Tag Archives: high gas prices

Ready, Set, Drill! The Democrats are Ready to Cave in Again

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin told the Wall Street Journal that he is open to the idea of opening up new areas for oil drilling in certain locations in the event that oil and gas companies conduct the drilling within a specific time frame . It appears Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, might also support the move.

The official reason for the position shift is high oil and gas prices, as Republicans continue to apply pressure to ease prices at the pump by expanding offshore oil exploration and in Alaska’s ANWR region.

The Democrats have largely opposed these proposals until now.

Forget more drilling. It will not work long term or short term. Several experts and reports have confirmed this.It won’t work because it simply does does not address the underlying problem, and that is that we are consuming an irreplaceable natural resource –  and too much of it to boot. 

Conservation isn’t the answer either. 

We have technology for electric cars with 200+ miles range and that are affordable to mass produce. By switching over in the next ten years, we’d cut our oil consumption by nearly 30% in that time-frame without any sacrifice at all. 

So why are the Democrats caving???

Politics as usual of course.

Voters are demanding that Congress do something to lower gas prices. So, the Democrats are running to the center and even to the right, as they always do on the drilling issue.

Recent opinion polls have indicated strong public support for more domestic exploration. A Rasmussen Reports survey in June showed 67% of Americans support deep water energy exploration. A CNN poll published last week showed 73% of Americans favor more exploration of deep ocean energy resources far off U.S. shores.

Forget about explaining to people that deep ocean drilling won’t work. Never mind that Bush refuses to release any oil from the strategic reserve as Clinton did to help ease gas prices.

What do the Democrats do? They plead with a lame duck president who has the lowest approval rating in history!!!

How about Nancy Pelosi get a spine and DEMAND that George Bush release some oil from the strategic reserve? How about the DNC mounts a PR campaign letting the American people know that their President and the Republicans are more interested in creating more drilling opportunities for their oil buddies, than easing the economic burden of $4.30 per gallon gas for the average family, immediately? It could take ten plus years for drilling to increase supply (if they find the oil). A release from the strategic reserve could ease prices within weeks.

Ask Bill Clinton, George – he can tell you all about how releasing energy from our reserves will bring prices down just like they did in 1993 (Republicans opposed this idea then too).

The Democrats won’t fight because in spite of all of the “we help the little guy” rhetoric, they are bought and owned by big oil too – to the tune of almost $5,000,000 during the last election cycle.

For a complete list of recent contributions link here

And so it goes…

In the name of getting re-elected at any cost, the Democrats are willing to burn the village by ignoring the environment, the economy, national security, and common sense – and are willing to roll over on the drilling issue.

If the Democrats had any backbone at all, they would fight the Republicans on this short-sighted, wrong-headed, band-aid fix.

But we know they won’t, because they have caved on every key issue including war funding, FISA, etc.

Reel in speculators, release oil from the reserve, subsidise electric and hydrogen fuel vehicle production and infrastructure – and we can see real change in just a few years while becoming less dependent on imported oil, or chasing pipe dreams on the ocean floor.

The Democrats are once again proving to be ineffective and disappointing.

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Filed under Congress, Democratic Party, Economy, Energy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party, Technology

Drilling Off Shore or Anywhere Else Won’t Help Ease Gas Prices

I am the first in line for solving the current energy crunch. So, I started listening to pundits and Congressmen and such, to see what solutions they had to offer. The prevailing idea is to drill our way out of this current shortage.

To investigate this potential solution, so I read a thouroughly written, comprehensive white paper called Fool’s Gold in Alaskaby Amory B. Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. Their impressive list of collective credentials are listed in the article.

Turns out drilling in Alaska is probably the worst thing we can do, and the report is chock full of reasons why.

The government says, if you can trust them, that even under best-case scenarios, it would take 10 years to start production and the average net drop in price would be about 86 cents per barrel.

Ten years? What do we do in the mean time?

Energy independence, or something closer it I’m guessing, is the goal here.

However, the government’s most optimistic estimate is that peak ANWR (and off shore drilling according to other sources) would only yield a total of 19 to 150 billion barrels. In fact, ANWR would only produce about 750,000 barrels per day – less than 1 percent of total world oil output.

The supposed ‘supply effect’ is a myth also. Continue reading

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Are Worldwide Gas Strikes and Clashes with Police a Sign of Things to Come in the U.S.?

Protests are erupting all across the world over skyrocketing fuel costs. Working class people in Spain, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, the Netherlands Portugal and India, are striking and rioting in the streets.

Fishermen are burning their boats in Thailand, and Spanish gas stations are running as hauliers blockade major roads and refuse to transport food. Consequently, store shelves are empty.

This violence has already claimed the lives of hundreds.

In Manila workers are demand the lifting of a 12 per cent sales tax on fuel. Gas prices there have risen about 24 per cent this year. 

In Thailand, tens of thousands of heavy lorries are threatening to cause havoc while farmers are demonstrating and fishermen have begun burning their boats in nationwide protests. Lorry drivers’ leaders warned the government that it has until next Tuesday to subsidise their fuel or face large scale chaos in Bangkok.

