Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Democrats: Committed to Economic Decline

Another good powerline blog article.

The economy is teetering on the brink, as oil hits record highs and no relief, in the form of increased supply, is in sight. Astonishingly, the Democrats are determined to allow no energy legislation to pass the Congress. This morning, the New York Times reported that Nancy Pelosi has dug in her heels in opposition to gas price relief:

According to accounts from those present, Ms. Pelosi said that if Democrats relented on drilling, “then we might as well pack it up and go home."

So that's what the Democrats will do: pack up and go home, rather than try to bring relief to consumers and businesses staggering under the weight of record energy prices.

The inevitable result will be economic hardship. It's hard to avoid the inference that the Democrats want the economy to get worse, in the expectation that hardship will help their prospects in November. Who knows, they could be right. But it is hard to imagine a more cynical calculation. In Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, we have as cynical a political gang as has ever been assembled.

Global warming article from Powerline Blog

The Arctic, getting warmer:

“The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot,” according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from US Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

“Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

This morning's New York Times? No, the U.S. Weather Bureau, 1922.

Some senators getting serious about U.S. oil development

One Way To Get Serious About Saving Our Economy: Shale Oil

In the post below, Senator John Cornyn talks about the need to get serious about solving our energy problems by developing our own domestic resources. One good example is shale oil, of which the U.S. has more than any other country. In fact, Rocky Mountain shale is believed to contain the equivalent of 2 trillion barrels of oil. Is that a lot? The entire world has used around 1 trillion barrels since oil was discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859.

This chart by the Institute for Energy Research shows graphically how America's shale oil reserves compare to other countries' petroleum reserves.

Can shale oil be developed economically? At today's prices, of course. A few years ago it was estimated that shale oil development would be competitive at around $40 a barrel. That figure may have risen a bit, but with world oil prices over $140 a barrel, shale oil development is a no-brainer.

Republicans in Congress like Utah's Orrin Hatch have been pushing for shale oil development for years. But, like drilling in the outer continental shelf and in ANWR, shale oil development is being blocked by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the Democrats in Congress. The future of America's economy is at risk as a result.

Posted by John at 8:20 AM
John Cornyn: Time to get serious about energy

John Cornyn represents Texas in the United States Senate. Senator Cornyn has forwarded a post commenting on John Hinderaker's "Democrats sucking wind on energy policy." Senator Cornyn writes:

After reading John Hinderaker’s post on Friday about lack of Democratic leadership on energy, I can report that the view looks about the same from my Senate office. Nancy Pelosi promised an effective new energy plan before the 2006 election – that’s about 809 days ago – and we’re still waiting. They’re now postponing votes because some Democrats fear reality has finally set in – and Congress may actually approve more domestic exploration for new energy.

We’ve put ourselves in an irrational box. We’ve put 85 percent of our prime energy exploration lands off-limits. The U.S. is the only country in the world that refuses to develop its own natural resources. With a growing worldwide demand for energy, we’re willing to enrich foreign governments – some of which wish us harm – instead of helping ourselves.

The U.S. is well on the way toward transitioning away from over-reliance on fossil fuels. I’m for pursuing every source of energy out there – solar, nuclear, clean coal, wind, biofuels, hydrogen, shale. We need it all. But we’ve built up an infrastructure over 100 years that must be relied upon as we make the change to renewable sources. Congress has to get out of the way and allow the U.S. to develop its resources for that infrastructure – or we’re headed towards economic catastrophe.

As John notes, a number of Democratic officeholders have heard from their constituents, and they want to vote to expand energy exploration. But their leadership is making sure they cannot. You can feel the Democratic solidarity on this fragmenting. One of two scenarios is likely. Either the leadership wakes up and allows expanded development – in Alaska, outer continental shelf, shale – or I suspect Republicans are going to do a great deal better in this fall’s elections than most pundits now assume.

I’m staging an "Energy Independence Days" discussion this week on my Web site. I will be joined by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Speaker Newt Gingrich and others who see clearly the need to produce more domestic energy and reduce our reliance on foreign sources. You know I am a long time and enthusiastic Power Line fan, and it’s an honor to communicate with your readers. I hope many of you will join me at this coming week, and share your thoughts on our energy problem.

Thanks to Senator Cornyn for the kind words and for his report. We look foward to checking out the discussion Senator Cornyn will be hosting next week. This article is from Powerline blog.