Oil Drilling is Good For You – According to GW Bush

If someone came to you today and told you the gas station on the corner was selling regular gas for US$3.29 gallon, wouldn’t you consider that a bargain?  Just a bit over two months ago, We the PEOPLE!! lamented the fact that regular gas had reached $3.29 a gallon.  You can read that article HERE.

With the price of regular gas in the USA at now at $4.10 a gallon and still rising, people are realizing the  truth of real economic trouble.  After all, it is gas (or diesel for trucks, or a kerosene derivative for jet aircraft) that fuels commerce in this country and the rest of the world.  With the price of transport and heating/cooling going up, inflation is already with us and has every opportunity to get worse. 

This situation is strangely reminiscent of the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo which shook the western world and made a fragile economy suffering from the remnants of the Vietnam War endure double-digit inflation.  Those who lived through it remember the gas lines and sporadic wildcat gas rationing by gas station owners.  The price of a gallon doubled in a year, and the US government, first under Nixon and then under Ford promised to make the USA safe from any future control by a foreign entity where our energy needs were concerned.  In other words, the USA was going to be energy independent.

Nixon made everyone in the USA crawl along the superhighways at 55 miles per hour and Ford pushed through legislation granting minor tax credits for people who bought heat pumps, insulation, and alternate energy producers, such as they existed in 1974 and 1975.  People abandoned their large gas-guzzling American cars for foreign sub-compact automobiles just large enough to seat four people, a box lunch, and a citizens band radio.

And both the government and private industry promised advances in alternate energy that would guarantee energy independence for the USA.

Fast-forward to 2008:  Thirty-four years later, Bush and his syndicate of oil-company- friendly administration officials are at the end of a long line of administrations, two of which were democratic and five of which were republican, that failed to deliver on the alternate energy promise. 

Certainly, technical advances have occurred with ethanol, solar and wind power, fuel cells and hydrogen, but not one of them has translated into a solution against the huge importation of foreign oil that occurs daily in the USA.

Instead of pushing the envelope on alternate energy, the Bush administration continues to push the envelope on increased oil drilling in places on the continental shelf and in the Alaska National Wildlife Preserve (ANWP) that have been off-limits to the oil companies for many years because of environmental concerns.  Bush claims that allowing his buddies to drill for oil there will “bring enormous benefits to the American People”.

This, of course, is spoken by a man who distinguished himself as the owner of an oil company whose sole accomplishment was digging dry holes into the earth.  Bush’s own Department of Energy refutes his claim, stating that drilling in Alaska would do little to reduce the price of oil.  Furthermore, drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) would have no impact on the price of oil before the year 2025, fully sixteen years from now.  Even then, it might just shave $2.25 off a barrel of oil which stands at $140 today.  The effect on the price of gas would be minimal.  You can read more about it HERE

But the worst part of all of this is that the oil companies already own leases on an enormous amount of federal land and offshore areas that are not being developed by the oil companies.  Of the over 90 million acres of federal land and off-shore areas leased by the oil companies, fully 68 million acres is not being developed by them for energy production.  Put another way, over 75% of the land and off-shore areas leased by oil companies is undeveloped.  And yet, they want more land and off-shore areas while their friend Bush is still in office (which mercifully ends in seven months).  You can read more HERE.

And even if the oil companies could somehow explore, drill, refine and distribute more domestic oil, they would only be prolonging their ability to rake in the enormous profits they are making at the expense of research and development into the alternate energy sources this country and the rest of the world desperately need as soon as possible.  Brazil, considered by some to be an inferior country to the USA, realized this in the 1970’s when it decided to do something as a nation about foreign oil dependence:  It developed ethanol as its primary transportation fuel, and grew both sugar cane and infrastructure.  Today, Brazil in energy independent, and all of its cars can run on ethanol.  And it exports excess energy!

In 1961 President John F. Kennedy made a USA commitment to send men to the moon and return them safely to Earth before the end of the 1960’s.  Merely eight years later, humans walked on the moon and returned safely home.  They derived their energy from fuel cells, which combine hydrogen and oxygen to make water.  They did this almost 40 years ago!!  With 1960’s technology!! 

So… how come we still don’t have mass-produced fuel cells powering our vehicles and warming/cooling our homes and factories?  How come we don’t have wind-turbines and solar panels on every home in America?

Most importantly, how come the oil companies want more acreage when they’re not developing three quarters of what they already have?

Because guys like Bush (and now McCain) believe that drilling is good for us.  Kind of like when he was a Texas oil company owner drilling dry holes in the ground.  It was good for him.  It set him up to be president of the USA…the worst in history.

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