Prepare For Gas Lines

In the 1970’s we had gas lines. Part of the problem was our reliance on oil from the Middle East and part of the problem was the government’s efforts to keep the cost of gasoline down. Those efforts together created the perfect storm. To put things in perspective, in 1969 a gallon of gas cost $.35 or $2.75 in today’s dollars (according to dollartimes.com). In 1978, a gallon of gas cost $.65 a gallon or $2.99 inflation adjusted (according to CNBC). By 1981, the cost was $1.35 a gallon or $4.46 inflation adjusted (CNBC). With the exception of 2011-2014, gasoline has generally stayed between $2 and $3 a gallon. Right now the price is over $4 a gallon, and obviously that impacts everything Americans buy. The Biden administration desperately wants to lower the price of gasoline before the mid-terms. However, there is some disagreement as to how to do that. The easiest way would be to open up drilling in America and bring back our energy independence, but considering who the Biden administration is beholden to, that is highly unlikely. So we are left with more risky solutions.

On Monday, The Daily Caller posted an article about one suggested solution.

The article reports:

Several economists slammed a Democratic proposal making its way through Congress that would enable energy price controls amid record high fuel costs.

Such a policy, which prohibits private companies from increasing prices regardless of market conditions, would have catastrophic consequences including energy supply shortages and increased inflation, the economists argued in a series of interviews with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Democrats have alleged in recent weeks that inflation is being driven by corporate price gouging and that Big Oil is using the Ukraine crisis as cover to raise prices and boost profits.

Oil is a commodity. It is subject to supply and demand. When America drastically decreased the amount of oil it was producing (under the Biden administration) and the amount of fossil fuel it was exporting, the supply shrank and the cost went up. The war in Ukraine did not help, but the problem was there before the war.

The article continues:

“I just can’t believe they’re dumb enough to do this,” Benjamin Zycher, an economist and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told TheDCNF in an interview.

“If prices are controlled at below-market clearing levels, then you get shortages because the quantity demanded is greater than the quantity supplied at the legal maximum price,” he continued. “And that’s why you get gasoline lines and allocation controls.”

The House Rules Committee announced that it would review the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act — a bill that enables the president to issue an emergency declaration banning energy prices issued in an “excessive or exploitative manner,” according to its sponsors — on Monday before reporting it to the floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who told reporters last week that oil and gas companies were exploiting consumers, promised that there would be a floor vote on the legislation this week.

The article concludes:

Economists, meanwhile, have also rebuked the argument that oil companies are price gouging amid the Ukraine crisis.

“[Retail gas stations] don’t necessarily drop their price as rapidly as what wholesale prices and oil prices are doing,” Garrett Golding, a business economist tasked with analyzing energy markets at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told TheDCNF in an interview. “Some people want to call that price gouging because it’s not in lockstep with where wholesale prices are. But the fact of the matter is, what they’re doing is making back the money that they were losing on the way up and that’s how they stay in business.”

Golding and fellow Dallas Fed economist Lutz Kilian published a May 10 paper laying out why gasoline prices haven’t risen and fallen in lockstep with oil prices over the last few months. They said pump prices are also affected by operating expenses such as rent, delivery charges and credit card fees, and that prices are set by retail gas stations, not oil drillers.

Democratic Reps. Kim Schrier and Katie Porter, the sponsors of the Sponsors of the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, and Pelosi didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from TheDCNF.

Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced similar legislation Thursday that would implement a federal ban on “unconscionably excessive price increases.” House Democrats, led by Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, unveiled a companion to Warren’s legislation.

Democrats are not likely to let facts get in the way of increasing federal control over our lives.

Some Democrats Support American Energy

On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article about some House of Representatives Democrats who are supporting a move back to American energy independence.

The article reports:

A group of House Democrats wrote to President Joe Biden Wednesday urging him to boost energy production by unveiling an offshore drilling plan.

The four Democrats — Texas Reps. Vicente Gonzalez, Sylvia Garcia, Henry Cuellar and Lizzie Fletcher — said the Ukraine crisis has proven the need for domestic oil and gas production to ensure the U.S. isn’t reliant on hostile foreign powers, according to the letter. They urged Biden to make progress on a new five-year offshore leasing plan to replace the current one that is set to expire in late June.

“The energy crisis in Europe demonstrates the vital national security benefits of robust domestic production and the consequences of relying on foreign nations to satisfy our energy needs,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “One important action your administration can take to ensure American energy independence is to publish a new Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Plan.”

The Biden administration has dragged its feet on the replacement plan which the Department of the Interior (DOI) is mandated to issue under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said there is still a “significant amount of work” to do before the administration can publish the plan and begin the lengthy public feedback process, during an April 28 hearing with the House Appropriations Committee.

Actually, I think it would be better just to open up drilling on land and continue construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, but this is at least a step in the right direction. Offshore drilling does occasionally have accidents, but is generally safe. On land drilling seems to be less risky. The one thing to remember as the Biden administration increases our dependence on foreign oil is that oil from America is generally obtained in a manner more environmentally friendly than the oil from some of the countries we are importing oil from. We were energy independent under President Trump. It would be nice to return there.

America Needs To Be Energy Independent And To Export Energy

Breitbart is reporting today that Russia has halted all gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria after, they say, a deadline passed for the nations to pay for gas in Russian roubles rather than western currency.

The article reports:

Sources with the Polish government and the Polish Oil and Gas Industry (PGNiG) claimed that Russia has halted all gas supplies to the country Tuesday night, with the stoppage of transmission confirmed Wednesday morning amid a war of words between Moscow and European capitals.

The article concludes:

Criticising Russia for the move, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Russia was attempting to blackmail the bloc. She said: “unilaterally stopping delivery of gas to customers in Europe is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail.

“This is unjustified and unacceptable. And it shows once again the unreliability of Russia as a gas supplier.”

The EU chief said the bloc was “prepared for this scenario” and has “put in place contingency plans” while looking for alternative sources of gas.

