Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush Puts Alaskan Oil Out of Reach!

By Alan Caruba

While President Bush is meeting with his Saudi masters to discuss oil prices, you can be sure that one of the things he will tell them is that he met their demand to insure that the potentially vast oil and natural gas reserves off the coast of Alaska, the realm of the polar bear, have now successfully been put off limits to any exploration, extraction, and delivery to the citizens of the United States.

The announcement Wednesday, May 14, by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne that the department has decided to list the polar bear as “threatened” was yet another way of insuring that America must remain dependent on Saudi oil, along with the oil we purchase from other nations who are sucking U.S. dollars out of U.S. pockets at rates never seen before in history.

The three page justification issued by the Department of the Interior simply shouts how utterly debased this decision is. It claims it was based “on the best available science which shows that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat.” This government whose meteorological service cannot accurately predict what next week’s weather will be now wants us to believe it can predict the amount of sea ice off Alaska ten, twenty, thirty or more years from now.

That’s how stupid they think you are!

To add to the absurdity of this decision, Secretary Kempthorne says, “this listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting.” Notice he does not say global warming! He uses the new Green terminology of climate change, something that has been going on now for 4.5 billion years!

Bluntly put, the President and his administration has betrayed every American at a time when the need for access to our national reserves of oil and natural gas is uppermost in the minds of Americans concerned about our increasing dependence on foreign nations, some of which are unfriendly to our national interests and policies, while others are regarded as unstable providers of oil.

To put it another way, they just broke open the champagne bottles in Russia, in Venezuela, in Nigeria, and, in Islamic nations they are toasting each other with whatever they drink to celebrate victory over the infidels.

The administration’s claim that the Endangered Species Act—one of the worst, failed pieces of legislation ever imposed on Americans—had to be enforced because polar bears are imperiled by global warming ranks as obscene, an immoral offense to the truth.

James M. Taylor, a Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, responded to the announcement saying, “The only plausible basis for ruling polar bears as threatened is blind faith in alarmist computer models that have been no more accurate than Chicken Little’s claim that the sky is falling.”

There is no global warming and the administration knows this. The federal government’s own meteorological services are on record that the natural warming that had occurred since 1850 ended in 1998 when satellite data and other temperature measurements clearly indicate a cooling trend has begun.

Writing in November 2007, I noted the following:

The environmentalists seeking to put the polar bears on the Endangered Species list conveniently overlook a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noting there are some 22,000 polar bears in 20 distinct populations worldwide. H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, noted in a 2006 commentary published by The Washington Times that, “Only two bear populations—accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total—are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region.

“By contrast, another two populations—about 13.6 percent of the total number—are growing and they are living in areas where air temperatures have risen, near the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea”, i.e., just off the coast of Alaska!

The World Wildlife Fund study found the ten populations—comprising about 45.4 percent of the total—are stable, and the status of the remaining six is unknown. As Burnett points out, “These bears have survived for thousands of years, during both colder and warmer periods, and their populations are by and large in good shape. Polar bears may face many threats, but global warming is not primary among them.

As you watch the cost of gasoline, heating oil, food and just about everything else that depends on oil for production or transportation continue to rise and impact your life, remember that it was environmentalists that started this ball rolling and the Bush administration that put it in motion.


Saildog said...

I personally don't think ANWR or anywhere else in the US will make a blind bit of difference.

It makes a good story though.

You have expressed the view that "speculators" are to blame. I got this off the Mises blog:

1. The current June 2008 open interest is 262 million barrels - or 3 days production.

2. No player can hold more than 20,000 contracts or 20 million barrels - 25% of a days production or 1 day US consumption.

3. Futures are a zero sum game - you can not make money trading against yourself. If I want to buy at a particular price, someone, satisfied to, or confident of being able to deliver 1000 barrels at the price has to take the short side.

What about the simple explanation? The Econ 101 explanation? Supply and demand?. May be we could get to week 2 in Econ 101 and explain inelastic supply and rising demand?

Alan Caruba said...

The problem with your thesis is that it is not about supply and domand. There is ample supply and even the Saudis have said this. It is about leaving the US vulnerable to foreign supply when we have potentially great supply of our own, but Congress and the White House refused to permit our investor-owned oil companies access to it.