By Alan Caruba
It’s no secret that Democrats are liberal, but when you peel away their devotion to environmental policies that have left America vulnerable to foreign nations on whom we depend for the importation of oil, what has been revealed is an intention to nationalize our nation’s oil industry. That, simply stated, is communism.
One might expect members of the Communist Party USA to advocate the nationalization of our oil companies, but hearing it from the lips of Democrat Party members of the House of Representatives should send a chill of fear through every American.
It was the former Soviet Union’s reliance on revenue from its nationalized oil industry that proved to be a major factor in the collapse of that totalitarian regime. It is, in large part, Russia’s nationalized oil and national gas industry that props up the current regime, a thinly disguised resurrection of the former communist party.
Having invited foreign, privately-owned oil companies to help revitalize their industry, the current leadership in Russia ruthlessly abrogated the original contracts to deprive them of much of their initial investment. Russian oil and natural gas company executives who resisted either fled to self-imposed exile or were jailed.
Russia has since sought to coerce European and former satellite nations by threatening to withhold the oil and natural gas on which they depend.
The nationalization of Venezuela’s oil industry by a communist regime led by Hugo Chavez is currently destroying that nation’s economy. Most of the oil in the world is under the control of nationalized industries. U.S. oil companies, combined, own only four percent of the world’s known oil reserves.
At a June 18 press conference, however, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called for the government to nationalize and own refineries, threatening U.S. oil companies with nationalization. “We should own the refineries. Then we can control how much gets out into the market.” Earlier, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had also threatened oil company executives with nationalization.
In a demonstration of a complete lack of understanding of how the marketplace for oil operates, nationally and globally, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) said, “You cannot drill your way out of this.” Exploring for and drilling oil is precisely the way to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil!
Rahall is the chairman of the Resources Committee and is apparently ignorant of the fact that the U.S. has literally billions of barrels of oil untapped in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, off the continental shelf of the nation’s vast coastlines, and in many States.
Florida, for example, long resistant to permitting off-shore drilling, has discovered that the high price of gasoline is forcing many Americans to abandon plans to drive to Florida for vacations there. Meanwhile, China has joined with Cuba to explore and drill for oil barely 90 miles or less off the coast of Florida. Similar energy policies in California caused its largest utility to go bankrupt and has deprived its citizens of a reliable supply of energy.
The Democrat nominee for President, Sen. Barack Obama, has called for a windfall profits tax on U.S. oil companies, but in 1980 such a tax, before it was repealed, led to the three decades of decline in oil production in the United States. U.S. oil companies do not control the price of oil, a global commodity sold on mercantile exchanges around the world. Their profits are less than those currently being enjoyed by the pharmaceutical industry, high tech industries, and financial and banking firms nationwide.
It was former President Clinton who refused to allow exploration and drilling in ANWR in the 1990s and it has been a Democrat-controlled Congress that has resisted President Bush’s call to allow access to the estimated seven billion barrels of oil untapped beneath ANWR.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) deliberately sought to mislead Americans into believing that the oil leases held by U.S. oil companies mean that they could drill tomorrow to produce oil, but neglected to mention that oil leases are no guarantee that any oil would be found. A high percentage of wells that are drilled come up empty. It is a highly speculative and highly expensive business to find and extract oil.
This brings us to the fact that a vast matrix of environmental legislation slows the process by which oil can be accessed and, later, refined for use by consumers. The U.S. has not allowed a new refinery to be built in more than three decades as a result of this legislation. It takes, on the average, ten years between finding oil and making it available to consumers.
Voters paying $4 a gallon can thank the Democrat Party’s alliance with environmental organizations for the failure and refusal to allow access to our national reserves of oil and natural gas. Lying about it and shifting blame to the oil companies does not change this fundamental truth.
The past actions of the Democrat Party and the assertions by several Democrat members of Congress represent the true face of the party and its close resemblance to the Communist Party USA should be a cause for grave concern in the forthcoming national elections.