Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

18 September 2009

Petition to Allow Oil Drilling in U.S.

American Solutions is asking Americans to sign a petition to encourage the Department of the Interior to allow drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. on federal lands and offshore. They are threatening to hold up the decision process until 2012! If enough people respond that we should drill now, there may be a chance that this delay will not be politically feasible. From their website, with a slight modification of the first sentence:

Sending a letter to the Department of the Interior is the next stage of the "Drill Here, Drill Now" campaign. Here’s why:

  • The Minerals Management Service (MMS), an agency within the Department of the Interior, chooses when and where we can drill for American energy through a public process called "Notice and Comment."
  • MMS is currently deciding whether we can drill offshore during the years 2010-2015. If an offshore area is not made open to drilling, there will be no drilling there until at least 2015.
  • What MMS ultimately decides is influenced by input from the public, and the deadline for submitting comments is September 21, 2009.
The petition reads:
I am writing in support of the development of more domestic oil and natural gas resources off our coasts by allowing all of the 31 lease sales proposed by MMS to be kept in the OCS leasing program for 2010–2015.

During the summer of 2008 when gas prices went over $4 gallon, the American people spoke loud and clear in favor of developing the energy supplies that have been off limits to us for too long. Just because gas prices have gone back down does not mean we’ve changed our minds.

It’s important that we begin to develop alternative sources of energy, but oil and natural gas will continue to be an essential part of our energy future for decades to come. We are currently sending billions of dollars overseas to meet our energy demands, even though we have more energy resources than any country in the world.

MMS should make access to all OCS areas a high priority for our nation to improve our energy security, grow our economy and generate local, state and federal revenue.

In terms of our energy security, for over 20 years the federal government denied access to an estimated 18 billion barrels of oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the OCS. The resources expected to be found in these areas represent enough natural gas to heat 15 million households using natural gas for more than 77 years. And, it can produce enough oil to power over 20 million cars and heat 956,000 households for 30 years. These resource estimates may be conservative since the areas in question are largely unexplored, but, if given access to them, the industry can utilize today’s sophisticated technology to further define and tap those domestic resources.

In terms of our economy, opening all available domestic resources to safe and environmentally responsible development will significantly boost U.S. supplies of oil and natural gas. One study in particular indicates that the development of these areas can add 160,000 thousand jobs in the oil and natural gas industry.

Lastly, in terms of revenue, the federal government collected over $23 billion from the energy industry in 2008 which was distributed to state, local, American Indian and federal accounts. Additionally, one recent study indicated development of the resources on federal offshore areas and onshore lands that had been off-limits for decades could generate $1.7 trillion in revenues for federal, state and local governments.

For the sake of our economy, our energy security, and our government’s balance sheets, the next OCS plan should keep all the 31 lease sales in the 12 areas proposed for exploration and production with no artificial restrictions.
As I have noted before, the best practical step to protect us from oil and gas price spikes is to have as many sources of these fuels as possible and as many substitutes as possible, including coal and nuclear and any other economical and reliable sources of energy. Generally, the Obama and socialist-preferred energy choices are not economical and reliable. It is almost as though they are purposely trying to tear our economy and our civilization apart by depriving us of economical and reliable energy. Well, no, that is not quite right, because it is absolutely clear that this is what they are trying to do. Many sources of economical and dependable fuels abroad are a help, but that help is diminished by the fact that most foreign countries operate their oil industries through nationalized companies. The most valuable oil and gas with respect to the maintenance of our economy is that which we obtain in the United States.

It is true that we cannot and that we should not use only oil and gas from the United States. But our own sources do tend to stabilize the issues of availability and price despite being much less fuel than we need. Please do take the time to go to the American Solutions petition and sign it.

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