Posts Tagged ‘alternative energy’

Californians Reject TWO Alternative Energy Props; Will Dems Pay Attention?

November 8, 2008

The People’s Republic of California – which voted for Barack Obama over John McCain by a margin of 24 points – did something else that should send an even louder message: the “green,” “global warming,” “alternative energy” initiatives got utterly annihilated.   Proposition 7 – which would have required utilities to generate 40 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025 – went down 65% to 35%.  And Proposition 10 – which would have created $5 billion in general obligation bonds to help consumers and others purchase certain high fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, and to fund research into alternative fuel technology – went down 60% to 40%.

Noel Sheppard wrote it up with the title, “Green Initiatives Get Slaughtered in California, Will Media Notice?”  Answer: no way, Jose.

Sheppard asks, “Will global warming-obsessed media share this news with the citizenry? Shouldn’t this be HUGE news given President-elect Obama’s green sympathies and his desire to enact a carbon cap and trade scheme to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?”  Not when the media is thoroughly corrupt, and proponents of anthropogenic global warming are demagogues.

I’ve written about the fraud that is known as “anthropogenic global warming”:

What the Science REALLY Says About Global Warming

What You Never Hear About Global Warming

A question should be raised for all to hear that is never raised because the media is corrupt and produces little more than outright propaganda:

According to official data, in every year since 1998 world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that?

And one thing is certain: the Democrats you elected to run your lives certainly aren’t going to raise it, either.

Californians rejected both measures because they came to realize that they would have cost an already overstressed economy $15 billion dollars.  Are Californians liberal?  Big time.  Democrats are now in nearly total control of the state.  Are Californians socialist nuts?  Oh, yeah.  As one example among many, Californians in Berkeley passed two resolutions calling the Marines “uninvited and unwelcome intruders in the city.”  Are they suicidal loons who will go right off the cliff with their ideology?  Incredibly, as it turns out, not quite yet.

But what you don’t realize, America, is that you are going to have an alternative energy boondoggle that makes both California propositions look like a drop in the bucket forced onto your economy.  There isn’t a federal proposition system such that voters get to decide whether polar bears should be considered more important than your kids.  You already voted for it, whether you knew it or not.

You voted to give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid near complete dominion over the Senate.  He lectured us:

The one thing we fail to talk about is those costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick; it’s global warming. It’s ruining our country, it’s ruining our world. We’ve got to stop using fossil fuel.”

And – like it or not, ready or not – you WILL stop using fossil fuels.  The fact that there is nothing to replace them with is irrelevant (did you know that 90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels?  Did you know that alternative energy sources can’t even begin to replace fossil fuels?).

You voted to give House Speaker Nancy Pelosi TOTAL domination in the House of Representatives.  In her frankly unhinged spiel on global warming, she ranted:

I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,” she says impatiently when questioned. “I will not have this debate trivialized by their excuse for their failed policy.”

Democrats finally blinked on oil drilling after decades of obstruction.  They did so only after it was long past obvious that Americans overwhelmingly wanted them to harness our domestic oil supply.  But now that they have total power, and the price of oil has gone back down due to the coming recession, you can count on them to go back on whatever they said they would do.

And Barack Obama was recently discovered to have said of vital fossil fuel coal – which supplies 49% of the nation’s electricity:

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

And what would be the effect of that?  Obama wanted to make sure his San Francisco audience knew that he was going to implement his intentions with his eyes wide open:

The problem is, uh, can you get the American people to say, “This is really important,” and force their representatives to do the right thing? That requires mobilizing a citizenry. That requires them understanding what is at stake. Uh, and climate change is a great example.You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.

Get ready, America: you voted to have your economy destroyed by foolish ideological agendas, and you are going to get it.

The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, but we’re going to abandon it.  No matter how much it costs us; no matter how harmful it is going to be on our economy; no matter how hard it is for millions of American families.  And we’re not going to drill for domestic oil, no matter how much it would help.  The people we elected don’t want oil.  They think it’s icky.  Same with nuclear energy.  They might occasionally talk about “being willing to consider” these energy sources.  But they aren’t; and you can know that because they never have been.

That’s why I earlier called Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama “The Three Stooges Of American Energy Policy.”  But the real stooges are the Americans who voted for them.

Ultimately, the joke will be on the nation that put these radical ideologues with their radical agenda in power.

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Messiah Obama Really IS The Second Coming… Of Jimmy Carter

August 12, 2008

There are a lot of striking parallels between Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama that people more astute than I have already contemplated:

– both were Democrats.

– both were young men.

– both had relatively little political experience prior to running for President.

– both had little in the sense of any meaningful accomplishment to point to.

– both began as outside of their Party’s inner circles.

– both built early excitement by winning early caucus primaries.

– both have run on a campaign featuring vague promises of change

– both had the eager embrace of the mainstream media.

– both were featured as having great intellects.

– both were/are foreign policy disasters just waiting to happen.

Israel Matzav noted:

The media discovered and promoted Carter. As Lawrence Shoup noted in his 1980 book The Carter Presidency and Beyond:

“What Carter had that his opponents did not was the acceptance and support of elite sectors of the mass communications media. It was their favorable coverage of Carter and his campaign that gave him an edge, propelling him rocket-like to the top of the opinion polls. This helped Carter win key primary election victories, enabling him to rise from an obscure public figure to President-elect in the short space of 9 months.”