The Polish government also commented on Tuesday, asserting that it had enough fuel in storage to meet its energy needs. Poland’s gas network has said Russia’s move is a breach of contract and is considering legal action against Gazprom, reports Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

The report further noted that this is not the first time Russia has cut Poland off from gas supplies as a punishment, claiming seven suspensions lasting from a few days to six months over the past 18 years. A notable period of such cuts was during the last Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014.

Earlier this month, some European politicians suggested that the EU halt all Russian gas imports, following accusations that Russian troops in Ukraine had committed war crimes by massacring civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė of Lithuania backed an EU embargo and announced her country would be halting all Russian gas imports.

Germany, the largest importer of Russian gas in Europe, has been the most hesitant to back any halting of gas supplies, with some suggesting the German economy could face a major recession if supplies were cut off.

There are a few things at work here. This may be a per-emptive move. If western countries place sanctions on Russia’s use of the international monetary systems, trading gas in roubles would be a way to work around those sanctions. Trading gas in roubles is also a way to break the stranglehold of fossil fuels being traded only in American dollars. This is blackmail by Russia, but it also a very significant political move. This also illustrates the need for America to be energy independent and have the ability to ship gas to the countries impacted by the Russians’ cutting off the gas supply to two European countries.

Have The People In Congress Ever Studied Economics?

On Sunday, BizPacReview posted an article about a recent statement by Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey. I lived in Massachusetts for a long time, and I am sorry to say that what the Congressman said is not unusual for a Massachusetts Democrat.

The article reports:

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat, has claimed that, despite an abundance of evidence showing that “clean” energy is currently neither as reliable nor as efficient as traditional energy, America should invest in it right now instead of the latter.

He made this bold but dubious assertion while delivering a speech this weekend at the Democrat National Committee’s winter meeting.

“Republicans and their oil-soaked cronies … want to feed the American people one of the biggest lies of all – that drilling for more oil and more gas is the path to energy independence,” he said during his speech.

“Republicans say that they have an all-of-the-above plan, but it’s really an oil-above-all plan. The GOP always has stood for the gas and oil party. And its argument of drilling equals energy independence is leakier than an old oil tanker.”

I beg to differ, but America achieved energy independence under President Trump. We were also in a position to send fuel to Europe to lessen their dependency upon Russia. Had we continued on that path, the combination of the lower cost of energy and Europe’s not feeding the Russian treasury, we would not be currently funding Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The article concudes:

The evidence consists of data and polls showing that prices were on the rise long before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Republicans are not alone in their push for more oil/gas investment. Even Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur renowned for his successful development and promotion of “clean”/”green” technology and solutions, has argued that oil and gas investments are mandatory at this juncture in time.

Everyone, it would appear, recognizes this point except for Democrats, who keep doubling down on “clean” energy, even as the American people double down on their complete disgust with what they say are controlling party’s skewed priorities.

If you actually believe that green energy will provide for our energy needs, please read this article at The Daily Caller. Until we have the technology for green energy (which is most likely to be brought about by a return to a free market economy), clean fossil fuel is possible and efficient.

I long for the return of $2 a gallon gas–I can easily ignore any mean tweets that appear.

Avoiding A Possible Solution

When America cut her energy production, the price of oil and gas soared. When the price of oil and gas soared, the amount of money going into Russia increased dramatically. Russian gas and oil money are now being used to fund the invasion of Ukraine. So what is the best way to end that invasion? Cut off the money.

On Friday, One America News reported:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged NATO leaders to take immediate action using the SWIFT international payments system to impact Russia’s President Putin and his regime, his office said following a call with NATO leaders on Friday.

Johnson urged leaders to take immediate action with SWIFT “to inflict maximum pain on President Putin and his regime,” his office said on Friday.

Not allowing Russia to use SWIFT would definitely stop the flow of money into Russia.

On Thursday, The Hill reported:

President Biden on Thursday defended maintaining Russia’s access to an international messaging system for banks despite pressure from Ukrainian leaders.

The U.S., United Kingdom and European Union on Thursday announced strict new penalties on the Russian economy, financial institutions and influential elites close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But the Western allies did not bar Moscow from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), even after Ukrainian government officials urged them to do so Thursday morning.

“It is always an option, but right now that’s not the position that the rest of Europe wishes to take,” Biden told reporters after announcing new sanctions Thursday.

…The Biden administration also announced plans to impose sanctions on individuals and entities in Belarus, accusing the nation of supporting and facilitating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Banks across the world use SWIFT to finalize transactions and transfers. Cutting Russia off from SWIFT would make it incredibly difficult for its banks to operate efficiently, but could also wreak economic havoc for European nations who depend on Russian oil and natural gas exports.

I would like to note that the European nations would not be dependent on Russian oil if the Biden administration had continued President Trump’s policy of American energy independence. There were a lot of bad decisions made by the Biden administration that led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

One Of Many Reasons For The Price Of Gas At The Pump

On Friday, The Daily Caller reported that America is projected to become a net importer of crude oil in 2022. In 2020, America exported more oil than it imported for the first time in several decades.

The article reports:

“In 2021, the United States returned to importing more petroleum (which includes crude oil, refined petroleum products, and other liquids) than it exports following its historic shift to being a net exporter of petroleum in 2020,” the EIA (Energy Information Administration) said. “According to our February 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we expect net crude oil imports to increase, making the United States a net importer of petroleum in 2022.”

“Historically, the United States has been a net importer of petroleum,” the EIA report continued. (RELATED: ‘Reckless Decision’: Biden Administration Adds Climate Roadblocks For Future Pipelines, Energy Projects)

The U.S. was a net exporter of oil in 2020 because demand for the commodity declined as coronavirus spread and nations shut down, according to the EIA. However, exports increased and imports decreased rapidly beginning in 2016 and accelerated under the Trump administration, the data showed.

The article concludes:

However, the U.S. became a net exporter of total energy in 2019, factoring in both coal and natural gas trade. (RELATED: Biden Administration Defies Court Ruling Again, Opts Against Holding Oil Drilling Sales)

“At a time of energy uncertainty in the world, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is producing at levels that have helped cushion domestic markets and American consumers against global supply disruptions that once would have put severe pressure on our economy here at home,” American Petroleum Institute chief economist Dean Foreman wrote in 2019.

Former President Donald Trump pursued an aggressive energy agenda, promoting domestic fossil fuel production. The Trump administration approved multiple pipelines, ended the previous coal leasing moratorium and opened up more federal lands for oil and gas leasing.

President Joe Biden, though, has taken the opposite approach, nixing the Keystone XL pipeline, ditching an oil drilling project in Alaska, staying silent on a court ruling that prohibited a massive offshore drilling lease in the Gulf of Mexico and making it harder for utilities to gain approval for natural gas projects.

The U.S. has approximately 38.2 billion barrels of crude oil reserves, according to the EIA.

For security reasons, diplomatic reasons, and economic reasons, America needs to be energy independent. The Biden administration has worked hard to make sure we are not energy independent. Although I realize that President Biden will never be impeached (due to political reasons and the fact that Kamala Harris is his Vice-President), President Biden’s handling of energy policy in America is an impeachable offense.

The Democrats Use The Filibuster Right After Trying To Get Rid Of It!

On Thursday, The Daily Caller reported that the Democrats in the Senate used the filibuster to block a bi-partisan bill that would reimpose sanctions on the Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 from being sent to the House for consideration. There were 55 votes for the bill, but the Democrats used the filibuster to block it. Aren’t these the same  people who earlier in the week were calling for the end of the filibuster?

The article reports:

Several Democrats, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin, Catherine Cortez Masto, Mark Kelly and Raphael Warnock, voted alongside Republicans.

“Today, the Senate rebuked Joe Biden’s surrender to Vladimir Putin on Nord Stream 2,” Cruz said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Despite furious White House lobbying, a large bipartisan majority of senators (55-44) once again voted for immediate sanctions on Putin’s pipeline.”

“President Biden should listen to the Senate and to the people and government of Ukraine, and reverse his catastrophic decision to grant Russia waivers from congressionally mandated sanctions,” the statement continued. “Only immediately imposing sanctions can change Putin’s calculation, stop a Ukrainian invasion, and lift the existential threat posed by Nord Stream 2.”

Construction of the pipeline, which travels directly from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea, was completed in September 2021, but the German government has yet to give the final green light for the project to come online.

The reason American energy independence is so important both for the national security of America and the well being of Europe is that Russia uses energy as a weapon against Europe during the winter months. If America is energy independent, we can help meet the needs of Europe and lessen the political sway of Moscow over the region. The pipeline needs to be sanctioned, but American needs to up its energy production to make sure Europe is warm this winter.

Why We Need To Maintain Energy Independence

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about some investment plans by the Communist Chinese.

The article reports:

Reuters reported Wednesday that “major Chinese investors” are in talks to buy a stake in Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) mentioned the possibility of selling some Aramco stock in a television interview Tuesday.

…Reuters immediately noted China’s state-owned PetroChina and Sinopec previously expressed interest in buying up to five percent of Aramco in 2017. 

Aramco raised almost $30 billion with its initial public offering in 2019, providing a significant amount of the money needed to finance MBS’ “Saudi Vision 2030” plan to diversify the Saudi economy. 

The IPO ended up selling about 1.7 percent of the company’s stock, much of it to Saudi and Middle Eastern buyers. The record-breaking results were considered something of a disappointment compared to MBS’ original vision of selling 5 percent of the company and raising $100 billion.

The scaled-down IPO was partly a consequence of investors disputing the $2 trillion corporate valuation the Saudis put forward, and partly because Aramco was uncomfortable with some of the transparency requirements demanded by foreign investors. The dogged efforts of Iran’s terrorist proxies in Yemen to blow up Aramco facilities with missiles and drones were not helpful.

On Wednesday, “several sources” confirmed Chinese investors were part of the deal MBS mentioned in his interview, pointing to a sovereign wealth fund called China Investment Corporation (CIC) as a potential buyer.

The Renegade Tribune noted the following on November 7, 2018:

Nixon’s decision in 1971 to withdraw the United States from the gold standard greatly influenced the future direction of humanity. The US dollar rose in importance from the mid-1950s to become the world reserve currency as a result of the need for countries to use the dollar in trade. One of the most consumed commodities in the world is oil, and as is well known, the price is set by OPEC in US dollars, with this organization being strongly influenced by Saudi Arabia.

It is therefore towards Riyadh that we must look in order to understand the workings of the petrodollar. After the dollar was withdrawn from the gold standard, Washington made an arrangement with Riyadh to price oil solely in dollars. In return, the Saudis received protection and were granted a free hand in the region. This decision forced the rest of the world to hold a high amount of US dollars in their currency reserves, requiring the purchase of US treasuries. The relationship between the US dollar and oil breathed new life to this currency, placing it at the centre of the global financial and economic system. This privileged role enjoyed by the dollar allowed the United States to finance its economy through the simple process of printing its fiat currency, relying on its credibility and supported by the petrodollar that required other countries to store reserves of US treasuries in their basket of currencies.

This arrangement continued to sustain itself in spite of numerous wars (the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan), financial crises (the Black Monday of 1987, the Dotcom bubble of 2000, and Lehman Brothers’ subprime crisis of 2008), and the bankruptcies of sovereign states (Argentina in 1998). The explanation is to be found in the credibility of the US dollar and the US itself, with its ability to repay buyers of treasury bonds. In other words, as long as the US continues to maintain its dominance of the global financial and economic system, thanks to the dollar, its supremacy as a world superpower is hardly questioned. To maintain this influence on the currency markets and the special-drawing rights (SDR) basket, the pricing of oil in US dollars is crucial. This explains, at least partially, the impossibility of scaling down the relationship between Washington and Riyadh. Nobody should delude themselves into believing that this is the only reason why Saudi-US relations are important. Washington is swimming in the money showered by Saudi lobbies, and it is doubtful that those on the receiving end of such largesse will want to make the party stop.

Think about what the impact of large amounts of Chinese cash into Saudi Arabia might have on the current arrangement of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. China has wanted to undo that arrangement for some time. Also consider the impact of the runaway spending proposals of the Biden administration and the impact they will have (if passed) on the value of the U.S. dollar. We may be headed for a perfect storm. One thing that would help us weather than storm would be energy independence.

