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Energy: It's now a cliche: fat-cat oilmen control our destiny by holding back supplies, letting prices soar, then pocketing the profits. But if any fat cats are to blame for the energy crisis, it's those on Capitol Hill.
Funny how so few, especially our friends in the mainstream media, seem to notice Congress is the culprit. When it's not stopping the development of the energy resources we need, it's busy demonizing the very entities — such as the oil companies — that can go get them.
We raise this issue because, once again, Congress has dragged oil company chiefs to Washington for Star Chamber hearings where the innocent are presumed guilty before they even take a seat.
Democrats like Sens. Patrick Leahy, Herb Kohl and Dick Durbin are very skilled at the blame game. On Wednesday, they called on oil bosses to account for high oil prices and ripped them for their profits and pay packages. Everything, in other words, but propose real solutions to our problems.
"Do market forces alone explain the skyrocketing price of oil and gas?" Kohl wondered. We'll take that one: No, senator, market forces alone don't explain it; congressional incompetence does.
Our Outer Continental Shelf contains as much as 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. That's more than 10 times the oil and 20 times the natural gas we use each year.
Then there's oil shale. At least 1 trillion barrels of crude — possibly as many as 2 trillion — lie in formations across the Rocky Mountains and into Canada. "This," the Institute for Energy Research said recently, "is more than seven times the amount of crude oil reserves found in Saudi Arabia, and enough to meet current U.S. demand for over 250 years." Yet we don't want to disturb it.
And then, of course, there's the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Since 2000, U.S. oil consumption has increased roughly 750,000 barrels a day. If we had started drilling in ANWR back in 1995 — when President Clinton and congressional Democrats joined to kill it — we'd have an extra 1 million barrels of oil a day now.
The problem is clear: We now pump about 5 million barrels on our own and import 12 million, making us vulnerable to market blackmail by foreign producers. As recently as 1985, we pumped 9 million on our own and imported just 4.3 million.
This is our energy deficit, created by congressional incompetence and inaction. It's time to stop the blame and start the drilling.
Originally posted by elevatedone
So how do we get Congress to change and start drilling? Sounds nice doesn't it, but how do we make it happen?