Prior to his run, Jimmy Carter was such an unlikely presidential candidate that when he told his mother he was running for president, she asked, “Of what?”

Gerald Ford, rendered unpopular by being the president who dealt with the stench of Watergate, who pardoned Nixon, and who presided over an unfortunate period marked by our withdraw from Vietnam and the resulting damage to our prestige, found himself 30 points behind the new media darling – until his campaign hit on a strategy that nearly brought him all the way back: they focused on his His lack of experience, his lack of accomplishments and his lack of specificity on the issues. “The Ford forces pounded away at the experience question and painted Carter as a political illusion, an affable-seeming politician who was terrified of expressing his opinion on any controversial topic.” Had the campaign lasted just a week longer, many believe Ford could actually have pulled off the victory.

But that stuff – although interesting – is not what I wanted to focus on. Rather, I wanted to focus on their similarity on energy.

Namely:

1) both advocated a strategy of conservation.

2) both promised alternative energy over oil.

3) both called for a windfall profits tax on big oil companies.

Let us be frank: there is very little, if anything, that is signicantly different between Carter’s colossol failure of an energy policy and what Obama is pandering, I mean proposing.

Let me begin with 1) the strategy of conservation at the expense of increased production.

Jimmy Carter famously put on a cardigan and gave us high-minded exhortations to save on our heating bills by wearing sweaters. On a superficial level it was very true: by wearing sweators during the winter we could save oil.  It was good as public service announcement.

But as an energy policy it was laughable. And it was part of the reason he got clobbered when he ran for re-election.

When Barack Obama calls for every American to inflate their tires, it is absolutely 100% identical to Carter calling for every American to wear their sweaters.

We need more energy, not less. Our population is continuing to grow. Do you want to grow the economy as well? Do you want to create more jobs? Do you want more homes and businesses? Do you want more development, and a more modern, more mobile, and more powerful economy? Then you want more energy. And you need to vote for a president who will produce that energy.

Consider 2) the promise to develop alternative energy over oil. Barack Obama is promising to increase our “alternative energy” dependence from a little under 5% of our total energy consumption to 10% of our total energy consumption.

But he is literally concentrating on that 5% of energy by ignoring the nearly 90% that is based on oil, natural gas, and coal (by the way, natural gas is found in/near oil deposits; and harvesting the one naturally results in harvesting the other).

When we subsidize, we punish things that are doing well in order to reward something that is performing poorly. When government (during the Carter years, by the way) began to subsidize corn-based ethanol, it picked the wrong horse (as so often happens). We are now creating food shortages in order to force something that Agriculture Department studies show cost several times what it costs to produce a gallon of gasoline. And about 70% more energy is required to produce ethanol than the fuel itself actually produces, which means every time you produce a gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU.

The decision to subsidize ethanol was based on naked political prostitution to special interest money. Do you really want these clowns – who couldn’t even run their own cafeteria without running massive deficits – making these decisions?

Meanwhile , the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. And yet the same liberals that forced ethanol upon us are refusing to allow us to use it again and again. There is a deliberate rejection of American energy in pursuit of biofuels that do nothing but disrupt our food markets and drive up the real costs of energy. Children are literally starving because of these policies.

I mean, fine. Let’s do better to develop alternative energy sources. But to literally do so at the expense of our actual primary sources of energy – which will remain our actual primary sources of energy for decades by ANY standard – is foolishness beyond belief.

When Jimmy Carter was president, foreign oil represented a little less than 1/3 of our consumption; today it is over 70%. You tell me, which way is the trend going? We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil for both our international competitiveness and for our security. And the ONLY way to do that right now is to drill for our own domestic oil. We are consuming more energy, not less. And at the same time we need that 70% figure to go DOWN, not UP. And we can only bring it down with a comprehensive energy policy that features drilling for our own oil in addition to conservation and alternative energy production.

Now let us look at the crowning policy of both the Carter and the Obama energy policy: 3) windfall profits taxes on big oil.

The current call for a windfall profits tax has been going on since before the 2006 elections, in which Democrats promised that they had the better solutions for energy (and the price of gas has essentially doubled since Nancy Pelosi promised her “commonsense plan.”) Democrats have ever since been lining up to support a new federal windfall profits tax, with the aim of redistributing profits from “greedy” oil companies.

But, as Jonathon Williams, writing in The Los Angeles Times, pointed out:

lawmakers could benefit from a history lesson. The last time this country experimented with such a tax was the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act of 1980. According to a 1990 Congressional Research Service study, the tax depressed the domestic oil industry, increased foreign imports and raised only a tiny fraction of the revenue forecasted. It stunted domestic production of oil by 3% to 6% and created a surge in foreign imports, from 8% to 16%.

As for that “tiny fraction of the revenue forecasted” figure, the windfall profit tax returned only $40 billion of the $175 billion that had been projected.

Surprise, surprise. When you tax something, you get less of it, and you drive up the cost. It boggles the mind that Democrats are pathologically incapable of understanding what is the most blatently obvious principle of economics. But they can’t.

Many have defined insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results. By that bar, Democrats should be sitting straightjacketed in rubber rooms.

Jimmy’s Carter’s failed energy policy was part of the reason for the 20% prime interest rate that consumed our economy like a cancer.

By taxing American oil companies, they produced less oil, reducing the supply and driving up the cost. At the same time, the reduction in domestic production created a corresponding increased dependence on foreign oil.

