Our future hinges on .. oil subsidies and jet loopholes?

The Obama administration wants to clarify that it definitely wants to end the Bush tax cuts, raising taxes on filthy rich American small business owners earning over $250,000 a year… it just doesn’t want to do that quite yet. Right now our Dear Ruler, Barack Obama, and the Democrats just want to target “millionaires and billionaires, oil and gas subsidies, and loopholes for corporate jets that are gifts to special interests,” according to chief dogwasher Jay Carney. He says, “This is about subsidies for oil and gas companies — $40 billion — a loophole that allows for the owners of private corporate jets to benefit enormously in the billions, compared to, say, Delta or American Airlines, and other measures that benefit millionaires and billionaires, or in some way, you know, complicate our tax code in a way that it isn’t helpful.” It’s funny how Barack Obama and the Democrats are only worried about our “complicated” tax code as it applies to wealthy folks.

Let’s start with this focus on loopholes for corporate jets. Why the focus on corporate jets? Simple .. playing the wealth envy card. There are two things that really seem to symbolize extreme wealth: yachts and private jets. Democrats tried a special tax on yachts years ago, and thousands of jobs in the boat-building industry were lost. The tax was soon repealed. So .. this time it will be the private jets. And just what hideous subsidies are the Democrats after? Depreciation. All businesses get to depreciate their capital equipment. There is nothing really sexy – nothing that can be exploited to play the wealth envy game – in taking a depreciation for a construction crane or a massive new printing press at The New York Times. Private Jets? Well that’s an entirely different matter — only rich people fly in private jets, so have at ‘em!

In reality, how much could closing the corporate jet loophole really gain the taxpayers? Well when you consider the fact that we have a $1.6 trillion deficit just this year, you’d have to be government-educated to think that this corporate jet loophole could even make a dent in that figure. The reason why Democrats are focusing on something like this is because they are pandering to the dumb masses … like this person, for example: Robert Creamer. Here’s a taste of an article he wrote for the Huffington Post:

High-end corporate jets can set you back for from $40 to $70 million. They offer huge seats, communications suites, luxury appointments — convenience that is unmatched by flying commercial. But should the other taxpayers really be subsidizing that kind of luxury travel?

If a corporation spends $40 million on a corporate jet to fly around its CEO without the hassle of airport security, and the other indignities suffered by mere mortals, is it right to require those mere mortals contribute as much as $14 million in the form of a tax subsidy for the deduction the company will take as the aircraft is depreciated over the years?

The entire article is dripping in this wealth envy attitude. The Democrats play into that because they know it works.

The other victim in the Democrat wealth-envy parade is Big Oil. So now we are back to these oil and gas subsidies. We’ve been through this charade before, and in fact, I’ve pointed you to an excellent article by Randall Hoven in the American Thinker, which gives you some of the details on these hideous subsidies … subsidies that are almost uniformly offered to all industries in this country. What makes Big Oil subsidies different and worthy of government lambasting? Nothing, other than the fact that Big Oil makes for a convenient boogie man in a sea of ignorance. OK .. for some figures:

* Domestic manufacturing tax deduction — $1.7 B. This is a tax deduction given to every manufacturer in the US. Per CNN, it was “designed to keep factories in the United States.” If that deduction were eliminated for oil companies only, it would mean singling out oil companies from all other manufacturers.

* Percentage depletion allowance — $1 B. Any industry can write down a portion of the cost of its capital equipment as part of the cost of doing business. Right now, oil in the ground is treated as capital equipment. Again, this “subsidy” amounts to how the cost of doing business is defined. All companies get it, not just oil companies.

* Foreign tax credit — $850 million. Companies get credit for taxes they pay to other countries. All companies get this “subsidy,” not just oil companies. Should a company pay tax on tax? Should only oil companies pay tax on tax?

* Intangible drilling costs — $780 million. According to CNN, “[a]ll industries get to write off the costs of doing business, but they must take it over the life of an investment. The oil industry gets to take the drilling credit in the first year.” Among these four tax “breaks,” this smallest one was the only one that treated oil companies differently.

