Why We Need to Drill Here and Drill Now

Pajamas Media

It is truly astonishing how the Obama administration has not only failed to address the problem of rising gasoline prices, but actually spent the last two years making the problem worse.

In 2008, with a federal offshore drilling ban in place and a Congress that cared little for allowing more domestic energy production, gasoline prices began to spike toward $4 per gallon. With billions of barrels available for development offshore, our government’s decision to keep those resources under lock and key received the justified scorn of Americans who suddenly had to work longer just so they could afford to drive to and from work.

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Time for some oil spill perspective

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families  and friends who lost love ones in this disaster.          1 Dragon

Washington Examiner

Eleven people died when BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform exploded nearly two weeks ago in the Gulf of Mexico, 53 miles southwest of the Louisiana coast. It’s a sad measure of how much of the subsequent commentary on this disaster has focused solely on the environmental effects, thus ignoring completely the pain and suffering of the families of the 11 who died in the inferno. The worst off-shore oil disaster occurred in 1988 in the North Sea 120 miles from Aberdeen, Scotland, when a massive explosion on the Piper Alpha platform killed 167 men. For families of those killed in any drilling accident, however, the only number that counts is the one representing a father, husband, or brother.

As for the environmental damage caused by Deepwater Horizon, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar deserves commendation for reminding everybody over the weekend that off-shore drilling is remarkably safe considering its scope and importance to the nation. There are presently more than 4,000 active rigs employing an estimated 80,000 people on the U.S. outer continental shelf, with the large majority of those operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Salazar said Sunday on Fox News that more than 30,000 oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in the Gulf, and one-third of the oil and natural gas consumed by the United States is produced there. This means off-shore drilling is now and will remain for the foreseeable future a critically important national resource. The interior secretary also noted that the industry “has been conducted in a very safe manner. Blowouts occur but the safety mechanisms have been in place. Why this failed here is something we are investigating.” Amazingly, there have been only 41 deaths and 302 injuries in off-shore platform accidents since 2001, according to federal data. Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by the Daily Beast reveals that off-shore oil rig jobs aren’t among the 10 most dangerous jobs, while fishing, sanitation work, and farming are.

From an environmental perspective, off-shore oil drilling is far safer than Mother Nature. As the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, oil that seeps naturally from the ocean floor puts 47 million gallons of crude into U.S. waters annually. Thus far, Deepwater Horizon has leaked about three million gallons. That sounds like a lot of oil, and it is. But the Exxon Valdez leaked 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Even those figures are dwarfed, according to the Economist, by the amount of oil spilled in man-made disasters elsewhere around the world. Saddam Hussein’s destruction of Kuwaiti oil facilities during the Gulf War dumped more than 500 million barrels of crude into the Arabian Gulf. The 1979 blowout of Mexico’s Ixtoc 1 well resulted in 3.3 million barrels being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. In short, Deepwater Horizon is an environmental crisis, but not the apocalypse that alarmists claim.

Taking Advantage of an Oil Crisis

American Thinker
Days after being elected in November 2008, President-Elect Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, spoke to a Wall Street Journal gathering of business leaders and stated that the economic crisis facing the United States is “an opportunity to do things you could not do before.”
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Emanuel said.

And why should we think this administration isn’t letting the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis go to waste?
Don’t be fooled for a moment. History proves that the Gulf leak is a messy dream come true for hardcore environmentalists — -many of whom surround Mr. Obama.

Obama Spares Us From Energy Independence; Ignorant MSM Cheers

Big Journalism

President Obama this week announced that his administration would ease-up on the long moratorium on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.  Congress may not have made up its collective mind on the issue but some in the American media have made their positions clear.  Observe if you will this headline from the April 1 edition of the Miami Herald:

Obama offshore drilling plan spares South Florida

Here’s a parallel line from a story on the website of KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, California:

It looks as if California’s coastline was spared, as President Obama announced plans for renewed efforts of offshore oil exploration.

Without getting into the relative merits of the president’s proposal, my question is, from what exactly are these two states being spared?  It’s not as if ExxonMobil is planning to plop oil derricks along the strip in South Beach or adjacent to the millionaire mansions of Santa Barbara.  But what about the pristine scenery in these areas?


The drilling would not be permitted any closer than 125 miles from any shoreline, which is well into international waters. In fact, nobody would ever see the drilling platforms.  A person of average height can only see about three miles into the horizon and even folks in the tallest luxury hotels have a vista that extends maybe 25 or 30 miles tops.  No, wrecking the view isn’t something that folks are being spared from.

Perhaps the media are pleased that Florida and California have been spared from offshore drilling oil spills.  Not likely.  American oil platforms haven’t spilled a drop of oil in more than 40 years.  So maybe these media pronouncements of sparing geographic locales from drilling is nothing more than a parochial NIMBY principle in play, a happy reminder that any new drilling will not be in my backyard.

That’s cool.  But one thing these area will most certainly be spared is new job creation.  Opening up American coastal waters for drilling could create more than 76,000 new jobs – pretty good ones too.  The salary for entry level grunts runs around the low $30k range which won’t make a guy rich but getting three weeks vacation for every two weeks on the rig is one helluva compensation plan.

