By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 07/13/08
The phrase “energy independence” is used by many of us who maintain a preference for self-sufficiency in our energy needs with the corollary of increased self-determination as a nation by not being beholden to other nations. As we see with the current oil crisis, those other nations can literally hold us over a barrel in fulfilling our consumption needs.
There are many reasons why we find ourselves in this situation, but one of the most significant factors is that we have literally had our hands tied in procuring and refining oil domestically to fill our needs. Although we have ample oil reserves to meet our needs, the strength of the environmental lobby and the Democratic Congress prevent us from accessing those reserves. Many current leases for off-shore drilling by U.S. companies are not producing in existing wells because the bureaucratic requirements for permits to actually make those leases productive precludes many from being exercised.
The dirty little secret, that is not really a secret but is definitely dirty, is that the Democrats like having oil this high priced. In 2000 when President Bush took office, the price of a gallon of gasoline was about $1.44 nationally. By 2006, when the Democrats took control, it was as at $2.10. Since that time, it has spiked to over $4.00 per gallon.
The Hill, official Capital news publication, declared earlier this week, “House Democrats are in a bind on the focal point of their energy plan. Worried that a floor vote on any energy-related measure would trigger a Republican-forced vote on domestic drilling, the leadership has scrubbed the floor schedule of the energy legislation that it vowed to tackle after the Fourth of July recess.” They still, even while in control of Congress, continue to function as obstructionists to solutions for our country’s economic woes!
Recently while on the stump, Senator Obama was asked about the high price of oil. He didn’t object to it being high priced, his consternation was that it “rose this quickly.” His solution: “We need to do what I called for months ago and pass a second stimulus package that provides energy rebate checks for working families, a fund to help families avoid foreclosure, and increased assistance for states that have been hard hit by the economic downturn.” In other words, he wants a band aid to buy votes instead of addressing the causes of the oil crisis.
Recall four years ago, John Kerry, while running for the Presidency, declared that the Federal Government should impose an additional 50 cent tax on gasoline to help curtail consumption. They want prices to be high!
In Oregon last week Obama said, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times whether we live in the desert or in the tundra, and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. You guys keep on using 25% of the world’s energy even though you only account for 3% of the world population, you go ahead and we’ll be just fine.” Karl Marx would be so proud.
To liberals like Obama, economics are zero-sum gains. If we’re doing okay, someone else is not because of us. And since we Americans enjoy such a high standard of living, we’re culpable for all the suffering in the world because we’re taking from the others. For anyone who understands the dynamics of market economics, this is pure gibberish. But from the perspective of socialistic, centralized control economics, it makes sense. So to liberals, what Obama is saying is like gospel, but to those who have even a modicum understanding of economics and common sense, it is idiocy.
Plus his facts are wrong (as usual, like the 58 United States), and lacking some key insights. Americans constitute 5.6% of the world population, and with our 20% of the world energy consumption, we produce over 25% of the global GDP, according to World Bank data.
I’m convinced that the underlying reason the Democrats oppose any viable solution to increasing the oil supply is that they see America as the problem not only with our consumption, but also because it ties so nicely into their notion of global warming. They want us to not use oil, and the higher the price is the less likely it is that we will continue to use it at current levels. That means fewer carbon emissions and all the irrational “end of the world” conclusions they draw from their fallacious ideological premise.
It is unfathomable to me that we would send “leaders” to Washington who condemn our standard of living and preach a form of minimalistic egalitarianism. What we need are solutions to our current challenges to facilitate our continued growth, not defeatist, effete denunciation of our American way of life!