Posts Tagged ‘oil companies’

Sarah Palin A Pragmatist, Not The Conservative Boogeywoman

September 16, 2008

Sarah Palin, that religious nutjob who bans books, who demands that creationism be taught in place of evolution, who is determined to impose her pro-life views on society, and who is just an all around bad person who compares unfavorably to the Taliban.  That’s the Democrat’s characterization of her.

Well, as usual, liberals are revealed to be liars who viciously engage in the politics of personal destruction.

Fred Barnes has an article that is worth reading for anyone who would like to see the real Sarah Palin:

Palin the Pragmatic
Doctrinaire conservatives beware.
by Fred Barnes
09/22/2008, Volume 014, Issue 02

Conservatives are rushing to crown Alaska governor Sarah Palin as the new Ronald Reagan. And indeed there are similarities. Like Reagan, Palin has a dazzling star quality and an appeal to voters outside the conservative orbit. But there’s another likeness to Reagan that conservatives may find a bit off-putting. She governs as a pragmatic conservative–with heavy emphasis on the pragmatic.

Palin, John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, is a strong social and religious conservative. She opposes abortion and gay rights and, as an evangelical Christian, believes in a God-centered universe. But these matters are neither her top priorities as governor nor even her second-tier concerns. Her social conservatism has been muted.

Instead, her agenda since being elected governor in 2006 consists of oil and gas, taxes, and ethics reform. “Just look at the bills she put her name on,” says John Bitney, her policy director during her first year as governor. “They speak for themselves.” The bills involved a new arrangement for building a natural gas pipeline, higher taxes on oil companies, and new ethics rules covering the governor’s administration and the legislature.

Those were her major initiatives. Next on Palin’s list of priorities were maintaining the solvency of the pension program for teachers, cutting spending in the state’s capital budget, and assuring that parents who home school their children aren’t discriminated against by state regulations.

Palin has frequently voiced her support for anti-abortion bills requiring parental consent for girls under 17 and outlawing partial-birth abortions. “Alaskans know I am pro-life and have never wavered
in my belief in the sanctity of every human life,” she declared in April.

But she refused to introduce the pro-life measures in a special legislative session last spring devoted to the gas pipeline. “These issues are so important they shouldn’t be diluted with oil and gas deliberations,” she said.

Later, she declined to call a separate special session to take up the abortion bills. Her reasoning: Pro-lifers had failed to persuade her the bills could pass the state senate. Nor would she intervene to pressure two Republican senators who opposed the legislation to change their minds. Palin isn’t willing “to jump out in front of the bus on things that aren’t moveable” in the legislature, says state Republican chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Palin’s conservatism, like Reagan’s, has never been in doubt. When I talked to her last year, she described herself as “pro-business and pro-development.” The Anchorage Daily News said the spending cuts she imposed in 2007 “may be the biggest single-year line-item veto total in state history.” Of course, Palin is also pro-gun.

When she attended a governor’s conference in Washington last February and was interviewed on C-SPAN by Steve Scully, she endorsed “across the board” tax cuts because Americans “know best” how to spend their own money. Palin said she’s “committed” to making Alaska “more of a contributing state .  .  . and less reliant on the federal government.”

Her biggest task as governor has been to start construction of the gas pipeline to the lower 48 states. She tossed out the sweetheart contract her predecessor, Republican Frank Murkowski, had reached with three oil companies and negotiated a new deal with a Canadian company. The goal, she said, is “to feed hungry markets in our state, reduce energy costs, help secure the nation, [and] flow that energy into hungry markets across the nation. That’s my mission.”

Her record as governor hardly qualifies her as a doctrinaire conservative. She proposed a graduated tax on oil as the price soared, then signed a bill passed by the legislature that set the new tax rate even higher. Reagan, by the way, cut taxes in 1981 and raised them the next year.

Why did Palin push a pipeline and favor a tax hike? Bitney says the answer is simple: Alaska needs more energy as older oil fields become depleted, and the pipeline will generate jobs and revenue. As for raising taxes, Palin follows the command of the state constitution to get the maximum benefit from the state’s natural resources.