And, as Jonathon Williams also points out, the policy of windfall profits forced a major U.S. industry, and a major U.S. employer, into a depressed condition that it took years to overcome. You might hate big oil, but damaging the industry is tantamount to cutting off your own nose to spite your face.

The Jimmy Carter presidency was a catastrophic disaster in foreign policy, domestic policy, and energy policy. The last thing this country needs is the Second Coming of a failed presidency.

Pelosi, Reid, and Obama: The Three Stooges of American Energy Policy

July 18, 2008

Remember Nancy Pelosi’s “commonsense plan” to lower gas prices, back when gas prices were half what they are since she and her fellow Democrats assumed power in Congress?

“With record gas prices, record CEO pay packages, and record oil company profits, Speaker Hastert and the Majority Congress continue to give the American people empty rhetoric rather than join Democrats who are working to lower gas prices now.

“Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price gouging, rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies, and increasing production of alternative fuels.”

Investors’ Business Daily came out with the following call for Nancy Pelosi:

Feckless To Reckless, Pelosi Should Resign

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Monday, July 14, 2008

Leadership: With oil hitting $147, Nancy Pelosi finally admits energy is a problem. But instead of drilling for it, she’s cooked up a new drain-the-reserves scheme. It’s pure politics at a time of crisis. She ought to resign.

Any leader with an energy record as derelict as Speaker Pelosi’s ought to step down. Where she once was just incompetent and irresponsible, she has now — with her latest scheme to fix oil prices — become dangerous.

Despite polls showing Americans in favor of drilling more oil from America’s huge untapped supplies, Pelosi won’t allow it. She just wants to empty our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for a short-term fix to get through Election Day.

It’s an irresponsible suggestion, signaling not only an ignorance of how the economy works but also a willingness to place the nation at risk in the case of emergency.

Last Tuesday, Pelosi sent a letter to President Bush urging him to release a “small portion” of the nation’s 706 million barrels of strategic-reserve oil to bring down prices. Regardless of how one feels about whether reserves should be held at all, two big problems stand out with Pelosi’s tiny demand.

One, she’s proposing a misappropriation of the reserves. The U.S. oil stockpile is a 58-day cushion for emergencies that today are all possible. If Israel attacks Iran, for example, and prices double again. Or if Hugo Chavez cuts off his supplies, as he threatened to do as recently as Sunday.

The reserve is there to cushion the blow of a market disruption; it’s not an open-market mechanism to manipulate prices for political ends.

Two, Pelosi has finally admitted that supply matters, something that contrasts with her entire legislative record. We count 14 energy actions to suppress supply on her Web site just since 2005.

She has blocked efforts to open Alaska to drilling, denounced fossil fuels, blamed oil companies for high gasoline prices, voted for biotech boondoggles and condemned speculators.

“Our coasts need lasting protection from oil and gas drilling,” she declared Dec. 6, 2006, after Democrats won control of Congress. Missing are any moves against petrotyrant regimes who drive prices skyward, or even lip service to the idea of ensuring supply through drilling.

Pelosi downplays her proposal as modest because it’s a “small” portion of the reserves to spend. And look what happened in 2000, she says, when an SPR release authorized by President Clinton lowered gasoline prices nearly 20%.

But she’s not fooling anyone. Then, like now, an election was coming up.

With Congress’ public approval at a subterranean 9% and falling, the speaker must be starting to realize that November may not be the Democratic cakewalk that pundits predict.

President Bush, however, isn’t about to be suckered into releasing the reserves just long enough for pump prices to fall by Election Day, thereby saving Democrats’ skins so they can carry on their drill-nothingism for an additional two years.

The president needs to do two things with Pelosi’s proposal: First, tell her “no,” unless she comes up with a plan to open up more drilling. Second, expose it for what it is — a bid to paint Bush as the problem to distract from her own sorry record.

In playing politics with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the speaker has moved beyond the incompetence and irresponsibility that have characterized her leadership to date.

It borders on reckless, something we cannot tolerate in such dangerous times.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ought to join her, given that he thinks that the very substance our culture needs to survive is evil:

“The one thing we fail to talk about is those costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick; it’s global warming. It’s ruining our country, it’s ruining our world. We’ve got to stop using fossil fuel.”

Ohmigosh! The leaders of both the Democrat-controlled House and Senate are completely irresponsible – and completely useless – on energy, at a time when energy is becoming a genuine crisis!

Can we make it a trifecta? Do we have – dare I say it – THREE stooges?

Here’s what Barack Obama’s campaign says about President Bush’s lifting of the executive order prohibiting offshore oil drilling:

“If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks. But most experts, even within the Bush administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years. Senator Obama believes Americans need real short-term relief, which is why he has proposed a second round of stimulus with energy rebates for working families. And over the long-term, Senator Obama understands that our national security and the survivial of the planet demand a real strategy to break our dependence on foreign oil by developing clean, new sources of energy and by vastly improving the energey efficiency of our cars, trucks and our economy. He is ready to lead such a transformation.”

Yep. Three for three. We have the Three Stooges of energy. And I personally think Nancy Pelosi is the “Moe” of the bunch (I’ll leave it to others to decide which one is “Curly”).

What do we make of the Democrats’ proposals? How has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “commonsense plan” performed since gas prices were a little over $2 a gallon when she took over?

Well, that’s clearly a rhetorical question; Pelosi, Reid, and their Democrat Congress haven’t done a single positive thing.

