Tuesday, August 12, 2008


McCain and Obama are going round and round about energy policy. Unfortunately, they are also going around and around the real issues. If our political process only allowed it, they might be debating the actual nuts and bolts of the issue so that voters could make a truly informed decision.

McCain wants to drill. Where, exactly? What safeguards does he plan to employ to ensure environmental integrity? When would license to drill actually produce oil for the U.S.? How much would it produce and how long would it last at our present level of consumption? What then?

Obama will drill if it can lead us to a meaningful energy program. After answering the same questions put to McCain, then, what does he mean by a meaningful energy program? In spite of the Repulsican derision, properly inflated tires would make a difference, but it isn’t exactly the solution. He says he wants to subsidize R&D, but what R&D and in what amounts and from what revenue streams?

One of the things that I find a bit disconcerting about Obama and the Demorats in general is their seeming inability or unwillingness to directly address the holes in the Repulsican arguments. For instance, the information in this piece from CLG News offers at least a telling jab for Obama to use in his sparring with McCain:

US oil firms seek drilling access, but exports soar 03 Jul 2008
While the U.S. oil industry wants access to more federal lands to help reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries. A record 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products were exported during the first four months of this year, up 33 percent from 1.2 million barrels a day over the same period in 2007. The surge in exports appears to contradict the pleas from the U.S. oil industry and the Bush regime for Congress to open more offshore waters and Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. "We can help alleviate shortages by drilling for oil and gas in our own country," President [sic] Bush told reporters this week. "We have got the opportunity to find more crude oil here at home."

We produce 5,064,000 barrels of oils per day in the U.S. so that means that 31.6% of the oil we refine in this country was exported to other countries in the first quarter of this year. Shouldn’t that turn up in a debate between McCain and Obama somewhere along the line?!

We import 10,031,000 barrels/day of foreign oil. Combined with the 3,464,000 barrels we keep from our daily U.S. production that is a total use of 13,495,000 barrels per day. Off-shore drilling is projected to produce a maximum of 3% of our need. That comes to 404,850 barrels per day.

That being the case, we could generate the same amount of additional oil just by curtailing the sale of 404,850 of the 1.6 million barrels of oil we export daily and not have to drill off-shore. I know it doesn’t make for a slick sound-bite, but it is the truth according to the Energy Information Administration which provides official U.S. government statistics. See: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html

Isn’t it just possible that a candidate could use this kind of information to frame an argument the average voter could understand and act upon?

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls - http://www.myspace.com/paralegal_eagle

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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