As Randall Hoven, the author of the American Thinker article, points out … the only subsidy that is specific for the oil industry is the last one for intangible drilling costs. So $3.55 billion that the Democrats want to claim are tax credits that are offered to all industries and manufacturers in the United States. But what if Barack Obama and the Democrats get their way in these debt talks and eliminate these subsides? Is this really going to make a dent in tackling our debt? Hoven has the figures …

* The amount of earnings not collected in taxes is about $4.3 billion per year — about 0.2% of this year’s deficit and enough to fund about 10 hours of current US government spending.

The only tax in which the oil industry seems to get special treatment compared to other industries is intangible drilling costs. The amount of that subsidy? That would be $0.78 billion per year — enough to fund less than two hours of federal spending in 2011, and not even half the amount we are lending a foreign-owned and state-owned oil company for drilling offshore Brazil.

Why Obama’s hometown has the highest gas prices in America

Think California has the highest gas prices in America? Think again. Chicago: the one party town wears that crown.

What are the consequences of living in the last of the one-party machine towns, a town that has hosted the Daley family as well as being the hometown of Barack Obama and the cronies he put in power (including Bill Daley, his Chief of Staff)? Politicians who have no problem imposing the highest gas prices in America on their citizens.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago-area gas prices have been running about 50 cents per gallon more than the national average. Fifty cents doesn’t sound like much until you consider a two-car family might buy 1,400 gallons of gas a year, which siphons some $700 more from their pockets than other Americans.

The clipping of the wallet causes damage throughout the economy, as consumers have that much less money to spend on retail purchases, save for their future, invest in their children.

The main cause of the high prices? Taxes and regulations-the Democrats solution to all our problems. There is a “mind-boggling array of tax levies that get tacked on gasoline’s retail price.”

There are excise taxes (both federal and state — and actually the Illinois state tax is in-line with other states); but also taxes that are charged to fill the underground storage tank fund and environmental impact fees. But together these last two only amount to a penny a gallon.

The killer is the sales tax. Illinois is only one of seven states to charge a sales tax on gas. What makes it worse is that these taxes are not a fixed number of cents per gallon but fluctuate as a percentage of the sale. This is a recipe for compounding the damage to the consumers; as oil prices rise, so does the amount taken from Illinois drivers — at a faster rate than for others across America. The state sales tax is 6.25 percent, so the take per gallon rises as the total bill at the gas station rises.

Illinois is also unusual in that it allows counties and municipalities to also get in the action.

In Chicago, city, county and Regional Transportation Authority (for our government-run trains and buses) sales tax add a few more percent. Thank you, Democrats.

But wait..there’s more.

When you buy gas in Chicago, you pay a couple more flat taxes. The city of Chicago and Cook County not only levy sales taxes but also flat taxes of 5 cents and 6 cents, respectively. Illinois is the only state to allow all these different taxes to be levied in concert, Sykuta said.

Worsening the problem is that some sales taxes are applied on top of flat taxes, charging motorists tax on tax, which only accelerates the total cost.

“One reason for higher prices is because of the multiple layers of taxes in Chicago,” said John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute.

The grand total? Taxes add an average of 69 cents to every gallon of gas in Illinois, and far more in high tax areas such as Chicago. That places Illinois up with the highest gas-taxing states in the nation, along with Connecticut, 70.3 cents, and New York, 69.1 cents, according to an analysis by petroleum institute. The national average is about 50 cents.

Taxing taxes — a Democratic dream.

But wait …there are even more costs, courtesy of politicians. Chicago is required by the Environmental Protection Agency, as are most cities, to use pricier reformulated gasoline in the summer. Chicago formulated a toxic brew so unaffordable that the rest of Illinois gets to use a cheaper blend.

This boutique blend is pricier. What adds to the costs, is that the cocktail of summer gas must include a heavy dose of corn-based ethanol. Only a few refineries make this unique blend, adding more to the costs. No wonder Obama supported the ethanol industry: Illinois is the second-largest producer of corn. So this government-imposed rule was yet another sop to the ethanol industry. Since there are so few refineries in America (thanks to rules and regulations, and the NIMBY problem) an outage in any of the very few refineries that produce Chicago gasoline can cause prices to spike even when crude oil pricing is stable.

