Young Democrats of Harford County

For Democrats of all ages and other like-minded folks in Harford County, Maryland.

OCS Oil Drilling: The WRONG Approach

Posted by piperj3cub on July 15, 2008

The Democrats in Congress can go a long way at this point in time towards renewing my personal faith in the party… by NOT responding to Bush’s obnoxious tactic to try and open vast regions of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to oil drilling.  Drilling in the regions of the OCS currently off-limits will have NO short-term impact on fuel prices (it could be argued that the speculation of future supplies may reduce the price of oil by a small amount, but in reality over the past 50 years any increase in domestic production has had little to no impact on the price of gasoline; these data are available from multiple government and industry sources).  Expanding regions of the OCS open for future drilling WILL however allow many cronies of the president to make millions of dollars, if not billions, by domestic exploration alone, much less actual drilling (remember that much of both Bush’s and Cheney’s stock portfolios are involved with corporations that specialize in oil exploration and extraction).

 

Still… the entire reasoning behind the president’s decision to ‘open’ the OCS for expanded research and drilling is the reduction of gasoline prices.  I say again that this legislation will have NO IMPACT on fuel prices.  So, why will the Democrats in congress support it?  It is getting increasingly bothersome to me that the Democratic Party is so willing to legislate rather than educate; our party’s position over the past decades on this issue has been the correct one!  We need to be telling America why we are correct, not change our policy because we think this will work against Obama in the presidential campaign.  The position of environmental protection is not a bad one.  In addition, if we want to truly impact fuel prices, we would be supporting increased economy standards for automobiles, and an overall energy-efficient economy.  The slight increase in future supply of oil will have a minimal impact on fuel prices compared to the almost instantaneous impact that higher fuel efficiency standards would have on demand.  Wake up Democratic Party… DO THE CORRECT THING!

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11 Responses to “OCS Oil Drilling: The WRONG Approach”

  1. scottymck said

    We will always need oil and your solution is to always be dependent upon other countries for it. The Democratic Party is against the most viable immediate alternative to our non-transportation energy needs – nuclear energy, as well.

    There was no significant market impact of domestic oil production because the oil finds were never as significant as the ones in the Gulf, the one in ANWR or the shale in the Rockies. With China (a less-than environmentally responsible country) making final preparations to begin drilling off the coast of the U.S., the response to do nothing ourselves is just plain idiotic.

    Congress has already moved on increasing fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. The free market has also responded (check your local car dealer and see all of the SUV’s and light duty traucks sitting around). Auto manufacturers are feverishly working on new technologies as well. With China, India and other countries’ expanded industrialization, the demand for oil will continue to rise along with prices, regardless of our own intiatives to use less.

    Neither the solution of alternate energy or increased production will have an immediate impact on oil prices. Both are on the same timeline; both should be explored so that we become independent of the whims of the world.

  2. the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and never the twine shall meet.

  3. piperj3cub said

    First of all… I would like to see what you are talking about when it comes to China drilling in US territorial waters. Secondly, the market-driven increases in fuel mileage you are referring to are a joke. The federal government must mandate manufactures to meet far better mileages than cars these days are getting if we want to really impact our demand for foreign oil. Additionally, the US must begin to move away from gasoline burning cars, which in the most impactful way means moving towards electric cars (not necessarily bio-fuels) along with the generation of green power. Wind is great, but every house in this country should be built with interlocking ‘shingles’ on the roof that are photovoltaic. Everybody immediately says ‘this will not generate enough electricity’, and they are correct, but it will reduce the demand to the point where we will not need those new coal burning or nuclear plants. And another thing… tax credits for these types of initiatives are a freaking JOKE… they do not do shit. The average American pays something in the order of $3000 per year or less in federal taxes, you can credit the full amount and not begin to pay for the solar cells. THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SUBSIDIZE, HEAVILY SUBSIDIZE, THE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS AND MANDATE THEIR USE ON NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION. Furthermore, all homes should be equipped with two-way meters, such that excess generation is returned to the grid. Of course big power companies do not like this (they do not make as much money), but it is about time for the sake of world environment that we re-regulate power and enact legislation to the effect I have described above. These are the steps our country can take to wean ourselves off of foreign oil… it is clear, the writing has been on the wall for decades, now we need leadership with the guts to enact it and a country intelligent enough to realize what our country really needs (not just the richest in our country).

