Offshore Drilling: Congress Caves In To Win Votes

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September 27, 2008

By Bob Difley
The Democrats caved in again, this time allowing the ban on offshore drilling to expire, a ban that has stood for 15 years. I can hear some of you cheering already, thinking that this will finally bring some relief at the gas pump.
Funny thing, this idea. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans (unless issuing sound bytes to the press, pandering to the public, or running for president) feel that “Drill! Drill! Drill!” is anything but political mantra designed to stir up public emotions. The government itself has said that the amount of offshore oil we could bring to market will not get there for at least ten years* and when it does it will mean only a few cents at the pump. (* Why so long? One reason is the shortage of enough petroleum engineers and equipment, as stated in an article in the NY Times May 15, 2008, “Relentless increases in the price of steel are halting or slowing major construction projects world-wide and investments in ship-building and oil-and-gas exploration . . . ) Yet, because it is an election year, the Democrats yielded to anti-environmentalist sentiment and a gas-price-enraged public to win votes.
I’ve also had comments that if we would have started drilling off shore ten years ago, we would have that oil now. The same holds true for fuel efficient cars, which would have been a far more effective program.  Following the oil embargo of 1973-74, Congress passed the CAFE standards that required new cars to achieve a doubling of fuel economy from abut 13.5 mpg to 27.5 mpg in ten years. And it happened. Europeans and Japanese raised gasoline taxes at the same time to fund alternative sources of energy, so they wouldn’t have to go through a fuel shortage again.
So what did we do after the price of gas settled down and the fuel economy standards were met by the car manufacturers? Nothing. Not a move was taken either by the President or Congress to continue forcing the auto manufacturers to improve economy standards to keep oil prices low and to reduce our imports of foreign oil. In fact, President Reagan rolled back the standard from 27.5 mpg to 26 mpg. Not only that, he slashed the budgets of the alternative energy programs, and along with Congress allowed the incentives for solar and wind start-ups to lapse.
So what did the other governments do in that same time frame? The Japanese, with the extra fuel taxes, invested in fuel efficiency so that now Japanese autos dominate in fuel efficiency. (And the high price of gas encouraged Japanese drivers to favor fuel efficient cars, unlike in America where car manufacturers, Michigan legislators, and the United Auto Workers union continued successfully to lobby Congress to NOT raise gasoline taxes, NOT to create fuel efficient cars, and to have SUVs labeled as light trucks that were not bound by the CAFE  fuel economy standards, therefore creating the demand for inefficient, gas-guzzling, polluting behemoths—which also, Surprise!, earned the auto makers their largest profits.) France invested in nuclear energy from which it now gets 78% of its energy. Denmark went for wind, along with solar, and now produces 16% of its total energy requirement from these clean, renewable sources, as well as creating an export industry that helped grow their economy by 70% by providing clean energy jobs. Brazil adopted ethanol as a fossil fuel alternative and now produces enough ethanol that it not only does not have to import foreign oil but sells ethanol on the export market—to the US!
Had we not allowed those with a strong oil agenda to control congress and the senate, and had we increased mileage only to what other, less developed countries—including China—have accomplished in fuel economy standards, we would already (1) Be paying a lot less at the pump, (2) Have eliminated—yes, eliminated—the need for any OPEC oil, (3) Reduced our greenhouse gasses well below the target 1990 levels, and (4) Have no need to endanger our natural lands and feed additional subsidies to oil companies to proceed with unnecessary oil drilling. We should be embarrassed that every other country has made wiser decisions than the supposed world leader, and that we still continue to defend our use of 25% of the world’s energy, while moving like a slug toward clean, sustainable, energy independence.
Here is what the Union of Concerned Scientists says about increased domestic drilling. “The oil savings from fuel economy dwarf potential domestic oil resources. Oil resources will take decades to develop, and will save at the most pennies per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. Because savings from reduced gasoline use go directly to consumers, rather than to oil companies, fuel economy should be our first choice.”
That’s not all. Congress passed a bill in 2007 to increase the fuel economy standard to 35 mpg by 2020. Yet analysis from Bush’s own administration shows that we could reach that milestone five years sooner. Figure out how much that would save in oil imports and savings at the pump over that un-needed five year period.

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  11. Do I detect a definite family resemblence? Thanks for the pic, Fred.

  12. Fred

    Well there’s the picture of my Bonnie girl, never mind.