Chicago is a microcosm of what Democratic policies lead to: sky-high prices and the ever-present risk of government caused-shortages.

Obama sees benefits in high energy prices (he and his minions have repeatedly said so) –especially those that transfer money from motorists into the hands of Democratic politicians.

America, welcome to the world of Cook (“Crook”) County politics.

Guess What Israel-Haters! Israel Has More Oil Than Saudi Arabia AND, The West Bank (Gaza) Has ZERO

Guess What Israel-Haters! Israel Has More Oil Than Saudi Arabia AND, The West Bank (Gaza) Has ZERO.

Post by QV:

Just Watch: After Libya, Satan America will attack ISRAEL.


Libya 101

Whether you like it or not, things in Libya have gotten a little more serious. Over the weekend, US warships launched over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya’s air-defense systems. Seems like a wildly different outcome than you may have expected from us just one week ago. So how did we get here?

The first thing that you need to understand about Libya is that it is a very rich nation; although that wealth is in the hands of the Gaddafi family, which has control over the Libyan economy. It is one of the world’s 10 richest oil-producing countries, with a fairly small population – 6.4 million people. Most Libyans (97%) are Sunni Muslims. Muammar Gaddafi has been running the show since 1969. Before that, Libya has known as the Kingdom of Libya .. yes, run by a king .. and was pretty friendly toward the West but unpopular with the people of Libya. So in 1969 while the King was out of the country, a group of young military officers led by Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup. The monarchy was abolished and the King was exiled to Egypt. Gaddafi scrapped the constitution and went on to govern based on his own political philosophy outlined in his “Green Book.” In 1979, Gaddafi resigned as the General Secretary for Libya’s Congress and decided that he was just going to run things himself .. becoming a de-facto dictator.

Are you with me so far? So this goon has been running things since 1969 and has declared himself the dictator since 1979, making him the longest-serving leader in the Arab world. So … fast-forward to 2011. We’ve got Libya sandwiched in between two countries: You’ve got Tunisia, which borders Libya on the West, and Egypt, which is on Libya’s eastern border. The people in Tunisia and Egypt decide that they’ve had enough of these totalitarian dictatorships. They revolt, they protest and eventually they kick their long-time dictators out of power. Gaddafi sees the writing on the wall …. It’s only a matter of time before people in his country want the same thing. So he decides that he isn’t going to go down without a fight. And the thing is, Gaddafi can do this. Unlike Tunisia and Egypt, there are no political parties in Libya. While elections in Tunisia and Egypt were rigged for years to keep their dictators in power, at least they had some sense of political opposition established. That’s not the case in Libya. Without Gaddafi, there really is nothing. That was until February 2011. Among violent protests, Gaddafi’s former justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil established a national council to try and orchestrate the rebel opposition to the Gaddafi regime. All the while, Gaddafi is gunning down innocent Libyans throughout the country. As many as a thousand people have been reportedly killed by Gaddafi and his regime since the recent protests began. So the rebels are operating out of the eastern city of Benghazi – the second largest city in Libya, second only to the capitol of Tripoli. As of right now, France is the only country that has recognized this National Libyan Council as the country’s legitimate government.

While the protests and the killing have been happening for well over a month, as of just two weeks ago, the US seemed completely against any sort of action in Libya. Even just a few days ago, the US did not even want to support establishing a no-fly zone.

So what changed? It became quickly apparent that the rebel city of Benghazi was in danger of collapse. So while Barack Obama is picking out his college basketball bracket, Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, jump into action. Hillary manages to convince the Arab League of Nations not only to support a no-fly zone but had Arab governments willing to participate in military action. Meanwhile, Susan Rice worked to get 10 nations in the UN Security Council to approve a resolution not only establishing a no-fly zone but authorizing a fuller range of options, including “all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country.” So by Friday afternoon, Gaddafi launched an armor assault on Benghazi. By Saturday morning, Gaddafi’s forces had reached a key bridge in Benghazi less than two miles from the headquarters of the National Libyan Council. So here we go … let’s put this “all necessary measures” to good use. On Saturday, the US launched 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles to knock out Libya’s air-defense systems and radar units near Tripoli. Meanwhile, the French launched an airstrike on the armored Gaddafi units around Benghazi.