Bitney says Palin never instructed her gubernatorial staff to “go after abortion” or any other issues of concern to social conservatives. In a campaign debate in 2006, she said that both evolution and creationism should be taught in public schools. “You know, don’t be afraid of education,” she said. “Healthy debate is so important and so valuable in our schools.”

The next day she thought better of her comment. “I would not push the state board of education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum,” she said. But there shouldn’t be “a prohibition against debate if [creationism] comes up in class.”

As governor, Palin has appointed a commissioner of education and nine members of the state board–without applying a litmus test on creationism or evolution. And there’s been no effort, either by Palin or her appointees, to add creationism to the curriculum.

Palin’s most celebrated act of practical conservatism was killing the notorious Bridge to Nowhere in Ketchikan. She had endorsed it in a gubernatorial campaign debate, but changed her mind after being elected. By then, the project had become a symbol of wasteful spending, and the congressional earmark with money for it had been rescinded.

But the three members of Alaska’s congressional delegation–Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski, and Don Young–still favored the project. Their expectation was that Palin would keep it alive with federal highway funds and state money. She refused.

The anointing of Palin as the new Reagan is surely premature. Let’s say she’s a potential Reagan. Like him, Palin has focused on a few big issues, while allowing others popular with conservatives to fall by the wayside. This brand of pragmatic conservatism worked for Reagan. It’s worked for Palin too.

Sarah Palin is an incredible woman with an incredible story.  Star basketball player, hunter, fisher, beauty queen, mother of five, and top-notch politician, who is married to a rock-steady Steelworker and five time world champion snowmobiler.

And a down-to-earth pragmatist.

Obama Voted For Bush Energy Bill That McCain Opposed

August 9, 2008

Barack Obama has routinely been attempting to discredit John McCain as an extension of President Bush.

And he’s also been demonizing McCain as being too close to the oil companies. A recent Obama ad said of McCain, “”He’s for billions in new oil company giveaways while prices soar.”

John McCain responded yesterday, saying:

“Obama might be a little bit confused. Yesterday, he accused me of having President Bush’s policies on energy. That’s odd because he voted for the president’s energy bill and I voted against it,” McCain said.

“I know he hasn’t been in the Senate that long but even in the real world voting for something means you support it and voting against something means you oppose it,” McCain said.

Doesn’t that little factoid make Obama look like a big, fat, huge hypocrite?

McCain – justifiably – argues that HE has actually been far more determined to block giveaways to the oil companies than has been Obama, and that is precisely why he voted AGAINST the 2005 energy bill that Obama voted FOR.

McCain said of that 2005 energy bill that Obama voted for and he voted against:

“I spoke up against the administration and Congress and Sen. Obama when they gave us an energy bill with more than giveaways to big oil and really no solution to our energy problems,” McCain said. “I want to take a minute here on this issue ’cause I think Sen. Obama might be a little bit confused. Yesterday he accused me of having President Bush’s policies on energy. That’s odd because he voted for the president’s energy bill and I voted against it.”

“It had $2.8 billion in corporate welfare to big oil companies and they’re already making record profits as you know,” McCain said of the 2005 energy bill. “Sen. Obama voted for that bill, and it’s big oil giveaways. I know he hasn’t been in the senate that long, but even in the real world, voting for something — voting for something means your support, and voting against something means you oppose it.”

So when I call Barack Obama a hypocritical lying demagogue, realize that I’m being factually correct. Obama was the one who actually supported the Bush energy bill, and HE’S the one who voted for “billions in new oil company giveaways while prices soared.”

Is John McCain simply saying, drill, drill, drill, with no comprehensive strategy, as demonizing and demagoguing Democrats love to claim?

McCain says he wants an “all-of-the-above” approach to solving U.S. energy problems, which have seen gas prices rise to more than $4 a gallon before falling back.