  13. Fred

    Bob, hope you enjoyed your visit back east. I’ll bet you tried to steal one or more of the kids and take them back to the land of Fajita’s and Sequoia’s. That’s what I try to do, but it is hard to convince their mommy! By the way, how did you get your picture to be with your blogs? I tried Gravatar, but it didn’t work.

    To verify Fred Burry’s assertions about the quanities of oil within the 49 states and offshore, you only need to go to the USGS website. They are the Official agency responsible for keeping records of every possible scenario of oil reserves.

    In just Montana and North Dakota alone, there is a USGS assessment of undiscovered oil (3.65 Bn barrels), natural gas (1.85 Tr Cu Ft), and LNGas (148 MLn barrels).

    I did not go any further on this research at this time, but a few months ago I checked the USGS site for Alaska and it was showing, on just the central north slope NOT including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), recoverable oil (4 Bn barrels), natural gas (37.5 Tr Cu Ft), LNGas (478 MLn barrels).

    If we add up just those two assessments, we get 7.65 Bn barrels of oil alone. I don’t know for now how much is already assessed for the other states or offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The new possibilities for offshore oil along the east and west coasts are probably still to be assessed.

    Well, if we are using oil at the April 2008 rate of 20.114 MLn barrels per day, then in just the two assessments above we would have a 380 day supply.

    But, recent figures show for the first half of 2008 we have lowered our usage by 475,000 barrels per day, so that means we would have nearly 390 day’s supply from just those two areas of assessment.

    That reduction in consumption is apparently still going in a downward direction as of August 2008. So, maybe it is good that we won’t see any increase in our own oil for a few years – we will all keep conserving instead!

    Bob McCrady and Roger-Ohio, perhaps one solution for Alaska oil going to Japan (and other countries) would be to buy our own oil by outbidding them on the Global market, but then we would of course pay a higher price at the pump than we do now. If we had the refineries, western oil won’t go around S.A. or through the Panama Canal.

    The fact is we have no idea where any oil comes from. It is collected worldwide from hundreds of small and large drilling companies and randomly refined. Even at an Exxon gas station you may not be getting Exxon brand gas.

    If we want to use just our own oil, increase exploration and drilling, and assuming we continue to reduce consumption, then in order to increase production, we need more refineries on all three coasts. Don’t know if this is true, but from what I understand, there has not been a new refinery built in 30 years.

    Alternative Energy: Can you believe it? Algae! Scientists and chemists can now manipulate the genetics of algae to produce the different grades of gasoline and diesel fuel. But alas, there are no existing refineries. Maybe instead of building new oil refineries we could get the rich guys and get Government subsidies to build algae refineries. Here is a website (Popular Mechanics):


  14. nushagak

    I disagree with you entirely. In this instance the Congress did the right thing. I could give all the reasons that back this, but it would be lost on you.

  15. Roger-Ohio

    Re oil we “ship overseas” Yes we do sell some oil that was pumped from wells in US terratory. What most people forget is that oil is a commodity. You also have to have refining capacity and have to ship it economically.
    Imagine you have a supertanker full of oil from Alaska. There isn’t enough refining capacity or need on the West coast relative to what we need in central and the Eastern states. The tanker is too big to fit through Panama.
    What do you do with it?
    Do you sell it on the open market, receive the $100 a barrel price and ship it to Japan. Use the $ you received to buy oil at $100 a barrel that is in a ship in the Atlantic and have it refined in TX
    Or do you spend the time and $$$ to divert the ship around South America just so you can use “American oil” in the TX refinery?

    Also re Nat gas in TX Barnett shale It was my brother who figured out how to get the 20% out which is a lot better than the 2% they use to get.

    Oil shale is still just a dream. Till we figure out how to spend less energy to get it out than we get out of the oil in the shale while at the same time not digging up half a state to do it, oil shale will not be a viable alternative till we stop burning it and end up using it for other purposes such as feed stock for all the synthetics we need.

    Rather than complain first ask yourself what have you done to decrease your consumption of oil and gas?

    Again spend some time educating yourself and stop listening to the talking heads on TV or even to me. Read a number of different sources. Don’t confuse oil and nat gas. We got lots of Nat Gas but there is no infrastructure to use it in any significant amount in vehicles. Nat gas also isn’t quite as easy to transport and is not quite as energy dense as oil.

  16. Bob Difley

    Thank you all for your great comments and taking the time to voice your thoughts. I would love to respond to each of you individually as I have in the past, however I am currently visiting my four granddaughters (age 4 to ll) in Lebanon, Connecticut. My wife, Lynn, and I will be here for ten days for a visit that we are , unfortunately, not able to make often enough. I will be spending my time reading about red barns, and cows, and chickens, and playing horsey and all those great things that grandpas are so fortunate to be able to do. I assure you all, that I will read every one of your comments but will not be able to respond–grandchildren do have a tendency to take up all my time. Thanks again to all. Keep up the debate. It’s for the good of us all and our country and it’s and our–including my granddaughters–future. Bob

  17. Ron H

    Stolen form someones signature on

    “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary.
    For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible”

    Bob, you don’t understand.

  18. John Shelton

    I am really not informed enough on the positive and negative points of off shore drilling to strongly take a side. I do however take issue with the title to your blog. The voting public was/is overwhelmingly in favor of increasing domestic oil production. The subject offshore oil production is one step to greatly increase domestic oil production. Congress did NOT “cave in to win votes”!!!! In this rare instance, congress voted the wishes of their constituents rather than “cave in” to special interest pressures (and lots of special interest money and perks). With public sentiment moving toward change which eventually might lead to a sentiment to vote all incumbents out of office and start anew, the politicians are beginning to listen just a bit better to the wishes of the people who they are elected to represent. If this can be called “caving in”, then finally “caving in” to their constituents is a good thing.

  19. Fred Burry

    America is tired of the Iraq war, but unless we stop sending billions to buy Arab oil we will be financing terror and war against our shores for scores of years! Also let’s be fair and develop the oil in Alaska and everywhere else, it belongs to the people and the people have spoken–YES simultaneously work on alternative resources but get our heads out of the sands of denial and wake up to the fact that after millions of funding and years of effort NOTHING has turned up that can come close to the energy in petroleum!!!
    Yes continue to do alternate energy and research and even put it on a faster track, but the truth is there are vast reserves of oil as well as natural gas under American lands and so what if it takes 10 years to develop (It won’t, it will be much faster), —for the past 27years our own congress has kept it off limits! (after all, our reserves are far greater than the go-back- in-time crowd ever want to admit!)
    In the meantime we are not willing to sit around and become a 3rd world country
    while jobs are lost and our living standards drop to using horses, bikes and candles!!! Fred Burry

  20. Gary

    Bob your point: (2) My point on China was only on their automobiles that have achieved double the fuel mileage that American-made automobiles have.

    I have a 1949 Chev that has a cast iron single barrel carb and this car is made of steel. It will get 21 mpg on today’s gas! It has NO emissions control! That is what China has….No emission control.
    I am for emissions vs. China. We should be able to do better 60 years later on mpg than what we do for sure.

    Just think of all the jobs this building, designing and workers would make IF we just approved building 15 Nuclear power plants. They are proven and ready to go. Refineries like the one proposed in South Dakota will take a long time to just design a one off as it has to meet emissions. The rest of the world building them do not have our rules.
    Could we put this $700 Billion to work there and rebuild our economy? I think so.
    It takes over 400 wind generators to equal the output of one 600 net Megawatt coal plant. This is a common output for new plants. That is figuring 15 Mg Watts per tower generator. Most are smaller than that. I am for wind power both on land and in the ocean…poor Kennedy and his boating friends might suffer!!! Anywhere but in “my” back yard is the American CRY!

    This is something that could be really expedited with an input of $700 Billion just for the energy bail out vs. the Wall Street bailout!!! I do not see many NEW jobs coming from the Wall Street deal vs. building Nuclear plants across our nation! Those workers will spend the money and invest. I realize a little off the subject but sure is tied into the overall problem.

  21. Bob McCrady

    How come nobody addresses the oil we ship overseas??? Does anyone have the correct percentage of Alaskan oil that is not used here in the U.S.? I have heard various, large numbers. Why not keep our oil here? Profit !!!!! It’s all about the greed, not “Country first”. Today’s generations don’t have the willingness to put the U.S. first as my Dad and countless others in the “greatest generation” did. We need to get off our personal agendas and put our country first. Oh, that’s right, we don’t want to offend our “friends” overseas who hold out one hand for our money and stab us in the back with the other hand. I favor the “all of the above” energy production methods.

  22. TXBrad

    Hello Bob !
    1. Willie’s comments are true & the smoke that washingtion is spinning, thinking they will get votes. There are more “leases’ ( not drilling) in Alaska than the leases in debate in ANWAR. The Green ?? folks have them all in court. One needs a permit to drill & even if they get one, an injuction is filled to hault.
    2. The best fishing in gulf is @ a drill rig!
    3. Training is not an issue … Here in Texas all the colleges & schools have geared up & the old timers being hired to teach. Oil Compaines paying $4,000month + free school to train & work (co-op ) programs. Plus, today is very high tech; not the high labor of the past. These kids ( Gamers & computer Gekes) are fitting into OilGas. Talk about 3-D now have 4-D mapping way down !
    4. Oil shale is gaining fast. Denmark has had sucess & some in Texas. Some Gas wells in my area have produced Oil . The oil is below the gas; existing drilled wells can go back & deepen. & these are already leased & permitted. All is needed is pipe lines on site storage tanks. Riggs & people coming down from Canada, people steel pipe coming from “over seas” Plus, the Texas Barnett Shale today can only produce 20% of the gas there. But, these smart guys working the issue !
    5. I am all for alternate energy: solar wind plug in airplanes ???? Oil does more than make gasoline for cars.
    PS. Oil down to 95$. Lets hit the road in a RV TX Brad

  23. Don

    The selfish people that are addicted to cheap gasoline and diesel fuel protest very loudly whenever they’re hurt. I’ve got to give them credit for being able to sway the votes of congress and the administration. At least a junkie will promise anything to get another fix – these folks get away with acting like bullies to get their way. They remind me of hogs at a trough – not concerned with anything but themselves getting all they want with no thought to the future or their children.

    I am embarrassed that we have not even begun to react to the oil shortages of over 30 years ago. I support any plan to develop alternate forms of energy to reduce our policy of national suicide – buy oil from the Arabs. That money will come back to haunt us and hurt our nation in years to come. This is madness!

    Unless we start taking steps to become energy independent and reduce our role as a debtor nation, we will soon become a 3rd world country.

    The jobs created here in the United States developing the alternate energy systems and infrastructure will go a long way towards bringing us back from the devastation of the job losses plaguing us the past few years. This is a win-win for our nation. We become more energy independent and create good jobs at the same time.

  24. The signers of the US Constitution would be very unhappy with the last 100 years of our congress not seeing past the nose. We pay them to know how to do good for us?

  25. willie

    The democrat’s deciding not to renew the ban, is a smoke screen used by them to help win some elections in the fall.They know their friends in the Green movement will fill a lawsuit the minute someone tries to access any of these properties. Don’t be fooled America they want oil prices high it fits the agenda.

  26. Jimmy Crumpler


  27. Fred

    Gee, I just read some of the earlier comments. Hey, you “tree hugging liberal,” – (I won’t call you ignorant). How dare you print the truth! Don’t you know that lies and deception are the accepted vogue?

    Take care, Fred

  28. Roger-Ohio

    While I was and am opposed in general to drilling in ANWAR it is my understanding that with the president canceling the Executive Branch restriction it would have been almost impossible to get enough votes to establish new law to keep all current restrictions in place on off shore drilling. Especially with the “Drill Now, Drill everywhere” war chant from some people.
    It is true that most people do not realize that drilling now will have no impact on gas prices but politically it became necessary.
    I do think that writing the law to restrict drilling unless the involved state agrees and restricting drilling to more than 50 mi off shore and to including a change in tax law to remove some tax brakes to oil companies makes this bill more palatable.
    With the shortage of drill rigs, the shortage of trained drill crews and the current financial melt down which will make borrowing the $250k per day cost for a off shore rig almost impossible to raise I don’t think we will see a big rush to “drill here & Drill Now” anytime soon.

    Many make comments that are not supported by facts. Oil production in the US peaked in 1970’s while our oil usage has continued to rise. We only have 3 to 5% of world supply in recoverable oil with current technology. While this may increase slightly there is just no way we can see a ten-fold increase.

    “US production was at its peak in 1970 (and accounted for more than 40% of all the oil produced in the world), it could not keep up with consumption. Today’s 21 million barrels per day consumption FAR outpaces our domestic production of 4.86 million barrels per day. ” “From 1990 to 2007, US production decreased by 31% at the same time as consumption increased by 24%.”

    The refusal of consumers to accept the reality for a need to stabilize and increase the price of oil resulted in “The US oil industry lost more than 1,000,000 jobs from 1986-92, more than the more-publicized auto and steel industries combined”

    We are now paying the price of decades of under priced gas.

    I recently say a comparison of the cost of a gallon of gas in 1907 vs today when adjusted for inflation. 1917 $3.17 2007 $3.79.

    In the time it takes most people to read this sentence, the world will have used up (forever) about 8,000 barrels – 336,000 gallons – of oil. At 1000 barrels per second, it’s going fast.

    Do some research people. Educate yourselves and stop listening to the talking heads from either the Right or Left.

    When the price hit $4 we actually saw a decline in consumption which has resulted is a $0.50 drop in price at the pump. We can control the price but we have to stop using 6,000 SUV to move a 160# soccer mom to the mall. (ya that was sexist but you get the idea)
    Why do I see so many SUV’s ( 13 mpg) being towed behind Class A RVs” Why not a 40 mpg Smart car or at least a 32 mpg econo box?

    get some facts here

  29. Fred

    Hi Bob. Realistically, don’t anyone hold their breath waiting for the near impossiblity of seeing a significant drop in gas prices anytime sooner than five or six years.

    According to the below article, the first leases for new offshore drilling won’t even be granted until 2011 at the soonest.

    This portion from the article out yesterday (9-28-2008) on the $634Bn Senate Budget Bill sent to President Bush for his signature.

    “Republicans made ending the coastal drilling ban a central campaign issue this summer as $4 per gallon gasoline stoked voter anger and turned public opinion in favor of more exploration,” quotes the article.

    “The action does not mean drilling is imminent and still leaves the oil-rich eastern Gulf of Mexico off limits. But it could set the stage for the government to offer leases in some Atlantic Federal waters as early as 2011.”

  30. George Miller

    Bob, Have I missed something here or are we still talking about 50+ miles off shore? Do I understand that there is a capped well off of the coast of California and that refining capacity currently exists to refine it? This I heard from Mr. Hoffmeister retired chairman of Shell Oil US. Why not start with this well,say in the next few weeks? George Miller

  31. Leon Gallie

    We have a natural gas dome off the west coast of Florida that is the largest ever found, but Florida will not allow it to be accessed. There is infrastructure in place off the coast of California that could be used to start drilling in a very short time, but the NIMBY crowd will not hear of it!!! This would be a very easy, fast start….

  32. Leon – You need to do a little more research, and less listening to Rush Limbaugh. I would go through again and reiterate the facts as I have previously done and on my other blog posts, but it’s obvious to me that the facts will not change your mind. You have already decided that I am an “ignorant tree hugging liberal” and therefore do not warrant you paying any attention to. However, I would suggest you do this, if you can overcome your absolute certainty that you are right and those who have an alternative opinion are dead wrong. (1) Read what the government says about how long it will take to get oil to market, (2) Read studies on how difficult and expensive it is to extract oil from shale and other sources that you think can be brought on line in less than two years, (3) Read the oil companies own statements about how long it would take to bring new oil to market (they couldn’t even get the equipment or extraction process in place in two years), (4) Read the government’s own reports about how much domestic oil is recoverable and what effects it would have on the price of gas. I won’t tell you where to go to get this information (unless you respond and ask me for those sources), since you would most likely reject it simply because it comes form an “ignorant tree hugging liberal.”

  33. Thomas – Thanks for your comment, however I think you are naive when you think that we Americans demand what we want the all industry does is produce what we ask for. The Detroit automakers years ago lobbied congress successfully to keep the price of gasoline low and to not place fuel efficiency standards on light trucks and SUVs. This created the demand for larger, inefficient vehicles–and of course the type of vehicles that made them the most money. The opposite happened in Japan and France, when the government heavily taxed gasoline (to obtain money to develop alternate fuel sources) and because gas was then expensive it created a demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. This is not only true of the auto market, but in almost everything you buy. Marketing departments, lobbyists, advertising, all bombard us with what they want us to buy–and it works. We buy what they want us to, not the other way around.

  34. Gary – Thanks for your input. Regarding your points. (1) Can’t argue with you on congress being attracted by the money that is thrown their way by lobbyiests, etc. However, I feel it can be contained by increased oversight of where every dollar that goes to our legislators comes from. TRANSPARENCY should be what all of us taxpayers should demand in our legislators, the executive branch, and from business as well. If they have to explain every dollar, it is harder to cover up their voting records matching up with the money they receive. (2) My point on China was only on their automobiles that have achieved double the fuel mileage that American-made automobiles have. (3) Countries that have high gas prices also pay the most taxes on their gas. The tax revenues then go to finance clean energy development and to discourage the use of fuel in-efficient vehicles, and to encourage hybrids, flex-fuel vehicles, EVs, etc. (4) I said we would eliminate the need for OPEC oil, not eliminate the need for oil. The transportation sector uses more oil than any other. That includes cars, trucks, airplanes, railroad engines, and RVs. If we eliminated the need for foreign oil we would be much better off, and in the long term cutting down on the use of fossil fuels would also clean up the planet. (5) I have no problem with drilling. I have a problem with drilling for oil in places we don’t need to for quantities that are insignificant. We have a whole lot more natural gas than oil, and it would make sense to drill for and use it than instead continue importing oil from OPEC. (5) (the second 5) I know what the area being put forth to drill in ANWR looks like. But that is not the point. The oil companies already have millions of acres of leases they hold and haven’t drilled yet . Let them drill them. The amount of oil in ANWR would only last a short time, take ten years to get to market, and make only pennies difference at the pump. And the whole thing might turn out to be superfluous because by the time the oil from ANWR reaches market, hopefully, alternate forms of energy for the transportation sector will have evolved to electricity, flex-fuels, biodiesel, and hybrid technology and the oil wouldn’t be needed. And there are enough unanswered questions about the ANWR area, disrupting the birthing area of caribou (the other side of the river in Prudoe Bay is not), and despoiling an area that will stay that way for generations, doesn’t seem to be worth it for what we would get out of it. And it would distract us from concentrating on alternate forms of energy, which we need to do desperately. And another factor that the oil companies do not want to talk about, is that there is a worldwide shortage of oil engineers and drilling equipment since China and India are growing so fast the supply of equipment cannot keep up with demand–and the costs of building oil platforms is now astronomical, as well as having to wait a long time for delivery of the materials to build them. Oil is on its way out, and we shouldn’t waste any more time coddling oil companies when we could be building solar arrays, building wind farms, cleaning up our coal plants, planting switchgrass to make ethanol, and yes, building safe, clean nuclear plants.

  35. Leon Gallie

    Another ignorant tree hugging liberal. If America had kept drilling for its own oil over the last 30 years instead of saying no no no!!, we would not be where we are today!!!! Also there are gas and oil deposits that could be brought on line in as little as 2 years but the Damacrats will not allow them to be brought on line now. So much for your 10 years!!!

  36. Thomas Lasley

    Americans buy the kinds of cars they want, not the kind you might feel they need. Detroit is in the business of supplying a portion that demand. It’s pointless to blame unionists, lobbyists, politicians, etc., for the American taste in automobiles.

  37. donna redwine

    This is so true and so well put.

  38. Gary

    You say: (1)Had we not allowed those with a strong oil agenda to control congress and the senate, (2) and had we increased mileage only to what other, less developed countries—including China—have accomplished in fuel economy standards, we would already (3) (1) Be paying a lot less at the pump, (4) (2) Have eliminated—yes, eliminated—the need for any OPEC oil, (5) (3) Reduced our greenhouse gasses well below the target 1990 levels, and (5) (4) Have no need to endanger our natural lands and feed additional subsidies to oil companies to proceed with unnecessary oil drilling.

    (1)How can you do the first when our Congress people make their MILLIONS this way, off the lobbyists, and pay MILLIONS to WIN the jobs so they can make MILLONS from these lobbyists?

    (2) China???? Give me a break!!! Where was their emissions control for the Olympics? Iodine shot into the air to clean up a very small area of their country…IS that the answer?

    (3) Really…check what those countries pay per gallon!!! They have mass transit and we rely on the automobile. Cities have tried and somewhat successes in their mass transit but it will not work in the vast land masses of the USA!

    (4) Eliminated!!!??? What would we be doing for all the by products needs of petroleum? Fertilizer, airplanes, trucking and boating industry to name only three and plastics, septic liners, cases, shingles, car body parts and the list goes on and on!
    Where do you think our oil would be shipped IF we had no use for it and where would these above mentioned products come from? Yes, overseas….so send more jobs overseas and our oil under your thinking. We would not need any refineries so if a war broke out what would we do then? Oh, yes, we have the petroleum reserve!!! That would last about 30 days…not 10 years.

    (5) This would probably have happened. If we do more than DRILL DRILL DRILL and go after Nuclear, natural gas…oh that means drilling again!!! wind power, clean coal and other methods not yet invented or discovered we will do okay. We need to start NOW like the past has shown us. We can not go back but we can learn from the past.

    (5) You need to really look up ANWAR! The area to be used is NOT that great picture of flowers and mountains! Prudhoe Bay gets along with nature very well.

    We do agree that ALL alternative energy methods need to be investigated and used. However, we DO need more refineries and more drilling to protect our world interests.