The New York Timesreports we are in a total calamity according to our Federal Reserve.
If indeed this is factual in any way, which in the case of the NY Times, it most often is not, we have to examine how we got here.
We believe the primary cause is our dependency on foreign natural resources because of our NIMBY attitude. We also believe this strongly suggests that Obama is not up for the job. His proposal is to spend nearly the entire deficit on his programs without resolving the economic problems or our trade deficit first.
Obama wants health care that takes on people with pre-existing conditions. This is either a hollow promise or one that puts us in the poor house as a nation. He also wants to convert us over to alternative energy, but again has no plan and would keep on importing our natural resources at a huge rate at the expense of the dollar. He also seems to want to blame our crisis on Republicans when the bulk of the problem was brought on by Alan Greenspan during his tenure along side Bill Clinton (when the stock market bubble occurred).
We believe if the economy is in this dire of a crisis, Obama is the last person we want at the helm. We need to start now to tap our natural resources ASAP, creating American jobs in the process. We cannot be NIMBY now. The government cannot let ecology groups and liberals destroy our economy any longer. Ecology has to take a back seat to economic destruction. If our economy fails, ecology won’t matter one iota.
Reuters Says US Citizens Are Idiots. Hundreds Of Thousands DIE!!
We are seeing articles that totally question the intelligence of the American People. This liberal article tries to make a claim that hundreds of thousands died in a Shiite cleansing (compare that to the total death count of all American Soldiers in the war thus far, 4000 and the number killed in the 9/11 attacks, 3000).
How gullible does the liberal press think we are? Do they honestly believe hundreds of thousands of people were killed and their bodies disposed of in days? And do they have any evidence at all? Must have been one heck of a problem on garbage pick up day. Can’t just put those bodies in the recycle bin. Brings to mind the Monty Python parody, “Bring out your dead”.
Of course, this is all total nonsense… a fabrication to make the war look horrible, to refute the success of the Surge and to support Obama with lies.
This media nonsense should be “cleansed”. Maybe we can get the Shiites to visit Reuters?
Senator Obama believes that America must commit to a new national energy policy focused on improvements in technology, investments in renewable fuels such as wind and solar power, and greater efforts in conservation, efficiency, and waste reduction. Shifting from our current investment and consumption practices to this new direction will be one of the great leadership challenges in the coming decade.
Wow, amazing how much that sounds like McCain’s policy. Do they have the same writers?
With the Department of Energy telling us that U.S. demand for oil will jump 40% over the next 20 years and with countries like China and India adding millions of cars to their roads, the price of oil is approaching a breaking point.
Point taken (pun intended), but the fact is as our economy weakened and our demand for oil waned, oil prices collapsed nearly immediately from nearly $150 a barrel to under $100. China and India had nothing to do with it. As we clearly demonstrated in our prior articles, we dwarf the usage of these countries and likely will for the next decade.
In addition to the high economic costs of our foreign oil dependence, the current consumption of fossil fuels has threatened the future health and well-being of not only our citizens, but our natural resources and air quality as well. Investments in cleaner and more efficient energy technologies must play a central role in mitigating these threats to our health and our environment.
Agreed, but the NIMBY environmentalists won’t even let you put in Wind Farms. Where will we place these technologies, in outer space? Is Nuclear on your list?
Recognizing the importance of energy security to national and economic security, Senator Obama has proposed the creation of a Director of National Energy Security in the Office of the President. This position, akin to the National Security Advisor, would oversee and coordinate all administration efforts on national energy security and policies.
Another reference by a candidate to “energy security” instead of “energy independence”. The latter will automatically lead to the former, and no assigned “Director” can change that fact.
Senator Obama is a leading advocate for increasing the use of renewable fuels to reduce our nation’s reliance on foreign petroleum. In 2005, he enacted into law a tax credit for installing E-85 ethanol refueling pumps at gas stations across the country.
Fact is ethanol and methanol have proven to be a joke. We cannot generate enough from products we depend on for food, it is more expensive than gasoline and it pollutes just as much if not more. It is “renewable”, but we can’t renew it fast enough, so it is pointless.
In the 109th and 110th Congress, he joined with Senator Lugar to introduce the American Fuels Act to increase domestic production, distribution, and end uses of biofuels. Among other improvements, the American Fuels Act would expand the manufacture of ethanol-capable vehicles, offer tax credits to spur cellulosic fuel production, require clean-fueled transit buses bought with federal dollars, and provide incentives to ethanol plants to invest in E-85 blending equipment on their premises.