What do we make of Democrats’ excuses for refusing to allow drilling? Stop and thing about their answers: 1) there’s no point in drilling because it won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years; 2) we can’t drill our way out of the problem; 3) drilling simply represents the failed policy of the past; 4) we should open the strategic petroleum reserve to lower energy prices; 5) off-shore drilling will contaminate our environment and harm our tourism industries; 6) if we expand drilling we will contribute to global warming; 7) the oil companies have 68 million acres they can drill on; 8) the high price of gas is due to “price gouging” by big oil; 9) the high price of gas is due to speculators manipulating the market.

Think about it:
1) If there’s no point in drilling because it won’t immediately produce any oil, then by the same twisted idiot’s logic, there’s no point in investing in “alternative energy” – most of which is purely theoretical and which certainly won’t be producing real energy in seven years. This asanine point is simply breathtaking in its sheer brazen shortsightedness; better to have it in seven years than not have it at all! Particularly when, had Democrats allowed us to have this oil seven years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

Democrats have been saying for 25 years that drilling won’t produce an immediate solution to our energy needs. Their current rhetoric merely reveals just how terribly wrong they were seven years ago! At some point we must hold them accountable for their criminal stupidity.

2) We may not be able to completely drill our way out of the problem (although many in the petroleum industry point to their studies and argue, ‘Yes we actually can!’). But there is absolutely no question that we can substantially increase our oil supplies – and have a massive impact on our energy problem – precisely by drilling.

Explain to me how hundreds of billions of barrels of domestic oil – immune from the whims of OPEC, and immune from the instability of the Middle East and Northern Africa – wouldn’t help us solve our problem?

3) If drilling – in Barack Obama’s words – would “merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen” – than should we stop drilling? For one thing, for most of that time, the point is we haven’t drilled; drilling has been banned. So the actual “failed policy” would really be NOT drilling, wouldn’t it?

What is Obama’s and the Democrat’s meaningful alternative to drilling? When oil constitutes over 85% of our energy, just what do they propose to do to make up for that massive chunk of our requirement? The simple fact of the matter is that there is nothing out there that can begin to fill the void of oil – and by virtually all accounts we will continue to need oil for several decades to come.

It’s almost like saying that “eating would merely prolong the failed dietary policies of the past.” Even under the valid assumption that we’ve had a poor diet plan in the past, does that mean we should starve ourselves to death?

4) Opening our strategic reserve to reduce oil prices would lower gas prices. This is undoubtedly true, but what happens if we have a crisis? What happens if Israel – acting in its legitimate self interests – takes out some of Iran’s nuclear capability? That strategic reserve is there for emergencies, and we face some very real potential global crises today. What would we do if Iran shut down the Strait of Hormuz and we didn’t have any oil on reserve? what would we do if we had another Hurricane Katrina that damaged oil refineries?

But another problem with this line of argument is that it exposes the gaping hole of stupidity of the Democrat’s arguments against drilling. They’re claiming on the one hand that the millions of barrels of oil a day that domestic drilling would produce wouldn’t solve our problems, while simultaneously claiming that a much smaller contribution to the oil supply would be beneficial. Which is it?

The best way to increase our national oil supply is to move toward a solution that would actually increase our oil supply. That means drilling.

5) Will off-shore drilling harm our tourism industries?

Well, a big problem with that hypothesis is that tourism isn’t going to do very well as long as fuel is so expensive that nobody can afford to go anywhere. So there’s a clear counterproductive notion to protecting our pristine beaches (particularly given that the oil rigs would be located miles out to see beyond the horizon anyway).

Let’s all agree that ANWR is not a tourist hot spot.

Will drilling create massive footprints in pristine wilderness and offshore areas? Not nearly as much as the Democrats disingenuously claim it will. And the question is, would even a large footprint in some way-far-away place like ANWR really be worth destroying our national economy over? Let’s put it to a vote: should we abandon the American way of life, or drill? Right now, 70-75% of the American people are screaming, “Drill!” And as the crisis mounts, that percentage is going to get higher.

We have dramatically improved the environmental impact of our drilling operations. We can do it cleanly, and with a surprisingly small “footprint.”

6) Will drilling increase global warming? Please, PLEASE realize that the best measurable (as opposed to abstract computer models!) scientific evidence is that we have been having warming and cooling cycles for millennial, and that we are currently in a cooling cycle.

Furthermore, we have evidence of a tropical heat vent in our climate system – not considered in computer models – which provides a “natural thermostat” that all by itself renders much of the alarm over global warming moot.

Are we really prepared to dramatically reduce our lifestyle in order to fight a cyclical climate phenomena that we can do nothing to stop anyway, and which will not even be all that bad given the documented human history through previous warmings?

And if all that isn’t enough, then tell me how refusing to drill for our own oil, while at the same time begging OPEC countries to drill more of theirs, helps prevent global warming. If we drilled for our oil, we would actually be using techniques that are much more environment-friendly.

7) The oil companies have 68 million acres to drill on, so they don’t need any more.

I can’t help but wonder: are Democrats really this stupid, or do they have an ulterior agenda for wanting to prevent America from accessing its vast domestic oil reserves?

When it comes to drilling, one acre is most definitely NOT as good as another. You don’t just drill a hole in the ground, and oil comes out.

Oil companies lease all the land they can, and then they begin the lengthy phase of doing geological studies and drilling test wells. Most of the ground comes up empty. Other ground has oil, but not in enough quantities to produce profitably.