When You Find Yourself Moving In The Wrong Direction, Should You Turn Around?

The Biden administration began with a flurry of executive orders. Many of them were questionable at best, and some have resulted in lawsuits against the administration. One executive order shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Is is possible that the decision will be revisited?

Yesterday The Hill reported the following:

The Biden administration could decide Friday whether or not it is up to them to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

In January, a federal appeals court determined that the government did not adequately evaluate the environmental impacts of a 2017 easement that enabled the pipeline’s construction, and ordered the government to do a more robust analysis. 

The closely watched question on whether to stop the pipeline’s operations during this process is politically fraught, as as progressives have called for a shut down, while conservatives want to keep its oil flowing.

It may be that the only way to deal with the overreach of the Biden administration is through the courts.

The article notes that any decision is going to make someone unhappy:

Biden is facing pressure from both the left and right on the issue.

The pipeline’s critics say that it violates tribal treaty rights, while supporters argue that it helps transport U.S. energy.

Thirty-three Democrats recently wrote to Biden saying he should stop the pipeline from carrying crude oil between North Dakota and Illinois.

“By shutting down this illegal pipeline, you can continue to show your administration values the environment and the rights of Indigenous communities more than the profits of outdated fossil fuel industries,” they wrote.

Indigenous activists and celebrities have also recently urged the administration to do the same.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are supportive of the pipeline, and would likely push back on any moves to disrupt it.

The article concludes:

“The Army Corps of Engineers should be allowed to proceed as they are without political interference from the Biden Administration,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said in a statement in January. “This is not another opportunity to wage war on North Dakota’s energy producers.”

Republicans have staunchly criticized other recent moves made by the administration on energy, including the revocation of a border-crossing permit for the Keystone pipeline and temporary pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. 

The Biden administration might want to consider the consequences of giving up the energy independence America achieved during the Trump administration. Many Americans are old enough to remember the oil embargo of the 1970’s and are not interested in repeating the chaos that resulted from it.

American Energy Policy

Alex Epstein has a website where he lists talking points on American energy policy.

Here are a few of his comments on American energy policy:

    1. America’s future depends on America’s energy industry. Energy is the industry that powers every other industry. The lower cost and more reliable our energy is, the more competitive every American company is and the lower the cost of living is for every American.
    2. In the last 15 years America has become a world energy leader largely through enormous growth in producing the #1 and #3 forms of energy in the world: oil and natural gas. This was only possible because of our unrivaled freedom to develop and innovate.1,2
    3. America can only remain an energy leader if we continue producing fossil fuels–the world’s largest and fastest-growing source of energy. Fossil fuels are by far the lowest cost source of energy for billions of people. Unreliable solar and wind can’t come close.3,4
    4. Contrary to the myth that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are causing a climate crisis, the climate death rate is actually lower than ever thanks to human adaptation. Rising CO2 levels will continue to cause manageable warming as well as significant global greening–not a crisis.5,6,7
    5. The only way to lower CO2 emissions and benefit America is to promote innovation that makes low-carbon energy truly reliable and low-cost. Are China and India going to stop using fossil fuels so long as they are the lowest-cost option? They won’t and they shouldn’t.
    • America can lower emissions and energy costs by decriminalizing nuclear energy. Nuclear is actually the safest source of energy and the only way to provide reliable non-carbon electricity anywhere in the world. Yet politicians are overregulating it to death.8
    • If America tries to rapidly eliminate fossil fuel use through a Green New Deal or Biden Climate Plan we will not prevent a crisis, we will cause a crisis by making energy completely unreliable and unaffordable for American industry and American consumers.

America needs more energy freedom across the board, including in nuclear energy, fracking, development of federal lands, development offshore, pipelines, and export terminals–all of which can be done safely and responsibly.

Energy independence is an economic and security issue. One of the things that will draw manufacturing back to America is cheap, reliable, and available energy. Energy independence also protects us from such things as the oil embargoes of the 1970’s. We are free to support Israel, the only free country in the Middle East because of our energy independence. Energy independence is an important part of the road to a more peaceful road.

 

What Happens If Joe Biden Is Elected President?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today listing ten things the Democrats would do if they manage to take control of the White House and the Senate in November.

This is the list:

1. Gun control

2. Amnesty for illegal immigrants

3. Taxpayer funding of abortion

4. Tax increases

5. Ending the secret ballot for unionization

6. D.C. statehood

7. Court-packing

8. The public option — and maybe Medicare for All

9. Oil company crackdowns

10. The Green New Deal

This platform would destroy America as we know it. It would end constitutional gun rights, negatively impact the income of average Americans, end the freedom of workers to refuse to join a union, end American energy independence, ruin our healthcare system, and end any possibility that the Supreme Court would uphold the Constitution rather than rewrite it. This is not a platform that would create or ensure the continuing success of America.

Losing Energy Independence

There are two groups of people who are attempting to end America’s energy independence–OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Democrat Party. OPEC is fighting American energy independence because it represents competition and loss of OPEC’s worldwide influence. I am not really sure what the Democrat Party stands to gain by fighting American energy independence except that the position opposes President Trump’s position, which seems to be their platform–if President Trump is for it, we’re against it.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the resistance to America’s energy independence.

The article reported:

The battle to win U.S. energy independence has been long, hard and well worth it but the industry is facing new foreign threats from OPEC as well as right here at home from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden wants to ban U.S. fracking, which was the key to our winning the war of energy independence. The former vice president at one point has said “no new fracking” — which, because of the nature of the shale decline rate, would end the U.S. shale revolution. This would not only cost the U.S. thousands of high-paying jobs, it would allow other countries to fill the void and produce more oil and gas.

…Biden has also said he has a goal to completely eliminate fossil fuels. While all men are created equal, energy sources are not. The move to fossil fuel alternatives in the near future is not reasonable and handicapping the U.S. energy industry will only put U.S. energy security at risk.

