Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Republicans and Offshore Oil... by gimleteye

The same wrecking crew that sent the United States to war in Iraq now wants to solve the energy crisis by drilling for oil off our coasts. First it was non-existent weapons of mass destruction to subjugate Saddam, now it is offshore drilling to solve the oil crisis: I think we have a new motto for the fall election.

Vote Republican, pay forever.

It is a cynical diversion to focus legislative attention on the unpopular gamble of drilling for offshore oil; as poor a gamble as justifying a bid to secure energy supplies on false pretenses in Iraq.

What it will do is drive campaign contributions from big energy and engineering firms into an anemic campaign account for John McCain who cannot compete with the donations that Barack Obama has been able to amass in small amounts. Follow the money.

By now, it is well-known that Exxon Mobil and other big energy outfits spent millions buying fake science to instill doubt in global warming, ensuring that the public awareness of climate change and its costs would lag behind the rest of the world, engendering enmity among our allies and furthering the goals of demagoguery at home.

Most Americans now understand that the Bush White House invents logic as it goes along, cheered on by right-wing talk show hosts on television and radio.

But the reality-based community of Americans has had enough. McCain is being dragged by the train of irrationality George W. Bush pulls along, wherever he goes.

Bush administration economists purr that inflation is low when nearly every American is screaming about the cost of living. It is not just gasoline. Bread, butter, eggs.

What the per gallon price of gasoline should tell consumers is that the age of oil, for us, is over. It’s a bonaza for Middle East and Russian oil despots ripping a hole right through our pockets and our future. And it is a windfall for pay packages for executives of Big Oil and suppliers like Halliburton.

What the floods in the Midwest and extreme weather everywhere tell us is that the age of fossil fuels is over, showing that climate change is far, far more costly than most Americans even realize when crops can’t be grown reliably.

The only people who will profit by a rush to the oil and gas bank are the oil and gas bankers themselves.

If Americans are experiencing one thing at the gasoline pump, it is the sober realization that our energy future has to change. It is not going to change by putting more money in the pockets of Big Oil and their supporters who cheered wildly for John McCain in Houston yesterday.

Remember, too: this is from a candidate—John McCain—who claims deep experience but whose understanding of economics seems to have hardly evolved since he rushed to the defense of banker and favor-purveyor Charles Keating, who defrauded depositors and his Arizona bank of hundreds of millions in the 1980’s.

Today McCain is surrounded by advisors like former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, responsible for shielding the financial services industries and hedge funds from accountability and supervision, and chief campaign fundraiser Al Hoffman, whose millions derived from putting Americans in badly designed suburbs far from their places of work.

In other words, the desire to drill for offshore oil is another manifestation of how we are addicted to unsupportable debt. Republicans poll-tested the move to offshore oil by McCain, Bush, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist within an inch of its life.

But if Republicans have proven one thing, with the Bush war in Iraq now totaling trillions of dollars, it is this: we are tired of the pitchmen, K Street lobbyists, and a reality scribbled in the margins of policy papers of the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation by Karl Rove and Grover Norquist.

If you think the price at the pump is too high, multiply it by twenty or thirty to get the price per gallon measured by malfeasance of a Republican White House in the protection of our democratic freedoms.

The truth is: we can’t afford gasoline at any price.

The sooner our politics orients our economic growth to conservation and renewable fuels, the sooner we can reclaim our status in the world and the value of our dollar in our pockets.

Trying to drill our way out of the oil problem is like trying to spread democracy in Iraq. Nothing succeeds like success and nothing fails like making the same mistakes, again and again.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

The propaganda starts and with the dumb masses out there in America believing that drilling for oil off the coastline of America or in ANWR ( do most folks even know where this is ?? ) is going to bring lower prices at the pumps, they'll fall for this just like they fell for the Iraq war. It's just too easy to fool the dumbed down society here in America. While it may eventually be the right thing to do ( gulp, I said it ), drilling offshore will never ever bring lower prices to the pumps.

Mensa said...

First of all drilling offshore off Florida will cause more ruin than I have time to print here. What is worse is that our Governor who has been very good and who was against offshore drilling is now in favor of it because he wants to be vice-president so badly. Someone should speak to him.

Anonymous said...

In his blog today, NYU economist Nouriel Roubini again states the case that war planners in the White House are prepared to authorize a strike against Iran before the end of the Bush terms:

"First, even before Iran may try to retaliate to this action by trying to block the flow of oil from the Gulf, oil prices would spike above $200 dollar a barrel.

