May 5, 2007
Senate's Hostility Endangers Nation's Energy Supply

by Donald G. Mashburn

By bitterly opposing virtually all of the energy initiatives proposed by the Bush administration, the Democratically controlled Senate, has become a danger to our nation’s energy security.

Because of the Democrats’ irrational hostility toward Bush, oil, and big business in general, common citizens may be freezing in the dark and walking to work before the Senate sees the light on the nation’s oil production shortfall. Congress is farsighted – and greedy – in giving themselves exorbitant retirement benefits, but ignores the nation’s oil production deficiencies.

Liberals in Congress seem to be blind – and deaf and dumb – when considering energy policies. If their anti-oil bias continues to control energy policy, they will so grease the skids under our declining domestic oil supply that we may become wholly dependent on foreign oil.

The U.S. still imports about 70 percent of our oil requirements. But the only noticeable energy move in Congress was to increase the amount of ethanol in our gasoline supply – a sop to farm-state senators and farm lobbyists, in more pork-laden legislation that sponsors claim will help our energy shortfall.

Senators from non-oil states continue to display their anti-oil bias by pandering to environmental extremists and other cause-driven special interest groups. The global warming rants of the likes of Al Gore only clouds any vision this shortsighted Congress might have regarding energy.

Repeatedly, Senate liberals have joined in stripping from legislation any provision that would have allowed drilling on a miniscule 2,000 acres of the sprawling 19-million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

The relatively small area targeted for drilling lies in a barren and forbidding coastal area of Alaska’s ANWR. Denying the nation an opportunity to tap domestic reserves to alleviate its oil shortage is like refusing to allow planting a rich piece of farmland to food crops when you know the food supply will run out soon.

Why intelligent men and women can’t see – even when blinded by partisanship – where we’re headed on energy is beyond logic. The raw facts are that this country is working its way toward almost total dependence on oil bought largely from Canada, Mexico, Kuwait, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

Not a comforting thought, since only Canada can be said to have a politically stable free market economy.

Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer, can add production merely by opening valves on oil wells. Russia is trying mightily to ramp up production to maximize dollars flowing into that country. African nations with large oil potential are expanding their oil exploration and production budgets with huge infusions of foreign capital.

In Iraq, our dollars are being spent to increase oil production with the hope of helping the Iraqis build a country better than those around them. But the increase comes at great cost, as fanatical elements of the old Saddam Hussein regime and imported terrorists kill our own soldiers on a regular basis.

Middle East instability is something we’ll have to live with for as long as imported oil is our primary energy source. In the past, our oil supply remained fairly steady, except for the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. Currently, whenever there’s a hitch in the oil supply, big oil exporters like Russia and Saudi Arabia are happy to make up the loss.

But we can’t always depend on such “friends.” And the Senate’s shortsightedness on the development of domestic oil adds unnecessary burdens to future generations. In spite of their political blather about “children,” liberal senators – mostly Democrats from the Northeast and the Left Coast – are ignoring the future hardships our children and grandchildren will face from fuel shortages and debt.

Only voters can change the disgraceful practice of putting the nation’s welfare below that of the politicians and the special interest groups to which they pander.

It’s high time voters ask the tough – and right – questions of those seeking election in 2008. Questions like, “Do you favor cutting government spending?” And, “Do you favor developing a small part of ANWR to increase future U.S. oil supplies?”

If they won’t give a straight “Yes” answer to both questions, they don’t deserve to be in either the White House or on Capitol Hill, on our payroll, spending our tax dollars.

Reverend in the House

by The Reverend Bob Parks

As we all know, the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have been anointed the arbiters of taste and decency in the media. Sharpton has destroyed the career of Don Imus and has threatened others who stray and violate the code of good taste in words and deeds.

I asked myself who am I to criticize these men? They are men of the cloth. They are assumed by the mainstream media to have the virtue and title to look over all of us and judge those who must be judged for the betterment of society, and young black female basketball players.

I also asked who am I to provide commentary on social, military, and political issues? I thought a common citizen could have a voice like anyone else, but apparently, the mainstream media only listens to Black Democrat politicians and the Black clergy, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve just decided to even the playing field.

So I went online, paid $29.00 plus $5.00 for shipping and within a few days, I will officially hold the title “Reverend” and a certificate I can proudly mount on my living room wall.

“Illustrating absurdity by being absurd….” – Rush Limbaugh

Now before some of you get all bent, rest assured I’m not going to cross the line into blasphemy. I’m not going to marry anyone… even though I can. I’m not going to baptize babies… even though I can. I won’t sermonize from the pulpit… even though I can.

But as a Reverend, I can criticize the words and motives of the Reverend Al Sharpton and the Reverend Jesse Jackson with a lot more credibility than as a private citizen. When they next attempt to boycott, and have fired, anyone for using stupid, and even vile, First Amendment protected speech, I can put the spotlight back on men who are morally in no position to judge anyone’s free speech.

Whatever works.

Bob Parks is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, and VP of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly.

The World According to Gore

by Nathan Tabor

Hollywood praises Al Gore for revealing what the media elite consider to be inconvenient truths. But the fact is, at some point, Mr. Gore needs to face a few inconvenient truths of his own. For instance, how could a man who once considered abortion to be arguably the taking of a human life turn around and court the favor of pro-abortion forces during his last ill-fated Presidential campaign?

The inconvenient truth in that instance was that Gore was a flip-flopper who flipped to the side that fails to recognize the truth that an unborn child is a person who deserves legal protection. Among environmental activists—those who wear their allegiance to green on their sleeves—Gore has achieved superhero status. And yet his own household habits indicate he is not an energy-saver.

During a global warming hearing, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, presented Gore with a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge.” That’s the type of pledge you would think that Gore would be eager to sign onto. However, the former Vice-President refused to take the pledge. In other words, he simply could not commit to consuming no more energy than the average American household.

For the record, Gore is no slouch when it comes to energy use. He’s a big-time user. It’s been reported that his electricity usage is 20 times higher than that of the average American household. Senator Inhofe tried to appeal to Gore’s sense of environmental chivalry, telling him, “There are hundreds of thousands of people who adore you and would follow your example by reducing their energy usage if you did. Don’t give us the run-around on carbon offsets or the gimmicks the wealthy do.”

The energy ethics pledge that Inhofe presented to Gore is quite straightforward. It states, “As a believer that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical, and spiritual issue facing our survival; that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use; that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions; and that leaders on moral issues should lead by example; I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.”

Inhofe did not ask Gore to be some kind of super-saver, besting the energy savings rate of typical Americans. He simply requested that Gore be average in his energy usage. Just average. And Gore declined the opportunity.

I would never use the word hypocrite lightly. After all, we’re all sinners, according to Scripture. There have probably been times in my life when I myself might have failed the noble aim of the Personal Energy Ethics Pledge.

However, can you really point the finger at SUV-driving, high heating-bill Americans, when you yourself are using 20 times more than your fair share of energy?

The truth can certainly be inconvenient—especially to a man busy casting himself as a latter-day messiah.

Earth to Gore: the position’s already been filled. Thanks anyway.

Nathan Tabor is an independent, conservative writer and speaker.

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the editorial commentary above are the opinions of the writers and are not necessarily the views of Sage Commentary.