July 22, 2008

Hostile Congress Endangers Future Oil Supply

By Donald G. Mashburn

Forget all the hypocritical blather by Democrats in and out of Congress against oil companies. Their red herring hearings are nothing more than a public show of “investigating” high oil prices to cover their own misdeeds.

The real culprits responsible for our oil shortage predicament are none other than liberals in Congress, mostly Democrats.

We need look no further for the guilty party responsible for our low production, high imports, and high gasoline prices. It’s the Congress, with Democrats in the lead, that has repeatedly banned drilling in our own most prospective areas. In the 1990s, Congress twice approved drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and twice a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, vetoed the proposal.

Congress alone adopted the hostile, anti-oil agenda that has locked up some 85 percent of our prospective offshore areas, along with the ANWR, a mosquito-infested-in-summer, frozen-wasteland-in-winter area so remote that virtually 100 percent of living Americans will never see it.

The arguments against drilling in highly prospective offshore areas and ANWR have been weakened considerably as gasoline price rose above $4.00 at the pump – exceeding $5.00 in some places. And as more voices of reason spoke out for drilling our own oil reserves instead of financing foreign interests to develop more of theirs, Congress turned deaf and dumb.

To reasonable people, there’s no logical reason that we should pay $150 per barrel for oil, while importing some 70 percent of our daily requirements of 20 to 21 millions barrels a day.

Of course we should be drilling our own oil reserves! The argument that opening offshore and ANWR areas won’t provide short-term benefit is nonsense. You could make the same lame argument about anything, from medical research to planting winter wheat this fall.

At recent prices, we were spending some $1.8 billion every day for foreign oil. Roughly half of that went to OPEC, including some countries that don’t really like us. Common sense should tell us to drill our own oil. But among the liberal anti-oil contingent in Congress, common sense in matters of economics isn’t too common.

The economics alone – oil revenue, jobs, overall economic stimulus – make it important to drill our own oil reserves. Just gearing up to drill the more prospective areas would produce thousands of jobs for drilling platforms, rigs, pipe and other steel products, pumps and other machinery, and the huge list of services and materials needed to bring million-dollar wells and billion-dollar fields on line.

Not even oil experts think drilling new oil supplies would make us 100 percent independent, unless we include shale oil and oil-gasoline from coal. But new drilling, over a few years, could easily add some 40 percent, 2,000,000 or more barrels, to our now diminished daily output of some five million barrels.

And an increase in production of that magnitude could save us nearly a half billion dollars a day if oil reaches $200 a barrel. That could mean keeping some $150 billion a year at home. And perhaps more important, it would give us the conventional energy and time to convert to natural gas as a fuel for transportation, and develop other alternatives like clean coal, shale oil, biomass fuel, and fuel cell technology.

Solar and wind power are more likely to play roles in electrical power generation, rather than as transportation fuel.

But all of these are far down the road as major oil replacements. And the big spenders in Congress will doubtless want to throw lots of subsidy money at the alternatives they favor. If that’s the approach Congress takes, special interests will get the subsidies, while fuel consumers will get the shaft and the higher taxes to fund the subsidies.

Consumers should let Congress know in no uncertain terms that as our elected representatives, they have no right to deny us the natural resources that belong to the people.

And voters everywhere should inform congressional Democrats that we are fed up with their putting their private agendas ahead of the needs of the American people.

Symbiosis: Rev. Wright and the Subversive Media

By Erik Rush

There’s not much point left to arguing whether the provocative vitriol purveyed by Trinity United Church’s former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright in his sermons was warranted, understandable, excusable or in any way accurate. This columnist and an increasing number of Americans believe Wright’s tirades were wholly inexcusable and thus by nature cannot be explained away, as many have attempted to do. One would no sooner argue with a Holocaust denier, as such excursions are folly.

Nor is there much profit in attempting to divine whether former Trinity congregant and likely Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama subscribes to Wright’s philosophy or was ever exposed to Wright’s anti-American, racist rhetoric. Obama isn’t going to disclose that without sufficient motivation, and it is difficult to imagine this occurring, as it would prove him a liar based upon what he has already declared.

Only the most gullible or self-deceiving individual would believe the extent of Obama’s stated ignorance as regards Wright’s bigotry given the extent and length of their association.

As though it was a long-awaited pop-culture or rare event such as a Rolling Stones tour or a pope’s visit, Jeremiah Wright’s PBS interview with far Left icon Bill Moyers on April 25 was promoted with nearly the same fanfare and (in this case, inordinate) hype. The probability is very high that few in America were especially eager to hear any more from Wright, even if it was a slightly more articulate, lower-volume version of his sermon fare peppered with subjective history and a healthy dose of propaganda.

The Moyers interview, which might have been called “The Audacity of Wright,” was rather disgusting. Most of Moyers’ on-camera time was spent gazing at the reverend with a strange, mooning stare; at times, it looked like he wanted to kiss him. For the most part, the reverend came off as a sincere if somewhat uncultured smoothie.

Wright covered a lot from his professional history, including his pastoral calling, hobnobbing with both the powerful and notorious of the ‘Sixties era, and even his assault by a bigoted testosterone junkie in the Secret Service during the Johnson administration. Much of this was conveyed in calmly-delivered anecdotes.

At other junctures, Wright was spinning so fast he could barely be seen. His response to the controversy surrounding venomous statements made during his sermons was surrealistically subjective. His view of Americans’ reaction to his radical rhetoric being “very, very unsettling” was the height of audacity.

A white bigot of similar caliber (who would never have been given a comparable media forum, and rightly so) expressing surprise and vexation on the part of television viewers taking exception to his bigoted drivel would be deemed either a dishonest opportunist or a dull-normal.

Yes, it’s unfortunate that Wright perverts scripture and extrapolates the Jesus message into a bludgeon for vile sociopolitical criticism. Yes, it’s profoundly disturbing that an individual seeking the highest office in the land may subscribe to this message. And yes, it’s troubling and dangerous that men like Wright use civil activism to enrich themselves while effectively disenfranchising “those they would save.”

Individuals such as Wright are what they are for a myriad of reasons. The real story now is how manifestly seditious members of the establishment press are in validating this perverse clown and those like him, providing a forum for them not only to lie and rationalize indefensible acts, but also to widen the scope of their influence.

Americans must bear this in mind when the other recently exposed controversial Obama associates are trotted out and validated by the press in the coming months ahead.

Erik Rush 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.