  4. scottymck said

    Piperj3cub,

    If you re-read my statement, you will see that I did not state that China was drilling in U.S. territorial waters. They have, however, just signed a lease agreement with Cuba to drill in Cuban waters, just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. Here is a link to one article that discusses Cuba’s agreement with China and other countries to drill in Cuban waters of the Florida Straight. onenewsnow.com

    Because of advances in directional slant drilling techniques, it is possible to drill from under the U.S. territorial waters in the Florida Straights from the Cuban side of those same Florida Straights. Contrary to naive public opinion, there are not two separate oil reserves in the Florida Straights; it is one oil reserve that is divided by an imaginary legislated line.

    I agree 100% with your position on developing alternative energy sources. Although drilling for our own oil will certainly bring prices down (because of increases in supply vs. demand), there will always be a finite anount of oil that will eventually be depleted. That finite amount needs to be reserved for processes (plastics, fertilizers, cosmetics, etc.) and vehicles (airplanes, for example) that will depend upon oil well into the foreseeable future.

    The current cost of solar panels is far too exhorbitant to make them a viable alternative energy source. That is about to change, however. With new technologies being developed by companies like nanosolar and countries like China and Korea making plans to mass produce solar panels, the price for panels will surely come down. Estimates range from two to ten years as the timetable for the dowward pring trend to begin.

    I will never understand the fear of nuclear energy that runs so rampant in this country. There has only been one nuclear accident in the history of its use (Chernobyl, which utilized the problematic RBMK design, only utilized in the Soviet Union) and one overblown incident that was equally overdramaticized by a liberal Jane Fonda movie (Three Mile Island – “The China Syndrome”). There are already more than 100 commercial nuclear plants operating in the United States, although the last new one to come online was in 1996. New advances in the recycling of spent fuel rods have made it possible to recover 90% of the nuclear “waste,” often cited by environmentalists as a further reason to halt nuclear reactor development.

    All in all, I agree that we need to explore every possible energy alternative and choose the ones that are most practical to reduce our dependence upon oil (particularly foreign oil). If not for environmental or economic reasons, the country’s national security should be reason enough. In the meantime, because we will always need oil for many other things besides our automobiles and power generators, we should be exploring ways to provide that oil from our own available resources.

  5. If you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn! By Bush just announcing the lift of the ban oil dropped $2o a barrel overnight. With the patriots in the House holding hearings and demanding the the ban be allowed to expire on Oct 1st it is now under $120 a barrel. Your argument is stale and lacks any substance. DRILL HERE DRLL NOW! 70% of Americans support it. I preduict a Republican landslide in Nov if the will of the people is continued to be ignored.

  6. kalmia78 said

    Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean one caused the other. According to the AP, “Oil prices sank as low as $118 a barrel Tuesday on the growing belief that a U.S. economic slowdown and high energy costs are curbing consumer demand for gasoline and other petroleum products.” The cost of oil isn’t going down because Bush made an announcement about drilling that wouldn’t provide any oil for years! It was because as the price rose people conserved and there was less demand! Crazy concept. Tied in with the poor economy in the U.S. and oil that will probably never be less than $3 a gallon, people will continue to conserve.

    Also, this is hopefully making everyone realize that a country that runs on oil can’t go on forever, and demand will continue to go down for years. In addition to the environmental problems drilling causes, why continue to throw our money into oil? It will run out at some point, and it’s used in a lot of other products like plastic…yet we keep burning it. Drill here drill now is a nice-sounding slogan, but like so many other sound-byte-friendly Republican messages, the issue is more complicated than a simple slogan.

  7. scottymck said

    The one amazingly idiotic thing that I continue to hear the “greenies” say, is that, because “it will be years” before we are able to extract the oil from any new exploration, implementing a policy to drill now would have no effect on the market price of oil.