And that brings us to today. Gaddafi says that he will arm one million Libyans with weapons “to rise up against what he called foreign aggression to occupy the country and steal its oil wealth.”

And now … the question: Is there really any compelling reason that we should be involved in this at all? Newt Gingrich has a few questions of his own:

1. Why not North Korea or Iran? Both countries are much bigger threats to the United States.

2. There are a lot of bad dictators doing bad things. Mugabe and the dictator of Sudan, for instance, have both killed more of their own citizens.

3. What is the Obama Standard?

4. How will success be defined here?

5. How far do we go to achieve that success?

6. How do we pay for this?

Gingrich refers to this as opportunistic amateurism without planning or professionalism?

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.

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.

2010’s leading state: North Dakota

The most dynamic economy in America belongs to the state of North Dakota, aka “The Peace Garden State.” The underlying reason (pardon the pun) is development of the vast Bakken shale oil deposits underway. As a result, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment and highest economic growth of any state in America.

Barbara Hollingsworth of the Washington Examiner writes:

North Dakota’s oil boom has already increased the sparsely settled state’s population by 5 percent, and the director of the state’s Mineral Resources Department predicts that 2,000 new wells (there are now 166 active ones) will be drilled in 2011. Half will be located in a 70-mile radius around Williston, which had to add 1,200 new housing units this year to keep up with demand.

But the state is also looking to the future.

In November, 63 percent of North Dakota voters wisely approved a measure that funnels 30 percent of all oil tax revenues, now at $613 million annually, into a Legacy Fund which cannot be touched until July 1, 2017, at which time it is expected to be about $2 billion and generate $60 million in interest annually for the state’s general fund.

But only interest earned by the fund can be spent by the state

Regrettably, many other domestic shale oil fields have been declared off limits for development in response to greenie pressures. This is a huge mistake, as dependence on energy imports not only weakens our economy, it makes us strategically vulnerable to Arab oil producers who seek a global caliphate.

North Dakota has had a tough century. The state was originally developed as a result of railway construction (The Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railways, building on their way to the Pacific Coast), and was settled primarily by German and Scandinavian farmers, recruited by the railroads to settle the land and generate traffic in the form of wheat. It so happened that the period of railroad construction in the late 19th century was also a period of unusually abundant rainfall. When the weather returned to normal, more arid, conditions, many farmers went bust. The Depression, with low farm prices, was especially hard on the state, too. The population went into decline for decades.

Throughout these tough years, and facing a climate that in winter is more formidable than even that of my native Minnesota, North Dakotans evolved a culture that prized self-reliance and community concern. When people think of heartland values, there can be no greater example than North Dakota, where people know they will perish if they do not take care of themselves and look after their neighbors, just in case.

With its tiny population, substantial growth in North Dakota will not have a major national impact — unless that is, we open up rich federally-constrained lands in other states for similar development.

North Dakotans are accustomed to indifference at best, mockery at worst. South Dakota, with its scenic Black Hills and Badlands, attracted much more attention and growth. Neighboring Minnesota, with its vibrant Twin Cities economy, attracted many young North Dakotans seeking their fortunes. Those left behind faced a bleak future until Bakken. Now, North Dakota is having the problems attendant on prosperity — housing shortages in Williston and Bismarck. As far as I am concerned, prosperity couldn’t happen to a nicer place.

Who’s blaming Obama for high gas prices?

Five dollars per gallon of gas by 2012! A former president of Shell Oil considers this likely.

The average price on Christmas Day for a gallon of regular gas reached $3.28 in Los Angeles County, the highest price since October 2008. In one month, the price rose 13 cents, up 35 cents year to year.

