Redford – National Arctic Refuge

The Bush Administration continues to try to give money to their friends in the oil bid’nes’.  Other attempt to drill.  This must be the 5th or 6th time they have tried. 

Outstanding Robert Redford appeal.

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NYT editoral 5/30/06

Sherwood Boehlert, the moderate Republican who will retire this fall, observed on the floor of the House last week that despite polls showing conservation as the ”preferred option” among Americans worried about high gas prices and oil dependency, ”this Congress has not voted on a single conservation measure since gasoline hit $3 a gallon.” At which point his colleagues voted (yet again) to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling in the misguided but apparently unshakable belief that a nation that uses one-quarter of the world’s oil while possessing 3 percent of its reserves can drill its way to lower prices.

The legislative outlook is brighter in the Senate, which has before it the Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006. The bill has impressive bipartisan sponsorship and incorporates the best features of an earlier (and more cumbersomely named) vehicle called the Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act. Its stated purpose is to reduce oil dependency, but the strategies and technologies it encourages would also do much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill would require the president to figure out ways to cut oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels — 12.5 percent of current use — by 2016, and cut it in half by 2031. It offers a menu of loans, direct subsidies, tax breaks and other incentives that would encourage the production of fuel-efficient cars as well as gasoline alternatives like cellulosic ethanol. It does not mandate specific improvements in fuel economy standards — a Congressional red flag — yet the goal it sets would get us to the same place.

There is also real money here — $1.8 billion for hybrid ”plug-in” vehicles, for instance, $1 billion for cellulosic fuels. And while anything is possible in a Congress habituated to pork, the bill is not yet encumbered with the special favors and tax breaks for the oil and gas industry that have disfigured recent energy bills. It would, in fact, repeal some of those breaks in an effort to lessen its cost.

This is a relatively straightforward bill with big ambitions — to reduce the demand for oil, thus reducing America’s contribution to global warming while enhancing its national security. President Bush, who has made so much of the dependency issue without offering legislation of his own, would do the country a great favor by getting behind it.

0 Responses

  1. The EIA average for the amount of oil that will profitably be brought to market is only 5.4 billion dollars. Now maybe I’m misunderstanding this, but oil prices are dictated by the world market. Larger oil supply=lower production prices.
    Jeff Johnson, CEO of Cano Petroleum Inc says that “At these current oil prices, there is more money floating around Wall Street looking for energy than I’ve ever seen,” he says. “There are better places that those government dollars can go – people who are serving in the military, teachers, for instance.” Ah, there’s an idea. Or is the education system just that good that they just don’t need any extra money?
    The cost for exploration, production, and transportation of oil would all but negate the impact that this proposed endevor would have on relieving the burden of the currrent gas prices. Also, the oil that is possibly in Alaska would take decades to extract! A smarter energy policy is the answer, not more oil. The solution will be found in American ingenuity. Only by reducing our reliance on oil — both foreign and domestic — and investing in cleaner, renewable energy will the United States achieve true national security.

  2. The problem with oil companies is they’d like you to believe that classic market economics applies. The problem is that the oil companies control the whole process this includes the refining of oil. Therefore, there are multiple areas along the supply line that the oil companies can squeeze production to decrease supply and increase prices. There is a reason that no new refineries have been built in the last 10 to 15 years.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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