Second, Iran could react militarily to such Israeli action (that would be taken with the tacit support and the military logistic support of the US) by unleashing its supporters in Iraq against the US military forces there. That would trigger a military reaction by the US that would start a sustained air-led bombing campaign against Iran’s military capabilities (air force, anti-aircraft defenses, radar and other military installations, etc.)

Third, Iran would unleash its supporters in Lebanon and Gaza (Hezbollah and Hamas) in a military confrontation with Israel. A broader war will follow in the Middle East.

Fourth, Iran would use both the threat of blocking the flow of oil out of the Gulf and an actual sharp reduction of its exports of oil (an embargo) to spike the price of oil. Oil prices would rapidly rise above $200 per barrel and the US and global economy would spin into a severe stagflationary recession (like those triggered by the sharp spikes in the prices of oil following the staflationary shocks of the Yom Kippur war in 1973, the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990).

Fifth, while Sunni regimes may – in private – sigh relief following the destruction of the nuclear capabilities of the Shiite Iranian regime – the Sunni Arab street (the masses of poor Sunnis) from Algeria to Egypt and all the way to Pakistan, India and Indonesia may become even more anti-Western and anti-American leading to the risk over time of rise of anti-Western fundamentalist regimes in many Arab countries.

Sixth, the Bush administration whose hands have been tied by the new National Intelligence Estimate (that argued that Iran had suspended its program of development of nuclear weapons) would thus be able to strike Iran – via Israel - before the end of its term. Such October surprise by Israel would also certainly lead to the election of McCain and defeat of Obama as a national security crisis of such an extent would doom the chances of Democrats to win the White House. So both Israel – that prefers McCain to Obama and is hurried to act as it is wary of the constraints that an Obama presidency may put on its ability to act against Iran – and the Bush administration would guarantee the election of McCain.

Now, it is not certain – as argued by Fischer – that Israel will strike that early; this is just a guess and a prediction by one observer even if many others think likewise. But if such action were to be taken by Israel the consequences outlined above would be the clear outcome: a major global recession, wars throughout the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Israel, etc.) and a major increase in geopolitical instability.”

Genius of Despair said...

And, your point? Opening up Florida's coast to drilling will stop all of that? This is a post about Florida.

Mensa said...

While the comment that speaks about Iran does not belong in this area, it does show one thing. If ever it becomes necessary to fight Iran, the only sane way would be to drop atomic bombs on all it key atomic industries. Unless this is done we would indeed be in a poor position. Therefore the only question would be" would you want to do that?" I really should not put my ID on this letter, but I am unable to hide.

Anonymous said...

Al Gore is excoriated last year for his Tennesee mansion consuming a significant amount more energy than the average household.

His response is to go green, install solar panels, buy carbon credits and install mercury laden light bulbs.

So yesterday it is reported that this year Al Gore's mansion consumed 10% more energy than last year prior to his green renovations.

I am not surprised by the increase given that a lot of new technology and household conveniences run on more electricity. I don't fault the Gore family for wanting to take advantage of these conveniences.

However, it does demonstrate that the absurb notion that energy conservation is not a solution in a growing economy and technological world thus the need to drill for more sources of oil, explore gas and build nuclear plants.

It is amazing that we can pull millions of barrels per day of oil out of the ground off of US shores which would have a huge impact on oil futures.

Instead all we get from Democrats is to tell the Saudis to pump a 1/2million barrels per day extra so as to ease the futures price. Why can't we create our 1/2 million a day increase in world capacity off the coast of Florida or Annwar instead of begging a country that does not let women drive and funds Madrasas schools?

We have just discovered that the pain threshold of gas is $4 a gallon to the American people.

They now don't give a rats rear end about the "pristine evironment" They want solutions tp the high cost of gas and the Democrats are on the losing end of this issue.

Rick said...

First of all drilling offshore off Florida will cause more ruin than I have time to print here.

And you can prove this? Oh wait, you don't have the time. How convenient.

Mr. Sunshine said...

Because 500,000 barrels wouldn't make a dent.

We consume 13 MILLION barrels A DAY in the US. You would risk our fisheries and our tourist economy to put one twenty-sixth of the US oil demand into a market that is already supplying all the gas we need? Refinery capacity is not maxed out, and there are no shortages in the US anywhere that I've heard of. Actually demand is dropping because the cost is artificially high and people are finally fed up and finding other ways to get around.

I think it would be a wee bit easier, and kinder to our State's economy, to put the regulatory watchdogs back on the job over the commodities markets and invest in conservation technologies.

