June 24, 2008

Winning the Stupid OFFSHORE Olympics, Pt. 4

As McBlogger has already pointed out, the oil industry (forget this "energy Industry b.s.; while they are running slick green-washing commercials mocked here, they're doing everything they can to sabotage actual progress on renewable energy), has come up with a formula for mindless repetition of their latest terrible, pointless idea: "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." As David Kobierowski pointed out in his first-hand report on the Republican state convention a couple weeks ago, after Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney had given their speeches, hundreds of Republican could be seen walking around the George R. Brown, zombie-like, chanting "Drill here, drill now, pay less."

Leave it to Joe Biden to get at the black little political heart of this idea on "Meet the Press" last Sunday, taking on a flustered Lindsey Graham:

This is a gift, a gift to the oil companies by John McCain. They have now leased 41 million acres of offshore leases. They're only pumping in 10.2 million of those acres. Seventy-nine percent of all the offshore oil available off the coast of Florida, into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast, lies within those acres that they now have. Why are they not pumping? Why are they not doing this? Why are they not pursuing what's estimated to be a total of 70--54 billion barrels of oil at their disposal right now if they pump? Why are these greedy fellows deciding they want to go beyond that? It's because they want to get it in before George Bush leaves the presidency. It's because they're not pumping the oil to keep the price up. They are not even drilling. So here you have 30 million leased acres they have right now that possesses 79 percent of all the offshore, and they're not drilling. And John says they need more? And it would take 10 years for it to come online.

A very important point: none of this newlw-permitted drilling in ANWR and along our coastlines will lower the current cost of gas by a penny; under the most optimistic scenarios, oil will not be flowing from any of the new areas for ten years. Besides, they're not extracting from the areas they can explore now; why would they extract from the new areas?

Even if this was a workable idea, which it isn't, it would still be a bad one. Tom Friedman nails it in yesterday's New York Times. The whole piece is worth reading, but here's a tasty excerpt:

Two years ago, President Bush declared that America was “addicted to oil,” and, by gosh, he was going to do something about it. Well, now he has. Now we have the new Bush energy plan: “Get more addicted to oil.” ... It’s as if our addict-in-chief is saying to us: “C’mon guys, you know you want a little more of the good stuff. One more hit, baby. Just one more toke on the ole oil pipe. I promise, next year, we’ll all go straight. I’ll even put a wind turbine on my presidential library. But for now, give me one more pop from that drill, please, baby. Just one more transfusion of that sweet offshore crude.”

The bottom line is, nothing in this proposal is going to give us any relief from high gas prices -- but it will give the oil and gas industry the illusion that it's meeting the long-term needs of the American people. The hypocrisy stinks.

Posted by BigDrunk at June 24, 2008 09:22 AM

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