He advocates a range of measures including building more nuclear power plants by 2030, developing clean coal as well as wind and solar power and wants Congress to rescind a ban on fresh drilling off U.S. coasts.

Energy is particularly important in Ohio because the traditional battleground state where Republicans and Democrats are evenly matched is one of the nation’s largest producers of coal.

“Obama says he wants energy independence but he’s opposed to new drilling at home. He’s opposed to nuclear power. He said the high cost of gasoline doesn’t bother him it only rose too quickly. Tell that to the people who are driving the oldest automobiles,” McCain said to applause.

John McCain isn’t claiming that drilling is our only answer; he’s stating the fact that it is a significant part of any legitimate American energy plan. We need oil, and will continue to need it for decades to come.

Bottom line: John McCain is demanding a comprehensive energy policy that includes drilling for oil, digging for coal,and building nuclear energy plants – all of which have been blocked by Democrats for decades.

Barack Obama, meanwhile, is opposed to all of these measures. He is essentially attempting to thwart production of over 90% of our energy (oil, coal, and natural gas alone represent about 83% of our energy), and focusing instead on doubling the 5% of our energy that qualifies as “alternative.”

And Obama is falsely attacking John McCain as an extension to Bush when HE’S the one who actually supported the Bush energy plan that McCain opposed.

So here’s the question: do you want a demagoguing liar who won’t produce any energy, or do you want the man who is actually proposing real solutions?

We need a leader, not a liar.

Obama’s “New Stand” On Energy Just Dumb In A Different Way

August 6, 2008

Yesterday’s New York Times ran an article on Obama’s new energy plan, titled “Obama, in New Stand, Proposes Use of Oil Reserve” by Larry Rohter.

As the New York Times puts it, Barack Obama now has a “new stand” on energy. Maybe it’s a new stand, but it’s the same old flip flopping from a serial panderer who has long-since proven he will say anything to get elected.

And his energy plan is still dumb, just dumb in a slightly different way.

According to the article, Obama “outlined an energy plan that contrasts with Senator John McCain’s greater emphasis on expanded offshore drilling and coal and nuclear technology.” That’s his first mistake. It’s bad enough to take oil – by far and away our dominant energy source – off the table. But to then take coal and nuclear energy off the table as well is to remove the only alternatives to oil that could even theoretically take up the slack. It amounts to sacrificing common sense to political gamesmanship.

Most of the reasons liberals and environmentalists have given over the years in decrying nuclear energy have turned out to be patently false. The French have been safely, effectively, and efficiently using nuclear power for decades. Rather than the half life of their fuel being millions of years, we are learning that it is actually only about sixty years. Big diff.

What Obama is doing is frankly abandoning what would best work in favor of what is most politically expedient.

John McCain is promising to increase our energy supply. Obama is promising to conserve. The problem is, you don’t grow an economy by conserving energy. We need more energy in order to continue growing our economy, and Obama refuses to allow its production.

The second thing Obama says – in contradiction from his earlier positions – was to open up the reserves and swap heavy crude for light crude. The problem with that is that heavy crude is difficult to refine, and requires special refineries. Elgie Holstein, an Obama energy advisor, said that while fewer refineries now are capable of refining the heavier stuff into gasoline, that won’t be the case in the future.

But it certainly WILL be the case in the future, unless Barack Obama and the Democrats are swept from power in an overwhelming Republican victory. It has been Democrats who are overwhelmingly to blame for the fact that we haven’t built any refineries for over thirty years. And it has been Democrats’ liberal supporters among the ranks of environmentalists and lawyers who continue to thwart effort after effort to build this vital energy infrastructure.

There’s something even larger at issue regarding Obama’s reversal to open up the strategic reserves, however. Opening up the reserves would lower the price of fuel by temporarily injecting more oil into the market. The very fact that Obama is calling for this step is an implicit acknowledgment that we need more oil. His policy thus comes into direct contradiction with his rhetoric. If we do what he says and open the reserves, what will we do when the price goes back up? Where will we get the oil we need then? Thus we find that Obama – in calling for the reserves to be opened – is really only calling for a temporary solution that he hope will take oil prices off the table long enough to get himself elected. This “solution” is therefore really just incredibly cyncial politics of the very worst kind.

