American Elephants


Democrats will let the offshore drilling ban expire, or will they? by The Elephant's Child
September 23, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: , ,

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats will allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week.

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey is telling reporters that language continuing the moratorium will be omitted this year from a spending bill to keep the government in operating funds after Congress recesses for the election.

Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices soared beyond $4 a gallon this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling.  President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.

The Interior Department estimates there are 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath coastal waters now off-limits.

This is good news, but there is still a long rocky road on the way to actually drilling for oil.

The real problem is that environmental groups seem to believe that “alternative energy” can replace fossil fuels if they just shut off access to oil and gas.  Wind and solar may never make a significant contribution to our energy needs.  Biofuels have already significantly raised the price of food, and caused food riots in the developing world.

There are many promising technologies on the horizon, but they are far, far from ready for the market.  The idea seems to be  — and I am just guessing here — that if they just force us to develop alternative energy by bringing us close to freezing and starving, then we will pay attention and do what they want. That’s why they talk about “Marshall Plans” and “Apollo Projects” without any understanding of the difference between those programs and our present situation.

Call it the “Energy Gap”. Environmental organizations see “Global Warming” as their best chance to bring about the Utopian vision that is their goal which has much more to do with “social justice” and who is in control than with clean air and water.

England is now facing the Energy Gap.  Their power structure is supposed to be shut down and replaced within the next 12 years, but the Greens are fighting any attempt to replace it, except with wind and solar.  The climate stopped warming about 10 years ago, and has actually been cooling for the past 7 years.  The sun has gone quiet, without sunspots for over a month.  Many scientists believe that we are in for 20 to 30 years of cooling, at least.

Colder weather means greater energy needs.  Colder weather means poorer agricultural yields. Far more people die from cold weather than from heat.  Prudence says that you do what you can to prepare for the worst.

But true believers are not about to let prudence interfere with the possibility of permanently getting rid of evil, dirty oil and gas.  It’s a strange mindset.

And if the whole basis of their argument is phony?  If CO2 is not responsible for climate change? If all the fuss is for nothing because climate change is a natural process that has been going on for centuries?  What if there is nothing that we can do that will actually affect climate?  What if it was all a lie?  What then?

According to Rasmussen Reports, 69% of voters support offshore oil drilling.  Clearly that means the Democrats have decided that they must be responsive to voters, right?  Well, never mind.

Nancy Pelosi is not going to miss a chance to mess things up some more.  She is trying to attach her “Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act” (a euphemism if there ever was one) to the massive end-of-the-fiscal-year “continuing resolution to sneak it into law.

In spite of the charming name, there is no consumer protection in it.  Instead it actually bans drilling in any places where we know there is oil or gas.  It prohibits drilling within 50 miles of the coast, and prohibits drilling off her own precious California coast.  Under the bill, legislatures would have to approve drilling off the state coast in legislation separate from acts of Congress.  No encouragement for nuclear.  And it will raise oil prices by taxing oil companies to the hilt.  More subsidies, of course, for “alternative energy”.  Sneaky doesn’t even begin to describe it.

If you want to get something done, you’re going to have to elect a different Congress.



Short on manners, long on politics. by The Elephant's Child

President Alvaro Uribe of Columbia came to Washington this week to plead for a free trade pact.  He didn’t come asking for very much — only that Congress keep its word on an agreement that will drop tariffs on American goods sold in Columbia.  Columbia is perhaps the most valuable ally that America has ever had in Latin America. 

President Uribe is looking for  a chance to help his country develop as a democracy and prosper in a difficult region. The main result of the free trade agreement would be an increase in investments in his country, and an opportunity for America to sell more to Columbia.  The more Columbia is allowed to develop and increase legal investment, the more it will help them to defeat terrorist groups and illegal drugs. 

Last July, Columbia put its’ own men in harm’s way in a daring rescue of three Americans held hostage by FARC Marxist terrorists.  For that, somebody should get a medal, let alone a trade agreement. 

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who killed the free trade deal last April, refused to meet Uribe, and did not even acknowledge a White House invitation to an event in his honor.  Later, her staff complained that Uribe did not call her. 

Pelosi has offered a variety of excuses, but the motive seems to be paying attention to the demands of Big Labor at election time. Harry Reid, Chris Dodd and Bill Richardson, supposed Latin experts, seemed unaware of the message that their treatment of Uribe sent to the region.

But Governor Sarah Palin, who is supposed to be a foreign policy lightweight, asked to meet with Uribe on Tuesday in New York.  Way to go, Sarah.  At least someone knows how to behave when an important leader comes to our country. And she puts our country’s interests ahead of politics, as well.




%d bloggers like this: