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Smoke & Mirrors & Oil — Why Now?
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Smoke & Mirrors & Oil

CNN reports on a return to the Reagan years: McCain wants to lift ban on offshore drilling

(CNN) — Sen. John McCain on Tuesday proposed lifting the ban on offshore drilling as part of his plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil and help combat rising gas prices.

“The stakes are high for our citizens and for our economy,” McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for president, said at a press conference Tuesday in Houston, Texas.

Hours later, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said President Bush on Wednesday will ask Congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling.

Bush has long called for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, but Perino said he now wants to go further.

“For years, the president has pushed Congress to expand our domestic oil supply, but Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked such action,” she said.

As a point of accuracy for Ms. Perrino, the Florida congressional delegation is rather lopsidedly Republican, and they won’t support lifting the ban unless they are tired of being elected.

It takes years to actually get a well into production, if you find oil, and there is no guarantee that any of the large oil companies want to spend the money to look. Off-shore drilling is expensive and risky, so where is the incentive to do anything while oil prices are this high?

McCain takes a swipe at Jimmy Carter and fails to mention that Reagan dismantled Carter’s program which would have led the US to be much less dependent on foreign oil than we currently are, and much better off vis-à-vis our national carbon footprint. Of course we would have missed out on SUVs and the Hummer, but it still would have been worth it. 😈

We can’t wait, hoping for a new oil field; we need to develop new sources of energy now.


1 Fallenmonk { 06.18.08 at 5:45 am }

It is very frustrating to see the continuing focus on more oil not matter what the cost. It just doesn’t seem to be sinking in that regardless of how many new oil fields we manage to tap, oil is a finite resource that will run out sooner or later and at the rate demand is growing in China and India it will be sooner. It also doesn’t seem to register what the true cost of oil and coal use truly is in damage to the environment and all the rest.

2 Reality Check { 06.18.08 at 6:13 am }

No surprises here. Of course Big Oil has bought McCain. He’s a Republican isn’t he? Big Oil has had their man in the WH for eight years and they aren’t going to stand idlely by as that gravey train derails. They know that there’s not enough oil in ANWR or in off-shore domestic reserves to go after, but if they can get the permission to do so, they’ll use taxpayer money (tax incentives and subsidies) to make a show of it. Oh, they’ll drop a few well heads, but most of the money will go to buy back their stock and, thus, increase their profits. They’ve been quietly doing this since 2000. This “energy crisis” isn’t about supply and demand. It’s about making as much money as possible as quickly as possible. The game is almost over for Big Oil and they know it. When one looks back at the energy and fiscal policies of the GOP since the Nixon administration, one sees that it’s all been for the sake of the oil industry.

3 LeftLeaningLady { 06.18.08 at 7:40 am }

And now our goofy governor has jumped on the bandwagon and is supporting lifting the ban.

Stay out of the Gulf!

4 LadyMin { 06.18.08 at 9:59 am }

When I saw this on the news last night my head went into reflex shaking mode. Then I start talking to the television and telling it that we could have fixed this 30 years ago. Then I saved my own sanity and changed the channel. Or better yet, turn it off.

McCain reminds me more of a “crazy grandpa” every day.

5 Crapola { 06.18.08 at 10:23 am }

McCain wants to leave it up to the states? If he and the rest of the lefty wackos would get the hell out of the way Alaska could produce half of the US needs for the next 100 years! Better way to spend your 100 years than in Iraq. Longer term there must be alternative energy developed and ready to roll unless we want to enjoy a resurection of the dark ages. Spend a few billion dollars on this idea instead of “Liberating” a world that would rather have someone hand them their daily bread.
Well… We call it a “refuge” for a reason. And just what is that reason McCain? A trade off to the greenie wackos that have no clue that isn’t modified by Mary Jane smoke! Blame the Republicans for a failed Democrat Congress! Just typical of the Berkeley educated idiots!
Change? The only change we will see is the two nickles left in our pocket after Washington is finished with us!
Don’t start the revolution without me!

6 Bryan { 06.18.08 at 11:32 am }

FM – Reagan didn’t want to make the sacrifices back when they wouldn’t have been that bad, and we would have been over the problems by now, making a lot of money from other people selling non-petroleum-based solutions to the world. Despite what they did to us in the 1970s, Reagan left us at the mercy of the Middle East.

Welcome, RC. Yes, it’s the same pattern that American industry has been in for the last half century – maximize profits by minimizing expenses. Among the expenses are research and new equipment that would have made manufacturing profitable forever, but would reduce the profits for a few quarters. American business no longer thinks in the long term. “Investors” have become gamblers. I’m waiting for them to reduce the time frame for a “long-term” investment from one year to one month.

7 Bryan { 06.18.08 at 11:39 am }

LLL, I agree with Mustang Bobby that Charlie is running for Vice President, as that’s the only explanation for even mentioning this idea. It will certainly be brought up if he has to run for re-election.

Lady Min, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Republicans didn’t select McCain as their nominee. It’s a long time until the conventions, and John might be “forced to withdraw for health reasons”. It has happened before, and Rove is still crawling around in the basement.

8 Bryan { 06.18.08 at 12:09 pm }

First off, Crapola, you might want to do a little research on “peak oil” and then in the guesses for Alaskan oil deposits.

Second, you need to remember that the people of the United States bought Alaska, and a lot of it still belongs to the people of the United States and not just the residents of Alaska.

Third, the people of the United States are not receiving checks annually from the oil business, like the people of Alaska, and our state governments are not funded by oil revenue, so we tend to have a different view of such things.

Fourth, the oil companies are not doing a lot of exploration or exploitation on leases they already own, so there is no indication that they are chomping at the bit to do anything about possible oil in Alaska. It might be a good idea for Alaskans, but why would the oil companies care?

So you don’t have to ask, yes I did, in fact, live in Alaska for a while in the Air Force, up at Eielson AFB outside of Fairbanks, as well as on the Aleutians.

9 Badtux { 06.18.08 at 12:57 pm }

Well, there’s also the problem that the parts of the U.S. and U.S. continental shelf that have not yet been explored and exploited amounts to perhaps 5% of the area of the U.S., and we can at most get 5% of the oil out of them that we got out of the rest of the U.S. during the previous 100 years. In other words, 5 years supply at most. Yeah, we’re really gonna drill our way out of this oil shortage, are we? BWHAHAH!

– Badtux the Oil Penguin

10 Bryan { 06.18.08 at 3:24 pm }

Alaskans are concerned, Badtux… that one day the oil will run out and they’ll have to start paying taxes. I mean right now for every dollar in Federal taxes they pay they only get .. $1.84 of Federal spending.

Whereas a liberal, wasteful state like California gets 78¢.

Everyone needs a dream, and for Alaskans it’s a free lunch.

The geology south of the Florida Panhandle says natural gas at best, and we are already getting that drilling on the Panhandle. We could do just as well recovering it from landfills, instead of just venting it.

11 cookie jill { 06.18.08 at 7:29 pm }

Don’t get me started on offshore oil drilling. 🙁

12 Bryan { 06.18.08 at 8:11 pm }

Crist better get the VP nod because he just embraced the third rail of Florida politics. I don’t imagine even Arnold is dumb enough to want to discuss this.

13 cookie jill { 06.19.08 at 2:10 pm }

The Governator blew off BushCo’s drilling idea.

14 Bryan { 06.19.08 at 2:42 pm }

Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas are the only states that would approve it, and they already have all the wells they can handle.

Oil companies make too much money from “reserves” to actually want to pump any more oil out of the ground.