Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Progressivism | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Economy, Environment, Gas Prices
The Transportation Department has released its requirements for the first increase in passenger car fuel efficiency in 25 years — the first step in what will be extensive reform for the nations truck and car fleets. The standards for model year 2011 passenger cars will have to average 30.2 mpg, and light trucks 24.1 mpg for cars that will hit the showrooms in September of 2010. Look for more increases to come.
The new fuel efficiency standards are estimated to cost the auto industry $1.5 billion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that price increases as a result will average $64 for passenger cars and $126 for light trucks. Passenger car buyers will be repaid in fuel savings in an average of 4.4 years, or in 7.7 years for pickups, SUVs or minivans.
Do you get the feeling that the right hand knows not what the left hand is doing? This is, I believe, the same auto industry that is receiving bailouts and needs more?
Representative John Dingell, D-Dearborn, said that Obama and his aides “recognize the auto industry is in a period of transition.” I guess you could call it a “transition.”
Representative Ed Markey,D-MA, chairman of the House Select Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence, praised the regulation.
With gas prices once again on the rise, I am pleased to see the Obama administration taking this historic first step towards reducing our dependence on foreign oil and helping revitalize the domestic auto industry. I look forward to working with the president to ensure that future standards are based on realistic assumptions and sound science.
I do not pretend to understand this. I guess it all makes sense if you believe that global warming is a vast danger to the earth, that extracting petroleum from American earth is something akin to rape, and that charging the auto industry another billion and a half will fill their empty coffers. But then I have no idea how to build a car.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: Environmental Demagogues, Gas Prices, Global Warming
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.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Liberalism, News, Politics | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Drilling for Oil, Economy, Gas Prices, Harry Reid, Liberal lies, Media, Nancy Pelosi
Exxon-Mobil has received huge attention since it was announced that they posted a record profit of $11.68 billion in the second quarter. Media spokesmen have huffed and puffed, announced the P-R-O-F-I-T-S in sneering language as if oil company CEOs had personally lifted our wallets, emptied our bank accounts, and put us all in the poorhouse. Democrats were gleefully beside themselves in finding someone else to blame, and demanded a new windfall profits tax. That would fix them.
No one saw fit to mention that in the same quarter, Exxon Mobil paid almost 3 times that much in taxes — more than $32 billion. (A tax bill greater than the GDP of many countries). That doesn’t count the taxes you pay on every gallon that goes into your gas tank: 12% to the federal government and differing amounts to the states. Mine is one of the highest.
When we start talking in billions, most of us are not comfortable with the figures. (How many zeros is that?). Many more people than ever before are becoming millionaires, but the billionaires live in a rarefied atmosphere that most of us don’t understand very well. It’s easy to assume that there must be something wrong with a profit of $11 billion.
Politicians, especially in an election year, prey on voter’s ignorance of matters economic. When gas prices are over $4.00 a gallon and grocery prices are climbing, people are being hit in the pocketbook. $11 billion in profit seems unimaginable, obscene.
The government is taking a far larger amount, demanding more and refusing to open known oil fields that could be producing in about 3 years. The Democrats want “windfall profits”, they want to outlaw “price gouging”, they want to “stop the speculators”, they want to distract you from the idea of drilling for oil.
In the last 10 years the top 20 U.S. and Canadian oil companies invested 50% more than they earned in efforts to produce more oil. Production in existing oil fields in the U.S. is slowing and they are having to go far afield to drill.
American corporations are among the most heavily regulated entities on earth. A corporation is a legal fiction that allows a group of people to band together to do business in the hope of making a profit. Corporations can survive a year or so of losses, but in general, if they don’t make a profit, they go out of business.
It is fashionable to think of corporations as “evil”, but the reasons for that illusion aren’t attractive. Our intelligentsia, proud of their advanced degrees, are incensed at the salaries and bonuses of corporate CEOs whom they regard as a lesser species. They do not understand business or economics, and in general, want to stamp it out.
Gas prices are dropping, but Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid soldier on. Speaker Pelosi has suggested that maybe they could allow a little offshore drilling — but only on the East coast! Have a little sympathy for the oil companies. They are trying very hard to produce the petroleum you need, and they are investing (without orders from Pelosi and Reid) heavily in alternative energy. Their business is to produce the energy you need at a price you can afford. That’s how they stay in business. (No, unfortunately I’m not a stockholder).
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2008, Environment, Liberalism, News, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, The Constitution, Uncategorized | Tags: Democrat Corruption, Democrat Demagogues, Gas Prices, Global Warming, Homeland Security, Liberal lies, Nancy Pelosi, Politics
In June 2001, seven years ago, President Bush said, in proposing his energy plan: “Energy has enormous implications for our economy, our environment and our national security.” “We cannot let another year go by without addressing these issues together in a comprehensive and balanced package.” The plan included, among other things:
♦ New drilling for oil and gas, and new refineries.
♦ Building nuclear power plants.
♦ Revamping the U.S. electricity grid.
♦$10 billion in tax breaks to push energy efficiency and alternative energy.