In fact, because of demand drops due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, many alternative fuels have also seen setbacks in investment and are not viable. The truth is the road to get the world off of fossil fuels will be much longer than the original goal of energy independence and in some form, we will be using fossil fuels for energy for generations to come.

Having a presidential contender looking to curb the U.S. energy industry comes at a time when threats from foreign actors are rising amid allegations they have conspired to try to bankrupt the U.S. energy industry so that we return to depending on them for our economic and national security.

While Saudi Arabia and Russia denied it, many believe that the goal of an oil production war in the midst of COVID-19’s oil demand collapse was to once and for all neutralize and bury the hard-won U.S. energy independence.

Does anyone remember the gasoline crisis of the 1970’s? Because we were almost totally dependent on foreign oil, we had gas lines and high gasoline prices. Does anyone really want to do that again? Energy independence is an economic issue, a national security issue, and a geopolitical issue. It determines our economy, our national security, and can influence our foreign policy. The less dependent we are on foreign oil, the more free we are to stand up to tyrants in countries with large supplies of oil. Energy independence should not even be debatable–it it necessary for the survival of our republic.

A New Role For America

Yahoo Finance is reporting today that America has posted its first full month as a net exporter of crude and petroleum products since government records began in 1949.

The article reports:

The nation exported 89,000 barrels a day more than it imported in September, according to data from the Energy Information Administration Friday. While the U.S. has previously reported net exports on a weekly basis, today’s figures mark a key milestone that few would have predicted just a decade ago, before the onset of the shale boom.

President Donald Trump has touted American energy independence, saying that the nation is moving away from relying on foreign oil. While the net exports show decreasing reliance on imports, the U.S. still continues to buy heavy crude oil from other nations to meet the needs of its refineries. It also buys refined products when they are available for a lower cost from foreign suppliers.

“The U.S. return to being a net exporter serves to remind how the oil industry can deliver surprises — in this case, the shale oil revolution – that upend global oil prices, production, and trade flows,” said Bob McNally, a former energy adviser to President George W. Bush and president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group.

Soaring output from shale deposits led by the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico has been in main driver of the transition — but America’s status as a net exporter may be fragile. Many Texas wildcatters are predicting a rapid decline in production growth next year, while some Democratic contenders for the White House have called for a ban on fracking — the controversial drilling technique that unleashed the boom.

The article concludes:

Analysts at Rystad Energy said this week the U.S. is only months away from achieving energy independence, citing surging oil and gas output as well as the growth of renewables.

“Going forward, the United States will be energy independent on a monthly basis, and by 2030 total primary energy production will outpace primary energy demand by about 30%,” said Sindre Knutsson, vice president of Rystad Energy’s gas markets team.

So what does energy independence mean? It means that our foreign policy is no longer determined by our energy needs, but by forming alliances with countries with similar goals. It means that a change in the world production of oil will not result in the gas lines we saw in America in the 1970’s. It means that if Russia plays politics with the energy it supplies to Europe, we have the ability to step in and fill the need–ending the constant threat that Russia will cut off Europe’s fuel supply in the dead of winter. It means that in case of war, our ships and airplanes will have the fuel they need to fight.

Energy independence is a big deal. It is a goal that was seemingly unachievable until President Trump made it a priority. Thank you, Mr. President.

The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

The Economy Under President Trump

I am not an economist, but I have learned over the years to listen to the people with the best track records on analysis. One of those people is Stephen Moore, who posted an article at The Wall Street Journal yesterday.

The article reports:

Liberals are tripping over themselves to explain why the economy has performed so much better under Donald Trump than it did under Barack Obama. The economy has grown by nearly 4% over the past six months, and the final number for 2018 is expected to come in at between 3% and 3.5%. The U.S. growth rate has doubled since Mr. Obama’s last year in office.

When Mr. Trump was elected, many Democratic pundits predicted an economic and stock-market meltdown. Then the economy started surging and they abruptly changed their tune, arguing that Mr. Trump was simply riding a global growth wave. That narrative was shattered when U.S. growth kept steaming ahead even as global growth—especially in China and Germany—stalled.

The people who predicted an economic crash if President Trump was elected are now saying that the tax cuts have given us a ‘sugar high’, and the market will crash when the sugar wears off. That makes about as much sense as President Obama taking credit for the move toward American energy independence.

The article continues:

The real contradiction in the “sugar high” argument is that it ignores the slow growth of the Obama years, which featured an avalanche of debt spending. Deficits as a share of GDP were 9.8% in 2009, 8.6% in 2010, 8.3% in 2011 and 6.7% in 2012. Where was the sugar high then? Instead of the expected burst in output coming out of the 2008-09 recession, borrowing more than $1 trillion a year for four years yielded the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Even excluding 2009, Mr. Obama’s deficits averaged more than 5% of GDP throughout the rest of his presidency but produced less growth than Mr. Trump has with lower deficits.

This wasn’t what Keynesians expected. Mr. Obama’s economic team predicted 4% growth every year coming out of the recession. Instead the “sugar high” from record peacetime deficits produced measly 2% growth. By 2016 GDP was running about $2 trillion below the trend line of a normal recovery.

The fastest growth rate over the past three decades was recorded in Bill Clinton’s second term, when federal government spending fell from 21.5% to 18% of GDP and deficits disappeared into surpluses. So much for the idea that deficit spending is a stimulant.

Mr. Trump’s fiscal policies have produced more growth than Mr. Obama’s because they were designed to incentivize businesses to invest, hire and produce more here at home. The Obama “stimulus,” by contrast, went for food stamps, unemployment benefits, ObamaCare subsidies, “cash for clunkers” and failed green energy handouts.

The article concludes:

Those pushing the “sugar high” fallacy also don’t realize that the Trump tax cuts aren’t going away soon. The 2017 business tax cuts can’t cause a recession in 2019 or 2020 because they don’t expire until 2025. They aren’t sugar pills.

The biggest threats to the economic boom and financial markets today are a deflationary Federal Reserve and the specter of a global trade war. Solve those problems and the American economy can keep flying high on its own power. And Mr. Trump’s critics will be proved wrong again.

When you decrease taxes and regulations on businesses, we all gain. That combination, if allowed to continue, will bring us continued economic growth.

