Daily Archives: August 23, 2011
by Jim Lakely August 23, 2011
Near the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama — knowing he would win — told his supporters that they were just days away from “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Radio host Dennis Prager was one of the few to quickly home in on that quote and wonder what should have been obvious to everyone listening: Why would a man who loved and respected his country want to “fundamentally transform” it?
That’s like telling your spouse, Prager said (paraphrasing): “I love you, baby. But we need to fundamentally transform the way you look, act and think.” How might your spouse take such a statement? Mine would not take it well — for good reason (and in the reverse, too). If you love someone, or something — like your country — you don’t want to “fundamentally transform” it. That choice of words by Obama is telling, in retrospect.
So take Obama’s words at face value, and weigh them with how he has acted and governed as president since January 2009. Make your own judgments. Draw your own conclusions. But that famous Obama victory-is-at-hand quote came to mind when I read this post at the Power Line blog: “Obama’s ‘Industrial Sabatoge’ Devastates the Gulf.”
John Hinderaker points to a post at MasterResource, “a free-market energy blog.” Kevin Mooney “tabulates the damage that the Obama administration is doing to the Gulf economy, and to the energy industry generally”:
Ten oil rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico since the Obama Administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in May 2010 and others could follow soon…. The rigs have left the Gulf for locations in Egypt, Congo, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria and Brazil.
It gets worse.
Several of the remaining rigs could be relocating soon, according to the report. These include the Paul Romano, the Ocean Monarch and the Saratoga. Moreover, eight other rigs that were planned for the Gulf have been detoured away, Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), points out.
Remember what I’ve emphasized above in bold the next time you hear the Obama administration or other politicians mouth platitudes about ending our dependence on foreign oil. They don’t want to end our dependence on foreign oil. They want to shut off the spigots altogether.
Through every action — from driving out American rigs from American waters in the Gulf, to shutting off access to oil reserves in Alaska and elsewhere, to refusing to allow a pipeline from Canada to American refineries, to hyping the phony dangers of “fracking” for shale gas — the left wants to end domestic exploration and extraction of all fossil fuels. They want to centrally plan our economy dramatically downward into a “green” fantasy — one that is unsustainable if we wish to retain our standard of living and place in the world as a leading economic engine.
President Obama’s transformational energy plan is wholly intentional. Tapping America’s vast energy resources would create hundreds of thousands of jobs — but Obama simply doesn’t care. Putting people to work takes a distant back seat to “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” towards an unworkable leftist utopia.
That MasterResource post Hinderaker highlights quotes Bonner Cohen of the National Center for Public Policy Research. Cohen expands on what he sees as the “broader devastation being wrought by the Obama administration’s energy policies.”
“What you are seeing in Louisiana is only a small piece of larger mosaic being put together by the Obama Administration to make affordable energy as inaccessible as possible,” Cohen said. “From the administration’s war on coal to the serious consideration it is giving to imposing a nationwide regulation of hydraulic fracturing, to its shut down of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, to its ‘endangerment finding’ from the EPA, the administration is practicing its own form of selected industrial sabotage.”
Hinderaker writes: “If a hostile nation drove our drilling rigs out of the Gulf of Mexico, it would be an act of war.” Harsh, but it’s hard to call it false. Other countries, some hostile to the United States, are swooping into the Gulf to drill for the energy they need. We are purposely, through government policy, surrendering the ground — driving away U.S. firms and all the jobs that go with them.
And Obama, and his administration, could hardly care less. It’s actually the plan.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann recently promised $2/gallon gas at one of her campaign functions, and a researcher affiliated with NASA reported that aliens may destroy humanity to save the planet. Which statement is farther off the wall? Let’s set the stage with the facts.
