Saving Money-The Government Way!

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children" Native American Proverb

The lamest of the lame-duck presidents has now, in a blinding show of ecological wisdom; lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling of the OCS and has challenged Congress to do likewise. Of course being the compliant and ever-bending-over-and-asking-for-more Congress we have all come to know and loathe, they will fall all over themselves to get in line.

But the best part is that he and his oil-connected cronies are actually trying to sell this petroleum slight of hand to the public as a way to bring down oil prices and

"trying to ease market tensions and boost supply"

I doubt it would be harder to find a bigger load of crap anywhere on this planet- in fact, the methane alone contained in his press conference should in theory be enough to light up Las Vegas if it could be converted into usable energy. Let's examine this more closely.

The only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress," Bush said in a statement in the Rose Garden

Wow, impressive...vast oil resources. But wait, a little further down the page we read:

Bush says offshore drilling could yield up to 18 billion barrels of oil over time, although it would take years for production to start. Bush also says offshore drilling would take pressure off prices over time.

Billions and billions of barrels of oil!! Our problems are over-we can drive our SUVs to our hearts content!
Er, not so fast. According to Oil Industry Statistics provided by Gibson Consulting:

US OIL DEMAND, 2004: Over 20 million barrels per day, up from January 2002, when demand was about 18.5 million barrels per day

This figure is backed up by EIA, the agency that provides official energy statistics for the US government. Bear in mind that these figures are some what dated-they may not reflect the consumption rates of the many thousands of new SUVs on the road since the totals were compiled.

So what this means is that the potential yield of up to 18 billion barrels would provide oil for a couple of years at best- with the added potential for ecological disaster lasting far longer than a couple of years. There is still clean-up going on in response to the Exxon Valdez disaster and ecologists have still to determine the final costs in terms of environmental damage.

And if the president is so very concerned with easing market tensions, perhaps a bit less saber rattling with Iran and Venezuela might help-one only needs to watch the per barrel price of oil fluctuate every time Iran is mentioned to see what sort of effect it has on the oil markets.

I might not have such a problem if the GOP (Grand Oil Party) would simply be honest and say they really, really need more profits and stop trying to bullshit unsuspecting consumers into thinking that offshore drilling will bring down the price of gas at the pump.

If anything, there seems to be quite a bit of historical evidence that it will in fact, increase the per gallon price once start up costs are figured in. According to OFFSHORE COSTS
Oil and Gas Technologies for Artic and Deepwater

Ocean environment and water depth account for
most of the variation in exploration costs owing to
requirements for specially designed drilling equipment
in hostile environments and to operating conditions
that may cause delays. The
average cost of drilling exploratory and appraisalwells in the more conventional Gulf of Mexico leasing
area is estimated at $6 million per well. In comparison,
single exploratory wells are estimated to
cost an average of $27 million in the California
deepwater scenario and $55 million in the Navarin
Basin of offshore Alaska. In this analysis, the total
costs of an exploration program are estimated at
$78 million in nearshore Gulf of Mexico as compared
to $825 million in the Navarin Basin

The report goes on to say:

Development costs include the cost of the drilling
platforms or islands and the development wells. In
most regions, platforms and facilities account for
65 to 70 percent of total development costs. These
costs vary not only with the harshness of the operating
environment and water depth, but also with
field size. ‘National Petroleum Council, U.S. Arctic Oil and Gas (December
1981); Dames and Moore, GMDI and Belmar Engineering, Deep
Water Petroleum Exploration and Development in the California OCS,

So rather than saving money, it would stand to reason that all those new oil platforms could very well ending up costing the consumer more at the pump. You don't really believe that the nice, benevolent oil companies will absorb the costs of these new offshore drilling platforms-thus saving you money do you? In addition, offshore drilling takes years to come to fruition-any anticipated costs or savings would be quite a number of years down the road.

At the risk of being labled a treehugger I will admit that I am not in favor of poking holes in the ocean floor all along our coastline primarily due to the very real threat to marine life it poses coupled with my innate distrust of government entities to step up to the plate in the event of oil spills. After all, while the leases may be in the name of privately (albeit well-connected) corporations; the leasing and windfall profits will go to the various state agencies-it's one of the carrots the DOI is dangling in front of coastal states. Government agencies, both federal and state-in cahoots with industries long known for accepting laundry lists of federal restrictions and standards are somehow magically going to team up and save you money...yeah, that's gonna happen.

The real issue here is the outright pandering to voters and the government's assumption that the entire population of the United States has gone stupid in sympathy-rendering them unable to research even the most basic facts about offshore drilling thus accepting without question Big Brother's Big Lie.

Even Georgie's own spokesman couldn't find enough cat litter to cover up that pile

Asked if Bush's action alone will lead to more oil drilling, White House press secretary Dana Perino said, "In terms of allowing more exploration to go forward? No, it does not.

This is strictly symbolic chest-pounding and a pathetic attempt to make a few last minute payoffs before Bush goes riding off into the sunset. And of course, to give the other Republican party-the Democrats, something to sound righteously indignant about

If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks," spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement. "But most experts, even within the Bush administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years

Okay, show of hands-who out there believes that the Democrats will do a much better job of not raping the earth than the Republicans?

*crickets*

That's what I thought.

Michelle L's bio:

I am a 54 year old with a 9 year-old daughter... so obviously I'm bats**t crazy. I am also mother to a 27 year-old son and a 22 year-old daughter who have both forgotten more than I will ever know.

I come from a time of rotary dial phones and black and white television who, inexplicably, has both a Twitter and a Facebook account.

I am a lover of freedom who has little patience with politicians in general and especially those with wide stances and narrow minds.

breath