Saturday, June 28, 2008

Debate: HR Bill 6251

I love the debate and abhor the shortsightedness and I no longer trust in the "intelligence" of Congress for it is sorely lacking.
To believe that drilling will not get us out of this mess therefore we should not do it shows that they are still in the 1970s mentality and have not learned an iota about planning for future events. It's an all or nothing idiocy that proves they have no capability of logical thinking, nor ability to do simple math. In my equation, some dependence is better than total dependence. Even if drilling does not give total independence in the next 30 years, not drilling will definitely continue our total dependence, as the last 30 years have shown us. It is mistaken to think that we are the sole dependents on oil and that the rest of the world will care an iota about our woes for not going after self - reliance. Wasn't it the USA that strived to teach 3rd world nations to become self-reliant? Why is it selfish for us to practice it then? We have the means and we have the resource and we waste valuable time leaving our future generations to become more vulnerable to foreign manipulation which, to what I see, is much more dangerous than any real or imagined oil company manipulation here at home. Drive the oil companies further overseas and they will have to dance more and more to their tune and not ours. China, Russia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, India, Norway could care less about our inner struggles, they're drilling everywhere they can, including our front, back and side yards, and India and Dubai are busy building the largest refining facilities in the world, whilst we argue. Will we, too, have to import gasoline as well as oil only because we refuse to build new refineries? As with cars, you can only repair refineries you will never make them more efficient or less polluting; for that, you need to build new refineries.

Further, is it really wise to think that public transportation will solve this problem? Witness the dismal results of the last 30 years again. There have been more public transits built around California and I'm sure around the nation. Did it reduce driving? No. Is public transit used by more people than 30 years ago? Yes. Yet our highways are glutted in traffic. In addition you cannot compare the USA with Europe for public transit as this country is far larger and distances are greater so to think that we will build a transit infrastructure as they have is downright foolish. Just overlay Europe on the USA map and you'll see the foolishness of that idea. They are far more populated per sq meter. Also do you propose we do what San Jose, CA did with their new shiny fuel cell buses? It cost to the tune of 6 million each and it costs $52 / hour to maintain. Compare that with diesel of $1.20/hour. Be realistic, it is not affordable...yet; but to think also that the only way we are going develop alternative energy is by rewarding it ala John McCain is also unintelligent and an obvious disrespect to the many companies that have been hard at work for giving us alternative sources. Never mind that more funds have been given by the government under Bush than any other president before, for the the development of such, it is in the nature of American ingenuity and capitalistic mindset to pursue to offer to the world what is needed and wanted even without need of government incentive. That's what drives our great nation forward and to think that it would not be on the market if it was possible is just downright stupid; even if you believe as some do, that oil companies suppress such new developments, with today's information superhighway, it would be impossible to keep such new successful developments a secret for long.

But let's take it a step further, for those who side with the EPA and fret over environmental damage that none of us really want, yet some of us actually think that it also takes intelligence and not just gung ho activism. To begin with, as I mentioned above, old refineries are more polluting than new ones would be, so drop that argument already. Second, as to the incentive proposal of John McCain, who has really thought through the environmental damage that would be caused by millions of batteries produced out there. Yep, they will reduce our dependence on oil, and will be less polluting, perhaps, while in use, but then what? What happens when their usefulness dies. What do we do with those batteries? Are or will they be recyclable? Also consider the electricity needed to recharge the batteries; you know that our electric grids are already overused, it is why here in California we have to be on rolling blackouts, so think what would happen when we plug our cars in nightly. Just to name a couple of reasons as to why we are not ready for that "solution"... yet. Congress along with the EPA tend to jump on the "bandwagon" without much "thinkthrough". Consider the MTBE fiasco that polluted our table waters, now costing us millions in clean up. That was Congress, not the oil companies, who mandated it who shoved it down our throats. (In fact I remember the oil companies telling us it would cost more to produce the MTBE additive and will drive our gas prices up, as it did. Of course so did the removal of it.) Consider the current drive of our new energy saving light bulbs being mandated into use by the California Legislature and our esteemed Gov. Schwarzenegger. Maybe too much brawn not enough brain? Who will pay for the mercury poisoning in our environment and the deaths that it may cause? So don't be so sure that Congress knows what they are doing nor that it's those "big-bad" oil companies that cause all your woes. Also consider that coal is the #1 energy source for producing electricity (52%), so where are the black puffs of smoke and sooted environment? We learned to reduce the pollutants of burning coal tremendously so we don't even realize that it's being is used in such large quantities. Think of what could happen if we allowed the oil companies to keep working on reducing the pollutants in their product. As to the finite or infinite source of oil.. well... new evidence points toward the infinite availability of that commodity and maybe not the most of it in the Middle East.

So we need oil, like it or not, and we also need it for a myriad of other products which will not diminish in time either. Read the last paragraph of the following link especially: http://www.quoteoil.com/oil-barrel.html?gclid=CJesyZr30IYCFTBBGAodB1q88A We will have other alternative sources of energy available as solar is getting better yet for now we need oil even if only because we know what to expect with oil and we also know how to make it cleaner and more efficient.

And finally, to think that we have to stop using oil in order to force our reliance on alternative sources, is like saying that all the horses should have been shot so the automobile could become more usable. Transition always takes time if not only because of development but also availability and affordability. Who do you think really pays for all that which Congress mandates and passes regularly; in case this is news to you, all companies, regardless of income or profit, collect it from you the purchasers of their product. Congress cannot make everything affordable to everybody. We simply cannot pay that much tax, period.

Anni


Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 6:24:06 PM
Subject: Oil leases and profits Re: HR bill 6251 !

Exploration takes time. We should concentrate on most promising sites initially. If speculation is a factor in price rises, additional leases will diminish that. Why are Dems and libs against additional leases. Are they in the pocket of the environmental lobby? Are they afraid someone [evil capitalists] would earn a profit. Do their pension plans have oil company stock; if so Tut, Tut! Do they understand that the hope of profit encourages investment in the risky business of exploration and development. Or are they just plain ignorant?

About oil companies profits, see http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1168.html which says"

"over the past 25 years, oil companies directly paid or remitted more than $2.2 trillion in taxes, after adjusting for inflation, to federal and state governments—including excise taxes, royalty payments and state and federal corporate income taxes. That amounts to more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and U.S. Department of Energy"

The federal gasoline excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon while the average state and local tax is 27.5 cents. I think oil companies operating profit is less than 8 cents per gallon. When they distribute this profit to shareholders they pay corporate income tax. And then the shareholders pay personal income tax on the distributed earnings.
If we had made more leases available 10 years ago, more wells would be operating today. Google has plenty info, such as:
Federal News Radio - WFED: Bush urges Congress to lift offshore ...
Jun 21, 2008 ... (This version CORRECTS that oil companies have 68 million acres of undeveloped leases on federal lands and waters.)) ...
www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=78&sid=1423781 - 35k - Cached - Similar pages

Original message

Sent: Friday, June 27, 2008 3:43 PM

Subject: HR bill 6251 !

Read this and please explain how one can defend the big oil companies & the repub. congress.

H.R. 6251 would prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new Federal oil and gas leases to holders of existing leases who do not diligently develop the lands subject to such existing leases or relinquish such leases.

Ken

DeFazio Helps Americans Suffering From Record Fuel Prices |

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) took steps today to reign in oil and gas prices and provide relief to American consumers. Oil currently costs over $130 a barrel and a gallon of gas costs, on average over $4 a gallon. To combat the impact this is having on Americans, DeFazio cosponsored two pieces of legislation: H.R. 6251, the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act and H.R. 6052, the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act. He also voted in favor of H.R. 6377, the Energy Markets Emergency Act. Two bills, H.R. 6052 and H.R. 6377, passed the house by 322 to 98 and 402 to 19 respectively.

"Today, as the price of oil reached a record high of $140 a barrel, I was proud to take action to help Americans," DeFazio said. "The legislation passed today will set America on the path toward energy independence."

DeFazio is an original cosponsor of H.R. 6251 which compels the oil industry to start drilling or lose permits on the 68 million acres of undeveloped federal oil reserves which they are currently warehousing. The lack of development is keeping domestic supply lower and prices high. There are 68 million acres of leased but inactive federal land that have the potential to produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. This legislation would nearly double total U.S. oil production, increase natural gas production by 75 percent, and put an end to oil companies artificially driving up prices by hoarding leases. It would also cut U.S. oil imports by more than one-third, reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. This legislation was blocked today by Republicans, who sided with big oil instead of hard working Americans, but it is expected that the House will consider it again soon.

H.R. 6052, the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act, gives grants to mass transit authorities to lower fares for commuters pinched at the pump and expand transit services. Transit use is up 32 percent since 1995 and in the first quarter of 2008 Americans took 2.6 billion trips on public transportation, 3.3% more than the first quarter of 2007. It is clear that ridership is up due to fuel prices and this legislation aims to aid people taking public transit.

Finally, H.R. 6377, the Energy Markets Emergency Act takes steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures markets, which experts have noted is driving up the price of a barrel of oil. If the commodities markets, particularly the oil market, were subject to appropriate regulation, credible industry experts say that American consumers would see oil prices cut up to 50% in 30 days.

"The U.S. needs to move quickly to a sustainable energy future, but until we get there we need to tap the resources we have and we need to block price manipulation. Its about time the federal government took actions to defend the American consumer, rather than subsidize big oil," DeFazio said. "The legislation considered today was a giant step in the right direction."
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