Then there’s sparing all Americans – even the common folk residing in the flyover country between South Beach and Santa Barbara – from the prospect of energy independence.  Consider US oil production v. imports.  During the last week of March, domestic oil production totaled 5,489,000 barrels while imported oil for the same week amounted to 14,234,000 barrels – more than two-and-a-half times the amount extracted from American sources.


Where does this imported oil come from?  Among the top five nations providing oil to the U.S. – about 71% of all crude oil imports – are such hospitable locales as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.  I take some comfort in knowing that Canada supplies the biggest chunk of our imported oil (even though they did beat us for the Olympic gold medal in hockey.  Hosers…) But it’s hard to understand how any serious person interested in energy independence can sleep well at night knowing that more than 1.5 million barrels of imported oil each day is controlled by Marxist lunatic Hugo Chavez down in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, a diplomatic ally but also a well-known source of funding for anti-American terrorism.


Sparing Florida or California or anywhere else from offshore drilling will also spare us from lower energy costs.  The law of supply and demand tells us that more oil results in lower prices.  While opponents will argue that offshore drilling won’t do a thing to lower energy costs, there are plenty of folks – including some congressional Democrats – who seem to think otherwise.

Rather than news coverage heralding how one area or another will be “spared “ from offshore drilling, I’d rather see coverage on how offshore drilling can spare us all from the problems caused by surrendering American energy independence.


Lindsey Graham Aids Another Obama Sham: Offshore Drilling

Red County

According to The Hill, the global warming bill currently being drafted by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) faces an uphill climb, notably due to its token expansion of offshore drilling. One component, revenue sharing with the states, is being used as bait to get pro-drilling lawmakers to sign on.

But Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), who co-authored an efficiency-only bill last year and is seen as a key vote for any energy tax moving forward, has repeatedly rejected sharing royalty revenue with the states.

Some Senators tried to include revenue sharing in his energy efficiency bill last summer, but the measure was defeated largely due to Bingaman’s opposition. And with Bingaman’s all-but-guaranteed refusal to accept that measure moving forward, it’s unlikely that Kerry-Graham-Lieberman will include the offshore drilling provisions Senator Graham promised as a reason for his support of the bill.

This latest news comes shortly after it became clear that the new energy tax would also not include drilling in ANWR, despite the fact that drilling in ANWR was necessary for Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) support. Murkowski was, coincidentally, the other co-sponsor of the Bingaman energy efficiency bill.

For weeks we have heard that this latest energy tax will be a middle of the road approach, a bill that criminalizes carbon but also promotes more drilling.

But the whole idea of having to swallow a massive new energy tax in order to get offshore drilling always appeared to be a sham. This latest news proves that it is.


Obama surrenders gulf oil to Moscow


The Obama administration is poised to ban offshore oil drilling on the outer continental shelf until 2012 or beyond. Meanwhile, Russia is making a bold strategic leap to begin drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. While the United States attempts to shift gears to alternative fuels to battle the purported evils of carbon emissions, Russia will erect oil derricks off the Cuban coast.

Offshore oil production makes economic sense. It creates jobs and helps fulfill America’s vast energy needs. It contributes to the gross domestic product and does not increase the trade deficit. Higher oil supply helps keep a lid on rising prices, and greater American production gives the United States more influence over the global market.

Drilling is also wildly popular with the public. A Pew Research Center poll from February showed 63 percent support for offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. Americans understand the fundamental points: The oil is there, and we need it. If we don’t drill it out, we have to buy it from other countries. Last year, the U.S. government even helped Brazil underwrite offshore drilling in the Tupi oil field near Rio de Janeiro. The current price of oil makes drilling economically feasible, so why not let the private sector go ahead and get our oil?

The Obama administration, however, views energy policy through green eyeshades. Every aspect of its approach to energy is subordinated to radical environmental concerns. This unprecedented lack of balance is placing offshore oil resources off-limits. The O Force would prefer the country shift its energy production to alternative sources, such as nuclear, solar and wind power. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with that, in the long run, assuming technology can catch up to demand. But we have not yet reached the green utopia, we won’t get there anytime soon, and America needs more oil now.

Russia more sensibly views energy primarily as a strategic resource. Energy is critical to Russia’s economy, as fuel and as a source of profit through export. Russia also has used energy as a coercive diplomatic tool, shutting off natural gas piped to Eastern Europe in the middle of winter to make a point about how dependent the countries are that do business with the Russians.

Now Russia is using oil exploration to establish a new presence in the Western Hemisphere. It recently concluded four contracts securing oil-exploration rights in Cuba’s economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. A Russian-Cuban joint partnership will exploit oil found in the deep waters of the Gulf.

Cuba has rights to the area in which drilling will be conducted under an agreement the Carter administration recognized. From Russia’s perspective, this is another way to gain leverage inside what traditionally has been America’s sphere of influence. It may not be as dramatic as the Soviet Union attempting to use Cuba as a missile platform, but in the energy wars, the message is the same. Russia is projecting power into the Western Hemisphere while the United States retreats. The world will not tolerate a superpower that acts like a sidekick much longer.