Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The People have power to lower oil prices

I didn't plan on watching Bush's energy speech this morning on CNN, it just so happened to be all that was on while I was working out. What a better time to fill my mind with knowledge than when I'm working out.

This is the exact reason I have learned to work out alone, because I like to listen to talk radio and watch the news while I'm sweating, as opposed to a mind numbing TV channel such as MTV or some gossip show on one of the major networks. I'm boring this way.

As you regular Freadom Nation readers probably know by now, I do not always agree with George Bush. I voted for him twice, but that only means that I have the right to criticise him when I disagree. This morning, however, I so happened to agree with just about everything he said.

I also thought what he said would fit right into some of the major topics of this blog the past few weeks (see green conservatism) and a major discussion I had recently with a fellow intelligent blogger about how conservatism is not dead (see Ronald Reagan would be happy).

Bush talked about the fact that people are tired of high gas prices and that "people are calling on the government for a solution."

The people are calling on the government for a solution. This is a perfect example of why conservatism is not dead, because basically the people are calling for the government to undue the damage that it did.

This is a perfect example of why the government should not meddle in the marketplace. In 1982 Congressional legislation was passed banning drilling along American coastlines, during the 1990s Clinton vetoes a bill that would have allowed drilling in a small area in ANWR.

Likewise, fear of litigation and Federal red tape have made it nearly impossible to repair existing refineries or to build new ones. In fact, because of this, no new refineries have been build in over 30 years.

I'm not saying that all of this is the cause of gase being $4.00 a gallon, but all of these limit the ability of the U.S. to increase the domestic supply of oil, and if supply of oil were higher, the price of oil would go down. There's some economics 101 for you.

And that is exactly why George Bush has proposed that Congress get rid of its legislative ban on slant drilling. He said if Congress does so, he will remove the executive order banning slant drilling.

Like I said, this would basically undue what the government did to limit supply.

I completely understand why the government imposed the ban, but times have changed. Our demand for foreign oil from dictators we cant trust is bad for national security, and plus scientists have come up with new technology to make, as Bush said, offshore drilling "affordable and efficient."

In his speech the other day, John McCain said he now agrees with Bush on this call for off shore drilling. And he, as Bush, knows that this is not a permanent solution, and it is a solution that will not be felt for a few years, but it's something that must be done.

Estimates figure that slant drilling should be able to generate anywhere from 18-20 billion barrels of oil, or about 10 years worth. It would buy us 10 years to find an alternative fuel.

This will not make slant drilling legal, but it will give the states the option to decide whether slant drilling should be allowed or not.

In other words, Bush and McCain realize that people can be trusted to make the right decision on their own, and don't need to rely on the Fed to make those decision. This is a conservative philosophy here. Polls are currently shifting in this direction.

McCain is being risky agreeing with Bush on this, and some people may even say he is a flip flopper. But, to me, it proves once again that he is willing to negotiate and change his position when it is to the benefit of his country.

Obama disagrees about slant drilling. He thinks that the states should not have this right. He does not trust the people to make the right decision.

According to, "Congressional Democrats were quick to reject the push for lifting the drilling moratorium, saying oil companies already have 68 million acres offshore waters under lease that are not being developed."

Perhaps democrats fail to see that our current oil producing capacity is taxed with the resources currently available to the oil market. Of course, this dem response makes sense, considering they are fosusing their efforts on decreasing oil demand, something far more complicated than increasing supply (a topic for a later post).

However, no republican has said this is a permanant or a quick solution. Yet doing nothing at this time may result in nothing more than higher gas prices. And, with polls shifting toward republicans on the matter, I think republicans hold the upper hand here.

As McCain is already doing, he will keep this on the forefront of voter's minds, and pressure democrats on this issue, to show the public that the democrats aren't interested in doing anything that will ultimately lower the price of gas.

McCain still agrees with Obama that drilling for oil should not be allowed in ANWR (Alaskan Wildlife Wilderness Reserve), even though, Bush said, "scientists have developed innovative technology to reach ANWR oil with no environmental impact."

It must be noted here that Congress had set aside a mere 2,000 achres of the 19 million ANWR achres for oil drilling, which is less than 1/10th of 1% of ANWR land. While Congress approved of this drilling in the 1990s, Clinton vetoed it.

There is estimated 10-12 billion barrells of oil in ANWR.
It is true that it would take 3-10 years to start doing this drilling, and only if respective states approve it. But it's better late than never that the government undue the damage it did to oil supply, the price of oil, and the impact of high oil prices on the market.

Thus, by removing government legislation, red-tape and the threat of litigation, the government will be getting out of the way of progress. And, in turn, this will allow the people to have the power to lower energy prices.

They will do this at the same time with environmentally safe technology, and while continuing the search for alternative energy forms -- something the government should provide financial incentives to do, as I writie about in a previous post about green conservatism, Eight step solution to energy crisis.

Bush also called for Congress to make it easier for refineries to be repaired, and easier to have new refineries approved. As is noted, all of the refineries that we currently have are running at full tilt and gas is still $4.00 a gallon.

We definitely need to be having this discussion.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

Hey Freadom I appreciate you keeping up on this! I didn't get to hear the speech this morning but it sounds like Bush is beginning to speak out and that is a good thing. He needs to do much more of it and we need to demand more action like you and others are doing...keep up the great work and work out it sounds like! :)N