN to her. Is this really the person to lead CONGRESS?! The democrat party is made up of illegal aliens, homeless people, unions(most will be out of work soon!), the unemployed, America haters, the quilt ridden, environmentalist whackos, NAACP, NOW, militant gays, the news media, and Hollywood. Not a great foundation to rebuild a great country! All of their collaboration have gotten us right where we are over the course of 30+ years, and they audaciously blame BUSH!! I am hoping the "silent majority" is stll a "majority" and will soon rise up,or we are trully on our way to becoming another Venezuela. The election of the socialist Obama will cement that deal.

    3. Robert Chatham, Hous says:

      What Ms. Nancy (The "Mathematician", Par Excellent)Fails to ACKNOWLEDGE IS: That The "BIG OIL" Company That SHE (and Other Democrats) WANT TO PUNISH, HAS ALREADY "PAID 3X's The Amount of Their Earnings in Various Taxes.

      Those Taxes include 51% of GROSS Earnings in Income Taxes, Taxes To State and To Federal Governments , Gasoline Taxes (for Transportation to Various Locations ,, such as Refineries, Retail Gasoline Stations etc. )

      Then The Employees Who work for "BIG OIL" have to Pay THEIR OWN PERSONAL TAXES. Not to Mention How Many Jobs These Communist "WINDFALL" TAXES will Costs with the "CUT BACKS" that MIGHT COME.


      MY Parents Taught ME ,,To Work Hard, Be Efficient and I would BE REWARDED for That. NOW Ms. Nancy and THEIR Communist Group Want to REWARD the "FOLKS" who DO LITTLE, and PUNISH Those Who Succeed !!


    4. Robert Chatham, Hous says:


      THANKS DAVE ! ! !

    5. jean worthington says:

      I'm a Democrat and I see many flaws in Daves article. He needs to go back to school

      Also, I heard Senator Clinton this morning on a Video doing all she could to be put on the ticket this month. I'm horrified to hear she is still trying to diminish Borack's chances. When will she learn she is not capable of running this country and to stand there and encourage her Giggling entourage on to help her is disgusting. ANd so are the people who are in this with her. She needs to quit and go back and see if she can accomplish something good in the Senate, or some of us will be trying to disrupt that position for her, she won't have to try to leave it we will help her. I cant understand why when some people are told no they just can't accept they are not wanted.

      I feel better now after putting this on paper. She is disgusting.

    6. Don Case, Atlanta, G says:

      Regarding the SPR: Conservatives of both parties should propose and pursue legislation which would restrict use of SPR crude to future use by our military to run ships, tanks, and planes.

      Placing it in a lockbox now would ensure its future availability in a real emergency. It was never meant to be used to reduce prices at the pump for the general population!

    7. jean worthington says:

      I also would like to draw attention to the many lies John McCain is coming out with. Also, he should remember he's been in the Senate for 26 + years and I can find nothing that shows he's capable of running for the Presidential office, While a prisoner he was on the radio for his captors telling our men to give up and join him in turning against the very country he now wants to run. He is probably the least person in the Senate next to Clinton that I would like to see in the oval office. The only thing he ever learned to do was to operate a plane and as my husband has said many times so was he trained to fly but he doesn't feel that makes him eligible to be President of this country. McCain has a lot of gall to even think he can.God help us if he should win, as it would be another 8 years of Bush and WAR after War as that is all he says he's good at. God be with us.

    8. Anthony Scarano Br says:

      I am somewhat relieved to see that the entire country is now in an uproar over Mrs. Pelosi's actions over the closing down of congress. It amazes me that ONE person in the entire country (and it is not the President) can effectivly shut down any actions or initiatives that can help this country , even in a time of crisis.

      Everyone now seems to feel that Ms. Pelosi is single handedly killing america's chance to help and revitalize itself , But no one has asked for her resignation ? Unfortunatley even if the outcry was great enough for that to happen , her replacement would be Harry Reed ?

      Politically we always seem to pick the lesser of two evils , but this is ridiculous , as the two go hand in hand. My personal observation is that the democratic party will not budge on this issue until their man is elected president and at that time , there will be great policy made and the credit will go to them. This is a fight between the democrats and the republicans , this is not a fight to help the average american , it never is.

      This is a shame , this country historically has always come together in a great crisis , well not this time , Thank you Mrs. Pelosi you are NOT a great american. Integrity , bipartisanship NO Not at all !

    9. Jack Kyle says:

      Energy In, Energy Out:

      Everyone should read the book Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics, in order to understand energy and its use. Every particle seen and unseen is a form of energy; energy is mass and mass is energy. The pursuit of energy and its acquisition, and the changing of energy from one form to another is the single purpose of the entire universe. If we humans are to exist we must identify the most abundant, cheapest form of energy available and use it until other forms can be produced and captured in quantities sufficient to sustain life. As of now and at least the next fifty years, that source of energy is some form of a carbon base product; oil, gas, and coal. To not use that which is available to us now is madness,

    10. Russell Hamner, Plan says:

      How come every suggestions main object is to destroy our way of life? nobody can be that ignorant to not know that of every one of the suggestions end is to control and overlord despite the voice of the country. How did we get to this point? i can only look at this list and point the finger.

    11. John Charlotte, NC says:

      This is a very good post. To the point, correct, and logical. Three things that libs just can't seem to combine on most any subject. Nancy Pelosi should be ashamed of herself. She had the chance to be a true leader and good example to young women (regardless of their political party) but instead she strokes her own power ego, draws hard lines, and throws blame instead of taking responsibility and taking action to correct. Typical Washington, typical politician, typical dem.

    12. Brian Ray Bronx NY says:

      As a concerned American citizen I have to reprimand both senator McCain ,Funny or Die and the Dimwit.

      Firstly , senator McCain because of you opening a pandoras box, You have let out a very negative perception to the people of America and the world to put out such an ad depicting a " celebrity opponent " . Let me remind you senator McCain this presidential campaign will go down in history as one of the most memorable and historic of our time , having two individuals such as senators McCain and Obama , but to compare your opponent as a celebrity based on two other dimwit and clueless individuals , you should be ashamed of yourself , next time another approach , i.e.

      A group of people sitting in a sports bar and all the screens are depicting different stories about Obama ( your a leader think hmmm )

      Secondly , Funny or Die . America and the world is watching and their either laughing with us or at us. Just because we have freedom of speech does not make it Okay for you to disrespect our senators by calling them the b***h word in your skit. and if we dont respect our leaders , you think the world will respect them ? Think !

      So bad choice for getting your ideas across. Could have found a better way if you just had an ounce more of intelligence.

      Thirdly – Dimwit , yes you could have kept your mouth shut like clueless and be wary of what you say about people who should be talked to with respect. Something apparently you know nothing about , and furthermore no one wants your imput on anything you have to say. History will be made and it will not include you.

      Lastly , the people of America including both senators should remember this is america the greatest country in the world and our forefathers did not demoralize each other in such manners.

      So next time before you put out an ad or address the public just say to oneself " what would I want to be remembered for in this historical race as , or what for ? And if one could be proud of oneself in a good way .

      America and the world is always watching and whomever wins , History will be made.

    13. Dwight Broadstone says:

      Question 7 ?

      Did I miss something?


    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.