Just what economists, oil experts and energy experts say needs to be done to alleviate the current crisis. To devise the plan, Vice President Cheney met with industry executives to find out what was needed and what could be done. Mr. Cheney, as former CEO of an oilfield services company had some familiarity with the oil industry. And do you remember what happened?
Democrats in Congress had a hissy fit.
They demanded to know just who was invited to these meetings. They demanded minutes of the meetings. What was he doing meeting with oil executives? Outrage!
The administration gently pointed out the Constitutional separation of powers, the fact that the administration does not report to Congress, and that the powers of each branch of government are delineated in the Constitution to which they swore allegiance. And besides, it was none of their business. Many Democrats are still simmering over what they conceive, in their delusion, to be some vast conspiracy.
Energy bill didn’t pass.
Didn’t pass in 2001,
Didn’t pass in 2002, nor in 2003.
And Nancy Pelosi is trying to blame “a failed energy policy by the Bush/Cheney, two oilmen in the White House.” She called activities in Congress “the dance of the hand-maidens of the oil companies”. She said “Free our oil.” meaning open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve which contains a 33 day supply of oil in case of real national emergency.”
She said “But while we’re spending all of this time on a parliamentary tactic when nothing less is at stake than the planet, the air we breathe, our children breathe.”
Then she went on a book tour.
Filed under: Conservatism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2008, Energy, Environment, Liberalism, News, Politics | Tags: Democrat Dirty Tricks, Democrat lies, Gas Prices, Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, President Bush, Republicans
April 18, 1977 • President Jimmy Carter made energy policy the centerpiece of his administration. He declared that achieving energy independence was the “Moral equivalent of war”. Later that year he signed the law creating the United States Department of Energy to manage America’s energy crisis.
1978 • The Iranian revolution caused a shortfall in oil exports and prices doubled over the next couple of years. Carter, wearing a sweater on national television, urged Americans to turn down their thermostats.
July 15, 1979 • “Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 — never”, Carter declared. He put solar panels on the White House and proposed a $142 billion energy plan which would achieve energy independence by 1990. This plan included a solar bank to achieve the goal of 20% of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000, created a $20 billion Synfuels program. And he even began to cut back on Richard Nixon’s price controls on oil.
January, 1981 • Ronald Reagan, on the day be became president ended the remaining federal regulations on domestic oil supplies and prices, allowing oil prices for the first time since 1971 to fall and rise with world market levels. He removed Carter’s solar panels and in December 1985, he dismantled the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corp. What happened when all the governmental attempts to manage the energy supply ended? Oil prices dropped from their peak at the time of $37 per barrel in 1981 to $14 per barrel in 1986.
1991 • President George H.W. Bush ‘s strategy was “reducing our dependence on foreign oil.” This included a U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium in cooperation with the Big Three automakers to develop a lightweight battery system for electric vehicles, with a fuel efficient prototype car by 2004.
1992 • President Bill Clinton proposed a BTU tax on fossil fuels, creating a tax on natural gas, coal and nuclear power and a two times higher tax on crude oil, which would have cost the average family between $300 – $400 a year, and a plan to produce a prototype car that was 3X more fuel efficient by 2004.
2001 • George W. Bush introduced a comprehensive energy plan that allowed more drilling for oil and gas, new refineries, building nuclear power plants, revamping the U.S. electricity grid, and asked for $10 billion in tax breaks to encourage energy efficiency and alternative energy. Perhaps you remember the outrage of the Democrats in Congress about Cheney’s Energy Committee because the Vice President met with oil company executives to talk about energy. Congress rejected the energy plan.
2002 • Rejected.
2003 • Rejected.
August 10, 2005 • The Onion does an article: “Bush Vows to Eliminate U.S. Dependence on Oil By 4920″
July 31, 2008 • Barack Obama advises Americans that they can improve their gas mileage by keeping their tires properly inflated: “We could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups.” PowerLine’s John Hinderaker ran the numbers and suggested it would take about 11,308 years of proper inflation to equal all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling.
August 1, 2008 • Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, claiming that “I’m trying to save the planet”, again blocked, not only a vote on offshore drilling, but any debate on offshore drilling. She knows that if the issue is brought to the floor, it would pass, for many Democrats have started to shift their views. She quickly gavelled the session to an end and shut the chamber down as the Democrats departed for a five week vacation. Republicans turned the lights back on, and proceeded to attack the Democrats for leaving town without doing anything about lowering gas prices.
Republicans got the sound system working, and invited tourists in to watch the debate. They had flip charts and ordered in pizza. The talk-in was spontaneous. Mike Pence, R-Ind, said that as the House’s regular session neared it’s end, he and Tom Price, R-Ga, were talking about staging more than 100 5-minute speeches, when Price said if the House adjourned, “We should Just stay.” So they did.
The gallery closed on schedule at 4:30, and Representative Price finally called an end to the demonstration and led the group in an a capella rendition of “God Bless America”.
In Chapter 2, I will explain the Democrats’ position. In the meantime, consider just who it is that has blocked increasing our domestic energy supply for over 30 years. Just as they continue to do to this very day: