Take the current ongoing oil nonsense. Obviously, long-range, we need to develop a variety of new energy sources, renewable and otherwise. But one way to blow off the current, speculative bubble in oil is to first threaten to increase production, and then, dramatically, to do it. The obvious choice for the US is to remove restrictions on offshore and Alaskan drilling.
But now the Democrats have reared back and struck in force with an argument that's as fatuous as it is ballsy. Well, they say (as usual), it's the damned oil companies that are at fault. Why do we need to let them drill offshore and in the Alaska National Wildlife refuge? They already lease millions of acres of land for drilling but haven't done a damn thing. They're sitting on their existing leases to let the price of oil go up and then drill to collect ill-gotten windfall profits.
What's wrong with this picture? First of all, just because you "lease" x-million acres doesn't mean there's a gusher under every single acre. You lease acreage in promising drilling areas and hope for the best. Over time, only a modest fraction of these acres will ever yield oil, so you have to lease rights on an awful lot of acres to hedge your bets.
And the first thing you need to do is EXPLORE the acreage. With modern scientific instrumentation, you can just plunk a few devices down and get a pretty good idea as to where you might want to drill a few test wells before getting really serious.
But wait--what the American public doesn't know is that the current legal situation ALSO PROHIBITS EXPLORATION. This is perfect for the Democrats. They can stand at the podium and denounce the oil companies 'til kingdom come. But the argument is bogus. The oil companies continue to sit not because they're waiting for Godot. They sit there because they can't even EXPLORE much of the acreage they've leased. Amazing. They are getting denounced because they're not doing something they're not allowed to do.
It's amazing to me that many Americans have bought these bogus arguments for decades. It is, in fact, Democrat policy to cave into the enviro-freaks to buy their votes while screwing most of their constituents in the gas tank. Blaming the oil companies and the Saudis is but a pleasant diversion, but it's been astoundingly effective. Up to this point.
Because folks are starting to notice, as per this great piece in today's TheStreet.com. by Eric Bolling. (Video is here, too.) For example, Bolling lays waste to another conventional Democrat's phony argument:
A Congressman followed my segment and suggested that drilling wouldn't help for 10 years or more. I know this is absolutely untrue, so I called Transocean (RIG - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), the biggest driller in the world. An officer of the company told me that depending on the location of the drilling, oil could be realized in as little as a year.
Ultra-deepwater fields might produce in 3-5 years. For the most remote locations, without any prior infrastructure support, that barrel may require a 4-6 year window. I suggested 8 years and he said that he could not envision a situation where it would require more than 6 years to bring a barrel out of the ocean floor.
I'd add that they've been dishing this "it'll take 10 years" crap since the 1970s. And I'd point out if we'd done some more damn drilling in the 1970s and 1980s, 10 years would already have been up and we'd be pumping oil with more on the way. What a bogus argument, stating something won't help "now" when it would have helped "now" if they'd permitted it to happen decades ago. Jeez.
I'm going to have a lot more to say on this. Like you, I'm experiencing pain at the pump, although my budget seems able to take it for now. But hey, I'd rather be sending my $$ direction to Exxon instead of the terrorists who want to kill me, wouldn't you? And if we'd been sending our money to Exxon instead of listening to gasbagging Congressional Democrats, prices would still be reasonable, albeit higher than yesterday. And there'd be a lot more Americans at work on our own shores, pumping our own oil with our own money going into our own banks and not to those who'd like to take us back to those pre-oil days in the 7th Century. And their friends, the Congressional Democrats.