Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Offshore Drilling--McCain/Gilmore

McCain has changed his energy policy to now include the potential for states to drill offshore should they wish to opt out of current federal prohibitions. This is great news and a real winning issue for the fall.

He and Gilmore need to take it one step further. They should combine to support drilling offshore and allow states an 80% share of lease revenue to be paid by the big oil companies. Also Gilmore could favor having the share of lease revenue be dedicated to transportation infrastructure. This would put him in the forefront of the upcoming transportation debate and on top of the one issue that would make his senate campaign competitive.

11 comments:

ronbailey said...

Great idea? Permanently destroy irreplaceable ecosystems for a few weeks worth of dino-juice? How is that a winning idea for anyone other than the oil-company execs that will get to add a few more bucks to their stock portfolio?

Not to beat on an obviously dead horse, but continuing to pursue cheap oil is a short-sighted waste of both time and money. We need to spend our resources on developing the next-generation technologies and infrastructure that the US will need to be competitive in the 21st century, , not donate them to GWB's oil industry cronies.

Brandon Bell said...

RonBailey,

I would only hope we would have enough time to develop the technologies you mention. Our economy is headed for a major train wreck. The environmental left has intimidated policy makers for two decades and it has driven up the price ofcurrent sources of energy. Develop new sources yes but drill until then. Our economy depends on it.

BTW, the people making the real money in this are not in the US. It's insane to use 21m barrels of oil per day and only produce 7m. Nuts! The enviro. left has driven us to this.

fernly said...

What with the flooding we hear about in the upper Mississippi River we know our food costs will continue to escalate. We need to "fix' the position in which we find ourselves and in VA we have a God given resource called Uranium. Let's get this resource developed ASAP--get ourselves some cheap electricity for cell fuel cars and meglev high speed trains so we can go forward to a bright future for our coming generations. You know it doesn't matter if we have health care or social security if we don't have the necessary infrastructure to make our nation work. WORK being the operative word. Health care is only needed if it is to implement the worker being able to stand tall and healty at his job at which he pays into a tax base that supports social security, etc. I never minded paying taxes when I had a good paying job.
June 17--At a June 12 House Foreign Affairs Committee
hearing on Russia and Iran, amid great bashing of Russia over its nuclear cooperations with Iran, and calls for ending U.S. cooperation with Russia under the "123" agreement, California Republican Dana Rohrabacher intervened, saying, "There is a technological way out of this dilemma," which is the HTGR, developed by General Atomics in cooperation with the Russian nuclear agency. It's been ignored for years, but it doesn't produce plutonium. If we make that the standard reactor, there
will be no nuclear proliferation based on atomic power being used to produce electricity; all of our cooperation with other countries should be based on the HTGR.
General Atomics's 285-megawatt GT-MHR is a modular high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear reactor, similar to South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, the PBMR, except that its fuel is contained in rods, not in "pebbles." Both reactor designs are meltdown-proof and 50 percent more efficient than
conventional light-water reactors, and both produce high heat for use in industrial processing. General Atomics and Russia are collaborating on building a version of the GT-MHR in Russia that will burn weapons plutonium as fuel.
Rohrabacher, a free-market right-winger, has visited HTGRs in Japan and Russia and has met with General Atomics. According to his staff, he is very serious about pushing the GT-MHR forward in the United States.
Now you know it takes money to make money, but not if that money is squandered on useless projects. GE high temp reactors in VA would be our ticket to a quality of life our Creator expects of us. Shame on us if we bury our talents.
And anyway why focus on issues with a passe technology when we have access to a better one?

Tyler Craddock said...

Great post Brandon. Like most folks, I agree that we should invest in alternative sources of energy (preferably with policies that promote private investment, not government subsidies). That said, there is no reason that we should not explore for domestic oil sources and expand domestic refining capacity. I especially like the idea to dedicate the tax revenue to transportation.

ronbailey said...

That's just it - with crude oil costs heading towards $150.00/barrel, we are clearly already out of time.

Our economy is going to take a hit either way; the only choice we have at this point is whether we start to slowly wean ourselves off of our petroleum addiction now, while we still have a few options available to us, or go cold-turkey a few years down the road, when the oil runs out completely.

And trying to blame progressives for our energy shortage is lame. Which lefty environmentalist are you talking about? Ronald Reagan and James Watt? George Bush the Elder? Bill Clinton? GWB? I'm not able to recall the last time we had a truly progressive voice dictating energy policy, and I'm 42 years old. What's more, the progressive argument has long been that we need to move our economy away from oil by focusing our resources on developing renewable sources of energy, recycling, and reducing consumption.

The reason we have a failed energy policy is due only to the fact that the people who have developed the policy are the same people who have a financial stake in the continued consumption of fossil fuels. The "environmental left" has been shut out of the conversation for decades.

Even more to the point, it's idiotic to even play the blame game. We have some tough decisions to make in the very near future, and we will be ill-served by continuing to let oil industry lobbyists and executives have a voice in the matter. They've already demonstrated that they are more than willing to put their profit-margins ahead of the public's best interests, and they aren't going invest in alternative technologies as long as there is another dime to be made at the gas-pump.

Leave our coastlines and the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve alone. There isn't enough oil there to justify the losses associated with developing them.

Tyler Craddock said...

...we will be ill-served by continuing to let oil industry lobbyists and executives have a voice in the matter.

I don't know about you Ron, but I still support the First Amendment, and as such, I am a tad bit reticent to exclude folks from the political process.

BTW, I am curious. Just how much oil is available offshore and in ANWR? The reason I ask is your assertion that that there is little. So, I would be curious as to what your figures are and where you got them.

ronbailey said...

@Tyler

Offshore: Per the US Dept of the Interior, roughly 19 billion barrels, or 2.5 years worth of oil at our current rate of consumption. It should also be noted that it would take from 7-10 years before a drop of this resource would hit the open market.

In ANWR, roughly 16 billion barrels, or less than 2.5 years worth, although experts are certain how much of the reserve is recoverable.

In the best scenario, you get five years worth of dino-juice that first hits the market somewhere between 2015 and 2021.

ronbailey said...

ooops, math error on that last post - the last line should read "between 2015 and 2018" - sorry!

Brandon Bell said...

You can't trust the Dept of Interior numbers. Bureaucratic crap. These have to be over 25 years old. Why? Because we haven't been able to even explore. We have much better techniques available for searching--why can't we just look, huh. Brazil just found one field of their shelf that is estimated to yield over 200 billion barrels. Just a couple of finds like that for us would easily allow us to tell Saudia Arabia to take a hike.

Oh yea, why is Brazil even looking for oil off it's coast--they're energy self sufficient today! I guess they plan to sell it to us. It's amazing just how stupid we can be.

What let's wait until 2015 when we are buying Brazilian oil for $500 a barrel?

ronbailey said...

The most current info I can find - from the current Bush administration, no less - states that drilling in ANWR will drop oil prices by 75 cents a barrel. Note that the 75 cents isn't per gallon of gas, it's per barrel of oil.

Open up ANWR, and we'll just have to pay $499.25 for that Brazilian oil.

yoder said...

d24Face it, we will be using oil for many years to come. The question is, will we be using ours or sending millions to the Middle East. Even if domestic drilling doesn't lower the cost of oil it will bring in good paying jobs.