    Oil futures are what drives the market and the current price of oil is a direct reflection of predictions (gambling) on what the price will be five years down the road. Announcing plans to immediately explore the untapped known resources certainly have an effect on the price five years down the road.

    This Congress needs to get it through their heads that adopting a policy of both drilling and aggressively exploring alternatives will dramatically lower the price of oil, since separately and collectively both reduce demand. They need to pass legislation yesterday! It should be an interesting return from their taxpayer-paid five week vacation.

    It’s a shame that the first woman to ever be the Senate Majority leader is representing her gender and Party in such a poor, abrasive light. She is, in essence, telling the American public, “Although you elected me to represent you, you are far too stupid to have a say in this matter.” Imagine such an elitist sentiment being attributed to a Democrat. If she were any more elitist, I’d say she would be an excellent Democratic Presidential candidate!

  8. Piperj3cub said

    Scottymck says: “This Congress needs to get it through their heads that adopting a policy of both drilling and aggressively exploring alternatives will dramatically lower the price of oil, since separately and collectively both reduce demand. They need to pass legislation yesterday!” This is EXACTLY what Barack Obama has proposed. Sadly, the obnoxious (non-leftist) media say that this is an example of Obama flip-flopping. I hate that BS term… he proposed that he would support limited off-shore drilling IF it was part of a larger bill that demanded increased efficiency standards along with other measures to eliminate our reliance on foreign oil. We should all realize that there is no way for the US to produce oil at the rate we are consuming it. If we wish to eliminate our reliance on foreign oil, we MUST dramatically reduce our usage of oil. Frankly, we do not need to do both (efficiency and increased drilling), but if that is what it takes to get bills passed, I understand Obama’s support (but certainly do not fully support it).

  9. scottymck said

    Piperj – True, Obama did just change his position and, after he could no longer avoid alienating the American public, decided that limited offshore drilling was now his policy.

    John McCain has ben advocating more drilling and exploring new technologies for several months now.

  10. Piperj3cub said

    You mean that Obama took a compromise position that is in the best interest of the United Stats in its citizens. Sadly, McCain’s positions are not progressive at all when it comes to efficiency and reduction of oil demand in the United States. Is there something about Republicans that makes them always want to repair damage, and not solve the problem? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure they say… so why not prevent the problem to begin with? Obama is taking exactly the right stand… the federal government MUST legislate to reduce our demand for oil, meaning fuel efficient and fuel alternative vehicles above all else. This is what Obama has suggested (and what McCain has disavowed), and this is why he is the man that will fix this problem.

  11. scottymck said

    Piperj – Where do you get your information, off of Internet blogs? McCain has been for expanding alternative energy for the last year. It is a position he finally realized we needed to take for both financial and National security reasons. His switch to “the green side” is what pissed so many conservative Republicans off! Try to get your news from credible sources; you might learn something!

    You also need to make up your mind. When you said that “Obama took a compromise position that is in the best interest[s] of the United [States and] its citizens,” you are suddenly taking the position that drilling for oil is indeed, what needs to be done.

    The vast majority of Republicans do favor a comprehensive approach of drilling for our own known oil and developing new energy sources. You forgot to mention the other main difference in the candidates, which is that McCain favors increasing nuclear energy, whereas Obama supports it “if” it can be done in an “environmentally responsible way” (another perceived position change that really says nothing at all, since “environmentally responsible” means different things to different people).

    Furthermore, Obama did not take a compromise position on the drilling issue. Those that aren’t intelligent enough to parse his actual statement don’t realize that he, once again, used the “if” qualifier saying he would be willing to compromise “if” he had to, in order to pass a comprehensive energy package. He knows that the likelihood of having to make that compromise is slim, since many pundits believe that the Democrats will gain a veto-proof majority in Congress. Every money-spending, inflation-raising item that is part of the Democratic agenda will sail through into law. Obama’s cleverly worded statement is meant to appease the 75% of Americans who support new drilling. Sadly, a huge percentage of them are not smart enough to realize that he made no concession at all!

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