Ethanol is a joke. We would love to see alternate fuels adopted, but that has to be incorporated with a plan to use our own resources of fossil fuels and drop our trade deficit, or we will be so poor, we won’t have the funds to pursue alternative sources of energy at all. Certainly, that will reduce our usage, but we don’t consider poverty for Americans a viable solution.
Alternative fuels like hydrogen and natural gas are great, but are you so naïve as to believe this can be accomplished within any reasonable time frame? Our cars and the trucks that deliver most of our products throughout the world do not run on bio-diesel, hydrogen or natural gas. Are we to phase them out? By when? Will the US help pay for the trucking industry to transition from diesel to alternative energy sources and where will these alternate energy sources come from?
This is all a pipe dream Senator with no real plan.
As the author of the Fuel Economy Reform Act, Senator Obama has worked to gain bipartisan support for an innovative approach to raising automobile fuel efficiency standards (also known as “CAFE” standards) and break two decades of inaction and deadlock on reforming fuel economy laws. This proposal has attracted cosponsors from both parties – maintaining support from long-time champions of improving fuel economy standards while attracting support from traditional opponents. The bill would establish regular, continual, and incremental progress in miles per gallon fuel efficiency by an increase of four percent annually, and preserve flexibility by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to vary the rate of improvement and how best to technologically achieve those fuel economy targets. President Bush endorsed a similar approach in his State of the Union speech in January 2007.
We agree that improving fuel efficiency is a great thing, but it is naïve as well. People buy larger vehicles because they need them. Trucks can carry things, a Geo Prism cannot. SUVs cater to families, the Honda Civic does not. There is nothing you can do about that short of dramatically changing the way cars are built. More hybrids, fine, but who will pay for that? They cost vastly more than regular fuel vehicles, don’t get anywhere near the gain in fuel economy as they imply (20% is often the gain, it would take the entire life of the car to save back the fuel difference), and leave us with hazardous waste (the battery) every few years. In addition, the complexity of the manufacturing process for these automobiles and their replacement battery packs emits more Carbon Dioxide than the fuel savings garnered from the electric motor, so you are solving nothing.
There are other technologies, but none are practical at this time. We would like you to be more explicit, because if we are talking ethanol again, we have a real beef with your plan Senator.
Investing in New Technologies
Senator Obama introduced the “Health Care for Hybrids Act” to provide health care assistance to domestic automakers in exchange for their investing 50% of the savings into technology to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. His proposal has been praised by President Bill Clinton, the University of Michigan’s auto research center, and numerous newspapers.
In May 2007, Senator Obama, along with Senator Harkin, authored the National Low Carbon Fuel Standard Act (S. 1324), which requires a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the national transportation fuel pool by 2020, a reduction of about 180 million metric tons of emissions in 2020 – the equivalent of taking over 30 million cars off the road. The Obama-Harkin fuel standard embraces the growth of the renewable fuels market, including corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and biodiesel as a key component of fighting climate change, while creating incentives for lower carbon emissions in their production.
Praised by Bill Clinton? Pshaw. Why would Bill Clinton praise a Democrat? Never happen.
Interesting numbers thrown out, but no different from what John McCain has stated and no more realistic. Can you think of a reason the rest of the world hasn’t done this Senator when we already import most of our cars? Is it because they are dunces? Of course not. It is because it isn’t practical. Automobiles are manufactured and sold worldwide. If the nations that build our cars could come up with such technologies, don’t you think they would have by now? Japan already makes the best hybrids, not the US.
It is cute to offer US Automakers a discount to produce cleaner and more fuel efficient cars, if they all weren’t nearly bankrupt because they cannot build decent cars in the first place. I don’t think many Americans want to add more complexity to the automobile they purchase from Ford or GM when they have enough trouble with quality as it is. Maybe you can instead give the tax discount to the Japanese?
Working to Lower High Gas Prices
Oil companies are enjoying record profits while consumers are suffering from record high gas prices. In the 110th Congress, Senator Obama has introduced the Oil SENSE Act to eliminate unnecessary tax breaks to the oil industry. A version of the bill was passed by House of Representatives in January 2007.
In the 109th Congress, Senator Obama sponsored legislation, the FILL UP Act, requiring oil companies that made at least $1 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2006 to invest at least 1% of the their total reported first quarter 2006 profits into installing E-85 pumps.