Tapping our Strategic Petroleum Reserves won’t increase the total supply of oil. Only drilling will.

This leads to another example of Obama’s hypocrisy and stupidity on energy.

“Obama said his goal was to have 10 percent of the country’s energy needs met by renewable resources by the end of his first term, more than double the current figure.” But again, can’t you see that he is implicitly affirming that the energy sources he is actively opposing would still amount to supplying 90% of our energy needs even given his own best case scenario?

An intelligent man would worry more about securing the more than 95% of our energy we currently use and less about the 5% he intends to double to 10%. His previous policy against ANY increased drilling amounted to a suicide pact with environmentalist groups. And regardless of what he says now – in direct contradiction to his past position – is simply not to be trusted. Barack Obama has already assured us that he is a candidate who doesn’t want more oil, coal, and nuclear power. He wants less of them. But those are the very things that give us 95% of our energy!!!

We have had solar and wind tecnhology since the early 1980s. It’s not that we don’t have the technology; it’s that these technologies – and others as well – are nowhere near cost effective, efficient, or versatile enough to meet our needs. And other alternative sources are still more theoretical than practical. Are you willing to gamble your future and your children’s future on unproven theories?

T. Boone Pickens has been calling for increased wind power in his massive advertising campaign. He is also calling to drill up the whazoo and to produce more oil, more coal, and more natural gas energy even as we develop the alternative source of wind technology.

The remaining thing that Obama wants is a bunch of handouts. He wants $150 billion to go to his voters as a big government transfer payment, and he wants to have the government subsidize hybrid automobiles to the tune of $7,000 each. He also wants to add on a massive “windfall profits” tax against oil companies.

What we want is better sources of energy; what we don’t want is worse sources of energy. When government takes the decision out of the hands of the market and subsidizes something, the political intrusion very often encourages bad ideas and discourages good ones. Politicians understand special interests, political action committees, and cleverly disguised quid pro quo donations well enough; but they don’t understand the fundamentals of science, engineering, or economics. A classic example of this is corn-based ethanol. Politicians were essentially induced by campaign donations from special interests to subsidize ethanol in order to bring the price down to a level where it could compete, thereby preventing other technologies from entering the market. And now we know that using our food source as an energy source was a very bad idea.

Children are literally starving to death in some parts of the world, thanks to the Democrat-inspired effort to turn our food into fuel to avoid using oil. And it is also causing food shortages, higher costs, and hunger in the U.S. It was a terrible and immoral idea; and it was your Democrats at work.

Barack Obama wants the government to make the same fundamental mistake again and again. He is a socialist at heart, and he simply can’t trust the wisdom of the free market.

But that isn’t the end of Obama’s error of subsidizing one thing and taxing another.

When you tax something, you make it more expensive and you make it more scarce. Taxing oil companies – which already are the most heavily taxed corporate entities – amounts to penalizing them for producing the very thing we need more of. We tried windfall profits taxes during the Carter years and it was a fiasco for the same reasons it would be a fiasco today. What we need is cheaper and more abundant energy; what Obama wants to bring us is scarcer and more expensive energy.

To then offset a terribly flawed policy by underwriting it with government funding is a fool’s solution.

Obama recently said, “Breaking our oil addiction is one of the greatest challenges our generation will ever face,” the Illinois Democrat told a supportive audience as he began a week’s focus on energy issues. “It will take nothing less than a complete transformation of our economy.”

Obama is just as wrong to call Americans’ need for oil an “addiction” as he would be to call our need for water, food, or clothing an addiction. The American way of life has been based on readily available oil. Obama’s slogan betrays an anti-American agenda that would dramatically alter and impoverish our way of life if implemented. He is also wrong in his lack of understanding as to what such a “complete transformation of our economy” would cost, and he is wrong for not informing the American people of the REAL costs of his policies.