The areas that most definitely DO produce are off-limits because of Democrat’s actions. The off-shore areas – overwhelmingly off-limits to drilling because of Democrats in Congress – are KNOWN to be the most productive of all.

And even those leased areas that WOULD actually produce oil all-too frequently tend to become off-limits to oil companies because of the actions of liberal groups such as environmentalists. To cite merely one case among many, the sage grouse is definitely more important to liberals than the fact that your family will suffer over high oil prices. This is an area that most definitely produces oil, and which is located in such a way that it will prevent drilling throughout the region.

As one other fact that Democrats and their media lackeys tend to conveniently ignore, some of that “68 million acres” we keep hearing about are actually being worked by the oil companies. The term “production” applies to sites that are actually producing oil right now, irregardless of the fact that oil companies have invested millions there, and are working toward production.

8) The excessive profits and price gouging of oil companies is to blame for high oil prices.

Well, oil trades at a world price, not one set by American oil companies. The fact is that U.S. oil has lost considerable influence to both OPEC and to foreign government oil, and has little influence over the market price of a barrel of oil. The largest American oil company – Exxon Mobil – is only the 14th largest in the world today. Therefore, much of the criticism of American oil is literally just another one symptom of the “blame America first, blame America for everything” ideology of liberals.

Democrats also perform another bait and switch: when they talk about the “obscene profits,” they always talk about the gross profit in total dollars, and never about profit as a percentage of costs. But think about it: if you had a 10% profit with a commodity that sold for $100 a unit, and the cost per unit went up to $200, you’re profit in dollars would double – even though it remained the exact same percentage. Given that virtually every corporation focuses on profits as a percentage of its costs, the oil companies aren’t doing anything that other businesses don’t do and have been doing.

Oil companies make billions of dollars in profit because they have hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and costs. But their profits are actually well within the normative range of corporations in other industries. Oil companies have to continue to make reasonable profits, or else stockholders will withdraw their money and invest in other, more profitable, industries.

The following chart is illustrative of oil company profits relative to other industries:

Do oil companies benefit from sweetheart tax deals, as Democrats constantly claim? Look at the facts and make your own determination:

A study reveals that just one corporation (Exxon Mobil) pays as much in taxes ($27 billion) annually as the entire bottom 50% of individual taxpayers (65,000,000 people!). Moreover, the tax rate for the bottom 50% of taxpayers is only 3% of adjusted gross income ($27.4 billion in income / $922 billion paid in taxes), and the tax rate for Exxon was 41% in 2006 ($67.4 billion in taxable income, $27.9 billion in taxes).

So the oil companies – which in the 1990s actually suffered huge losses resulting in major layoffs (and no Democrats wailed about it or demanded hearings then) – are not “price gouging,” are not “making windfall profits,” and are certainly not “benefiting from sweetheart tax subsidies.”

9) Speculators’ have been driving up the price of oil.

The fact is that no one is able to prove that speculation is having ANY effect on oil at all. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but it’s a purely theoretical argument. Most of the so-called “speculators” are companies with commercial fleets and airlines who need to buy oil at the best prices in order to keep their costs down. If they believe that oil is becoming more expensive, what do you think they will do? They will buy oil now to save money later. And that raises the price now. It’s a simple market phenomenon.

I heard a pertinent illustration to the speculation issue: Imagine that the city of Chicago announced a moratorium on any new building. No new building permits. No new construction. What do you think would happen to the price of real estate in Chicago? It would skyrocket. Now, imagine what would happen if you announced a major new construction program in Chicago: do you think that would raise or lower the price of real estate?

We saw something like this in the past two days: oil has dropped dramatically – $15 a barrel – in just two days. And what accompanies that decrease? President Bush lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling.

The mere lifting of the ban encouraged the market that more supplies could be on the way, and therefore lowered the price of oil today. When more is coming, you don’t have a scarce – and therefore more valuable – resource. When less is coming, the price increases. Everyone understands this except Democrats.

We have the Three Stooges of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama, who have announced that they are determined to pursue a policy that will keep the price of oil shockingly high and leave us vulnerable to foreign price manipulation.

If I were from a country that is hostile to the United States, I would be watching this current version of the Three Stooges and laughing my head off over their ridiculous antics. But I love my country. And I can only mourn the fact that two stooges are in power, and a third may be on the way.

Obama’s Absolutely Inexcusable (NON)-Energy Plan

July 15, 2008

Barack Obama had this to say the other day on July 11:

I’ve often said that the decisions we make in this election and in the next few years will set the course for the next generation. That is true of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s true of our economy. And it is especially true of our energy policy.

The urgency of this challenge is clear to anyone who’s tried to fill up their tank with gas that’s now over $4 a gallon. It’s clear to the legions of scientists who believe that we are nearing a point of no return when it comes to our global climate crisis. And with each passing day, it is clear that our addiction to fossil fuels is one of the most serious threats to our national security in the 21st century.

…An even more immediate and direct security threat comes from our dependence on foreign oil. The price of a barrel of oil is now one of the most dangerous weapons in the world. Tyrants from Caracas to Tehran use it to prop up their regimes, intimidate the international community, and hold us hostage to a market that is subject to their whims. If Iran decided to shut down the petroleum-rich Strait of Hormuz tomorrow, they believe oil would skyrocket to $300-a-barrel in minutes, a price that one speculator predicted would result in $12-a-gallon gas. $12 a gallon.