Finding Our Way To Energy Independence

On November 21, Bloomberg posted an article about U. S. oil production and the opening of new pipelines in Texas.

The article reports:

An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel.

OPEC’s bad dream only deepens next year, when Permian producers expect to iron out distribution snags that will add three pipelines and as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day.

…The U.S. energy surge presents OPEC with one of the biggest challenges of its 60-year history. If Saudi Arabia and its allies cut production when they gather Dec. 6 in Vienna, higher prices would allow shale to steal market share. But because the Saudis need higher crude prices to make money than U.S. producers, OPEC can’t afford to let prices fall.

The article includes the following chart:

American energy independence creates a major geopolitical shift. We are still dependent on the Saudis to make sure that oil is traded in American dollars, but we are no longer dependent on them to keep our cars moving and our homes heated. Those of us old enough to remember the oil crisis of the 1970’s remember gas lines and rapidly increasing prices. I realize that we will never get back to 30 cents for a gallon of gasoline, but it is nice to see gasoline prices hovering in the mid two-dollar range rather than the four-dollar range.

Lost In The Partisan Hype

Guy Benson posted an article today at Townhall about the American economy under President Trump.

The article quotes a Wall Street Journal article listing economic milestones:

The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits has never been so low for so long.  Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 in the week ended April 7, the Labor Department said Thursday. This means claims have now held below 300,000 for 162 consecutive weeks, cementing the longest streak for weekly records dating back to 1967...The current streak eclipsed the previous longest stretch that ended in April 1970. Taking into account the size of the labor force, claims today compared to the late 1960s and early 1970s are much lower…The consistently low claims levels point to labor market health because they mean relatively few Americans are losing their jobs and applying for benefits to tide them over until they can find new employment. After several years of consistent job growth, firms are reluctant to let employees go in a tightening labor market in which many available workers are quickly snapped up.

Wow.

Further good news:

Trump’s speech came amid surging optimism among American manufacturers thanks to the after-effects of the GOP’s recently-implemented tax reform law. More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers –  its most recent quarterly survey revealed. Meanwhile, optimism among small manufacturers was at its highest level ever recorded throughout the survey’s 20 year history; 94.5% of companies reported that they were positive about their future. Wage growth among those manufacturers surveyed also rose at the fastest pace in 17 years…The survey showed that manufacturers expected full-time employment to increase by 2.9% on average over the next year, an all-time high by the survey’s standards. Companies also said capital investments are likely to rise by 3.9% over the next 12 months, while inventories are expected to rise by 1.7%.

The two main causes for the economic boom are cutting the regulations that make it difficult for businesses to grow and changing the tax codes so that Americans get to keep more of what they earn. Small business is one of the main engines of job growth in America, and changing the way small businesses pay taxes has a very positive impact on job growth. One other factor in the economic boom is the move toward American energy independence. Low energy costs and low taxes are two things that attract foreign businesses. Because America now has both of these assets, we are more attractive as a place for foreign business to relocate. We are more competitive in the global marketplace because of the policies of President Trump. That is a really good thing.

The Worldwide Impact Of Developing America’s Energy Resources

With the lifting of many of the restrictions on domestic oil drilling (and fracking) in America, the impact of American oil and natural gas on the world market has grown. Today Reuters posted an article about the impact of American energy on the global oil market.

The article reports:

Surging shale production is poised to push U.S. oil output to more than 10 million barrels per day – toppling a record set in 1970 and crossing a threshold few could have imagined even a decade ago.

So what does this mean?

The article explains:

The economic and political impacts of soaring U.S. output are breathtaking, cutting the nation’s oil imports by a fifth over a decade, providing high-paying jobs in rural communities and lowering consumer prices for domestic gasoline by 37 percent from a 2008 peak.

…“It has had incredibly positive impacts for the U.S. economy, for the workforce and even our reduced carbon footprint” as shale natural gas has displaced coal at power plants, said John England, head of consultancy Deloitte’s U.S. energy and resources practice.

The article notes that in an attempt to stop American energy development, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) tried to discourage shale production of oil in America by flooding the market with oil (Saudi Arabia also played a role in financing movies and advertising containing misinformation about fracking).

The article notes:

The cartel of oil-producing nations backed down in November 2016 and enacted production cuts amid pressure from their own members over low prices – which had plunged to below $27 earlier that year from more than $100 a barrel in 2014.

Shale producers won the price war through aggressive cost-cutting and rapid advances in drilling technology. Oil now trades above $64 a barrel, enough for many U.S. producers to finance both expanded drilling and dividends for shareholders.

The article also  mentions American oil exports:

Efficiencies spurred by the battle with OPEC – including faster drilling, better well designs and more fracking – helped U.S. firms produce enough oil to successfully lobby for the repeal of a ban on oil exports. In late 2015, Congress overturned the prohibition it had imposed following OPEC’s 1973 embargo.

The United States now exports up to 1.7 million barrels per day of crude, and this year will have the capacity to export 3.8 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Terminals conceived for importing liquefied natural gas have now been overhauled to allow exports.

That export demand, along with surging production in remote locations such as West Texas and North Dakota, has led to a boom in U.S. pipeline construction. Firms including Kinder Morgan and Enterprise Products Partners added 26,000 miles of liquids pipelines in the five years between 2012 and 2016, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Several more multi-billion-dollar pipeline projects are on the drawing board.

Energy independence is important for America. Total energy independence will have a very positive impact on our foreign policy. Because tyrannical regimes in the Middle East have traditionally controlled the oil supply to the rest of the world, western countries have been required to support governments they should not be supporting in order to keep the oil flooding. Russia is another country that has used its pipelines to Europe as a way to control certain European countries. Energy independence will give America a degree of freedom we have not had for a long time. Hopefully we will use that freedom wisely.

What Some Economists Are Saying About President Trump’s Proposed Tax Plan

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about President Trump‘s proposed tax plan. The article reports on a new study from Boston University economists.

The article reports:

“We find that, depending on the year considered, the new Republican tax plan raises GDP by between 3 and 5 percent and real wages by between 4 and 7 percent,” the economists explain. “This translates into roughly $3,500 annually more annual real take-home pay for the average American household.”

