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?

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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?

Complaints about Wind Turbine Noise … Postscript

Okay.

I went back and took another look at the video, Wind Turbine Noise.

Point by point …

Who gives a rat’s ass what the Canadian premier thinks? Currently, the technology to harness wind power is expensive, but … wind is FREE. Is wind unreliable? Do your homework. Canadian premier, Dalton McGuinty shouldn’t talk about something he neither understands or knows anything about.

Expensive … $138 a barrel crude oil is expensive.

If you’d like to talk about a “wind scourge”, try sitting through a hurricane or tornado. Those are “wind scourges”.

I read the 1,2,3 of the purported claims listed as being attributed to the government and wind industry in Canada. Any idiot knows that the only predictably sustainable forms of electricity generation are fossil fuel and nuclear. I.e., the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine. Either an idiot wrote the claims or an idiot misinterpreted them.

If your electricians or electrical engineers in Canada can’t keep lights from flickering, get a double “E” (EE) major from Georgia Tech. He’ll straighten it out for you.

I don’t know how many people live in Canada and frankly don’t care. I do know that I’m one of about 300 million Americans living in the United States and we have been spending about 340 billion dollars each year to import crude oil from Canada, Mexico and other foreign countries while we sit on hundreds of billions of barrels of oil that our government has sanctified and put off limits. This means that it’s costing every man, woman and child in this country about $1100 a year to import energy or about $4400 per family of four … and that really doesn’t take into account the increases in crude oil prices this year. If the politicians haven’t figured it out, this puts a typical family’s imported energy expenses on par with health insurance … very expensive if not completely unaffordable.

Wind power may not make sense in Canada … yet … but anything other than what our government is currently doing … which is essentially nothing … makes sense.

To say that wind power will never achieve it’s claims … well it depends on whether the claims are based on science and fact … and reality … is being as false as the prophets being railed against.

Whether something is expensive or not is relative.

Wind power can be an adjunct to fossil fuel and nuclear power and it can be significant. To say that it won’t reduce carbon emissions is ludicrous. Any form of energy production that doesn’t require the burning of fossil fuels or organic matter will reduce carbon emissions. How much simpler can that concept be? To imply that implementation of wind power is some sort of international conspiracy is moronic.

Try this experiment. Go to your fuse box and pull the main switch. That’s right cut off all the electricity to your home … and don’t turn it back on for 11 days. Better yet, cut off all the electricity to your town or city and block all the exits so no one can leave for 11 days.

Then decide how bothersome the noise of those turbines is.

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.

What to Do with the WindFall Profits From American Oil Companies

This week, as the first quarter financial reports have come in from America’s top oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron, presidential candidates, most notably Hillary Clinton, and other politicians, primarily Democratic, have shouted “Outrage” and clamored for as yet unspecified windfall profit taxes to be placed upon American oil companies.

In response to these cries of political posturing, the oil companies have meekly, and weakly, responded by pointing out that their profit margin is no greater than that of other U.S. industry segments. It’s frankly ironic when American industries have to apologize for making normal profits.

Windfall profit taxes on American oil companies would temporarily put billions of dollars into the coffers of the U.S. treasury but it would do nothing to recoup the billions of dollars that we are sending to Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela or other oil producing countries. Hillary Clinton proposes spanking the hands of these countries and admonishing them for their greed.

Senator Clinton proposes using these windfall profit taxes to pay for “green industries” to reduce our dependence on oil. I think that’s great, but what is she going to do with Senator Ted Kennedy who won’t allow currently available renewable energy sources like the wind farm proposed to be constructed in Nantucket Sound to be built?

While Americans are being worked into a frenzy of outrage over the profits of oil companies, the true culprits contributing to the nearly $4 a gallon cost of gasoline like Senator Kennedy and other special interest groups are quietly sipping their mint juleps on their verandas enjoying their unspoiled scenic views.

I wholeheartedly agree with Senator Clinton for the need to increase our research and development of alternative sources of energy as well as the use of currently available technologies.

In typical lawyer fashion, Senator Clinton wants the United States to develope laws to allow the United States and it’s citizens to file suits against the offending entities such as other countries in the World Court as if, in some way, this might force OPEC to change it’s ways. How about allowing U.S. citizens to file suit against Senator Kennedy to force him to get his dead butt out of the way of the construction of the wind farm?

If anyone would take the time to look at the financials of American oil companies, they would see that the increase in net profits really aren’t that great when compared to the overall size and cost of operations of each of these companies.

American oil companies annually spend billions of dollars in foreign countries drilling for oil, refining oil products to be imported to the United States as well as for the transportation of crude oil and refined products to the U.S. while billions of gallons of crude oil and billions of metric yards of natural gas lie untouched off American shores and access to these resources are restricted from use … that is … use by us.

While we sit idly by China and Venezuela are renovating and expanding Cuba’s capacity to drill for oil and oil companies from Canada, Spain, Norway, Brazil, India and Malaysia are actively drilling for oil in Cuba both onshore and offshore in the Florida Straits. With horizontal drilling, oil rigs placed near the accepted boundaries between the United States and Cuba could actually allow the tapping of oil within U.S. territorial waters by foreign countries. Additionally, what is to stop foreign countries from drilling off the U.S. in nonterritorial waters?

So, what should be done with the windfall profits of American oil companies?

The nonsensical insanity should be stopped and these companies should be allowed to begin drilling off the continental United States and encouraged to build new refining capacity within the United States. Paradoxically, the price of crude oil would decrease, the price of gasoline would decrease and their profits would decrease … most likely in that order. And guess what, that might even create come good paying jobs for Americans … right here at home.

Unfortunately, simple solutions that make too much sense are just beyond the comprehension of American lawmakers who have too much to loose … specifically their demagoguery … by doing something sensible.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be suprised if that little pig of a Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez, wasn’t throwing a few coins in the direction of some select U.S. lawmakers and environmental groups as he laughingly takes his loot to the bank … in Switzerland or the Caymans. Wasn’t there a Kennedy praising Chavez’ donations of fuel oil this past winter?