Saturday, April 07, 2012

Energy Independence For Grownups, Without Agae, Wind Or Solar

A remarkable story in the New York Times (remarkable only because it was in the New York Times) a couple of weeks ago noted that the United States was making tangible progress toward liberating itself from its reliance on foreign energy sources.

No more blood for oil!

In fact, the Times went so far as to estimate a date for when we might be free from foreign oil, roughly 2020. And not once in the article could you find any mention of corn ethanol, switch grass, wind turbines, solar panels or algae. In fact, according to the Times, the credit for America’s growing independence from foreign oil descends from policies instituted by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Surely you remember Obama lecturing us all with the admonition that, “we cannot drill our way out of this crisis.”

Well guess what? The truth is precisely the opposite. We can. And we are, in spite of Obama’s best efforts to prevent it. And the course that set us on this path dates back to decisions taken by Obama’s predecessor.

Lately, President Barack Obama has been trying to claim credit for increased US oil production. And it is true that we are producing more oil and natural gas today than we were when he took office.

But the truth is that the increases in oil production have occurred in places that are out of his reach and are the result of developments started long before he took office.

On federal lands, where he does have authority, oil production is down sharply. It’s on private land where oil production is growing. And the oil that is now entering America’s pipelines these the last couple of years is only arriving now because it took that long for those policy changes to start bearing fruit.

We would be in even better shape today, except that among Obama’s first acts of office were to cancel oil leases on Rocky Mountain Front Range oil shale fields and to cancel the Five Year Off-Shore Oil Leasing plan that the Bush/Cheney administration had put into position late in their second term.

On top of that, after the BP drilling platform blowout, the Obama Administration also imposed an illegal moratorium on Gulf of Mexico exploration permits.

Ironically, Democrats who are now shuddering at the prospect of running for office with $5.00 per gallon gasoline were raising big stink back about five years ago because they had learned that Dick Cheney had held “secret” meetings with oil company executives. Once Nancy Pelosi gained control of the House of Representatives, Congressional investigations into what was discussed in those meetings resulted in fights over executive privilege.

Now we know what went on in those meetings. The policies that Obama hopes to claim credit for today were formulated.

At a campaign appearance in Cushing, Oklahoma a few weeks ago, Barack Obama proclaimed that he was ordering himself to cut the red tape that he had put in place so that he could claim credit for accelerating construction of the pipeline from nowhere.

I call it the pipeline from nowhere because, it is supposed to link up to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.  But if it is to carry oil from Canada, there has to be some linkage to Canada. And if oil is ever to flow from Canada, Obama will have to order himself to stop standing in the way again. Oil from Canada does not come out of Oklahoma oil wells.

Obama has created a circumstance in which he will have to stab one of his key constituencies in the back. Environmentalist wackos do not want that pipeline built because they’re environmentalist wackos. Trade unions want the pipeline built because it would create thousands of jobs.

By postponing his decision until after the election, he has stabbed everyone in the back.

Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, announced this week that, because of Obama’s intransigence on the oil pipeline, he has been forced to set Canada on a new course that includes selling oil to China. That means higher prices for the United States.

Until Obama stabbed Canada in the back, Canada was willing to sell its oil to the US at a discount. The Canadian prime minister says that deal is off. From now on, the US will have to pay world market prices.

Do you still think that the president cannot influence the price you pay for gasoline?


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