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July 26, 2008 / Mridul

Republicans Trying To Force Offshore Drilling On The Nation

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain claims that the global crude oil prices came down by $10 as soon as President Bush ended a moratorium on offshore oil drilling. John McCain, President Bush and a majority of the Republican Senators are trying to force the Congress to pass a bill allowing offshore oil drilling. McCain believes such a step would not only decrease America’s oil dependence on the Middle East nations some of which might use it as a leverage but would provide relief to the millions of citizens seething under record gasoline prices.

First of all, the price of crude oil didn’t take a nose dive only because President Bush lifted a moratorium on offshore oil drilling. Infact, such a step means nothing since another moratorium issued by the Congress remains in place, which the Republicans now want to be lifted at all costs.

By itself, the move will have little impact, because Congress enacted a moratorium in 1982 that remains in place. But the step underscores the rising political pressure to address high oil and gasoline prices in the middle of an election year.

Scores of environmentalists have warned against allowing oil drilling on the already-in-dismal-state coasts of the United States. Even noted Republicans like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have spoken openly against offshore oil drilling. The Governor completely refutes the idea that such a move would help in bringing down the oil prices in the long term and that it would only fuel the country’s oil dependence at a time when it should be moving towards renewable energy.

The price of oil came down due to several reasons and most of them were results of activities outside the United States. At the time when President Bush decided to lift the moratorium other significant events also took place. The most important among them was Iranian President’s statement that direct talks between the United States and Iran could be possible in the near future.

“It is possible that in the near future talks in different fields will take place with the United States,” the state news agency IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in an interview with state television late on Monday.

Another reason was America’s decision to send a high ranking official to attend Iran-EU negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program. In addition the Guardian newspaper reported that US might consider opening a special interest section in Iran – the first diplomatic step of its kind in 30 years.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section – a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

Furthermore, during the same time the OPEC also announced that the global oil demand was likely to decrease due to the high oil prices.

“Market fundamentals have clearly been softening,” OPEC said in its Monthly Oil Market for July. “This trend in fundamentals is expected to continue – and even gather pace – into the coming year.”

OPEC’s outlook adds to evidence that record-high oil prices are slowing demand in the industrialized world and follows other forecasts that a strain on supplies may ease in 2009.

The International Energy Agency also reduced its demand outlook for 2009 by 30,000 barrels per day.

The Republicans are trying to disillusion the American public by lying to them that offshore oil drilling would solve the energy crisis that the country is facing today. If they are really concerned about the high prices paid by citizens at the gas pumps then why not release oil from the strategic reserves since would have an immediate effect on the supply end as compared to allowing offshore oil drilling which could take months to start.

The environmental cost of offshore oil drilling could be enormous especially at a time when the scientists are warning about the degrading state of the coastlines. It is feared that the recent floods would further enlarge the ‘Dead Zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico to record levels plus the recent oil spill in the Mississippi river once again reiterates the dangers of offshore oil drilling.

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2 Comments

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  1. jeff roensch / Aug 6 2008 5:29 am

    The only energy or oil monopoly in this country is a governmental institutionalized monopoly on our country energy market. The legislative branch has been engaging in anti-competitive energy practices from drilling to building new refineries and much more. They are in clear violation of the

    “Sherman Antitrust Act
    This Act expresses our national commitment to a free market economy in which competition free from private and governmental restraints leads to the best results for consumers.” http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm#file

    Clearly the governmental restraint are in violation of a free market economy and is criminal negligence on the part of the liberal politicians who are the real cartel that profit in taxes more then 3 to 1 to the oil companies that actually work for their money and then have to pay taxes on top of that. So when Oil profits go up the tax revenue increase is 3 times that of the oil companies. So who do you think is the real cartel???

    This criminal incompetence of the democrats and legislative politicians anti free market energy economy in allowing American companies to meet American Oil needs is in need of change and with bush opening up offshore drilling it is time that we conservatives take a page from the left wing play book and for us to us the judicial system in upholding our laws and open up drilling.

    Why dose the Senate call for investigations on big oil? Because they are trying to transfer the blame off of them by placing the blame on someone else. By placing the blame on the oil companies and keep people from seeing that government is the true problem they are able to offer false hope in an effort to gain more power and money from taxes while eliminating a free market economy in our country and forcing us to send our money to unfriendly Middle Eastern countries.

    Why should we drill?
    1) Create more high paying jobs for Americans
    2) Become energy independent and stop sending $700 billion to middle eastern countries that support terrorism
    3) Invest the $700 billion in America
    4) $700 billion is 6% of the yearly US economy, and investing this in America would do what to our economy? Lower inflation and strengthen the US dollar?
    5) Instantly drop the price of oil because oil Speculators like me would invest in commodity producers that provide the product like Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, because this is the smart investment. When Oil Speculators transfer investments the Oil price falls on the stock market.

  2. Mridul Chadha / Aug 6 2008 8:03 am

    Thanks for the comment Jeff.

    Offshore oil drilling seems a reasonable way of achieving energy independence, at least to a certain extent but why jeopardize the environment in doing the same. There are other options like solar, wind and even tidal energy. While Europe and even China are moving towards these renewable energy sources and investing billions of dollars in these energy systems it would be harmful for the United States not to do the same. China, the world’s largest polluter, would accuse the US for not producing enough green energy at home and asking developing nations to do so; so it would have to move towards clean energy anyway.

    The coastlines of the US are not in a very great shape, the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico has reached record levels and there always will be the chance of an oil spill (cleaning up which would cost even more).

    If the President wanted to provide relief to the people he should have released oil from the strategic reserves as it would have an immediate effect on the prices as compared to approving offshore drilling; by modest estimates the infrastructure for drilling would take at least a year to to be set up.

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