Last week, the Obama administration found itself in a legal battle with Exxon over the largest find in the company’s history, a field of over 1 billion barrels off the coast of Louisiana. This represents 5% of total U.S. oil reserves and there’s supposed to be a lot more out there. The Marcellus Shale field in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland contains between 160 and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Out in North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan, the Bakken deposit is estimated to contain from 10-40 billion barrels of oil equivalent according to industry experts. This doesn’t include large deposits in Colorado, Wyoming, and elsewhere. Even if Bakken comes in at the low end it, represents another 40-50% increase in onshore American oil reserves.
In the meantime, the oil companies drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are still reporting incredible delays in re-opening even the inshore oil rigs. Offshore fields have become almost impossible to develop despite the incredible size of some of these discoveries. The government shut down even the inshore oil fields in the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year. The Department of the Interior just announced the first auction of oil leases since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in April of last year, to be held in December. The Gulf provides 29% of America’s oil and 13% of our natural gas.
A report released in July by LA Senator David Vitter noted the departure of 10 deep-water rigs, the imminent departure of several more, and the diversion of 8 more since the moratorium was declared in May 2010. Each of these projects ranged from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in investment. Many of those rigs are on their way to the vast 50- to 80-billion-bbl Lula oil field off the Brazilian coast. It is interesting to note that the Export-Import Bank is loaning $10 billion to Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company, to invest in their offshore oil industry. Funny timing.
The administration has also done its best to stall drilling both on the North Slope and in the Cook Inlet in Alaska. While talking about exploration, new pipelines, and improved practices, the reality is that every roadblock possible is being placed in the way of increased production. Last year, Fenton Associates, the public relations agency for many environmental groups, boasted that they had shut down drilling in Alaska.
“Drill, baby, Drill” has been replaced by “Chill, baby, Chill.”
While having approved several nuclear power projects, all of them additional reactors at existing sites, the government has adroitly avoided offering the necessary licensing guarantees necessary to obtain funding to build them. Another catch-22 engineered by the bureaucracy.
Ezra Klein in the Washington Post reports that the EPA is moving forward with its plans to shutter 20% of the nation’s coal-fired power plants. While many are grandfathered in, the power will still go offline starting in the next 18 months. The president has clearly stated on the record that he wants to put the coal industry out of business.
The real battle is being fought under the radar. The administration is using regulatory power and permitting to choke off conventional power. Last year, I sat in a packed conference center at China’s largest solar power conference as I listened to one of Europe’s leading solar power executives state that the industry needed to work to make conventional power so expensive that alternative energy sources can compete. This has been a part of the plan all along and the current administration seems to be working along those lines.
This is economic and engineering Luddism at its worst. After the farce of the carbon offset scam and many of the issues facing the industry, administrators, systems operators, and users would be well-advised to look upon many alternative energy technology providers with a gimlet eye. Objectivity is critical to the long-term health of the energy industry.
Let’s look at the alternatives. Test data on solar modules indicates a failure rate of between 3-7% within seven years of installation. Failures of inverters are exceeding 10%. None of this data is reflected in the current economic models for solar power. The assumption is 25 years, but there is very limited data. The business model for solar panels is becoming ever more challenging with rising materials costs globally and that of labor in China. In North America Solyndra has gone through over $535 million in government funding and is on the edge. Evergreen Solar, another poster child for solar power in this country, filed for bankruptcy last week.
Globally, the solar module industry will install 11-12 gigawatts of power this year, or the equivalent of 4-5 nuclear power plants. This certainly does not keep up with demand. As Germany and Japan have announced the phase-out of nuclear power, the great mystery is how it will be replaced.
As GM, Nissan, Toyota, and other car companies have ramped up production of electric vehicles, General Motors reported that the company had sold only 125 Chevy Volts in July. Costco announced that the company was removing electric vehicle charging stations from most of its locations because the stations are never used.
Wind power has received a lot of press, but even there, the largest project planned for the country was canceled because of obstruction and a poor financial outlook. Wind power is subsidized at up to 10 times the cost of conventional energy and is unpredictable. In studies of the over 6,000 turbines in Denmark, it has been found that without heavy subsidies, wind power would rapidly fail. Germany and Spain have withdrawn subsidies for wind power installations not because the industry has grown more viable, but rather because the difficulties and costs associated with this source of power outweigh the benefits.
