What’s the number? The U.S. consumes 22 or 23 million barrels of oil a day or imports that much. I don’t recall which right now … but either way, it’s a lot.
Whether you’re listening to Barack Obama or Harry Reid, both are proponents of high oil prices to reduce domestic consumption, to promote alternative forms of energy, or … Harry Reid in particular … to eliminate the evils of oil … carbon emissions, poisoning the environment. You would think he was a teetotaler railing against the evils of “Demon Rum”.
While the Democrats rail for windfall profit taxes on the oil companies they fail to mention that the federal government is already charging the oil companies about 44% on their profits … not to mention the 18.5 cents they get on every gallon of fuel pumped. Granted, they aren’t benefiting at the pump from the rising gasoline prices but they are already proportionately benefiting from the increases in profits that the oil companies might be making.
One point that is repeatedly being referred to is the enormous profits that the oil producing countries are making. I wonder what kind of taxes the citizens of those countries are paying.
Has anyone considered the fact that, if the United States were producing more oil, not only would we be meeting our own needs but we could also be receiving the benefit of the high oil prices instead of paying the benefits to other countries.
As President Bush so aptly pointed out at the G 8 conference, what the leading industrial nations decide to do regarding oil consumption and green house gas emmisions, their efforts are moot if the developing economies like China, India and Brazil don’t comply with the same standards. Currently, those three nations alone show no intention of curbing their economic development for the sake of a cleaner environment.
And, unless nuclear power is embraced as THE form of sustained energy production, fossil fuels will remain the foundation of a consistent reliable source of energy. Like hydroelectric power, wind and solar power can only be counted on the complement and reduce the demands on a baseline source of energy. France has already proven the nuclear energy can be a reliable and relatively safe form of energy. Let’s face it, since the first caveman burned his fingers on a cooking fire, it’s been a given that all forms of energy can be risky.
I keep hearing the argument that a person is either for the environment and opposed the further development of our oil resources or they are anti-environment and in favor of drilling. Frankly, to me that’s a fairly moronic attitude espoused by pseudo-intellectuals who will throw the baby out with the bath water just to make their point. And … I’m getting sick of their message as well as their attitude. A sane person can favor environmental protection as well as being in favor of our country getting out of the current mess it’s in. It just isn’t an “either/or” situation as many would like to paint it.
The argument is that starting to explore and drill right now won’t produce results for 10 years. That was their same argument 10 and 20 years ago … and look where it’s gotten us. I heard one woman praise Jimmy Carter for his solar and wind initiatives back in the 1970’s. Somehow, she forgot the 10% plus unemployment and 23% interest rates we also suffered during his administration. I haven’t forgotten.
All of that said, countries that produce oil make money. With the United States having trouble balancing its budget, it seems ridiculous not to develope a commodity which is in such great demand worldwide for it’s price to have nearly tripled in the past year alone. One of the dumb arguments against drilling is that it won[‘t bring the prices down. Good!!! Then the prices will still be high when we do get our production up and we’ll make more money.
The government, state and federal, will receive revenues from leases, revenues from production, revenues from profits and revenues from consumption. In addition they will receive revenues from the taxes on the incomes of jobs created both in the industries involved and ancillary businesses that develope as a result of the employment of additional people in the areas of development.
The current approach by current congressional leaders of doing nothing and blaming everyone else instead of accepting responsibility for their own inaction and ineptitude is literally breaking the nation financially. Depending on high oil prices to reduce people’s consumption of gasoline and oil products is also reducing their consumption of everything else other that oil products. It’s incomprehensible that the political leaders currently in power can’t perceive this simple fact.
For an economy that is repeatedly reported to be based on consumption, their approach seems to be one perfectly designed for committing economic suicide.