Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Can't Drill It Into Them

No blood for oil? Okay. How about food? Is anyone willing to fight for that? A gallon of milk is going up about as fast as a gallon of gasoline. Rice is going up too and so is corn. Why? Simple. It’s Economics 101: Supply is down and demand is up for both oil and for food, and now we’re using grain for biofuel instead of food and our federal tax dollars are subsidizing it. China and India are developing quickly, eating more, and buying more fuel. Supplies haven’t been going up to keep pace. The result? Higher prices. This isn’t rocket science.

Why haven’t supplies been going up? Congress won’t allow more drilling. They want to protect wildlife in Alaska (mosquitoes mostly) and along our coastlines. Animal lovers and their Democrat patrons are still traumatized by memories of sea birds coated with oil after the Exxon Valdez spill and nothing could be worse for them than a repeat of that. So, no drilling in ANWR. Local governments won’t allow construction of more refineries to produce gasoline and heating oil. Ted Kennedy won’t allow any windmills near Nantucket and nuclear power plants are not even discussed.

So we buy foreign oil. As the price of that goes up, more of our money goes to real or potential enemies like Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. We get weaker and they get stronger. But hey, we’re preserving mosquito habitat in Alaska and shark habitat in the Gulf, right? Soaring fuel prices get Americans to think about walking, riding bicycles and taking the train more, right? Carbon emissions are going down and Al Gore likes that, right?

After the Arab Oil Embargo thirty-five years ago, fuel prices soared. That was the kind of warning some forty-year-old guys get when they have a mild heart attack. The smart ones realize they better stop smoking, start exercising, and change their eating habits. The dumb ones ignore the warning and die of a big one by fifty. Our federal government ignored our early oil warning in the seventies and we’re still not ready to handle rising prices thirty-five years hence.

And it’s not just Democrats. Republicans have been in control of the White House and Congress a few times since then and they’ve done next to nothing about national energy policy either. It’s been nearly seven years since September 11th and still nothing from our alleged leaders in Washington. Doesn’t look like it’s going to change in the foreseeable future either. Obama doesn’t support drilling ANWR and even John McCain said he wouldn’t allow it either. It’s maddening.

Monday night, Maine’s First District congressional candidates debated at the Magic Lantern Theater in Bridgton. The primary isn’t until next week but Democrats and Republicans were on the same stage answering questions - pretty unusual. Judging from audience reaction, rising fuel prices were foremost in people’s minds. When asked about what they would do about them, the Democrat candidates offered the same old pap about alternative energy sources and conservation. They went on about wind, geothermal, hydro, solar and tidal energy, government-mandated miles-per-gallon limits, excess-profits taxes on oil companies - the same stuff we’ve been hearing for decades.

Republican candidate Dean Scontras pointed out that our our tax dollars are wasted on federal subsidies for biofuels. “It takes two gallons of gasoline to produce one gallon of ethanol,” he said. “There’s 86 billion barrels of oil off our coast and Congress says we can’t go out there [and drill]. All these alternative energy sources are great, but oil is going to be $200 a barrel by the end of the year. Those alternative sources aren’t going to reduce the cost to heat your home anytime soon. I’m for lifting the restrictions on drilling off our coasts, in North and South Dakota, in Alaska - increasing supplies so our prices go down. That’s how the market works. We haven’t built a refinery in this country in twenty-five years because of all the regulation required to construct one. Twenty-five years! That’s outrageous.” He added that the Chinese, the Cubans and the Canadians are drilling off our coasts, but we can’t. That answer brought - by far - the biggest applause of the night.

As I left the theater, I didn’t see anybody getting on a bicycle. On the way home, I didn’t see any windmills or solar panels either. I did see numbers outside gas stations advertising gas prices approaching $4 per gallon though. I saw lots of those.


Anonymous said...

No reasonable person can argue with your "Can't Drill It Into Them" Article Tom...Except the very wealthy, hermits, or idiots.
I was informed today that "Hannity's America" on the internet has a petition posted to allow drilling in Alaska and off the Florida coast. It can be found by logging into Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. There are over 350,000 signers including mine on this petition.

Bob Sharkey, Lamoine, Maine

Anonymous said...

Love your articles! Keep up the good work.

From a 36 year old, married with 2 small children, female conservative concerned about this and the other issues you write about.

Long Island, NY

Anonymous said...

As I saw the gas prices going up I couldn't help but but think to myself; "GOOD" maybe this will piss enough people off that they will realize that it's the policies of the same old politicians we keep re-electing, Democrat and Republican.
Insanity is voting in, time after time, the same idiots with the same canned speeches and promises, and expecting different results. Maybe it's time we take a different approach and just vote anti incumbent. Or better yet, how bout voting in someone whose best qualification is that that they have common sense and integrity over a lust for power. I know this sounds Utopian but we are in the midst of insanity here and there really is no long or short term solutions being offered by any of them. In the mean time Hugo and the Sheet-heads are getting RICH and building ski slopes in the dessert.

