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Friday, May 23, 2008

Essay By Tim Inwood: How A Democrat Controlled Congress Is Making Our Energy Crisis Worse

This is a little gem from The Cincinnatus Standard. Pulling no punches, this essay hit right to the point on all the energy issues facing us and why Congress refuses to act and do the right thing to alleviate the situation.

Read on:

I get rather frustrated listening to the politicians moaning about the oil crisis we are having at the moment, especially since they are the biggest part of the problem on the domestic front. Since most of the Democrats are in the pockets of the extreme environmentalist groups—and their party is in the majority—we are making no progress in fixing our problems by domestic drilling. The other night I had to sit and listen to Senator Charles Schumer lecture us that getting oil in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is not the solution to our problems. He said even if we were to start drilling today it would not reach our supply system for ten years. He then blatantly lied and claimed that even if oil were flowing from ANWR to the U.S. market it would only drop the price at the pump by a penny a gallon. What he did not say is that the only reason we are not drilling in ANWR is that Democrats have been blocking drilling for oil there since Bill Clinton vetoed the bill to open the Artic National Wildlife Refuge back in 1995. Do the math: had he not done that, crude oil would indeed be flowing from there, helping with the shortages we currently face.

ANWR is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other huge oil reserves that we should be going after that the Federal Government has prevented us from collecting. Off the coast of Florida, there are billions of gallons of oil under the ocean floor. We could go as far out as 75 miles where no one would see a single boom, but the politicians won’t let us go out there and get it. They say they fear soiling the beaches in doing so and are worried about tourism. This is pure idiocy. As I am typing this, Communist China, along with Cuba, are going after those oil deposits. Now, you tell me who is going to be more careful about the environment getting that oil: the United States or two communist governments who have trashed their own environments? I think we all know the answer. I would like a dollar for every news story I have seen fretting over the health of athletes as they compete in the Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The air is toxic in that city.

Yeah, the environmentalists only want to stop U.S. exploration for oil. But nations like Cuba and China, whose records on environmental protection are nothing short of disastrous, can drill right off the coast of the U.S. and not a single environmentalist will raise his or her voice in protest. The environmentalists seem not to think very rationally.


On top of this we see the political pressure to create biofuels. Friends, I live in Ohio and what I am about to say may cause farmers to march on my home or burn me in effigy. I am truly about to say something heretical, but it is true. Turning corn into fuel has been a huge mistake. First, it takes more energy to convert the corn to fuel than you get out of it. Second, it has tied the cost of corn to the oil market. In the Orient, they have used rice in the same way that we have converted corn. The end result is that food costs are rising, and there are food shortages worldwide. Overseas there have been food riots and people have been killed. Also, if you own an older car you might discover your vehicle will not run well—If at all—with ethanol in the tank. A friend of mine bought my old 1993 Range Rover County. He has fully restored the vehicle and it is in show room condition. But he has discovered he must be careful of where he refills the fuel tank. If he puts ethanol in there it will not start. The other issue is the alcohol in ethanol dries out rubber gaskets and hoses at an accelerated rate, meaning additional wear and tear as well as maintenance costs for your vehicle.

We cannot afford to sit and wait for foreign sources to solve our problems. OPEC is clearly not motivated to open up the spigot. The population of the world is growing, as is the number of countries using more oil. In recent years, China and India have begun using huge quantities of oil. Both nations now have a rapidly growing middle class and with that affluence comes the desire for automobiles. India has a car company building a vehicle for the equivalent of $2500 called the Tata and they are selling quite well. The population of India is over a billion people —1,132,446,000 to be exact. The People’s Republic of China now stands at well over a billion people, with a census saying they had 1,321,851,888 last year. So it is clear, with those nations consuming more oil the situation will become more dire for us if no domestic action is taken in the United States as soon as possible.

Sadly, there seems to be no rush in Washington D.C. They seem to satisfy themselves with arguing about the concept of a summer suspension of the federal gas tax, hardly a serious solution to this serious problem. Their fear of the environmental groups seems to be the biggest impediment to getting something done. We the people must rise in one voice and demand they do something and do it now.

Congress is not sharing our pain at the pump either. Many are unaware that you and I—via our tax dollars—are funding a special program to provide lease vehicles to members of Congress. Congress has members who think of themselves as royalty. Sheila Jackson Lee is famous for saying she expected to be treated like a queen. A chauffer picks her up every day and drives her less than 100 yards to her offices. I suppose I should be happy she is not taking advantage of the lease program, but I am sure the chauffer cost more. Democrat Congressman Greg Meeks tools around in a Lexus, which sets us back $1,062 a month—not including gas. Charles Rangel (D-NY), best remembered recently for his self-aggrandizing pork of a 2 million dollar education center named after himself, drives a leased Cadillac DeVille that is setting us back a mere $998 a month. When asked about his Caddy the pompous Rangel said his constituents expected him to ride in style. Notably, some members of Congress do not take advantage of the taxpayer. Steve Chabot (R-OH) still drives his personal 1993 Buick with 161,000 miles on it—and he pays for his own gasoline.

Frankly, I think Congress should be more like the character of Colonel Hessler, played by the late Robert Shaw in the old movie, Battle of the Bulge. He refused special meals and demanded to eat as his troops did so he knew how much strength and energy they had. Only then could he understand what his men needed. Perhaps if our Congressional overlords lived without all the perks and were more like us serfs they would better understand our plight. Then maybe they would get up off their rather sizable posteriors and clear the way for drilling where we know the oil is, loosen up regulations so we can build a new refinery or five, and get our energy crisis behind us. For this to happen, we must make contact with those in Washington at all levels of government. So please use the link at the bottom of this article and demand action now. Acting in unison we can get things moving, but your inaction will surely result in failure. So I hope you will join this effort to get those who can lift these restrictions to do so.

Therein lies the problem. Members of Congress don't have to pay their way like we working Americans do. Congress is so full of perks and bennies that they have forgotten what it means to actually have to roll up their sleeves for a living. As such, we can no longer trust them to fight for America's principles nor to fight for the benefit of the American people.

The Democrats promised to change all of that when they took power in 2006 but they have simply taken more benefits for themselves and have basically said, "To Hell with the rest of us."

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Oil Is Plentiful, But Idiots Stand In The Way
Tim Inwood
The Cincinnatus Standard
May 8, 2008

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