The nearly $700 million a day we send to unstable or hostile nations also funds both sides of the war on terror, paying for everything from the madrassas that plant the seeds of terror in young minds to the bombs that go off in Baghdad and Kabul. Our oil addiction even presents a target for Osama bin Laden, who has told al Qaeda, “focus your operations on oil, since this will cause [the Americans] to die off on their own.”

If we stay on our current course, the rapid growth of nations like China and India will rise about one-third by 2030. In that same year, Middle Eastern regimes will be sitting on 83% of our global oil reserves. Imagine that – the very source of energy that fuels nearly all of our transportation, controlled almost entirely by some of the world’s most unstable and undemocratic governments.

This is not the future I want for America. We are not a country that places our fate in the hands of dictators and tyrants – we are a nation that controls our own destiny. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. It’s what led us to wage a revolution that brought down an Empire. It’s why we built an Arsenal of Democracy to defeat Fascism, and stopped the spread of Communism with the power of our ideals. And it’s why we must end the tyranny of oil in our time.

Notice the last sentence. “It’s why we must end the tyranny of oil in our time.”

Obama doesn’t say, “the tyranny of Middle Eastern oil,” or “the tyranny of oil controlled by terrorist and totalitarian regimes.” He says, “the tyranny of oil.” Period. “Oil” is a tyrant. Hope you knew that.

Please understand the history that Barack Obama foolishly ignores even as he attempts to cite it. One of the key stratagies we used to defeat Nazi fascism was to systematically deny them the fuel they needed to keep their war machine running. Had the Nazis had adequate oil supplies, it is almost certain that they would have broken through the American lines during the Battle of the Bulge. Conversely, had the United States not had adequate oil, we would not have won the war.  Citing the defeat of fascism with cutting ourselves off from oil is historical revisionism that borders on criminal irresponsibility. Oil made us strong. Oil helped us defeat fascism.

It is with this fact in mind that I consider Obama’s last sentence, “And it’s why we must end the tyranny of oil in our time” in light of Neville Chamberlain’s now infamous “peace in our time” statement. Chamberlain has gone down in history as being the ignominous fool who actively prevented England from arming itself and standing up to the real tyranny of Adolf Hitler even as the threat of Hitler loomed ever larger and ever darker. Barack Obama is a fool in the same mold as Neville Chamberlain, because he urges the same pathetic mindset that characterized Chamberlain. Obama refuses to allow drilling to develop a stable domestic supply of what the United States absolutely needs to remain strong.

Barack obama ignores the lessons of history. And he views oil as a moral evil rather than as a vitally needed source of energy. That’s why he can run an ad like this:

SCRIPT: Announcer: “On gas prices, John McCain’s part of the problem. McCain and Bush support a drilling plan that won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years. McCain will give more tax breaks to big oil. He’s voted with Bush 95 percent of the time. Barack Obama will make energy independence an urgent priority. Raise mileage standards. Fast track technology for alternative fuels. A thousand-dollar tax cut to help families as we break the grip of foreign oil. A real plan and new energy.”

Obama: “I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”

You see, oil is “a tyrant” for Barack Obama. And John McCain – like that evil George Bush – support drilling. Drilling to provide the world with still more oil, and therefore still more tyranny. Barack Obama is a clever speaker, but the simple fact of the matter is that he is taking the far left position that fossil fuels – which contribute to global warming – are therefore evil and their use contributes to “tyranny.” Let me tell you what: an attitude like that may be as politically correct as the sky is blue, but it most definitely won’t fill your gas tank.

Obama acknowledges the dilemma we now find ourselves in: that of facing the prospect of $12 a gallon gasoline because of our dependence on foreign oil, the volatility of a Middle East that could erupt at any moment, and the increased global competition for dwindling supplies. [Note: I’ve already written about why we face $12 a gallon gas].

The answer to this dilemma, according to Barack Obama, is to absolutely refuse to increase our domestic oil production, and to instead wave a magic wand that will give us a powerful new alternative source of energy that will somehow meet all our needs and solve all our problems.

John McCain is “part of the problem” because he – like that George Bush – “supports a drilling plan that won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years.

Well, a few things. First, I can not even begin to comprehend the irrationality of claiming that any attempt to increase our own oil supply – and we have massive oil potential – must not be considered as a solution to obtaining energy independence from foreign oil. Apparently as part of his plan to end “the tyranny of oil,” Barack Obama is literally in favor of preventing private corporations – using private money – from increasing our domestic oil supply while at the same time decrying our dependence on foreign oil. This is absurd. It is insane.

Second, Obama – joining a chorus of other Democrats in claiming that drilling “won’t produce a drop of oil for seven years” is equally irrational. Had people like Barack Obama gotten the heck out of the way seven years ago – instead of using the power of government to prevent drilling – we would not be where we are now. To use a criminally stupid policy that prevented us from drilling seven years ago in support of an even more criminally stupid policy to therefore not drill now is simply incredible. How on earth can everyone not see this? Had we drilled seven years ago we would have increased supplies now. If we don’t drill now, we will for a certain fact place ourselves in an even more dire situation in seven years. Period. End of story.

As a further note, oil experts say they could have some production on line in as little as one year. And many financial experts say that – to whatever extent “speculation” is driving up the price of oil – a firm commitment to increase our supplies would dramatically reduce the problem.