Where are the calls to sic Obama’s Justice Department on Big Oil to hold the oil companies accountable for “market manipulation”? Why aren’t we hunting down the amoral “oil speculators” responsible for repealing the law of supply-and-demand in order to line their pockets?

During President George W. Bush’s administration, we constantly heard demands to hold the President accountable for “Big Oil’s price gouging.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., just two years ago, knew exactly whom to blame for “skyrocketing” oil prices:

“The price of oil is at the doorstep; $4-plus per gallon for oil is attributed to two oilmen in the White House and their protectors in the United States Senate.”

In 2007, when the average national price ranged from $2.17 to $3.22, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., demanded that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Big Oil for “price manipulation.” In 2008, presidential candidate Obama urged the Justice Department “to open an investigation into whether energy traders have been engaged in illegal activities that have helped drive up the price of oil and food.”

Obama also called for “a windfall profits penalty on oil selling at or over $80 per barrel.” As of Christmas 2010, a barrel of oil sold at slightly above $90. What happened to the windfall profits tax?

Yes, back then the average price per gallon was four bucks. But blaming “oilman” Bush for high prices began when the average price was well below today’s $3.05 national average.

The average price was $1.72 on March 5, 2003, when CBS News posted a story online with this headline: “Dems Blame Bush For High Oil Prices.” It referred to an investigative report by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Levin blamed Bush’s post-9/11 decision to increase the amount of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 40 million barrels in 2002 — bringing the total to 600 million.

Read more here.

Drill where? The Hollywood left blocks new oil field drilling

The sheer magnitude of the Tea Party tsunami that roared through Washington last week posits the existence of an active, motivated conservative electoral base. Without a doubt, this base will continue to engage itself in rolling back the entrenched positions of the liberals and progressives in government, business, and popular culture. The Tea Party re-generation seems unlikely to shrug its shoulders and suffer in silence while ideas and values that undermine traditional America are flaunted.

That said, the primary importance of a vigorous, healthy American oil industry is essential to achieving energy independence and maintaining American freedom. I would wager there are very few Tea Partiers driving electric cars home to solar-paneled houses. I believe it’s time, therefore, that Americans get behind the oil industry and petition our elected representatives to do something about the absurd level of red-tape and smoke thrown up by leftists every time an oil company wants to drill for more of the one natural resource Americans need most:

Texas Tea.

The anti-oil blockade over the last 20 years has metastasized from hippie protesters to federal bureaucrats to liberally appointed judges to the point that no potential oil producer can even begin to drill for new sources of oil without suffering through literally years of litigation and hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not milions) in legal fees. I say its time to free the oil industry, drill there, drill now!

It’s not like we’re facing an army of brain surgeons on the other side. We need to stop pretending that we are all chicken-little Al Gores out here, gone all touchy-feely with idiot compassion for the planet and address the continued liberal obstruction of our access to more abundant and cheaper oil.

In Anchorage today, a public hearing is taking place regarding oil leases purchased by Shell Oil (and others) from the U.S. Minerals Management Service for the right to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. Our desperate-for-cash government accepted 2.7 billion dollars from the oil companies, but drilling has been blocked by “legal and regulatory challenges including a lawsuit over the sale.”

I’m sure the oil companies have their best attorneys on the case. They will be facing a motley assortment of environmentalists, Alaskan native groups and, just to give their side some gravitas, Ted Danson.

That’s right, Whoopi Goldberg’s old boyfriend. I’m sure the enviros took Danson’s decision to appear in blackface at a Friar’s Club roast for Goldberg into consideration when evaluating his good judgment and mien. Ted sits on the board of Oceana, one of the enviro-pests driving the oil blockade. The other board members are either free-booting lawyers, women with too many hyphenated names, actors or other layabouts who are apparently incapable of holding a real job.

As for the Alaskan native groups, they comprise about 15% of the total Alaskan population of 698,473, for a total of 100,000 people. Why should 100,000 indigenous people dictate economic hardship for the other 300 million of us?

A recent article by the Indigenous Environmental Network quotes Jack Schaefer, President of the Native Village of Point Hope: “We’ve hunted and fished in the ocean since time immemorial. We’ve always believed that we own the ocean and that it is our garden. We can’t afford to stop our religious, cultural and subsistence activities that depend on the ocean.

