By Alan Caruba
One of the most curious and, frankly, frightening aspects of environmentalism is its hatred of the use of energy. One can draw a straight line between the Carter administration that imposed a windfall tax on the U.S. oil industry and the present Obama administration that is all for offshore oil drilling just as long as it takes place in Brazil, not America.
There is, in fact, offshore oil exploration and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly near Florida. The problem is that it is being undertaken by China and Russia.
In America, Ken Salazar, Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, is likely to slow offshore development, but it should be noted that 85% of the nation’s continental shelf has long been under a ban against exploration and development, and was throughout the eight years of the Bush Administration. The same holds true for vast oil deposits in Alaska’s ANWR area.
Until the 1970s, America’s economy thrived on affordable energy. Fully 85% of all the energy we need and use comes from coal, oil and natural gas. That is not going to change despite all the blather about “renewable energy” sources such as solar or wind. Neither of these has proven to be either reliable or affordable without huge government subsidies wherever they have been tried.
As Seldon B. Graham, Jr. notes in his book, “Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High”, in 1981 a windfall profits tax was imposed, “This tax, in effect, sent U.S.A. Oil’s exploration and drilling budgets straight to the government to spend as it pleased; thereby leaving little or no exploration and drilling budgets for USA Oil.”
The result was “a death notice” to the industry. “Many U.S. oil and gas companies went bankrupt because of the windfall profits tax. Those U.S.A. oil companies which survived were forced to go overseas to explore and drill in foreign countries.”
The result of the windfall profits tax was that it forced “the U.S.A. to defend Middle East oil.” And that, dear reader, is why we are still in the Middle East providing an umbrella of protection, rescuing Kuwait from Iraq, then having to re-invade Iraq, and now faced with a decision to militarily end Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons with which to threaten other Middle East nations.
Graham, with more than fifty years experience in the oil industry, has also been vocal in opposition to yet another idiotic government mandate, the addition of ethanol to every gallon of gasoline drivers must purchase.
Ethanol is touted as another “clean” energy alternative, but Graham notes that even as it reduces the mileage available from each gallon, it also emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. “Clean biofuel is the big lie”, says Graham. That said, carbon dioxide not only plays no role in “global warming”, but there is no global warming; the Earth being in a cooling cycle for the past ten years.
Just like Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama regards oil, natural gas, and coal as the enemy. Jerome Corsi of World Net Daily recently warned that “President Obama declared war on oil and natural gas at the United Nations global warming summit and he made the same pitch to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh.”
Obama told the UN, “I will work with my colleagues at the G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge.”
On September 10, Buddy Kleemeir, chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America told a Senate Finance Committee that “The Obama administration’s budget request would strip essential capital from new American natural gas and oil investment by radically raising taxes on American production.”
A recent New York Times article noted that “The oil industry has been on a hot streak this year, thanks to a series of major discoveries…these discoveries, spanning five continents, are the result of hefty investments that began earlier in the decade when oil prices rose…”
First, note that the discoveries are the result of risks taken nearly a decade ago. It takes a long time to find new oil reserves and it requires billions of dollars. Second, note that these discoveries have largely been in other continents.
Third, if U.S. policy deliberately reduces the ability to make those investments by phasing out “fossil fuel subsidies”, it ensures that the nation remains dependent on Middle East and other foreign oil imports. Fourth, it puts the lie to the endless talk of America becoming “energy independent.”
America has been systematically stripped of access to its own interior and offshore energy reserves since the 1970s and at the heart of this conspiracy have been the many environmental organizations that have first secured legislation to enable their obstruction and second to impose, often through the courts, measures that attack, not just energy, but agriculture, timber, and other formerly thriving elements of the nation’s economy.
The destruction of America is moving apace and we have a president who continues to lie about “global warming” in order to further its decline.