Third, Barack Obama is literally blaming George Bush and John McCain for attempting to do what would have worked had we only done it earlier, and would still work now but for obstructionist Democrats who have no energy plan at all.

House Democrats have literally been blocking any vote on energy at all for fear that Republicans would introduce a vote requiring domestic drilling. This is the epitome of not having a plan. (Maybe blocking any bill on energy is part of Nancy Pelosi’s brilliant “commonsense plan” that has seen the price of gas double since she began to implement it?)

Now, at this point, a liberal (I don’t use the word “progressive” because that would imply they want “progress,” when these people stand in the way of genuine progress) will probably stand up and say, “Obama DOES have an energy plan.”

Well, keep in mind that Barack Obama himself has said that he was all in favor of gas becoming more expensive; he only regretted that the price rose so steeply and thereby ignited the ire of Americans.

But let’s look at Barack Obama’s plan to solve our energy dilemma. Let’s see who is really “part of the problem.”

What is Obama proposing?

Well, he absolutely stands against increasing the amount of the stuff that fills our tanks and keeps our economy flowing.

In place of “the tyranny of oil” (and especially “the tyranny” of domestic oil), Obama proposes:

* A second, $50 billion stimulus package that would send energy rebate checks to every American.* A $1,000 middle-class tax cut that will go to 95% of all workers and their families.

* A crack down on oil speculators who may be artificially driving up the price of oil.

* A fast-track $150 billion of investment in a clean energy fund to help create the fuel-efficient cars and alternative sources of energy that will secure this nation and jumpstart a green economy.

* Doubling fuel mileage standards over the next two decades utilizing much of the technology we have on the shelf today – a step that will save this country half a trillion gallons of gasoline, the equivalent of cutting the price of a gallon of gas in half. And I will provide tax credits and loan guarantees for our automakers to help them make this transition.

* A Venture Capital Fund that will provide $50 billion over five years to get the most promising clean energy technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace.

* Requiring that 25% of U.S. electricity comes renewable sources by 2025, and that the U.S. produce two billion gallons of advanced cellulosic biofuels by 2013. (Pointedly, he says that the U.S. will “also invest in finding cleaner ways to use coal, our nation’s most abundant energy source, and safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste.”

* Using the U.S. clean energy fund to invest over $1 billion a year to re-tool and modernize our factories and build the advanced technology cars, trucks and SUVs of the future.

* Calling on businesses, government, and the American people to make America 50% more energy efficient by 2030.

The first two proposals have nothing to do with energy whatsoever, apart from essentially subsidizing the frightenly high cost of gas. I enjoyed my last $300 handout from the government, and would enjoy the next one just as much. But that money in my pocket is going to have to be paid by the next generation. We do have a nearly $10 trillion national debt, and eventually this kind of debt level is going to implode this country.

As for Obama’s $150 billion investment in clean energy – which by the way would come on the backs of those evil oil companies who produce that “tyrant” substance oil (and which would drive up their costs and thereby drive up the price they charge for gasoline) – how long will it take before we’re driving happily along with cheap fuel? He ridicules drilling because it will take “seven years,” after all. Well, by his own incredibly stupid logic, let’s ridicule investment in alternative energy! It will take YEARS before we have any significant energy from such alternatives.

Keep in mind, alternatives such as ethanol (which is E-85, aka “flex fuel”) has been fool’s gold. It is incredibly expensive to produce, relies on huge government subsidies to bring the cost down to level’s that Americans are willing to pay, and has caused enormous increases in the price of our food. If that isn’t bad enough, desperately poor people around the world are literally starving for this insane government-propped “alternative fuel.”

Ethanol truly IS an “alternative”; it is an alternative to what actually works. It is an alternative to sanity.

Every other part of Obama’s plan is tantamount to an act of bowing down before the pagan idol of big government. Private enterprise is irrelevant for Barack Obama, other than the fact that they are obstacles in the way, who must be forced by the government in order to do what is right and good as decreed by the standards of political correctness.

The idea of getting out of the way and allowing the private sector to produce the innovations we need is shockingly absent from Obama’s plan. Instead, the private sector is “required” to do one thing, and “called on” to do another.

Keep in mind, Democrats in the Senate couldn’t even run a freakin’ cafeteria without running it into the ground.

And how much energy will Obama’s plan actually produce? What kind of energy? How much will it cost?

This isn’t an energy plan. It is a typical liberal NON-energy plan from a typical liberal politician.

It’s not lack of government money that has prevented nuclear power and clean coal-burning technology, it’s been Democrats and their innumerable laws, restrictions, and regulations. Private money would flood in if Democrat’s would quit imposing one burden after another upon energy providers and let them produce energy.

We don’t have nuclear power because liberals and environmentalist foolishly despised it and demonized it twenty years ago. We don’t have it because Democrats have imposed so many hurdles, so many regulations, so many restrictions, so many environmental studies, so much bureaucracy and so much red tape, that it has been unprofitable – and even impossible – to build a nuclear power plant (or, for that matter, an oil refinery).

Barack Obama went to Las Vegas and had this to say:

Under the bleach-bright Las Vegas summer sun, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday checked out the solar panels that shade cars in the parking lot of the Springs Preserve while powering the facility.

“What we are seeing here … is that the green, renewable energy economy is not some far-off, pie-in-the-sky future,” Obama said in a speech at the local nature attraction. “It is now. It’s creating jobs now. It is providing cheap alternatives to $140-a-barrel oil now. And it can create millions of additional jobs, entire industries, if we act now.”

