Thursday, June 05, 2008

Will on Oil Prices

While not one of my favorite columnists, George Will is pretty popular as conservative writers go. In his latest effort, he points out the hypocritical nature of Senators such as Charles Schumer of New York (D) demanding the Saudis pump 1 million more barrels of oil to lower prices when our idiot Congress has put most of the Outer Continental shelf, the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and 85% of all Federal land onshore off limits from even being explored for oil.

"One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today's senators -- including Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain -- have voted to keep ANWR's estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.

So Schumer, according to Schumer, is complicit in taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline. "Democracy," said H.L. Mencken, "is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." The common people of New York want Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice.

Also disqualified from complaining are all voters who sent to Washington senators and representatives who have voted to keep ANWR's oil in the ground, and who voted to put 85 percent of America's offshore territory off-limits to drilling. The U.S. Minerals Management Service says that restricted area contains perhaps 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- 10 times the oil and 20 times the natural gas Americans use in a year. Drilling is under way 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are."

He also points out the ANWR consists of a land area larger than five states and the proposed oil drilling area consists of a 1000 acre area the size of a small airport, and that there have been no major oil spills from produciton facilities in the country since 1969. Lousinana, with 3200 off shore oil rigs, is also home to a thriving commercial fishing industry that depends on part on the artificial reefs created by the very same platforms.

Pretty amazing, isn't it?

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