On a whole host of issues that will face the next president and chief executive, we need a grown-up who can provide mature solutions. Barack obama – a pandering flip flopper who offers one bad idea after another – simply isn’t that guy.

Democrats Demagogue and Lie About Oil – As Usual

July 29, 2008

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday as his Democrats failed to move their energy bill:

They’ve come up with the most unbelievable dodge that I can remember. They said, ‘We’re not going to do anything on speculation because it’s no longer important,’ even though it’s part of their bill.

But that’s a bald faced lie, and he knows it.

Republicans have repeatedly said they were willing to deal on speculation, and alternative energy, and other things the Democrats want. But they insist that drilling on federal lands – which is now off limits on and off shore because of Democrats – be part of any package they will support. As usual, Democrats prove themselves to be dishonest manipulators rather than straight dealers.

You want another example of Democrats’ bald faced lies – again from the top Democrat in the Senate? Speaking again about speculation (i.e. the oil futures market), Reid said:

Something that will lower prices by 20-50%. And I think that, uh, one of the reasons the price of oil has gone down… you’ll note that it has gone down since we started, introduced, since we introduced our legislation dealing with speculation.

No it isn’t, and he knows it. On July 14, President Bush ended the executive ban on offshore drilling. The very next day saw the price of oil take the biggest drop in 17 years.

Within two days of Bush’s signing the executive order, the price of oil dropped from nearly $145 a barrel to $130.73 a barrel. And within four days, it had dropped to $128.88. And Harry Reid wants to take credit for this drop in price with his incredibly airheaded speculation bill that never really had a chance of overcoming a filibuster to begin with?

In the House, Democrats are putting the energy bill on the “suspension calender” in a move that will require a 2/3 majority to pass any legislation, but which prevents the Republicans from adding ANY amendments to allow for drilling on federal lands or contribute in any way.

Democrats are so paranoid that a drilling amendment might be introduced that they would rather scuttle any meaningful vote whatsoever.

Why did President Bush lift the ban?:

The White House announced today that President Bush will lift an executive order banning offshore oil drilling, a move aimed at stepping up pressure on Congress to end the prohibition it imposed in 1981.

The futures market reduced the price of oil because they saw the very real possibility that the American political system might finally get itself in gear to increase the supply of oil. Increased supplies lower prices. It’s as simple as that.

It is just like the Democrat Party to do everything possible to cause the problem for restricting the oil supply, and then try to claim credit for lowering prices. They are the worst kind of backstabbing liars you could possibly ever deal with.

To add to the sheer insanity of the Democrat’s position on energy, Sen. Charles Schumer said the same day:

The bottom line is very simple. We Democrats believe in the future when it comes to energy policy. We believe in alternative energy, we believe we have to wean ourselves away from oil and dependency from people like Ahmadinejad, Chavez and Putin. And they want to throw themselves right into their owns because big oil wants it. So the equations is simple. The Republicans equal big oil and the past. They do what big oil wants. We democrats represent alternatives weaning ourselves away from oil and the future.

So Democrats state that they have no intention of doing anything to increase the supply of oil or doing anything meaningful to reduce the cost even as they blame the Republicans who ARE trying to increase the oil supply.

Or to put it another way, how on earth can Democrats be both for oil and against oil at the same time?

And pandering demagogue that Schumer is, he labels Republicans as stooges of the oil companies which he and other Democrats have repeatedly demonized.

Oil companies certainly have their flaws. But they have one essential virtue: they produce oil. And in demonizing oil companies, Democrats have long-since crossed the line into demonizing the oil that these companies produce.

Or, to put it in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s words:

“Those costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is, coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick, its Global Warming, its ruining our Country, its ruining our World.”

Democrats are clearly opposed to oil. And that’s why the supplies are so low and the prices are so high.

You just remember something. Right now we are dependent upon oil. That is why Al Gore keeps flying his fuel-gobbling private jets and getting himself ferried around in gas-guzzling convoys of SUVs. Oil is what we have, and it is very difficult to go without it – even for the hypocrites who tell everyone else to do so.

