June 25, 2008

The High Price of Oil, Dishonesty and Ignorance

By Donald G. Mashburn

The Democratically-controlled Congress has long displayed dishonesty on energy matters. They now seem bent on adding a large amount of ignorance to the mix, and the combination doesn’t mix well with crude oil at $140 a barrel.

Ignorance was on display when Barack Obama, defending his stance against offshore drilling to tap U.S. oil reserves, said, “There’s no way that allowing offshore drilling would lower gas[oline] prices right now.”

Of course not! Nothing will lower gasoline prices “right now” except an event that promises to drastically cut consumption or increase supply. Obama’s remark would be laughable if it had not come from someone who wants to be president of the United States. But even a rookie senator like Obama, still in his first term in the U.S. Senate, should know better.

The convergence of ignorance and sophistry in the statement is about on the same level as saying that there’s no need to plant winter wheat this fall, for next year’s harvest, because there’s no way it would lower the price of bread right now.

The sophistry part of the convergence showed again, when Obama added, “At best you’re looking at more than five years down the road.” It doesn’t have to take five years to see results, and a reasonable time lag is not a coherent reason for refusing to develop more reliable and secure energy supplies within our own borders.

A serious national determination to develop our domestic energy resources would spook oil future speculators enough to drop gasoline prices, immediately.

Majority Leader Harry Reid added to the Ignorance on Parade with, “Despite what President Bush, John McCain and their friends in the oil industry claim, we cannot drill our way out of this problem.” Reid added, “The math is simple: America has just three percent of the world’s oil reserves, but Americans use a quarter of its oil.”

Reid’s jabs at McCain and Bush are dishonest. And it’s unclear whether he’s being dishonest or merely abysmally ignorant about the world oil supply. For the truth is, the world’s oil supply and our share of it are unknowns even to experts in the field.

Based on decades in exploration, development, and petroleum reserve studies on two continents, this writer can state unequivocally that no mortal – much less Sen. Reid – knows that “America has just three percent of the world’s oil reserves.”

It’s true that we can’t expect to find an oil monster like Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar Field, the world’s largest. But it’s also true that no one knows the actual oil reserves of the largest fields in the Mideast – Ghawar is generally credited with some 70 billion barrels – much less the untapped reserves of the world, or our own prospective regions.

We don’t even know what our own oil potential is, for the Democrats have stupidly kept us from developing our own resources, thus denying the American people their benefits.

Sen. Obama is also spouting the misleading and often false rhetoric. The label of dishonesty may not strictly apply – his 20 years of being tutored by Jeremiah Wright notwithstanding – to all his statements about energy. But many of them reveal a serious lack of understanding of the real-world economy in general, and the petroleum industry in particular.

This past week on a Fox News report, Obama said, “There’s no way allowing offshore drilling would lower gas prices right now,” a refrain being parroted by environmentalists and other anti-oil activists. Julia Bovey, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Sean Hannity of Fox News, “If we put drill bits into the ground today, we’re not going to be seeing increased oil production for 10 years.”

How does she know? Answer: She doesn’t! She’s parroting the same Party line as the uninformed Harry Reid and Obama. I have probably drilled and completed more wells than Ms. Bovey, Sen. Reid and “No-Drill” Dick Durbin, D-IL, have seen up close, and the remark that drilling now won’t produce oil for 10 years is nonsensical and dishonest.

It would, of course, take time for government red tape, and for evaluation of leases by companies to decide where to start spending the billions required. But comments like, “If we put drill bits in the ground today” (Bovey), or, “At best, you’re looking at more than five years down the road” (Obama), are blatant sophistry.

That sophistry hides the fact that Democrats have been responsible for preventing the orderly development of our own oil reserves.

Bottomline: The dishonesty and ignorance of anti-oil Democrats is costing us all, and is denying us access to energy resources that belong to us, the American people.

Selected, Not Elected II

By Bob Parks

A fair number of those who seldom agree with me on anything take issue with my use of the phrase “Affirmative Action president” when referring to Barack Obama. Like many who even today receive preferential treatment in hiring or admissions because of their race or gender, Obama hasn’t put in the time, thus is vastly inexperienced when it comes to his applying for the top job in our nation.

And the perception is that he is receiving a lot of support where it shouldn’t be coming from.

According to a nationwide Rasmussen poll, just 17% of voters believe most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of election campaigns. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 68% believe most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win.

I’ve been documenting examples of media bias for years, and it’s kind of comforting to know it’s beginning to stick and that the American people aren’t going to take it anymore.

Pardon my repetition, but the point has to be made: liberals want a black man (or woman) to win this fall’s presidential election. In this case, they have Barack Obama.

The media have selected him. Tomorrow they will work to get him elected. It has everything to do with self-imposed white guilt and condescension, and has nothing to do with his qualifications (or lack thereof).

Using this season’s candidates as examples, if Janet Huckabee wrote a college thesis saying that she felt uncomfortable around her liberal black professors and students in college, would that have been “understood” by the mainstream media, or would Mrs. Huckabee have had the scarlet “R” burnt into her forehead?

I think we all know the answer. Janet would still be on her “apology tour,” and would have attended at least one sensitivity training to get her mind right. She might have been a guest on Al Sharpton’s radio show to accept her punches with no guarantee of forgiveness, and would still have it all hanging over her head and staining her husband’s campaign (as long as it lasted).

Liberals are equating the John McCain-Reverend John Hagee “relationship” to that of Barack Obama-Pastor Jeremiah Wright. While the length and quality of the associations vary to the point where a comparison isn’t logically possible, imagine the media firestorm if Hagee had a whole DVD library of speeches where he blamed black males for raping white women, and black women for ballooning the welfare rolls. In that context, imagine if Reverend Hagee shouted, “God damn America!”

What if John McCain had claimed that at a foreign airport he dodged sniper fire after getting off a plane, and a video later showed the claim to be false? Let’s be honest here. John McCain would be toast, finis, with a fork stuck in him.

Again, I go back to the statement my very first editor sent me out the door with: “It’s the job of the media to report the news, not incite it.”

It’s too bad today’s reporters feel so comfortable blowing off the basic ethics of journalism. Many of today’s liberally trained journalism students leave school not wanting to report the news as it happens, but they want to “make a difference,” and the only real way to do that, as a journalist, is to go beyond the job description.

The media know how much power they have. They know how to use it. It doesn’t matter how many times they get caught red-handed slanting a story to their personal preference, they will continue to do so until they get what they want.

Barack Obama. Selected, and the media are working to get him elected.

Bob Parks is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. 

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of contributors are their own, and are not necessarily those of Sage Commentary.