Really? How much? What’s it going to cost? Will it keep my car running?

Keep in mind, liberals recently blocked a massive solar panal plan on federal land. They have blocked wind mills. Ted Kennedy has personally done everything he could to block a wind farm in Massachusetts. They have blocked nuclear power for decades.

But the problem with alternative energy isn’t just obstructionist Democrats. It goes far, far deeper.

Obama went to Las Vegas to sing Kumbaya to solar energy. So let’s look at solar energy:

Can renewable energy make a dent in fossil fuels?

4.2 billion. [Emphasis mine]

That’s how many rooftops you’d have to cover with solar panels to displace a cubic mile of oil (CMO), a measure of energy consumption, according to Ripudaman Malhotra, who oversees research on fossil fuels at SRI International. The electricity captured in those hypothetical solar panels in a year (2.1 kilowatts each) would roughly equal the energy in a CMO. The world consumes a little over 1 CMO of oil a year right now and about 3 CMOs of energy from all sources.

Put another way, we’d need to equip 250,000 roofs a day with solar panels for the next 50 years to have enough photovoltaic infrastructure to provide the world with a CMO’s worth of solar-generated electricity for a year. We’re nowhere close to that pace.

Great googley moogley! That’s a whole bunch of solar panels. Particularly with liberals blocking the ones we’re trying to build now. Clearly, solar energy won’t even scratch the surface of providing a real solution to oil.

Well, beyond solar energy, there’s also wind power. And Obama talked about nuclear power, too. Could they provide us with a real alternative to oil? Not even close:

But don’t blame the solar industry. You’d also have to erect a 900-megawatt nuclear power plant every week for 50 years to get enough plants (2,500) to produce the same energy in a year to equal a CMO. Wind power? You need 3 million for a CMO, or 1,200 a week planted in the ground over the next 50 years. Demand for power also continues to escalate with economic development in the emerging world.

“In 30 years we will need six CMOs, so where are we going to get that?” Malhotra said. “I’m trying to communicate the scale of the problem.”

The article above, by Michael Kanellos, has a neat little pie chart for you “a picture’s worth a thousand words” types:

The problem is that abandoning the use of oil and then relying on the “alternative” solutions that we currently have is analogous to draining all the oceans dry and then trying to refill them by spitting. And there just aint enough spit to make a hill-of-beans’ worth of difference. And there aint enough “alternative energy.”

Michael J. Economides, writing for China Daily, says in an article titled, “Fossil fuels still the best,” writes:

Of the world energy demand 87 percent comes from fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal. This fraction has not changed much since the 1970s and the first “energy crisis”, while energy demand has more than doubled.

By almost everybody’s estimates by the year 2030, the total world demand will increase by 50 percent and oil, gas and coal will still provide 87 percent of the world energy. The reason we use them is not because of some evil conspiracy headed by a dark knight. We use them because they are the easiest, most flexible, most reliable and most efficient forms of energy.

Biofuels as done today, cause a negative energy balance not even considering their impact on food prices. I have no aversion to wind or solar. I love the sun, I am Greek. But they are eminently unreliable and, even in their best case, without government subsidies, they make $200 to $2000 oil still attractive. It is that simple.

But here is how we are ridiculous in the developed world and it would have been funny had we not run the danger of committing societal hara-kiri. We have let dazed environmentalism of the most outrageous variety put on a tie and become mainstream, dominate the covers of national newsmagazines and, predictably as of late, earn Oscars, Emmys and Nobels.

There are no alternatives to fossil fuels for decades and the transition will be long and painful. Nothing will happen overnight. We will continue to be a fossil fuel-dependent economy for the foreseeable future.

We desperately need oil. But Barack Obama stands in the way of obtaining the oil we need. We can not possibly maintain any semblance of the lifestyle that we have come to enjoy without oil. Ergo sum, Barack Obama is a clear and present danger to the American way of life.

And Barack Obama, due to the brand of pure foolishness he shares with his fellow Democrats, requires the United states remain completely dependent on foreign oil – and Middle Eastern oil – for decades to come. Ergo sum, Obama is a clear and present danger to our security.

In concluding, let me state that I am a religious person, and I believe that God gave us oil for a reason. I also believe that He gave us more than enough to meet our needs.

I am in favor of genuine, practical, clean alternatives to oil. I am in favor of providing tax breaks to ALL current and potential producers and suppliers of energy – including oil companies (in order to develop shale oil technology, clean coal technology, etc.). I believe that we will find the solutions that we need in a timely manner if we act wisely.

But demonizing the oil that sustains us, and pursuing a liberal-socialist radical environmentalist agenda that literally keeps us in the dark is not wisdom. It is in fact the very worst kind of foolishness.

See my other articles on Democrats and their obstruction to our energy supply:

Democrat’s ‘Commonsense Plan’ Revealed: Let’s Nationalize the Oil Industry

Blame Democrats for Sky-High Gas Prices

Democrats Block US Energy Independence, Send Gas Prices Soaring

Democrat’s Ideological Stand Against Domestic Oil Terrible for US Economy & Security

If You Want $12 A Gallon Gas, Vote for Obama and Democrats

My articles on the pseudo-menace of global warming:

What You Never Hear About Global Warming

What the Science REALLY Says About Global Warming