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  • New Members to Energy Gang, Same Old Plan

    The Gang of 10 now rolls 16 deep. Six more Senators, three Democrats and three Republicans, joined the original gang of ten Senators seeking to expand offshore drilling, albeit the production expansion would be limited and taxes would be raised over $80 billion to promote renewable sources of energy. Repealing tax breaks for oil companies would be a part of the strategy to raise this money.

    President Bush did his part by repealing presidential restrictions on offshore drilling, an executive moratorium that was in place for nearly twenty years. And although a bi-partisan effort to get the Congressional ball rolling in the right direction should be applauded, it would be better if nothing was done at all. The majority of the plan focuses on the same tried and failed tax hikes, tax incentive gimmicks, and subsidies from the 1970s that led us to be in this position in the first place.

    Currently, the only thing that stands between us and 19 billion barrels of oil and 83.9 trillion cubic feet of that non-fossil-fuel natural gas stuff is time. On October 1st, the Congressional ban on offshore drilling is set to expire; many are calling this American Energy Freedom Day. Lifting the ban wasn’t a priority eight years ago when you could go the gas station and fill up your Hummer for twenty beans. Heritage policy expert Ben Lieberman writes that there’s great potential with little risk:

    “Improved technologies have allowed this oil to be extracted with minimal risk of spills. Indeed, natural seepage from the sea floor is a much larger source of oil in American waters than is offshore drilling. Even safer technologies would be used in any future production.”

    High gas prices have shifted the public’s opinion on offshore drilling. According to a Wall Street Journal/ NBC News Poll the public support for offshore drilling is now at 63%. Even California is coming around on drilling. That’s right, California. The Board of Supervisors in California’s Santa Barbara County, the beacon of opposition to offshore drilling due in large part to one of the country’s largest oil spills, voted to support new coastal oil exploration and extraction. In fact, there’s actual scientific evidence that drilling can help the environment because it will significantly reduce the leaks from oil seeps. The letter of support that will be sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to consider a change in policy had this to say:

    “Since the traumatic oil spill in 1969, significant technological improvements on methods of extraction have been made which should appreciably mitigate such spills from happening in the future.”

    A change in policy for offshore drilling would certainly be welcomed, but not at the expense of the American taxpayer. A compromise can only go so far and limited expansion to offshore drilling paired with more subsidies and tax credits for unsuccessful sources of energy isn’t the right way to go. If this is the only policy on the table, it would be more prudent for Congress to allow these anti-energy restrictions expire and have the Department of Interior commence leasing these areas to the energy companies. With the Gang of 16 proposal, for every one step we take forward, we’re taking two steps back. The countdown is on.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to New Members to Energy Gang, Same Old Plan

    1. Mariano Domingo, Bea says:

      why dont we hear more about areas in the country already leased to the oil companies to drill? And why havent they done so?

    2. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      We've done a lousy job selling this Drill Now/Drill Here campaign. We failed to get the tidal wave of enthusiasm that we had back in June 07 over the McCain/Kennedy. That's the degree of intensity that we needed.

      When making the pitch we failed to emphasize the other incredible benefits that domestic drilling would bring "directly" to the average Middle American. Such as a massive influx of super high paying oil field related jobs. Those jobs will paying paychecks that will trickle down to all segments of our economy. $700 billion dollars worth annually! Or there abouts. Our side of the isle pays little attention to the workers in our nation, however. Stupidly they haven't put it together yet that the hundreds of millions of workers in our nation are also voters!! Duuuhhh!

      We also forgot to talk about the ancient trade deficit and how producing our own oil would help reduce that. Possibly eliminate it. Uhh Ohh! That would be historical.

      The failure among conservative leadership these days is that they are too arrogant to listen. They can't take constructive criticism. They have massive ego's that will not allow them to learn or grow. Its all about themselves and defending their own little plot of ground. They've become small. Darvin Dowdy

    3. Thomas Gray, South, says:

      To Mr Misses Miss Mariano Domingo,Beachwood NJ.

      Your question gives away your position on this issue and if in truth you live in NJ would you please tell me what you envision as the energy source thats going to keep your house warm for the next twenty years or so becouse I will tell you right now it's not going to be oil or NG we have at best five more years of affordable obtainable oil, Go and look for yourself at theoildrum.com and read the comments on leanan's post any day of the week three thousand plus dayly readers, they don't say drill drill drill they say bend over and kiss your,,,,,,goodby, and burning NG for electricity when it could be easily be replaced by nuclear at this time is going to be a mistake we are all going to live to regret also, so please don't waste good space here asking a question that I for one have read to many times, tom.

    4. Al Hartman, Philadel says:

      Mariano Domingo,

      We've heard about those leased areas REPEATEDLY. Here's the word again for you.

      Those areas are either in the midst of exploration, development, or don't have enough oil to be worth drilling.

      Land that is currently being surveyed, or in application for drilling, or having the drilling platforms built are listed as un-used.

      The oil companies pay money to hold those leases. They are not stupid. They are not paying the lease to hold land that has profit potential and not using it.

      You have to think past the sound bytes.

      It's fashionable to think that oil companies are stupid and greedy.

      It's just not true.

    5. William Wynne, Atlan says:

      Saxby Chambliss has a Libertarian opponent in the upcoming election; I plan to vote that ticket.

      I'll have to wait awhile to vote against Johnny Isakson (too bad…)

    6. Pingback: You Know Who to Blame.

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