On a lighter side, I just bought seventeen cord of wood (tree length) for less than the price it's going to cost me to to fill my oil tank two times now. This will heat my house for the next three years. so instead of smokeless burnt oil fumes coming out of my chimney there will be a constant gray plume of creosote smoke in its place. but to feel better about myself I'll hug each log before I put it in and this will keep Al Gore happy.

Paul McLaughlin Lovell, ME

Anonymous said...

Letter to Carol Shea-Porter, about energy, environment, and economy

Thank You for the opportunity to share my view on the subjects that are of concern to myself and most Americans. I couldn't get your website survey to record my check off.
I'm generally not a big fan of government involvement interfering with the free market enterprise. Government control of something all americans need and have little control over, might be considered by myself as time for government action.

Drill here, drill now, and we pay less. Extra import taxes on refined oil, along with less restrictions on refinery in our country.

The government subsidies given to Oil companies, for a solution to cleaner burning fuel and better economy, is like giving welfare checks to someone making millions of dollars a year under the table.

Our fuel is crap, the using of ethanol, according to one EPA website actually reduces fuel economy 1-2 MPG. Ethanol cost as much as oil to produce. This path to madness drives up the cost of food and grain by potential speculation of future shortage in those markets.

Oil companies and the government know and have the technology available to produce fuel products that are more efficient and more environment friendly. The problem is with greed shown by record high profits of the oil company.
The government taxes collected would also suffer with less fuel consumption.

I can add a EPA tested and aproved safe and effective as claimed product, to my gas tank. This US patent product have been used for over 12 years by commerical fleets and local municipals with no legal proof of any indifferences or false claims filed aggainst this product manufacture. This true fuel catalyst cost me less than $2.00 and will treat 20 gallons of fuel. This product is being used by over 40,000 smart americans on a continous base.
My personal testimony is a 20-25 % increase in gas mileage, personal
testing of exhaust carbon emissions has also been reduced by 75%, and 5000 miles on my engine oil looks like I changed it 500 miles ago.

I'm not a professional public speaker nor a large investor, but I am a convinced company rewards member and product user with automotive experiences.

I do have financial motivation in sharing this product with you and others. Why else would I tell you about it, the oil companies won't because they would lose some of their billions of dollars of profits.

Check out
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I'm a independent user and rewards program member # 0316526 with this company.

Thank you for your time and concerns for the energy situation and the environment issues that are threating our national health, security and economy.

Unknown said... about a shocker. I just filled up my 2gal Jerry can (for the lawn mower) and it cost me $13.

Crap, I remember back in 1979 filling up my Ford Gran Torino for $17. It had a 11 or 12 Gallon tank.

tom mclaughlin

Anonymous said...


Your Graffiti and Anarchy commentary is hard to argue with. Sadly it fits with so much of the degradation of society that we have witnessed as this country continues to gravitate to. With the constant in your face on slot of negative publicized media streaming from Holly Wood, News Media, TV commercials, the internet, liberal left wing misguided judicial activism, the mis guided homosexual agenda, mis guided pro-choice abortion on demand...all forcing their intolerant agenda on the rest of the majority of society who clearly see it as amoral and fatal to our culture if it does not change. As best I can say it and with all my heart I don't hate these people but would suggest to them to take a hard look at the facts and evidence when a society says God is dead and now we ourselves have all become our own little gods with each of us determining what is right and wrong as we see relevant to us. When you take our moral compass out of society you now have a society of chaos and anarchy. We were all created with a conscious so we are without excuse of knowing what is right and wrong.
Because our country's absolute moral truths have come from our creator and with virtue it is printed on our currency “IN GOD WE TRUST" and it is where our country's laws and our liberties originated from but a minority of our society are in rebellion against this because it convicts their own conscious of there misguided behaviors and so they have hardened their hearts and have now forced their amoral values on to the rest of society. The real tragedy when that happens are there are no limits as to what is right or wrong any more. You now see this in our educational system of good teachers being forced to adhere to the politically correct and the socialist agendas. Teaching little Johnny that it is ok for him to choose what sex he wants to be and survey questioners soliciting personal information about their family home life and how they feel on social issues instead of teaching, English, Math, Science and American History. It is time for the majority to rally back for our youth. Give me a break...and don't think that it won't or is not happening in your town because as California goes so goes the rest of the nations...God Help Us....

Greg Johns, Moultonboro NH

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not foolish enough to believe that drilling in Alaska or off our coastlines would have more than a marginal effect on gasoline prices, but I don't mind spending a few pennies more for a bit of prudent stewardship. Sorry, I suppose I'm what you would call a liberal (I don't feel more generous or tolerant than the next fellow, but thanks anyway!)

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