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Monday, April 16, 2012

Oil: The Key to American Prosperity Today and Tomorrow

President Obama likes to go around and brag about the fact that oil and gas production are up under his presidency. It’s a half truth. Yes, oil and gas production are higher than in the last Administration, but it’s in spite of President Obama and his Secretary of [Less] Energy, Dr. Steven Chu. While oil and gas production are up overall, the fact is that oil and gas production in areas over which the President has control, i.e. offshore and on federal lands, is down 14%. It is only on private lands where the Presidenthas limited power to stop oil and gas production that production is up. And even there, he is doing his best to stop the explosion in oil and gas production through fracking. While the President touts the fact that oil and gas production are up, his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is suing to stop oil and gas production through fracking. To add icing on the cake,he has blocked the Keystone pipeline, reducing American’s access to oil even further. Three times the Keystone pipeline has been vetted and approved for construction, passing all environmental hurdles, but still the President blocks its construction. Whether it is because he wants to reduce oil supplies and raise gas prices as he has previously stated on the record or whether it is to appease his radical environmental allies in an election year, the result is the same. All Americans suffer and those at the bottom of the economic ladder suffer the most.

Dr. Chu has said that he wants the price of gasoline and diesel to climb to European rates of $8 or more per gallon. If that happens it will sound the death knell of American prosperity. Green energy is a liberal fantasy. It’s not a market product and neither it nor oil deserve subsidies. Subsidies only punish the consumer and force him or her to buy products and services they don’t freely choose or to pay higher than market rates for the products and services they want.

Let me add one quick aside in regard to subsidies. In Washington speak reducing an increase in spending is a spending cut. Similarly, tax breaks are now subsidies. In fact, those in government incorrectly refer to tax deductions for your contributions to charity as government subsidies. The implication of that kind of thinking is nothing less than dangerous. The clear implication is that all wealth belongs to the government. Just as a reduction in an increase is not a cut (it’s still an increase), and a reduction in taxes is not a subsidy, it is just less taxes being paid. A subsidy is a cash payment by government to a corporation. There is no other accurate and honest definition. So be wary of news articles about cuts and subsidies.

Now, let’s move on to liberal fantasies about energy. What is it with liberals? They think that by passing a law they can force the scientific development of new fuels and energy sources that would not otherwise occur in the free market. They are living in a dream world. Passing such laws (and they do it frequently) not only displays their engineering and scientific ignorance, they make as much sense as passing a law repealing the law of gravity.

Higher oil prices mean higher gasoline, diesel and heating fuel prices. Such price raises punish all Americans, especially the young and the poor. Higher oil prices mean that you will pay more for the milk you drink, the chicken you eat, the vegetables you buy, and the frozen foods you purchase. Higher oil prices mean that you will pay more for the clothes you wear, the hardware you buy at Home Depot, and the items you purchase at each and every store. Transportation costs are a major contributor to the price of all goods you purchase. So raising the price of gasoline by suffocating the production of oil and gas doesn’t just affect your bill at the pump, it affects every aspect of our economy. In addition, it curtails the freedom that Henry Ford gave Americans when he developed the mass production of automobiles. While there were at one point more than 400 American manufacturers of automobiles, none produced an automobile that was within the reach of the average American until Henry Ford came along. He didn’t invent the automobile, he invented the process of mass production that brought the Model T Ford within the reach of virtually every American. And, in doing so, he paid the highest wages in America. At one point an American could purchase a running Model T Ford for under $150. The free market drove Henry Ford to find a way to place automobiles within the reach of all Americans. It is only through the free market that we will find other energy sources at competitive prices. Subsidies are a fools game that solve nothing and reduce the standard of living of all Americans.

Sadly, today’s liberals have no respect for average Americans and they don’t care about individual freedom for Americans. Frankly they look down their nose at the hard working, church going, stand up American who loves his nation. They really believe (like Rousseau, Hitler, Lenin and Mao before them) that a chosen few can make better decisions about what you should wear, what you should eat, what you should drive, and even what you should believe than you do. They actually believe that a few really smart (but sadly not necessarily wise) people can make better decisions than tens of millions of Americans about what to buy, where to buy it, what to pay for it, where to live, and what to drive than they can. It’s a mind boggling concept that has been tried over and over and over again without success throughout history, but liberals still cling to the fantasy that if only they have more power they will create a more fair and more just society where everyone will prosper. In reality what happens when any collection of sinful, frail human beings have more power is more corruption, less prosperity, and less freedom for all. It’s what the Founders understood and what they tried to guard against the most when they wrote the United States Constitution.

The core source of theliberals intent to raise gasoline prices, diesel prices and force Americans to ride mass transit and live in ant hills springs from their love affair with European socialism. They see themselves as the benign wielders of more and more power over your lives for the good of the people. Autocrats throughout history have portrayed themselves as the defenders of the people, while taking more and more power from individuals and making their lives more miserable. Constricting our energy supplies is, as they would say, being done for our own good. They may even believe it, but you and I know better.