Democrats like Schumer and Reid are not just part of the problem – they ARE THE PROBLEM. Because of Democrats, we are doing nothing to tap our own massive energy resources. Because of Democrats, we are therefore forced to go to the very dictators that Schumer named and give them $700 billion a year for something we could be producing ourselves.

We can either go on listening to one stupid self-serving lie and excuse after another, or we can vote these fools out and elect men and women who will allow this country to provide itself with the energy we need.

Democrats Block US Energy Independence, Send Gas Prices Soaring

July 3, 2008

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently said:

“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.”

Watch it on Youtube if prefer seeing your idiots in living color.

Well, how about if YOU stop, Harry. And tell all your fellow liberals and Democrts to stop right along with you. The rest of us realize that we need the stuff, and that we will continue to need it for decades to come.

Let us not forget to point out that Barack Obama has the same stupid and self-defeating ideas about energy.

So it’s not coal and oil that we’re sick of, Harry. We’re sick of you and your irrational and self-defeating energy policies. Coal and oil is what made our country great; it’s what our economy has been – and continues to be – based upon. It’s what we will continue to need in order to continue to improve our way of life.

Stop and think about it: Route 66; the interstate system; distant communities interconnected by vast stretches of freeways and roads. Our entire way of life has been based upon the mobility that oil has provided. We can’t just get rid of oil and keep right on truckin’. The Democrat’s vision will create enormous adjustment and enormous pain for Americans.

At some point, we will clearly need to transition to another dominant source of energy. But there is simply no way that we will be ready to make that transition any time soon. To refuse to allow our vast domestic oil supplies to be utilized by citing theoretical alternatives is foolish beyond crazy.

While a few R.I.N.O. (Republican In Name Only) politicians (I like the term “Stockholm Syndrome Republicans”) have embraced global warming alarmism and environmentalist bans on drilling, the simple fact of the matter is that it was Bill Clinton who vetoed taking advantage of our oil reserves over a Republican effort to expand our supplies, and it has overwhelmingly been Democrats who have thwarted every effort both to increase oil drilling and oil refining every since.

The result is that we have been deliberately left completely vulnerable to just the kind of sky-high prices that we are seeing now.

Democrats argue that drilling is pointless because it won’t produce any results for 10 years. But that is insane. Number one, only a fool doesn’t plan for the future. Number two, had Bill Clinton allowed us to drill in the 90’s we wouldn’t be where we are now. And number three, oil drillers say that they could be getting substantial oil out of the ground within one year; and even the most technically difficult sites wouldn’t take longer than six years to harvest.

Democrats argue that they have provided oil companies with leases giving them access to millions of acres for exploration. But these leases weren’t granted on the basis of geologists’ studies (that these are the best locations for oil); but rather on the basis of “junk” land that doesn’t have any political (and likely not any energy) value. It’s the equivalent of the U.S. Government putting the Indians on the crappiest land in the country and then saying, “There: we’ve given you plenty of land.” The reality is that 92% of our offshore reserves and most of the state and federal lands are off limits to oil companies.The outer continental shelf – which contains the best known sources of oil – are completely off limits to the American oil companies, even as Chinese rigs are going up in those very same oil fields!!!

An Associated Press story titled, “Much of oil, gas off limits” says:

WASHINGTON — About half the oil and more than a quarter of the natural gas beneath 99 million acres of federal land is off-limits to drilling, the Bush administration says in a report that industry sought to highlight environmental and other hurdles to development.

Just 3 percent of the oil and 13 percent of the gas under federal land is accessible under standard lease terms that require only basic protections for the environment and cultural resources, according to the survey, which was ordered last year by Congress.

An additional 46 percent of the oil and 60 percent of the gas “may be developed subject to additional restrictions” such as bans to protect winter rangeland for foraging antelope, nesting areas for bald eagles and jagged slopes from erosion during parts of the year.

