Drilling Bans to Cost U.S. $2.36 Trillion, Industry Study Says

By Daniel Whitten

(Bloomberg) — Restrictions on oil and gas drilling will cost the U.S. economy $2.36 trillion through 2029, according to a study requested by state utility regulators and paid for in part by industry-sponsored groups.

Drilling restrictions in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the U.S. coastline are blocking access to about nine years’ worth of U.S. oil and gas consumption, according to the report. Among sponsors are the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the industry-funded Gas Technology Institute, of Des Plaines, Illinois.

Former President George W. Bush and Congress ended bans in 2008 on drilling along the U.S. coastline. The Interior Department hasn’t acted to open the newly available areas, including offshore Alaska and on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Congress has kept the Arctic refuge off limits.

“Required actions to access the energy resources thought to exist there have not been taken,” O’Neal Hamilton, a former chairman of South Carolina’s Public Service Commission, said of the areas where leasing hasn’t proceeded. “Our research allows policy makers to know the extent of the resource base and the effects that maintaining the restrictions would have on the country.”

The report, issued today, said opening the areas would free up 43 billion barrels of oil and 286 trillion cubic feet of gas. The U.S. used 22.8 trillion cubic feet of gas and 5.2 billion barrels of oil in 2009, according to a press release issued with the report.

Gas, Oil Prices

Annual average natural-gas prices will increase by 17 percent by 2030 and electricity prices will rise by 5 percent if U.S. policy makers don’t open access to off-limit areas, the report forecast. That would cut the gross domestic product by $2.36 trillion cumulatively through 2029, or 0.52 percent annually on average, according to the report.

Dave Harbour, a retired commissioner of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, who helped oversee the study, said the calculation of lost GDP was based on the contribution the untapped oil and gas revenues would make to the economy, including employment, taxes and royalties.

Harbour said the industry didn’t influence the outcome of the study, which was performed by McLean, Virginia-based SAIC Corp.


Barack Obama: Super Hero Falls to Earth

There are some of us that saw through this guy long before the election. We knew he was a fraud and couldn’t or wouldn’t do all the things he said he was going to do. Maybe we knew this because we didn’t drink the obama kool-aid or maybe because he had never done anything in his past to show he could do what he said. The man has no experence and since he has sealed all of his records, he has no real past. He is an EMPTY SUIT.


Western Journalism

Barack Obama was feted by many as a messiah. His supporters compared him to Jesus.

He even equated himself to Superman, saying at a dinner that he had been “born on Krypton and sent here … to save the planet Earth.” The remark was presented as a joke, but the effect of Obama’s ego is no laughing matter.

Now, just over a year into his term, his legislative agenda lies in ruins. Despite poll after poll showing that Americans’ main priority is jobs, the president has focused on taking over the U.S. healthcare system.

Observing the wreckage, noted political pundit Charlie Cook candidly told Politico, “I think choosing to take a Captain Ahab-like approach to healthcare — I’m going to push for this even in the worst downturn since the Great Depression — is roughly comparable to Bush’s decision to go to war [in Iraq], It basically destroyed the first year of a presidency.”

What a fall, from “Super Hero” to obsessed Captain Ahab chasing his great white whale.

To save his whale, Obama and his legislative allies Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are resorting to bare knuckled politics. The aptly named “nuclear option,” a classic piece of legislative trickery involving the reconciliation fast-track, which he denounced while campaigning, has become his final option.

Rather than a white whale, we should call ObamaCare his white elephant. Even if it passes, most knowledgeable legal scholars believe it will be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Matt Patterson, in an analysis prepared for the National Center for Public Policy Research, says the bill is unconstitutional for multiple reasons: “Both the House and Senate versions of ObamaCare contain penalty taxes on Americans who do not have government-approved health insurance, the so-called ‘individual mandate.’ Such a tax would function as a direct, or capitation, tax, as opposed to a tax on activity, such as excise or income taxes, and would therefore fall outside Congress’ authority to tax income granted by the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.”

The Constitution places strict restrictions on Congress’ power to lay capitation taxes under Article I, Sec. 9, which reads “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.”

Exemptions for some people built into the Senate bill’s individual mandate tax would make it impossible for ObamaCare to meet this constitutional standard.

Patterson summarizes this way, “Some of the finest legal minds in the country have concluded that the enforcement provisions of ObamaCare’s individual mandate would violate the both spirit and the letter of the U.S. Constitution. Apparently, President Obama and members of Congress think they are smarter than these scholars — and smarter than the authors of the Constitution.”

The penalties for following Obama on his search for Moby Dick will be brutal for Democrats in Congress. With over 60 percent of Americans opposed to Obamacare the fall campaign could turn into a referendum on this unwise scheme. Senior citizens are understandably upset by the massive $400 Billion-plus cuts in Medicare mandated in the plan. Democrats are predicted to lose dozens of congressional seats, and they could even lose their Senate or House majorities.

Even if the Democrats don’t lose their majorities, and the new Congress doesn’t have the votes to repeal ObamaCare, the Supreme Court is likely to do the job. And they should; the bill isn’t just unconstitutional, full of new taxes, too big and unmanageable — it is un-American.

By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, Expose Obama


Who’s A Terrorist Now?

Power Line

One of the key arguments of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign was that he would improve America’s image around the world. This idea was based on the false assumption that anti-Americanism was due to factors peculiar to the Bush administration, as opposed to the basic realities of America’s role in the world and the hostility that many feel toward our values and interests. Thus, anyone foolish enough to believe that electing Obama would transform our international relationships must be disappointed.

Most recently, student protests have broken out in Indonesia against Obama’s planned visit to the land of his youth. One might think that Indonesia, especially, would welcome Obama as a favorite son. But Muslims in the world’s largest Muslim country don’t see it that way. Here, protesters hurl shoes at a picture of Obama:


Most liberals liked it when an Islamic militant threw his shoe at George Bush. I’ve seen no comment on their feelings about having the same courtesy extended to Obama.

The students also call Obama a terrorist:


In reality, any President who takes the most elementary measures to protect American security–drone strikes, say–is a “terrorist” in the eyes of Islamic radicals. Welcome to Israel’s world, Barack.