However, the heaviest and most reported violence has been in Spain.

In Spain, hauliers’ unions vowed to continue protests, rejecting measures to end nationwide protests over rising fuel prices. In San Isidro, near Alicante, a lorry driver is being treated for serious burns after narrowly escaping an attempt by strikers to burn him alive in his cab.

Gas stations in Madrid and Catalonia have run dry, and supermarkets are reporting panic buying.

 Car manufacturers warned that if the stoppage continues the entire industry will grind to a halt because parts are not reaching factories. Police recently re-established traffic into France at the border post of La Jonquera, where more than 3,000 lorries had been barred entry by pickets.

Strikers have been battling police as well. It is reported that people are being beaten in the streets, while police are being attacked by protestors. 

Infrastructure Minister Magdalena Alvarez has rejected the hauliers’ demand for fuel subsidies, describing it as illegal in a market economy. In Portugal, farmers said they would have to throw away 660,000 gallons of fresh milk by the end of the day unless the protest ended because they had run out of storage capacity.

That’s no problem because this isn’t happening in the U.S. you say? Maybe so, but gas theft is.

In the mid-west, any form of gas is becoming attractive for thieves, especially diesel because it is often un-guarded. Farmers running diesel-fueled irrigation pumps usually store around 250 gallons. In California, sheriffs estimate that $300,000 worth of diesel was stolen in the past 3 months.

How long before theft morphs into riots and violence?

Read article on worldwide fuel strikes and riots here

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Filed under Crime, Energy, Politics

Americans Using Rebate Checks for Fuel and Oil Bills – No Surprise Here

The New York Times reported on June 1st, that Americans are not using their rebates checks, courtesy of your elected officials, for leisure purchases.

Nope.

People are using the money to pay energy bills – to survive. I’m not surprised by this at all…in fact, I predicted it.

I never believed for one minute that the ‘Economic Stimulus’ package was going to help.

Why?

Well for one thing they never have. Secondly, the rebates were limited. $800.00 for a family of four? That a month’s worth of groceries, if that. Maybe some of the $120 our Congress and President is spending in Iraq might help.

Just a thought.

What the power-elite in this country fail to realize that the debt driven economy they have forced upon us, is failing. It is failing because real wages are flat, Americans don’t – or more appropriately won’t save, and job opportunities are drying up faster than a water puddle in death valley during mid-July.

Gotta love that oil and coal driven global warming.

I believe we are not going to escape the house-of-cards we have constructed. This economy will continue to flounder until elected officials wake up and make substantive energy changes that make sense.

Here is my two cents worth…

Continue reading

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Filed under Economy, Energy, Politics

U.S. Gasoline Theft on the Rise

Its already beginning.

Motorists, are resorting increasingly to theft to combat high gas prices – a trend that may very well worsen if things do not change, especially with the summer driving season coming up.

 “It is getting bad. When the price of gasoline goes up, the number of drive-offs goes up,” said Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, which represents about 8,000 retailers. A drive-off is when motorist pulls up to a gas station’s pump, fills the car’s tank, and then speeds off without paying for the fuel.

U.S. gasoline prices are marching toward $4.00 per gallon on average, and in many areas like my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., they’re already there. this is 25 percent higher than a year ago at this time. 

Energy experts, and a recent New York Times article, have said oil could hit $200.00 per barrel, and gasoline topping $6.00 a gallon in the near future.  

Gilligan said that some state fuel dealer associations were pressing lawmakers to make it easier to prosecute people who fill up and then drive off without paying. “The last time we had a spike up in gasoline, lots of retailers switched to requiring payment before fill-up,” said Gilligan. “But many retailers still want to preserve the trust relationship they have with their customers.”

CNN video of gas theft here

Read the Reuters story here

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Mid-Day Open Thread – What Would You Ask Big Oil?

Considering sky rocketing oil prices and record profits, Congress grilled oil executives yesterday from the world’s largest oil producers. The fat cats say they can’t do anything about it. 

What would you like to ask Big Oil? Share your thoughts, photos, video and stories on our comment thread. Just select the word ‘Comments’ above. 

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Oil Tops $130.00 Per Barrel and Futures are Through the Roof

Oil prices rose above the $130 a barrel mark for the first time today. U.S. crude for July delivery traded as high as $130.25 a barrel in electronic trading. 

The new excuse – supply and demand concerns.

“We’ve seen an about-face turn on the dollar in the last couple of days,” said Mark Pervan, senior commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Bank in Melbourne.

“It looked like it was starting to recover, but I think there’s a less certain outlook at the minute and … enough reason to be buying commodities as a currency hedge again.”

Investors forecast commodities such as oil to be less expensive to buyers dealing in other currencies, because of a weak U.S. dollar.

Tuesday’s high was the 10th time in the last 12 sessions that crude prices have hit trading or closing records, or both.

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