Pelosi House Passes Offshore Drilling Bill With 50 Mile Limit. What About Wind?

In response to an overwhelming public outcry for Congress to move on offshore drilling to relieve our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, the Pelosi controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to be sent to the Senate for consideration which limits offshore drilling to a 50 to 100 mile offshore range.

TheHill.com – House passes energy bill

NRDC: Press Release – House Energy Bill Falls Short

House “energy bill” is a sham

Opponents to the bill argue that most of the projected offshore oil deposits lie within the 50 mile range and the Democrats under Pelosi’s leadership are simply trying to delude the public into thinking the Democrats support offshore drilling while approving areas for drilling which will provide little stimulus for companies involved in oil exploration to bid on the approved sites.

My question is whether the Democrats and Pelosi, in particular, have inadvertently shot themselves in the foot. While inherently opposing oil exploration or new development of nuclear energy, the mainstay of the Obama Campaign has been to achieve energy independence from foreign energy sources within 10 years. While shunning the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, the mainstay of the Obama strategy would be the use of renewable sources. Unless they plan to heavily compete with food supplies and therefore further drive up the price of food in the markets, the mainstay of Obama’s plan will need to be solar and wind energy.

If this were a practical consideration, the wind corridor in the Midwest isn’t sufficient to generate more than probably 20% of the nation’s energy needs at the most. That means, for wind energy to be a viable consideration, offshore wind power will need to be a major component in that project.

As noted in a previous article, Pickens Plan Presentation Before Senate Committee, Dr. Habib Dagher , director of the Advance Structure and Composites Laboratory at the University of Maine, stated that the technology for producing significant offshore wind power in waters beyond 20 miles offshore will take about 5 to 7 years to develop … which doesn’t include mass production of the developed technology or its implementation.

The 20 mile limit is the “over the horizon” number chosen in consideration for people like Senator Edward Kennedy who don’t want to see wind turbines from their beach front properties.

Since 20 miles offshore is considered over the horizon, it brings into question why Pelosi and the Democrats chose to limit offshore drilling to between 50 and 100 miles offshore.

It also brings into question how the Democrats will handle the deployment of wind turbines offshore, whether they will stick to 50 mile minimum on wind turbines as they have set for oil drilling and, if not, why?

Barack is Concerned about the Economy?

Senator Obama is sticking barbs into General Petraus with whom his disagrees about troop withdrawals in Iraq while defending his stance saying that General Petraus doesn’t have to deal with the $10 billion that is being taken away from the American economy by the Iraq war each month.

That’s right. Barack is worried about the $10 billion that the war in Iraq is costing the United States.

Hey … over here … back in the good ole’ U.S. …

How about the $78 billion or so that the price of crude oil has been costing the American consumer each month … which, by being an advocate for higher fuel prices, you have been favoring. How did I get $78 billion … $130 avg. per barrel of oil (well below avg. cost of oil this week) x 20 million barrels (this week’s newly announced daily U.S. consumption (down from 22 million) x 7 days x 4.3 (avg. # of weeks per month). That is nearly $940 billion a year … more that $200 billion greater than Boone Pickens’ estimate. Can the United States afford the loss of 15 or 20 trillion dollars in wealth over the next 20 plus years waiting for Obama’s … and the Democratic parties’ … plan to “possibly” reach fruition? And that’s assuming that their hypothetical will work in the first place.

And let’s get this straight … I’m doing more than my share. I’ve filled up my car once so far this month … 7.5 gallons … 170 miles. I literally have to dust my car off every time I use it. If there were some rational form of mass transportation ( like rail), I would be using it. But that’s another blog.

I agree with you totally about wind and solar … but what are we going to do in the intervening 22 years before these sources of energy meet their maximum potential … in the year 2030?

How long can we afford … your wisdom, Senator Obama? You’re looking for foreign policy experience this week “over there”? How about a little domestic reality?

Should Tax Incentives for Oil Companies be Stopped?

While watching CNBC this morning, I heard a banker say that tax incentives for oil companies be stopped and/or shifted to energy industries such as wind and solar which would make us less dependent on oil. It may make long term sense. I would definitely agree that there should be incentives for wind and solar developers and would ask, “If incentives for wind and solar developers don’t already exist, why not?”

I would assume that tax incentives for oil companies exist to encourage them to find and drill for oil and gas in domestic locations. Why give incentives to oil companies to search for oil in Brazil, the Persian Gulf or Indonesia?

Unfortunately, neither giving incentives to wind and solar developers nor rescinding oil companies are going to do anything for the American consumer in the short term.

Hillary Clinton and John McCain want to remove the gasoline tax for this summer to help reduce the impact of rising gasoline prices. The Democratic leadership in Congress, falling in line with Barack Obama calling this political gimmickry, is not even lukewarm to this recommendation so it probably wouldn’t help. Barack Obama is calling for an additional $1000 rebate on taxes this summer which he says will have a greater impact for families. I haven’t deciphered exactly who will get the $1000 rebate but would imagine it would benefit those whom Barack Obama feels he most needs to win the election, i.e., more political gimmickry.

Unfortunately, the action most likely to drive down crude oil prices for the short term, opening domestic offshore areas immediately to exploration and drilling … and I’m not talking about ANWAR …, just won’t happen.

So, we’re stuck with astronomical crude prices which are being trailed by rising gasoline prices. Barring crude prices rising above $120 a barrel, currently trading around $119 a barrel this morning, gasoline and diesel prices will peak in late June or early July. Gasoline prices have typically trailed about two months behind crude oil prices.

The ripple effect of the financial crisis that many have been concerned about will be nothing compared to the ripple effect of the rise of crude oil from $90 a barrel to $120 a barrel in the past three months … a 33% rise and the doubling, 100% increase, in the price of crude oil from last summer. That’s right. The price of crude oil has doubled since last summer … and Congress has slept.

Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will blame it on President Bush … who frankly hasn’t shown much if any leadership in this area … but neither have they. And, they do control the Congress, don’t they?

I remember the Arab OIl Embargo of 1973 when the price of crude oil went up 50% overnight. Now, it’s doubled in less than a year and everyone is sleeping. So much for leadership.