And yet nowhere have I seen a coherent and objective study of the energy needs and policy of the United States, the world’s largest consumer. As American consumption of energy stands at 27,000 terawatts, with $85-bbl oil, an economy on the verge of recession, and significant capacity going offline, it would be nice to have a policy that is not based upon smoke and mirrors, or even some kind of sensible policy at all.
Maybe Congresswoman Bachmann isn’t so crazy after all. Judge for yourself. In the meantime I’ll be watching the skies for alien invaders.
By Jerry Della Femina July 27th, 2011
Grandpa, I’m so so cold.
But Grandpa, why is it so cold?It’s cold because we have no oil. There isn’t a drop of oil anywhere in this country.
Because drilling for oil in Alaska was bad for the caribou. And drilling for oil offshore sometimes caused an oil spill. And we used up every drop of oil we had.
But couldn’t we have bought the oil from another country?
Yes, but we ran out of money and the Chinese were so mad that we couldn’t pay back the money we owed them that they bought up a lot of the world’s supply of oil for themselves.
But Grandpa, is that when The Supreme Leader Barack Obama made that great speech that I read about in my schoolbooks?
Yes, he was in his best speech-making mood after we lost Israel and the Middle East.
Who could his forget his “Shame on you, Iran, for being not nice” speech at the United Nations. The delegates cheered him for seven minutes and gave him their “Prince of Peace” award. Then he made a brilliant speech blaming the banks, the rich, the oil companies and the car companies for making us dependent on oil and causing global warming.
Grandpa, isn’t that when Obama dissolved our armed forces?
Yes, that was his most famous “What do we need the military for? We’ve won the respect of the Third World by destroying all of our weapons” speech.
Then he flew to Iran, threw his arms around Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and said, “I will be your friend if you will be my friend.” Ahmadinejad just giggled and walked away.
Was Obama embarrassed?
No. He dropped to his knees and said, “I never liked Israel either.” Then he sang “All We Are Saying Is Give Peace a Chance.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the Iranian parliament. Actually they laughed until they had tears in their eyes. Sadly, Iran tried to destroy the glory of Obama’s big moment the next day when they dropped a hydrogen bomb on Saudi Arabia. But that didn’t stop Obama. He went to Brazil and made his famous “I’m starting to lose patience with Iran” speech.
Yes. By that time the United Nations had moved out of New York because we were out of oil and re-located to Brazil where it was warmer and more comfortable.
Grandpa, was that in 2016, when he stopped being President and asked to be re-elected for the third time?
Yes, that was a wonderful time for the Liberals, the unions, Democrats and The New York Times. It started with a New York Times front page “news” story titled “Many Want Obama To Stay On.” Then the Times said in an editorial that since it was against the law for Obama to be elected President again, let’s eliminate the title of President and elect him as The Supreme Leader.
Yes, I read all about it in school. That’s when he ended taxes and unemployment in the United States.
Exactly. Since he had convinced everyone that the rich were destroying the country and he had taxed just about every penny he could get out of them, he came up with his “Your Money or Your Life” amendment.
He said, “We are all born equal and there is no reason why we shouldn’t stay equal financially, no matter if one man chooses to work every day of his life and another man chooses to live off the work of the man who works.”
Grandpa, I know the great Obama “We are all our brothers’ keepers” speech, and that’s when he was declared the last President of the United States and the first “Leader of the World.”
Yes. So far we’re the only country to go along with this, and all the other countries have more respect for Costa Rica as a world power than us, but you know how persuasive Obama can be when he opens his mouth. YES HE CAN, YES HE CAN.
But Grandpa, it’s freezing. I’m so so cold.
Well I have a surprise for you. For your 10th birthday your Grandpa just sold everything we have for nine pieces of black-market coal.
Grandpa! Grandpa! Nine pieces of coal—we’re rich!