Senator Obama also worked with Congressman Rahm Emanuel to obtain several million dollars to establish the first ethanol-to-hydrogen refueling station for refueling Chicago natural gas bus fleets.
All wrong. If you want to impose a tax on Oil companies, we are all for it. Make them build some refineries and drill responsibly and tap resources to use our current technologies. You can force them to invest in natural resources, but you can’t force a NIMBY population to allow you to even install wind power.
It all comes down to priorities Senator. Priority one. Energy Independence. Priority two. Energy Alternatives for electricity and heating piercing NIMBY conservationist groups. Priority three. Building an infrastructure for alternative fuels, but not ethanol or methanol, they just aren’t practical.
Senator McCain is the only one that has the foresight to realize that all our cars, hundreds of millions of them, are powered by gasoline. All our trucks that deliver products in the US are powered by diesel. Most of our electricity and heating comes from burning coal, oil or natural gas.
It is not practical to think that within any reasonable time frame we can change that. It is not realistic and it would destroy our economy in the process. It places the entire burden on us to convert while continuing to pay foreign nations for our current resources and maintain a huge trade deficit to do so. It is not a financially viable solution.
When you have run up your debt and you can’t pay the bills, you can do one of two things, try to pay down your debt and get control of your finances, or you can declare bankruptcy. We believe the only way to approach this problem is to reduce our dependency on an ever-growing importation of an international supply of natural resources.
This is vastly more practical and can be done with our current infrastructure and not with incredible expense to the citizen to convert cars, trucks and buses to use alternative fuels that would likely cost us more than gasoline. Building the infrastructure, converting our cars, converting our energy plants will cost an astronomical amount of money. Where will that money come from if we do not first get our trade deficit under control?
Round 4: McCain (but we want to see less pandering, the liberals are delusional here, McCain must point it out)
We have an incredible dichotomy. We want clean air, to reduce green-house gases, to preserve our natural wildlife, and yet we use 24 percent of the world’s oil!! How can we, as a nation that believes in such ideals, still use 24 percent of the world’s oil? Fact is, we prove in practice, we don’t truly have these ideals, but we do have a NIMBY attitude.
We pass off the responsibility of tapping the resources to others and import it when we ourselves possess massive energy resources. And we don’t just hand off our responsibilities to Arab nations. In our first article of this series, we asked our readers which nation we import most of our oil from. Here is the answer, are you ready?
The nation exporting the most oil to the United States is Canada. We have vast reserves of natural resources in the United States while the nation immediately to our North is exporting oil to us as fast as they can tap it. We are honestly standing up and saying we will not drill on our land and use our resources, while our next door neighbor to our North provides most of our needs? Could we be any more hypocritical?
And take a look at number 3 folks. Do you honestly think that the two nations closest to us geographically are so vast in natural resources relative to us that we should import their resources at incredible expense while our trade deficit explodes?
We borrow the following chart from the US Energy Information Administration.
Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Total Imports of Petroleum (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
This map of the world which clearly demonstrates the highest use of oil per capita is educational. However, we believe it is a bit misleading. Warmer climates use less oil and more developed nations also use more. Still, it is very clear who the largest consumers are. We constantly hear about the increase in demand among developing nations, but we still dwarf their usage and we still import most of it. Interestingly, some of the major exporters, like Saudi Arabia, have very little use for the oil they export. Think about that for a minute. What else do they have to offer, and yet we are at war in Iraq, in part to protect our interests in the Persian Gulf?
Recently, our demand for fuel dropped off. When it did, our dollar strengthened, demonstrating a strong correlation between our trade deficit and the value of our currency. (see our article on Trade). It seems that most articles we have read on the matter have the cause and effect totally backwards. They are claiming oil prices dropped in response to a stronger dollar. Wrong!!! The weakened economy collapsed our demand for oil. That, in turn, reduced our trade deficit, which strengthens the dollar.
When you were in Junior High School, you likely read this book. It started with the famous quote “Call me Ishmael”. Does it ring a bell? The name of the book was “Moby Dick”. It was written about the hunt for an evil white whale by Captain Ahab and originated out the biggest whaling port in the world, New Bedford, Massachusetts. New Bedford, at the time, was known throughout the world.
