American Elephants


Life Without Oil Is Not As Simple As You May Think by The Elephant's Child

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Obama Wants High Gas Prices. Transforming America at the Pump. by The Elephant's Child

The gas station at the local Safeway store, usually the cheapest in town, listed regular at $4.02 yesterday. Also yesterday, Energy Secretary Stephen Chu was asked in testimony before Congress by Rep Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss) if it was his overall goal to get our price of gasoline lower?

“No,” Chu said,”the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.”

In 2008, Chu said “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Last March he repeated that point in an interview with Chris Wallace, noting that his focus is to ease the pain felt by his energy policies by forcing automakers to make more fuel-efficient automobiles. “What I’m doing since I became Secretary of Energy has been quite clear. What I have been doing is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices.”

Well, there you go. He has been dumping enormous amounts of taxpayer money into risky schemes that have failed, one after another —Solyndra, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, A123, Stirling Energy, Spectra Watt, Evergreen Solar, biofuels pollute and the plants have closed, ethanol pollutes, the Fisker Karma is a flop, the Tesla has major design flaws, the Leaf isn’t selling, and nobody wants a Volt — not even the dealers.

The Keystone XL pipeline was a disastrous  decision, both for oil and for jobs. The federal government leases less than 2.2 % of offshore land, and less than 6% of onshore lands.  Oil and gas production is down by 40% since 2000. Permitting in the Gulf had been seven deep water permits a month, it is now down to two. The average approval time has increased from an average of 60.6 days to 109 days in 2011. The three-year average for shallow-water permits had been 14.7 per month; the Obama administration has it down to 2.3 per month. And in Alaska, Governor Sean Parnell is begging for permission to drill, and Shell has found plentiful oil off the Alaska coast with no permission to drill from the government.

Obama, with the support of the usual suspects in Congress, wants to raise taxes on domestic oil and natural gas by more than $40 billion. Oil and natural gas producers already pay taxes at a higher rate than other industries, and operate at a disadvantage to other state-owned firms in the global energy market. Raising taxes on American companies is like handing subsidies to foreign producers in a bare-knuckled  international competition for new resources. Note Venezuela’s appropriation of $12 billion in Exxon-Mobil assets and refusal to submit the dispute to World Bank arbitration.

Obama tells the public that he is really concerned about the price of gas and will do what he can to bring down the cost. His deeds say something else entirely.

Michael Economides has a comprehensive article at the Energy Tribune on U.S, Energy Policy, that is very worth your time for the big picture. Obama speaks regularly about our having to “reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” North Dakota, boom state, is now producing enough oil to completely replace the imports of crude oil from Columbia.

But the White House, wedded to discredited ideologies and small thinking, continues to obstruct and delay while our nation’s energy needs are clear and urgent. That is a dangerous and reckless course for steering the world’s largest economy into a secure and prosperous future.

This administration has a vast misunderstanding of the American people. This is not Europe, and we are not Europeans. Americans drive pickups and SUVs, not undependable electric cars. They haul stuff around — boats, trailers, RVs, firewood, building materials, skis, bikes, animals, horse trailers. We drive vast distances. Our families live halfway across the country.  We vacation in our National Parks. Our economy prospers on cheap, abundant oil and natural gas. Obama envisions an America that is no longer a world power, but is just like other countries.

Obama seems to see  our country, and the world, as a zero-sum game — which is most easily understood as a pie, where if one person gets the biggest slice, everybody else is deprived. That is the motive behind income redistribution, and the motive for bringing down our country so the less fortunate countries can have more of the wealth that we do not deserve. But neither our nation nor the world are pies. It is a faulty vision that does not conform to reality, but part of the utopian view of the left. That’s what he meant when he said he wanted to “fundamentally transform” America.




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