Economists believe this growth can happen due to the plan’s aim to reduce the marginal effective corporate tax rate from 34.6 percent to 18.6 percent, which they believe will grow the capital stock by 12 to 20 percent.

The article concludes:

The study also says every American can benefit from this tax reform framework.

“The [Unified Framework] tax reform delivers small increases in lifetime welfare to current retirees and moderate ones to workers and future generations,” the study states. “All generations benefit from the policy. The old benefit slightly from higher rates of return on their investment, and the young from higher wages.”

The Boston University study is similar to the findings from the Council of Economic Advisers study put out earlier this week, which said that the average household income could increase by $4,000 annually if the corporate tax rate was cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.

“The truth is that a tax cut like this very conservatively will increase the median wage by about $4,000 a year over a relatively short time,” said Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “If you look at some of the more optimistic estimates of the literature and then run the thing over time you could be looking at $10,000, even $20,000 higher wages relative to baseline, and that’s the message of this tax reform.”

The economy is growing right now at a much faster rate than it did under President Obama. There are a number of reasons for that. President Trump has been quietly removing the government regulations that were a drag on the economy. President Trump has also allowed the coal industry to resume operations and allowed other businesses to work toward American energy independence. As a result of this, gasoline and other energy prices are relatively low right now, making America a desirable place to do business. Also, the lower gasoline prices result in more money in all Americans’ pockets. Low gasoline prices impact everyone who drives–they are the equivalent of a tax cut for everyone. When people have more money in their pockets, they do things like go out to dinner, go shopping, or go to a movie. This puts money in the pockets of the people who work in those industries. Everybody wins.

Making America Energy Independent

There are a lot of entities that have a vested interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent. The obvious ones are OPEC and the Soviet Union. When you look at the money behind the anti-pipeline and anti-fracking movements, you will see a lot of Saudi Arabian money and a lot of Russian money. Why? Some scientists believe that the oil and natural gas resources in America reachable by fracking are larger than the oil resources in the Middle East. Fracking will quickly end OPEC’s monopoly on the world’s oil supply. It will also prevent the possibility of Iran at some point blocking the Strait of Hormuz. Thirty percent of the world’s oil travels through the Strait of Hormuz. Imagine the disruption of the world’s oil supply if that Strait was blocked. Right now, Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe. The pipelines run from Russia to Europe. Russia has been known to threaten Europe with shutting down the pipeline if Europe does not comply with Russia’s wishes. American oil and natural gas would also alleviate that threat. The environmentalists who are blocking the development of America’s fossil fuel reserves are serving as useful idiots for OPEC and the Russians. The elevated status these objectors were given during the Obama Administration is about to end.

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the Trump Administration is getting ready to open up new areas to offshore oil and gas drilling.

The article reports:

Industry sources familiar with the matter told Platts an executive order is in the works to rewind Obama’s decision to make large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic off-limits to oil and gas drilling.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke told industry representatives the new drilling plan would be signed soon, according to Bloomberg. However, he gave few details on what the order could include.

The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) new five-year offshore drilling plan could take years to develop and would replace the Obama administration’s five-year plan finalized in November.

Like it or not, fossil fuel fuels the world’s economy. Until the free market is allowed to work to develop a reliable source of green energy, fossil fuel will continue in that role. The good news is that natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fossil fuel, and America has plenty of that.

The article concludes:

Trump is expected to sign the order by the end of April, and it’s sure to draw legal challenges from environmentalists who’ve argued Obama’s indefinite ban on Arctic and Atlantic drilling can’t be overturned.

Obama used Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a 1953 law governing offshore drilling, in an unprecedented way, blocking leases in the Atlantic Ocean and the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Obama’s order took 125 million acres in Arctic seas and four million acres in the Atlantic Ocean out of future lease sales indefinitely. Supporters said the former president’s actions “permanently” banned drilling in those regions.

But the drilling ban is only permanent if Congress doesn’t change the law or Trump doesn’t move to test it in court. Past presidents have reduced the size of Section 12(a) designations but never fully repealed them.

The U.S.-held portion of the Arctic Ocean is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The oil and gas industry has struggled to access these vast energy reserves but new discoveries in northern Alaska have reinvigorated some interest in the region.

Energy independence is both a matter of national security and economic success. Cheap fuel prices will bring industry back to America. American labor costs may be higher than the almost-slave labor that exists in some countries, but American quality control standards are also high. Lowering energy costs (and lowering corporate tax rates) will be a positive step toward reviving an American economy that has not been doing well in recent years.

Changing A Position In The Hope Of Changing The Subject And Gaining Political Points

I understand that politics is a strategy and is played to win, but I wish we could reach a place where the good of the country was more important than personal political gain. Unfortunately, we are not there. What would energy independence mean to America? It would probably result in a dramatic shift in our foreign policy. We would no longer have to cater to the whims of oil producing countries that fund terrorism and do not allow their citizens to live in freedom. We would not longer be borrowing money from other countries to give to countries that hate us. At least we could do it with our own money.

What would it take for America to be energy independent? I would suggest building a few new oil refineries. Since 2008 we have built three refineries. The last refinery built before 2008 was built in 1998. (This is according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.) We would also have to find ways to better tap into our energy resources and transport the petroleum products we produce. On February 12, 2014, I posted an article about the people who are making money because the Keystone Pipeline is not being built. A number of those people are in Congress voting on the Pipeline. Somehow I don’t think that is in the interest of the American people–I think they are voting on their own financial interests.

Meanwhile Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has come out in opposition to the building of the Keystone Pipeline.

Fox News has the story, and contrasts her current position with her past position:

In 2010, then-Secretary Clinton indicated potential support for the project as she told a San Francisco audience, “We’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the [Persian] Gulf or dirty oil from Canada.”

She was right about that, now she has changed her mind.

It is interesting that the unions support the Pipeline because it will mean jobs. The extreme environmentalists oppose it.

