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Oil on Troubled Waters Could Work PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
AFF Sentinel Vol.5#34

Turn Out the Lights, the Party's Over (Where's That Whale Oil Lamp?)

Painful fuel costs could yield some positive effects on politics and economics. Perhaps in time for elections, consumer/voters may have had the supply and demand lesson they have steadfastly pretended didn't exist.

Prices exceeding $4.00/gal. and ridiculous calls from Al Gore and Sen. Barack Obama to be fossil fuel free in a decade have spotlighted the political left's incredible ignorance of both economics and technical reality. Personally, I would love to see both of them take a flight in a solar, windmill or battery- powered commercial airliner - next week would be fine.

For decades, voters have allowed the political left to ban drilling for oil at all points of the compass. Voters refused to face the fact that not drilling for our own oil while the global economy grew was eventually going to cost our pocketbooks dearly. Ordinary people fooled themselves, dreaming some cheap, clean, plentiful and powerful energy source was going to magically appear before oil got prohibitively expensive because we were refusing to drill.

But the oil industry is not simply a supply and demand business. Why? Because our Congress has arbitrarily interfered with market forces by purposely restricting supply at the behest of environmental zealots who oppose modern life.

Let's be clear here. Environmentalists use caribou or birds not because their ultimate goal is more of them to pet. They simply pay their lawyers to use the critters and the Endangered Species Act as tools to achieve goals.

But they have to come at the issues obliquely, if not through outright subterfuge. If their campaign to voters for three decades had been, "Please help us shrink the supply of oil and block refinery and nuclear plant construction so that the price of gasoline and power will be so expensive we'll have to live like our great grandparents without cars, modern electric- powered appliances, airplanes and without the things made in factories and raised on modern farms," would people have voted for those policies?

Yet the left's presidential candidate and Congressional leadership have unmistakably delineated positions recently: no cost is too high, no inconvenience too great. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi embodies the unproven hysteria.

"I'm trying to save the planet. I'm trying to save the planet," Pelosi said. We're assuming she was referring to Earth but given her outlandish responses to our planetary happenings, she is sounding like someone not from this world - and certainly not concerned about businesses or ordinary citizens.

If there is hope, some of it extends from the response to Pelosi's refusal to allow debate on drilling. Reminiscent of some dotty old lady who turns out the lights, locks the door and sits in her rocker in the dark waiting for reality to go away, Pelosi actually turned out the lights, turned off the microphones and cameras in the House chamber -- and left on summer vacation to avoid debating drilling.

Instead of leaving, the Republicans stayed in the darkened House. They yelled - microphones were dead -- about common sense solutions to our oil problems to the gallery of visiting citizens come to see their representatives in action. The gallery applauded obvious solutions like drilling for our own oil, rather than ceding it to the control of caribou and fish. Is it possible that there are elected vertebrates left in Washington who will stand up to the envirozealots?

In the Senate, Republicans showed - shockingly -- political savvy. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell moved to consider an energy bill that included drilling for oil in off-limit locations. Under Senate rules, only one objection precludes bill consideration. Sen. Ken Salazar (D.-CO.) dutifully objected. McConnell then amended his motion, calling for consideration of the drilling bill when the price of gas at the pump reached a trigger of $4.50/gal. Salazar again objected. This auction of sorts continued, with McConnell raising the trigger point to $5.00 to $7.50 and eventually, to $10/gal., with Salazar objecting each time. The Republicans then had the Democrats on record: even $10/gal. gas prices would not be enough for them to even consider drilling for oil.

Polls show consumer/voters are beginning to realize the envirozealots and their political left co- conspirators (and consenting Republicans) have led them down a primrose path on oil. There are similar paths leading to the same kind of painful places on taxes, nutrition, health care, judges, agriculture and economic freedom.

We need free market solutions from Congress and our president, not the enviro-socialist "solutions" the left is promising.

Will oil provide the eye-opening voters need?

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 September 2008 )
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