Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oil, again!

Hmmmm! It might appear that Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has flipped in his stance on drilling for oil. He had been against any drilling on U.S. soil. Then Monday, he said that America must look again at drilling and abandon the ban that prevents tapping new sources of oil. McCain said that drilling should be allowed in the Gulf of Mexico to help alleviate the energy crisis facing us.

This is a huge flip and environmentalists almost immediately began working against the apparent Republican nominee for the November election. Perhaps he’s beginning to understand just how much the policies of our Congress are hurting us. The people in this country are beginning, perhaps, to understand that we must develop an energy policy to be best for us to stop our dependency on others for oil. National polls indicative the people want drilling to begin.

McCain got support from President Bush who immediately called on Congress to lift the drilling ban. As expected, though, the Democrats in control of Congress said the ban should remain. Even Democrat presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama was against the lifting of the ban. So once again, the Democrats want to block relief for Americans while the Republicans are working to help us. And, guess what. The Democrats will blame Republicans for the failure of the energy crisis resolution.

According to David Jackson, writing in the U.S. Today newspaper, along with the lifting of the moratorium on offshore drilling, President Bush also called for oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), allowing development of oil shale deposits on federal lands in three states (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming), and speed the process of building and expanding oil refineries. The article points out it will take time for these measures, if adopted by Congress, to lower the price of gasoline.

The Kennebec Journal reported that Gov. Baldacci and Maine’s Congressional Delegation have rejected the President’s call for drilling and exploration. It did appear in the article, though, that our two Republican Senators were primarily opposed to drilling off the Maine coast.

I read this morning on As Goes Maine that the Maine Oil Dealers Association has another wrinkle on the high cost of oil. In a press release, MODA says oil futures have risen over 1900% since 2002. The release pointed out the supply and demand argument is bogus when the price of oil can increase 29 cents a gallon one day a couple weeks ago when the temperature was 85 degrees. That group is calling on Congress to reign in Wall Street’s speculative buying of oil.

Democrat presumptive nominee Obama says he doesn’t support the drilling because it wouldn’t lower gas prices immediately. Of course it wouldn’t. But nothing else that has been proposed will either, except a massive lowering of the price of oil in the first place. And that probably wouldn’t be immediate, either. But the excuses of the 1970s can’t be accepted today. Had we not shut down drilling and the exploration for new sources, we’d already be in control. But the Democrat way is to not do anything except try to talk a good game. Since their talking accomplishes nothing, we should try the drilling route. At least the beginning of drilling or even the approval of drilling might cause lower prices from the current producing nations hoping to fend of the American threat.

Congress must get out of the pockets of the environmental lobbyists and start working to helping Americans facing financial crisis. The prices of virtually everything we need and use are climbing by the minute. And the price of oil is a major reason. People in some corners would like to blame the President, the war in Iraq, and the falling worth of the American dollar. They may be contributing factors as well, but the element that most closely touches Americans is the cost of energy.

I wonder if anyone has asked if the forced use of ethanol has had an effect on the price of gasoline. As I think of this topic, it occurred to me that gasoline prices started rising just about the same time Congress required a switch to ethanol. I’m wondering if those oil producing countries saw a threat. Fascinating thought. Of course the farmers could have simply found a good cash cow, too, resulting in rising prices of food.

I think the cost of energy has a better chance of being a major factor in November, even more than the war. Perhaps one probable Presidential candidate is beginning to understand and has changed his stance. The other has not…yet. Ultimately it’s up to Congress whose members rely too heavily on lobbyists to change. It’s going to be an interesting, spirited debate.


No comments: