End the Obama freeze on American energy development

Decisions made over the coming months by our elected officials in Washington will either allow for robust development of U.S. energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico, or they will lurch this nation one step closer toward a national energy crisis of our own making.

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a stark reminder of the need to pursue our nation’s energy resources in a safe, responsible way. But regulators in Washington have not been willing to recognize the seriousness with which the energy industry has responded to the Gulf spill, nor have bureaucrats in Washington acknowledged the decisive steps that have been taken to upgrade the safety equipment and procedures involved in deep-water drilling in the Gulf.

A moratorium on deep-water drilling and a shutdown on the drilling permit process has essentially frozen new energy production in a vital energy sector, which is now responsible for delivering one of every four barrels of oil that this nation consumes.

Middle East tensions and civil unrest in several Arab nations have recently pushed oil prices even higher, while countless numbers of Gulf workers and supporting businesses scattered all over the United States sit idle with no sign of returning to their jobs.

Last week, oil industry majors announced a new, state-of-the-art well containment system that is ready to be deployed in the unlikely event that it becomes necessary. This containment system provides the Gulf with a new, gold-standard capability to deal with any spill and represents a long-term commitment to the safety of the Gulf region.

Working collaboratively, and in conjunction with government officials, a team of professionals from four of the largest energy firms — Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Conoco-Phillips — developed a oil well containment cap that is capable of operating in water up to 8,000 feet deep and collecting up to 60,000 barrels of liquids per day.

Read more here.

Is $5 a Gallon Gas Right Around the Corner?

Five dollar a gallon gas will shatter the Federal Reserve’s tightly constrained lid on inflation and accelerate the other half our long anticipated “double dip” recession. Gas and diesel powers America’s 141 million cars, 100 million pickups and SUV’s, 8.8 million heavy trucks and 6.7 million motorcycles. Oil runs our harvesters, delivers our groceries, cooks our food, heats our houses, propels our jets, fuels our M-1A1 Abrams tanks, and lubricates our bicycles. American business can only absorb a few percentage points increase in oil prices before passing on their additional distribution costs to the consumer. Already the increases in food and clothing prices have been felt at the cash register. Disposable income will inevitably drop along with consumer demand for domestic cars and trucks, imported goods from China, and destination vacations to resorts in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Don’t even ask what this means to our already sluggish unemployment numbers.

In June of 2008, Congressman Roy Blunt released the following information about how the House members voted on energy issues. During this time Democrats were the majority party in both the House and Senate.

ANWR Exploration:

House Republicans: 91% Supported

House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Coal-to-Liquid:

House Republicans 97% Supported


House Democrats: 78% Opposed

Oil Shale Exploration:


House Republicans: 90% Supported


House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration:

House Republicans: 81% Supported


House Democrats: 83% Opposed

Refinery-Increased Capacity:


House Republicans: 97% Supported


House Democrats: 96% Opposed

Summary:

91% of House Republicans have historically voted to increase the production of American-made oil and gas, while 86% of House Democrats have historically voted against increasing the production of American-made oil and gas.

In 2009, the United States still imported 51% of all its petroleum requirements, both crude and refined. This continues to be an unacceptably high number in our quest for energy independence. Gas prices remain hostage to the increasing hostile regimes that sell us oil. Our own Department of Energy has proudly halted off shore drilling. With the political unrest in so many oil producing nations, and the long-term obstruction of Democrats to domestic oil exploration and production, American families have begun to pay the steep price for our failed national energy policies. This current Administration has wasted tens of billions of stimulus dollars on solar panel factories and windmills rather than building new oil refineries and using new technologies to recover the oil buried in our own back yard.

Oil Prices Skyrocket

Mounting concerns over Libya’s violent crisis weighed on stocks Tuesday and sent oil prices surging, while the earthquake in the New Zealand city of Christchurch pushed the country’s currency sharply lower.

With deep rifts opening up in Moammar Gadhafi’s regime, air force pilots defecting and a bloody crackdown in the capital of Tripoli, investors are fretting over how the crisis will end and what the impact on the North African country’s oil production will be.

Libya is the world’s 18th largest oil producer, pumping out around 1.8 million barrels a day, or a little under 2 percent of global daily output. The OPEC country also sits atop the biggest oil reserves in the whole of Africa.

With so much uncertainty surrounding a large chunk of the world’s daily oil production, market prices surged. Benchmark crude for March delivery was up $6.35 a barrel, or 7.4 percent, at $92.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

“The Middle East will remain the market’s focus today with moves in the oil price probably the best single indicator of the market’s assessment of the wider implications of events there,” said Adrian Foster, an analyst at Rabobank International.

Rising crude prices are a particular worry for investors as they reinforce fears of inflation and raw materials costs. They also stoke worries of a big drop in global demand levels, as experienced in previous oil price shocks in 1973-4, 1979 and 2008.

Read more here.

Under Obama, Gas Prices Continue to Rise

Gasoline prices have jumped another nickel, to 55 cents a gallon more than a year ago, according to a study published Sunday.

The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.18, the Lundberg Survey found. That’s up 5 cents from two weeks ago, publisher Trilby Lundberg said.

“That is a significant bite for motorists considering the continued deep unemployment,” Lundberg said.

And it comes amid a “very wide and deep glut of gasoline supply,” she added.

The spike is partly due to events in the Middle East and north Africa, Lundberg said.

The most common benchmark for crude oil is West Texas Intermediate on the futures market. That crude is “glutted, in serious oversupply,” she said. “But U.S. refiners use many other crudes, some of which have been jumping on Middle East tensions.”

The gasoline glut has helped prevent prices from rising even more, she said.

Gas prices may rise another nickel or dime in the coming weeks, Lundberg said. “It would of course be far more if Middle East problems augmented and caused oil prices to skyrocket,” she said.

Prices at the pump have risen 49 cents a gallon since late September.

The Lundberg Survey tallies average gas prices at thousands of gas stations nationwide.

Here are the latest average prices in some U.S. cities:

-Billings, Montana – $2.95

-San Francisco – $3.54

-Houston – $2.98

-St. Louis – $2.99

-Tulsa, Oklahoma – $3.01

-Baltimore – $3.09

-Atlanta – $3.11

-Boston – $3.21

-Las Vegas – $3.20

-Minneapolis – $3.18