So the environmental circus is in Anchorage today. We’re all waiting to see if Ted Danson shows up in Eskimo-face. As members in good standing of the American Tea Party, we need to run this circus permanently out of business and get back to the business of America doing business.

The President’s Oil Reserves Lie

By Chad Stafko

Tuesday night, following a tour of the Gulf Coast area, the President of the United States addressed the nation regarding the state of the BP oil spill. In his speech from the Oval Office, President Obama spoke regarding our nation’s dependence upon oil and how we need to break that dependence.

During his speech, the President made a statement that was blatantly false. The President noted, “We consume more than 20% of the world’s oil, but have less than 2% of the world’s oil reserve. And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean — because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.”

We are not running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water. In fact, it is due to the President’s party of extreme environmentalists that BP had to drill some 40 miles from the coastline in deep waters to extract oil. Imagine if this oil leak had happened in the shallow waters off of the East Coast or even, dare we say it, in the pristine ANWR region. How much easier it would have been to cap the leak and clean up the oil.

Consider our nation’s vast oil reserve resources that are currently unavailable for use due to government ownership of the land or outright bans on drilling in certain areas.

According to a June 2008 article in Kiplinger Magazine, the United States has enough oil reserves to power the nation for upwards of three centuries. That’s three-hundred years, Mr. President. We are not running out of oil reserves, it’s just that those oil reserves have been declared off limits due to decades of environmental lobbying of our politicians, especially those on the Left. This lobbying has driven the likes of BP and others out deep into the Gulf of Mexico to extract the nation’s needed oil.

Note the following statement from the article:

“…untapped reserves are estimated at about 2.3 trillion barrels, nearly three times more than the reserves held by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC) and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand-at today’s levels-for auto, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil.”

Think about that. The nations that currently hold us hostage by their massive oil production actually have far less reserves than our own nation. Put another way, some of the very nations in which we are dependent upon oil are also the same nations that help to sponsor worldwide terrorism. Were we to extract our own oil, it would make our nation and the world a safer place. But, isn’t a spotted owl more important than the safety of the world?

Among the areas the article mentions are the oil shale located underneath land in Colorado, Wyoming, and in Utah. These lands are federally protected, but they alone could provide about 200 years worth of oil for the nation. Others mentioned include oil reserves located under Montana and some reserves located on protected lands in Texas, California, Utah, and Kentucky.

In fact, our own government has acknowledged the vast oil resources available to us. In an April 2008 study conducted by the United States Geological Survey, the group began its press release with the following, “North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.”

The report acknowledges that the available oil reserves could be much larger, but the 3.0 to 4.3 billion figure represents oil recoverable right now with today’s technology. In fact, there may more than 100 billion barrels eventually recoverable with continued developments in the technology necessary to extract the oil.

Then there is the most famous government-blocked area of oil reserves, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuges (ANWR). With 10 billion barrels available, ANWR is the most accessible of the major untapped oil reserve locations in the United States and claims are that this oil could be extracted in a way that would have minimal negative environmental impact.

Yet, with all of these resources, here we sit, importing oil at a feverish pace and a significant portion of it from our enemies and those who support terrorist organizations around the world. And, here we sit watching oil float towards our shores through unnecessary deep-water drilling when we could be drilling on dry land.

Yes, the President is correct when he calls for the need to use more alternative energy sources. Some of these may, in the long-term, actually be more efficient than the use of oil and be more readily accessible. However, until then we would be wise to tap our God-given resources in the safest of areas first before we go drilling more than a mile beneath the ocean for the same fuel that is available on dry land.

Therefore, if we’re tossing all the blame towards BP for this catastrophic oil spill then we’re ignoring other perpetrators. The reason BP and other oil companies are drilling 40+ miles off the shoreline and more than a mile deep is because of the stranglehold that environmentalists have held on politicians and their resulting energy policies for decades.

Let’s use some common sense. Drill first on land, then in water. It’s really not that difficult.

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