Oil is the key to American prosperity today and tomorrow. Oil and gas fracking have placed energy independence and inexpensive fuel within our reach if Obama and the government will just get out of the way. Newt Gingrich says we can get gasoline prices down to $2.50 per gallon, but even Newt is understating the opportunity that we have as Americans. If we open up public lands to oil and gas exploration (and yes, it can be done without damaging the environment) there is no reason that gasoline prices should not fall to less than $1.50 per gallon.

Opening up the production of oil will not only lower energy prices, it will create millions and millions of new, high-paying blue collar and white collar jobs. It should be something the unions are four square behind. And in fairness, they do support the Keystone oil pipeline, but their blind allegiance to Obama and his radical policies hamstrings them from becoming true allies of prosperity. The public unions now dwarf the power and size of unions in the private economy. They call the shots and with the government types ideology comes first.

Economist Steven Moore, writing in the Wall Street Journal, put it plainly: “…President Barack Obama insisted that ‘we can't just drill our way out of’ our energy woes. Actually, we can…” In his article, Mr. Moore draws a comparison between California, a state that used to be one of the nation’s top producers of oil, and upstart North Dakota that has embraced oil production through the fracking process. While the Democrats in California have destroyed a once prosperous state, North Dakota has become a powerful and prosperous state with budget surpluses, high paying jobs, and a bright economic future. For example, Willston, North Dakota has become the oil boom capital of the United States. This once sleepy town of less than 15,000 has doubled in size. There is a housing shortage, and the unemployment rate in North Dakota is 3.3%. McDonalds is not only paying $18 per hour for starting jobs, but even offering a starting bonus. The Bakken Field in North Dakota may contain as much as 40 million barrels of oil. The Marcellus Shale deposit covers roughly 60% of Pennsylvania and extends into New York, Maryland and other Eastern Seaboard states. To put it quite simply the United States has more than 100 years of known oil and gas reserves. That is just known reserves. Who knows how much more oil and gas deposits are still out there?It’s an unknown. It was initially thought that the Bakken oil field might have up to 4 billion gallons of oil, but the estimate has grown to about 10 times the original estimate and just recently they discovered new shale deposits at a lower depth. North Dakota alone now has more known and recoverable oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. California in contrast has choked off access to known oil reserves and soon, very soon they will be asking the federal government to bail them out. California will be the new Greece, but ten times worse. It’s all caused by reckless spending, and bad choices like shutting off access to oil and gas production.

The Bakken field is the primary reason oil and gas production has grown over the past few years, frankly to the chagrin of our President and the anti-scientific, self-styled intellectuals in his Party. Russia has truly vast oil and gas resources, but today our reserves are nearly as vast as all of Russia. By exploiting these reserves, drilling off the East Coast, expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and opening up just ten square acres in the ANWR region of Alaska the United States can become energy independent and prosperous in just a few short years. It’s all within our reach if the politicians and the federal government will just get out of our way.

Sadly, it’s the last thing President Obama wants. He has been brainwashed by out of touch, out of reality Marxist professors who have convinced him that the free market doesn’t work. The free market and the law of supply and demand is just as valid as the law of gravity, yet, for ideological reasons this president rejects that reality. He suffers from the delusion that American prosperity has been gained off the backs of the poor and minorities both here at home and around the globe. He rejects the idea that America is or ever was a special nation blessed by God. He scoffs at the idea of American exceptionalism and at the idea of the United States as the land of opportunity where any American can go as far and high as his talents, hard work, and God’s blessing take him.

Turn on the oil spigot Mr. President! Open up your eyes and your mind to the greatness of America. Quit punishing the young and the poor because you are captive of a strange and radical ideology that seeks for America to become less than it has been in the past and that it can be in the future. Make this the land of opportunity again by getting out of the way of free people making free decisions about how they want to run their own lives. Quite kicking away the ladder of opportunity for the poor and minorities who wish to share in the American dream.

Come on Mr. President! Wake up and smell the roses. Give thanks for being born an American. Provide proud leadership of the greatest nation in the history of the world. Let the world know that America’s best days are yet ahead of us. Embrace liberty and freedom for all Americans and rejoice in the genius of the American free enterprise system that has provided more opportunity and more prosperity to more people than any other system in the history of the world. Marvel at the generosity of the American people and their noble character. You are a young man who has been greatly blessed by those who founded this nation and those who came after. Get back on track or go down to ignominious defeat as a failed president.

It’s your choice. Either lead or get out of the way. Americans are an independent people who cherish their freedom. They don’t suffer fools in public office lightly. You have driven our nation into the ditch. It’s time to return to proven values and proven principles as enumerated by our Founders or else it’s time for someone else to drive. What will it be Mr. President?

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