Rick said...

Al Gore is excoriated last year for his Tennesee mansion consuming a significant amount more energy than the average household.

Al, like his elitist liberal buddies in Hollywood, are of the school that it is us lower class peons that should shoulder the burden of his global warming (oops...climate change) pseudoscience. Recent revelations of his energy consumption increase at his Tennessee mansion is just the latest of his "let them eat cake" attitude.

The Democrat's "we can't drill our way out of this" talking point is political fodder for the clueless. This same crowd of Einsteins were the ones that halted the expansion of nuclear power, put handcuffs on the coal industry, and effectively stopped oil exploration and drilling on US soil and its territorial waters.

Now they want us to conserve our way out of $4.00+ gasoline. LOL! Well, that's koolaid that not even Fat Al is drinking.

Rick said...

But the reality-based community of Americans has had enough.

LOL! Gimleteye, after reading your nonsensical rant above I'd say you're the last one that should be speaking about reality.

Mensa said...

I can see that rick is a charter member of densa.

Genius of Despair said...

We have some knuckle heads writing, logic doesn't work. Why bother?

Mr. Sunshine said...

I'm not sure what the Gore-bashing is supposed to accomplish. Do you think that you're hurting someone's feelings doing that? Like he's some paragon of virtue to the environmental community?

Many of us were wondering where this guy was when he was in the White House. And where he was during the 2000 campaign. I don't give a crap what his personal home heating bill is, any more than these right-wing-nuts seem to care about their pols talking about "family values" on stage with their third wives.

Gore brought the issue that many of us have been struggling to get into the American public's concience for way too long and for that I give him props.

And for your misinformed attempt at humor - "climate change" was originally a right-wing-nut attempt to undermine the message about human induced global warming. It backfired.

Anonymous said...

Zogby Poll: 74% Support Off-Shore Oil Drilling in U.S. Coastal Waters
Telephone survey finds 59% of likely voters favor drilling in ANWR; 25% of undecideds would be more likely to support McCain because he favors off-shore drilling
Note to news outlets: This Zogby poll is free from copyright restrictions. You are free to broadcast or publish this release in whatever format you choose. There is no need to seek further permission from Zogby International.
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Contact:
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UTICA, New York – Three in four likely voters – 74% – support off-shore drilling for oil in U.S. coastal waters and more than half (59%) also favor drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
Data from this poll is available here

A majority of likely voters across the political spectrum support off-shore oil drilling, with vast majorities of Republicans (90%) and independents (75%) in favor of drilling for oil off U.S. coastal waters more than half of Democrats (58%) also said they favor off-shore drilling. Republicans (80%) and political independents (57%) are much more likely to favor drilling for oil in ANWR than Democrats (40%). The telephone survey of 1,113 likely voters nationwide was conducted June 12-14, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points
Do you support or oppose drilling for oil off-shore in U.S. coastal waters? Likely Voters Republicans Democrats Independents
Support 74% 90% 58% 75%
Oppose 18% 5% 30% 20%
Not sure 8% 5% 12% 5%
Note: Some totals may not equal 100% due to rounding
McCain benefits from off-shore drilling stance with undecideds
One in four likely voters (25%) said they would be more likely to vote for McCain if they knew that as president he would support off-shore drilling in U.S. coastal waters just 4% said McCains support for off-shore drilling would make him less likely to win their vote, while 57% said it made no difference and 15% were unsure. When undecided likely voters were asked about how likely they would be to support McCain if he favored drilling in ANWR, 23% would be more likely, while nearly as many (21%) said it would make them less likely to vote for McCain. Another 43% of likely voters said it would make no difference if McCain supported drilling in ANWR while 14% were undecided. McCain recently restated his opposition to drilling in ANWR, but has dropped his opposition to lifting the moratorium on off-shore drilling along Americas coasts.
Among undecided likely voters, 78% support off-shore drilling and 58% support drilling in ANWR. The vast majority of those likely voters who intend to vote for Republican John McCain in November support both drilling off-shore for oil in U.S. coastal waters (91%) and drilling for oil in ANWR (82%). While just over a third (37%) of those who plan to vote for Democrat Barack Obama support drilling in ANWR, more than half (58%) of likely voters who favor Obama said they support off-shore drilling.
For a complete methodological statement on this survey, please visit:
http://www.zogby.com/methodology/readmeth.dbm?ID=1316
Please click the link below to view the full news release:
http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1519
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fritz@zogby.com
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