The revised inventory, released Tuesday by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management, is starkly different from a study done three years ago. That version, which covered 59 million acres in the Rocky Mountains, estimated more than 80 percent of oil and gas was accessible, although in some cases subject to restrictions. Environmentalists often cited that figure in arguing that a wealth of energy resources is available for developing without going into pristine areas now off limits.

And, the actual fact of the matter is that the oil companies are routinely unable to drill even in those leased areas that the Democrats deceitfully claim that they have available to them. There are plenty of stories like this out there:

Billings, Mont. (AP) – Two conservation groups have asked the federal government to impose new restrictions on oil and gas development in the West to protect the greater sage grouse, a popular game bird on the decline.

Scientists contend sage grouse breeding areas are suffering in the face of accelerating oil and gas exploration in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah and other Western states.

West Nile virus, drought and residential development also have taken a toll on the bird, which is being considered for the endangered species list.

Federal rules now say oil and gas companies cannot drill within quarter of a mile of sage grouse breeding areas. Last week, Idaho-based North American Grouse Partnership and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership of Washington, D.C., filed a legal petition asking for the rule be extended to two miles.

I don’t apologize for caring more about my family and friends than I do about some rare species of bird. Frankly, Democrats should be apologizing to the American people for caring more about a few birds than they do about them.

Again and again, Democrats, Democrat-controlled government bureaucracies, and their left-wing allies in the “environmentalist” and “litigation” communities have blocked oil companies from doing anything. The result is years of lawsuits and court proceedings, red tape, delay, and other excessive costs that make such projects unfeasible.

There’s an old joke about a modern-day Noah trying to build an ark in today’s liberal political environment. It certainly has the pro-bureaucracy, anti-business policies that characterize the Democratic Party in mind.

Democrats routinely use environmental groups’ minimized estimates as to how much oil is actually in a given field. The oil companies believe there is much more available in those fields; that’s why they want to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to start getting that oil out of the ground. Think about it: Democrats routinely say that there isn’t very much oil in places like ANWR, and that oil companies don’t want to drill anyway. If that were even remotely true, then why are the Democrats repeatedly preventing oil companies from drilling by force of law? If the Democrats are anything other than lying demagogues, allow the oil companies to drill where they believe the oil is without the massive bureaucratic hassles; and if they don’t drill and increase our oil suppolies, the Democrats could say, “See, we were right.”

Proven reserves” are resources that drilling has confirmed exist and can be produced with current technology and prices. By imposing bans on leasing, and encouraging environmentalists to challenge seismic and drilling permits on existing leases, politicians ensure that we will never increase our proven reserves. In fact, reserves will decrease, as we deplete existing deposits and don’t replace them. The rhetoric is clever – but disingenuous, fraudulent and harmful.

They have repeatedly argued that opening up ANWR would do virtually nothing to alleviate the price of gasoline. But Democratic Senators have called upon the Saudis to increase production by amounts that would be less – even according to ridiculously low liberal estimates – than the amount of daily oil flow that ANWR would generate.

The Geological Survey and Congressional Research Service say it’s 95% likely that there are 15.6 billion barrels of oil beneath ANWR. And we could add to that an estimated 169 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf, Rockies, Great Lakes, Southwest and ANWR – as well as natural gas, coal, uranium and hydroelectric resources that are currently off limits because of Democratic activism.

One of our best prospects is Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which geologists say contains billions of barrels of recoverable oil. If President Clinton hadn’t bowed to Wilderness Society demands and vetoed 1995 legislation, we’d be producing a million barrels a day from ANWR right now. That’s equal to US imports from Saudi Arabia, at $50 billion annually.

Mexico has increased its oil production 64 percent since 1980. Canada’s production has increased 85 percent. If we’d increased production at the rate of our North American neighbors, we’d be producing 91 percent of our current consumption, noted National Review’s Noel Sheppard.