New Bedford still has a lone whaler on the hunt, holding a harpoon in his whaling boat, as a landmark in front of their public library, but worldwide the city is now an unknown spec. They do have the largest whaling museum in the country, and we think you should visit this museum to gain a better understanding of our history with respect to energy use. Why? Because the hunt for whales was based on our dependency on energy, specifically whale oil for lighting. We knew nothing about fossil fuels. We depended on whales for our energy. “Uncle Jed” would be rich had he owned a whaling ship. We murdered whales at will, a beautiful and intelligent animal, to provide for our nation’s energy needs.
We nearly caused the extinction of whales in the process, but thankfully, we discovered an alternative… fossil fuels. Our basic energy needs now are met almost entirely, directly or indirectly, by fossil fuels.
Initially, the US was able to meet its own demands for fossil fuels. Eventually, we could no longer satiate our own appetite, and in the mid 1900s, we started to import our resources in excess of what we consumed. A famous personality, M. King Hubbert, defined the concept of “peak oil” saying we would eventually run out of oil, and by a specific date, the cost would start to escalate. This theory has been brought to the forefront again and again, and is used at every spike in oil trading prices, because those on the long side want to make money. It has little to do with reality. There are enough fossil fuels in one form or another to last us hundreds more years and many are cost effective, but domestically, we are a NAMBY PAMBY NIMBY population.
The Environment and Us
We (US citizens) seem to care about our environment. We care about the warming climate, pollution, the decline of the rain forests and the transition away from the use of fossil fuels. Other nations think about money or survival. They are willing to sacrifice the world’s rain forests for their own benefit. They are willing to provide us oil and other fossil fuels at any cost to make a profit or eat. They do not care about their natural resources or the world’s. These other nations have major problems that lead to disaster with respect to natural resources world wide, and, in the same way we nearly killed off all whales in pursuit of our energy needs, they will kill off and destroy all their natural resources and even each other to provide our market, regardless of what it does to the world’s environment.
Every gallon of oil, every farm product, and in fact, every natural resource, we choose to import, when we already have access to those resources in large quantities within our own borders, is a cop out. It is not saying we are protecting our environment or our desire to preserve our jobs. It says we are not willing to accept responsibility for our own actions. We want to blame others while we drive our cars to work, heat our homes and consume natural resources at a higher rate per capita than any other nation in the world. We are not willing to accept the damage it causes within the US, but we are willing to encourage it outside our borders, no matter what the consequences, so we can blame others. This becomes even more evident when you realize we import such a vast amount of petroleum from Canada, but we want to protect Alaska. Does the US population have any concept of geography?
People throughout the US try to understand why we are hated throughout the world in the way we are. We have a theory. It is because we value ourselves above them. It is because we think our lives, our way of living and our children are worth more than theirs. We think that if we purchase oil from another nation, we preserve our environment within US borders. By tapping others resources, we pollute their environment, but we keep ours clean. Somehow, we believe, in an isolationist fashion, that if we do not tap our resources within our borders, it is OK, because someone else will suffer the consequences. We will not have to experience the results, “out of sight, out of mind”.
The deluded idea is we are acceptable in our minds, because those nations will make the hard decisions, and without any percentage of the consideration we have for our environment, tap and export their resources. Is it worth it to us to preserve a blind fish in a cave, while other nations destroy thousands or millions of species to feed us the same amount of oil? They don’t care, we do. And because we care too much, we are misguided.
This article is divided into parts. This first part includes our opinions regarding our use of fossil fuels and the direction we are taking to provide for our needs as well as to reduce our dependencies on those fossil fuels. It also makes suggestions that may seem somewhat radical for resolving these problems. In subsequent parts, we will look to expand on what we can do as a nation and look at the candidates, lining up their positions to see which best aligns with our opinion of how to approach the problem.
We are a “prima donna” nation. We (not the writers of this publication, but all of us) believe that it is all about us. We seem to believe that the world revolves around the United States, and if we protect our part of the world, it is just dandy if the rest of it falls into oblivion.
In some nations, it is all about a power grab to see who can get the most out of those resources, not how to preserve their environment or even preserve lives as they murder or enslave their countrymen for financial gain. Those that have gotten rich off of the US, like the Arab Nations, are more concerned with how to spend all the money than they are with how they destroy our environment. Despite all the billions that Saudi Arabia has made from oil, when have you ever heard they were investing in a plan to help reduce the world’s dependency on fossil fuels or offered a plan to reduce so-called greenhouse gases?
We have had many disasters throughout the world with respect to natural resources. We in America care about those disasters. A five billion dollar punitive damages award was the largest set of punitive fines ever handed out to a company for their irresponsibility, and it was leveled against Exxon for the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.
