Why not use our own domestic oil supplies to reduce the amount of foreign crude we import!  Because our government restricts us from producing some 100 billion barrels of recoverable crude.   A recent exchange between Rep. Sestak (D Pa) and myself caused me to write this entry:
  • Rep. Sestak says that the US is without a comprehensive energy policy and that is why he voted for the Cap and Trade (ACES) bill.  But ACES does not improve our security but rather it jeopardizes it.
  • He says that he wants to reduce the amount of foreign crude oil used in the US.   If so, the best way to do that is to let our petroleum industry develop our Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and ANWR oil fields.  We have four times more oil in these fields than we do in the fields we are presently allowed to produce.  But the Democrats and their militant environmentalist friends wont permit this to happen.
  • Russian, China, Brazil, Spain and Norway are obtaining OCS oil drilling leases from Cuba and the Bahamas.  In some cases the drilling will be less than 90 miles from the US.
  • The Democrats and the militant environmentalists say that it will take 10 years to develop those fields.  But Brazil is bringing in a large off-shore field in some 24 months.
  • Analysis shows that most of the 120 months that is typical in the US is due to government bureaucracy and environmental law suits.

The following is a more complete discussion of this issue and the source for the burger dot notes above.

In your letter’s 4th paragraph you say “For too long, this country has been without a comprehensive energy policy.”    We certainly agree on this point.   We have year by year increased the amount of foreign crude oil we import. Further, over those years the nation has sent untold billions of dollars to many countries that are not particularly friendly with us. And last year, when the supply got tight, the price of gasoline, rose to $4 per gallon.   You are right, our energy policy does not seem to be working.   The American Clean Energy and Security Act,  does nothing to make our energy policy cogent, and it  does not improve our security but rather jeopardizes it.   It seems odd that in your letter, you emphasize the need to reduce our nation’s use of crude oil, when ACES is clearly directed at the electrical utilities where crude oil is hardly used at all.  But lets discuss how we could really help improve our security.

It isn’t that we don’t have domestic crude oil.   The US  supplies about 40% of the our own crude oil needs from fields estimated to contain 25 billion barrels.  According to The US Geological Survey, there are other very large reserves that the US has.  That organization says that we have some 86 billion barrels of oil in the outer continental shelf (OCS).  In addition to that,  ANWR  is said to have reserves of 10 billion barrels.   The Baaken field in the Northern Plains is estimated to contain nearly 4 billion barrels—and there are estimates that the as yet unproven that Three Forks-Spanish formation may have equally as large reserves.  But OCS and ANWR are off limits because of environmental objections.  Just think how much better off we would be if we were allowed to produce the other 100 billion barrels reserves which are about four times greater than those reserves that we are allowed to use.    Robert Samuelson, in a Newsweek article titled THE BIAS AGAINST OIL AND GAS, says “Expanding any fossil-fuel production offends many Americans.  But policies placating this prejudice aren’t in our national interest.”  Read more here.

The Institute for Energy Research wrote to then President Bush urging him to increase domestic supplies by immediately repealing the Presidential Executive Order that established a moratorium on OCS energy production.  They wrote,

“Because of these outdated bans, more than 97 percent of our nation’s vast OCS remains fallow, with less than 3 percent being leased for energy production. We believe it self-destructive and immoral for us, as a nation to continue  to allow our consumers to suffer the economic consequences of government policies that deliberately restrict access to energy supplies.  The consequences of the OCS moratoria have been devastating to American energy security.  We are the only advanced country in the world that ties its own hands behind its back with such a policy.  Brazil, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia and Norway are all examples of advanced nations and allies that do not restrict their own energy production.   Americans are suffering unnecessarily.”

President Bush responded by removing the barriers.  But the Obama Administration has re-imposed so many restrictions that no US energy company can afford to move forward to tap these vast resources.   And get this, Cuba and the Bahamas have signed deals with China, India, Russia, Brazil,  Spain,  and Norway to begin exploratory drilling in the Caribbean .

“Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Russians could drill closer to our shores than American oil and gas companies? The losers would be the American consumers who are cut off from the trillions of dollars in government revenue and thousands of new jobs that could be created if more of America’s oil and natural gas resources could be developed,” Katie Matusic, media relations manager for the oil industry lobbying group American Petroleum Institute, wrote in an e-mail.

It would make most Americans mad if they were to learn that our government is letting others have this oil. Here again the mainstream media is covering for the radical environmentalists as I have yet to read about this in my local newspapers or hear it on TV.   The BBC, in an 29 July entry reported that  Russia is planning to drill off Cuba.  And the BBC added:

Russia is to begin oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, after signing a deal with Cuba, says Cuban state media. The Cuban state media are reporting this so it’s not a secret.   Read more here.

The Democrats have another strategy that says, well it will take 10 years to bring on the production and that is too late.   This is false on several levels.    Brazil has tapped a large OCS field and they are on schedule to have it producing oil in 24 months.  Why then do we have to take 120 months?   A Reasononline entry explains  why it takes so long in the United States.

“In Anchorage last month, Marilyn Crockett, executive director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, explained to me the following time frame for ANWR drilling: Expect 12 months or more for an Environmental Impact Statement after Congress approves drilling. And this is working fast.  It would likely take much longer.  Expect 12 to 18 months for the Department of Interior to draw up and bid out the lease-sale process.  Plan on two years for the oil companies to test drilling and analysis. Drilling and transport of heavy equipment can only be done in the winter months when the permafrost ground is solidly frozen, from December through April. Concurrently with oil drilling, a 75 mile pipeline spur needs to be built to connect to the main Alyeska pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to the Southern shipping port..  However, this time frame does not allow for environmental lawsuits ‘every step of the way’ as Crockett warned.  The rest of the 10 year time frame is to allow for lawsuits trying to prevent or harass production in one way or another. “

So, the majority of the time needed is due to government bureaucracy and the militant environmentalists.   If Congress were really serious about reducing oil imports, they could make it happen.  But the extreme environmentalists have them by some body part and are making them toe their green line .

The second reason why the “its always too late to drill” not valid is that the oil import situation is going to get worse long before it gets better.   The demand for energy is not going to go away.   India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, etc want to bring their less developed nation’s population up to standards comparable to those that developed nations have.   They have categorically stated they are going to continue to use fossil fuels irrespective of what Europe, the US and Japan think.  As the price for manufacturing in the US skyrockets due to the rationing of lower cost fossil fuel forcing us to use high priced “renewable fuels” we will see our manufacturing sector leave for more economically friendly shores.   And the jobs will go to those countries.   It is laughable that there seems to be people who believe that these nations will give in and join us in the folly of rationing fossil fuels.  Read here to disabuse yourself of the idea that these nations are going to change their minds.



  1. I really enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep on creating such exciting posts.

  2. Pingback: The USA Is Energy Rich—Who Is Preventing Us From Using It? | Climate Change Sanity

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