Democrats routinely demonize oil companies for their “excessive” and “windfall” profits. But – as usual – they merely prove what hypocrites and demogogues they truly are. Look at the revelations from The Hill:

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who calls for “windfall profit taxes on big oil,” has some $200,000 in oil holdings with Exxon and BP. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who publicly says that oil companies are guilty of “price fixing,” has some $350,000 in oil holdings with Exxon and BP. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx) – who speaks of “unjustifiable tax breaks for big oil” has $350,000 in Exxon Mobil and Chevron holdings. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) who claims oil companies are “gouging” has $200,000 in holdings with Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Schlumberger. These Democrats are privately profiting from the very companies they publicly claim are so terrible. What hypocrites!

And they falsely demonize oil profits in the way of the classic demagogue. The reality is that the oil companies invest FAR more than they retain in profits; and the reality is that their profits are actually quite modest given the sheer massiveness of their operations.

Investor’s Business Daily says the following:

Yes, oil companies make money. But they spend more than they make on finding new sources of oil. A new Ernst & Young study shows the five major oil companies had $765 billion of new investment from 1992 to 2006 compared with net income of $662 billion.

Over the same stretch, the industry — which includes 57 of the largest U.S. oil and natural gas companies — had new investments of $1.25 trillion compared with a net income of $900 billion and a cash flow of $1.77 trillion.

This is an industry that has redefined innovation, reinvesting profits to find innovative ways to recover oil and gas wherever they find it. This includes fields once considered “dead,” vast tracts miles beneath the ocean surface, and sands or even shale in North Dakota.

Democrats talk about the need to conserve oil and use alternative energies instead. But do the American people truly want to drastically and dramatically change their way of life when the clear alternative of domestic oil production is readily available? Even the most radical environmentalist activists such as Al Gore clearly don’t want to make such a transition in their own personal lives: Gore has routinely been faulted for his own shockingly high rate of energy consumption. And as I see drivers routinely whiz by me on the freeway, I realize that few Americans are determined to make the kinds of painful sacrifices that Democratic strategies call upon them to make.

Furthermore, there is little evidence that such sacrifice will amount to anything. With China, India, and much of the rest of the developing world increasing its oil consumption, all the “global warming” hyperbole justifying the deliberate restriction of US energy consumption (and therefore economic production) will be “much ado, signifying nothing.” If China and India use the oil we would have used – which by all accounts is exactly what is happening and will continue to happen – then what is the net climate gain?

As a further point revealing the absurdity of Democrats’ claims that we must not drill for oil lest we contaminate the environment and increase global warming, just what do you think is going on in the Middle East? When they increase their production to meet our energy needs (at a massive profit), are they not contaminating the environment and increasing global warming even more than we would, given our higher level of technology and environmental regulations?

Democrats are currently hollering and screaming about speculators artificially driving up the price of gas. But let us consider this:

NEW YORK — Oil prices rose Monday on disappointment over Saudi Arabia’s modest production increase and concerns that output from Nigeria will decline. Retail gas prices, meanwhile, inched lower overnight, but appear unlikely to change much as long as oil prices stay in a trading range.

Saudi Arabia said Sunday at a meeting of oil producing and consuming nations that it would turn out more crude oil this year if the market needs it. The kingdom said it would add 200,000 barrels per day in July to a 300,000 barrel per day production increase it first announced in May, raising total daily output to 9.7 million barrels.

But that pledge at the meeting held in the Saudi city of Jeddah fell far short of U.S. hopes for a larger increase. The United States and other nations argue that oil production has not kept up with increasing demand, especially from China, India and the Middle East.

The fact that the price of oil goes UP when the supply goes DOWN ought to tell you something about what is truly driving the shocking price increases: supply and demand.

As we see the volatility of oil prices, and as we see that threats in the Middle East, or in unstable regimes such as Nigeria, send our prices through one roof after another, thinking, rational people must surely come to realize that there is an urgent, long-term strategic need for American to have it’s own stable domestic oil supply.

And one political party – the Democrats – are clearly standing in the way of that critical strategic goal. Our survival depends upon energy independence. But Democrats are literally STANDING on our ability to provide that independence.