Yesterday Politico reported the following:

Two major unions have decided to delay endorsements in the presidential race — a move labor insiders attribute in part to the uncertainty Vice President Joe Biden’s potential run has inserted into the Democratic primary.

The decisions are a setback for Hillary Clinton, who has been courting the labor giants in the hopes of an early lock down of two powerhouse unions that can organize millions of members and resources on the ground. And they come against the backdrop of a Clinton campaign show of force — in terms of establishment donors, delegates and endorsements — as Biden weighs his options. Adding the support of two of the most muscular unions now would have sent a powerful message there is little room in the race for the vice president.

The two unions are the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). It will be interesting to see what happens next.

What World Is He Living In?

This is part of the transcript from the speech President Obama gave to the graduating cadets at West Point:

Four and a half years later, as you graduate, the landscape has changed. We have removed our troops from Iraq. We are winding down our war in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida’s leadership on the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated, and Osama bin Laden is no more. (Cheers, applause.) And through it all, we’ve refocused our investments in what has always been a key source of American strength: a growing economy that can provide opportunity for everybody who’s willing to work hard and take responsibility here at home.

In fact, by most measures America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. Those who argue otherwise — who suggest that America is in decline or has seen its global leadership slip away — are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.

Think about it. Our military has no peer. The odds of a direct threat against us by any nation are low, and do not come close to the dangers we faced during the Cold War. Meanwhile, our economy remains the most dynamic on Earth, our businesses the most innovative. Each year, we grow more energy independent. From Europe to Asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations.

I will admit that I am very partisan, but that is not why I believe that America’s global leadership is slipping away. We have an American marine in prison in Mexico because he made a wrong turn. We have an American pastor in prison in Iraq because he is a Christian while his wife is in America. If America were stronger, both of these people would be at home in America.

American energy independence will be achieved despite the government, not because of it. The Obama Administration has blocked oil exploration on federal land. The Obama Administration has also blocked construction of the Keystone Pipeline. The administration has spent millions of dollars investing in technology that has not yet been proven to work. The Obama Administration is a roadblock to energy independence–not a facilitator.

This is the link to a transcript of the speech. Please read the whole speech and draw your own conclusions.

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Why We Need The Keystone Pipeline

The Financial Times reported yesterday that American increased the amount of oil it imported from the Middle East last year.

The article reports that by the end of November the U. S. had already imported 450m barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, more than we imported in 2009, 2010, or 2011. This is the first time since 2003 that Saudi Arabia has accounted for more than 15 percent of America’s oil imports. The Gulf region accounted for more than 25 percent–a nine-year high. This is happening at the same time that demand for crude oil has declined slightly since 2004 due to increased efficiency, an economic slowdown, and the increased use of natural gas.

This is foolish on the part of America. Because of our dependence on Middle-Eastern oil, we are forced to make political and foreign policy decisions that are not in our best interest. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, there is currently a clash of civilizations between western freedom and Islamic nations and radicals that do not support freedom. We are supporting these radicals with our oil purchases. If you look at the changes in the United Nations over the past thirty years, you will find that the new empowerment of Islamic groups was financed by Americans buying oil. The anti-Semitism that has ruled the United Nations in recent years is funded by Americans buying Middle East oil. Saudi Arabia, who is an awkward ally at best, is one of the major financial backers of terrorism and extreme Islam around the world, and we keep giving them oil money.

It is time for America to declare its energy independence. That does not mean wind and solar–so far they do not work. We live in a carbon-based world economy. We might as well acknowledge this and get on with life. The Keystone Pipeline would be a positive step in that direction.

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Following The Money On America’s Domestic Energy Front

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the Matt Damon movie, “Promised Land.” The movie is essentially an anti-fracking movie that plays fast and loose with the actual truth. The movie was funded by the United Arab Emirates. We are supposed to believe that they are neutral parties in America‘s quest for energy independence. Yeah, right.

The article reports:

But the movie is actually worse than a garden-variety, ill-informed environmentalist fantasy, in which companies–especially energy companies–are villains, and whoever opposes development of resources–especially energy resources–is a hero. The original script for Promised Land portrayed anti-fracking activists as disinterested, admirable whistle-blowers. But while the film was in production, it came to light that several of the main real-world anti-fracking activists were peddling frauds:

The article then goes on to list some of the cases that have proved that the complaints against fracking are not valid.

The article explains how the movie dealt with the anti-fracking fraud:

News stories about these frauds were widely enough circulated that the filmmakers were concerned that moviegoers may be aware of them, and it could make the premise of their movie laughable. So, did they respond by telling the truth about the anti-fracking movement? Of course not. Did they cancel the film and eat their losses? Don’t be silly! No, they changed the script. In the finished version of Promised Land, “the fraudulent environmentalists are secretly working for the gas company to smear the environmental movement.”

I have a few questions about this whole fracking thing. “Why is the environmental movement so against America becoming energy independent?” Wouldn’t the environment be cleaner if every country used its own energy sources? Isn’t the use of local resources a better idea than taking a chance on oil spills by transporting oil all around the world? Are the environmentalists themselves using less energy to show that they practice what they preach?

Almost every country in the world has an energy source. The only country that I am aware of that uses almost 100% green energy is Iceland. They have harnessed the volcanoes the country sits on and used the superheated steam from the volcanoes to provide electricity. Obviously, every country does not sit on volcanoes and can’t do that, but America sits on large deposits of natural gas, a relatively clean source of energy that can be retrieved by fracking. We need to use our own resources. The United Arab Emirates needs to find new customers!

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This Might Explain The President’s Energy Policy

President Obama has been in office for more than three years now. One of the things that will be a problem for him in the coming election is the high price of gas at the pump. The President is threatening to take away the tax deductions from oil companies that all other businesses have–singling them out for higher taxes. That will further increase the price of gas at the pump. A video has surfaced recently that might explain some of these actions.

Yesterday CNS News reported that in 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz stating that the “general philosophy” of the EPA is to  “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. And we wonder why we haven’t made serious progress in the area of energy independence.

The article reports:

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

This is the link to the YouTube clip of Administrator Armendariz’ statement. Here is the video clip: 

If we want to be energy independence, we need new leadership.

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