Unfortunately, money talks. Recently, Exxon lawyers and the company’s financial influence led to the ratcheting back of that award to a paltry 500 Million dollars by our Supreme Court. This was a pathetic slap on the wrist and a very small portion of Exxon profits as they have taken advantage of our resources and consumption to make billions.
Irrespective of this irresponsible action by our Supreme Court, we as a nation, do care about our environment, but our reaction to such disasters has been to become overly cautious at home. We have new technologies to tap oil shale, but we are so worried about damaging the environment we have tied up the progress for years. We have massive oil reserves in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico, but we are reluctant as a nation to tap them because we are concerned about the damage to our environment. Despite the fact that we have never had a nuclear plant disaster in the United States (although we came close years ago at Three Mile Island), and despite huge advances in our technology, we have essentially halted the advancement of the use of Nuclear Energy within the US.
What does that show? We care. We think our fight will help the world to survive. We all seem to want the environment to be clean, to preserve every species, to maintain our national wilderness. We, as a nation, above all others throughout the world, will fight to defend and propagate our world. Problem is, we are too self-centered and approaching it all wrong.
We continue, like Al Gore, to preach to the choir. We are a very small part of the problem, although, because of our consumption of fossil fuels, we may be a huge part of the source. We have to address our consumption while removing the guilt imposed by people like Al Gore that use huge amounts of energy while telling the rest of us we are at fault. And we do not believe addressing our consumption necessarily, in the short run, means reducing it.
In our supposedly noble fight to maintain our environment, we have clearly favored the US environment over that of the rest of the world, despite the fact we consume such huge quantities of the world’s resources. We consistently demonstrate a not in my back yard (NIMBY) “prima donna” mentality. It is fine for us to build new refineries, just not where we need to build them, in America. It is great that we are drilling less and using fewer of our natural resources, so long as we can import them from elsewhere. Let other nations destroy their environments and we will gladly use their resources while we babble on about alternative energy to make ourselves feel better. As long as we don’t see it, that is fine with us.
Our NIMBY attitude is so extreme, we preach about alternative energy, but actually block projects that would reduce our dependency on oil and help clean our environment. This was exemplified when a battle arose over a plan for a wind farm for Cape Cod, Massachusetts that would generate nearly half the electrical supply for Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. It was hoped that this wind farm would be in place by 2005. It didn’t happen. Why? NIMBY!! Wayne Kurker, president of Hyannis Marina, formed the “Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound”, specifically to fight the wind farm proposal.
This quote from Wayne demonstrates how everyone in America seems to feel. ”A good portion of us who migrated to Cape Cod came to enjoy Nantucket Sound, and if Nantucket Sound becomes an industrial, electrical generation area, then it’s no longer the national treasure that people currently feel it is. We look at this as our wilderness, our national park.”
Great point Wayne, made despite research demonstrating how good the project would be for the Cape and how we could have set an example for the rest of the nation to turn to alternative energy sources. It is fine to pollute the rest of the world, burn coal and oil to generate our electricity, just don’t ask us to do anything about it in our back yard.
We, as a nation, must discard this NIMBY attitude. We have to tap our own natural resources now and also execute new revolutionary plans for alternate energy. We have to reduce our dependency on foreign oil to reduce our trade deficit and strengthen our dollar and to put us in control of our own destiny. Or should we instead bomb Iran?
Then, after we have solidified our financial position and become essentially independent of foreign oil in any way we can, we can better focus on alternate energy sources to reduce our use of fossil fuels. We are saying to pursue all solutions, now, whether they are ideal or not so we control our own destiny.
We are suggesting immediate action to drill in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico as well as tap other resources in the United States. We have the largest reserve of coal of any nation in the world. We can build refineries that convert this coal into petroleum that is cleaner burning than the petroleum we use now. The refineries may pollute more, but we have technologies to assist us. And we have enough coal to make enough petroleum to last the United States 200 years! We should tap our Oil Shale reserves and build new safer Nuclear Power Plants and we should do it now!
And when we are done, and as the world realizes we are willing to supply our own needs, our dollar will strengthen, our trade deficit will drop sharply! We may even start exporting natural resources to the rest of the world as we steadily reduce our need to import them. We can further develop alternate energy technologies with the money we didn’t give to other nations to meet our needs.
Let’s leave Part 1 with a question we will answer when we return. What nation does the United States import the most oil and petroleum from? The answer will surprise you.