American Elephants

Michelle Bachmann on Israel by The Elephant's Child

Michelle Bachmann  has been a long-time and consistent supporter of the State of Israel.  It is refreshing to see an American politician, and presidential candidate, take a firm stand in supporting our allies.  These Republican women are a force to be reckoned with.  Brains, beauty, loyalty,  common sense and clarity.

(h/t: Powerline)

Another WTF Policy Move for the Obama Campaign. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum reserve.  ?  “We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.  Another 30 million will be released over the next month, to Win the Future.

“The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency lifeline to protect our nation against critical shortages in our oil supply and shouldn’t be sued as a Strategic Political Reserve to boost the popularity of elected officials,” said Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said that the Obama administrations “anti-American energy policies have left the United States increasingly vulnerable to the whims of the world oil market and OPEC’s erratic decisions on oil supply.” Hastings and other Republicans called for increased production of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and in public lands.

Oil prices dropped Thursday, the same day the IEA announced the plan to release a total of 60 million barrels of oil and a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that the U.S. economy was recovering more slowly than expected. Obama is open to releasing more oil from U.S. reserves, an official said on condition of anonymity, though no decision on doing so has been made.

The Heritage Foundation clarifies:

The problem is that releasing reserves from SPR does not pass legal, rational, or economic muster. A much more prudent move for the Administration would be to open access onshore and offshore for drilling and exploration. Doing so would minimize the impact of foreign supply reductions and help stabilize future energy prices.

The President’s authority to release reserves from the SPR, which holds about 727 million barrels, is limited by law. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act requires a presidential finding that there is a “severe energy supply interruption.” Three conditions must be met

  1. “An emergency situation exists and there is a significant reduction in supply which is of significant scope and duration;
  2. “A severe increase in the price of petroleum products has resulted from such emergency situation; and
  3. “Such price increase is likely to cause a major adverse impact on the national economy.”

Libyan production of oil has been offline for quite some time (almost three months), but Libya produces 2 percent of the world’s oil (about 1.5 million barrels per day) with most of its oil going to Europe. Does this constitute a significant reduction in supply? Or a severe increase in price? No. Rising demand for the better part of a year has steadily increased oil prices, and prices have since leveled off.

Releasing some reserves now allows the Obama administration to avoid addressing the underlying problems with U.S. energy policy that have been created by the Obama administration’s artificial constriction of domestic oil. We have plenty of oil, the Administration doesn’t want Americans to have access to it.  High gas prices call attention to the policy. Releasing reserves is meant to make high gas prices less of a campaign issue.  It’s all about the campaign, not about the country.

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