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Old 07-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #1
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Bush lifts offshore drilling ban in symbolic move

Bush lifts offshore drilling ban in symbolic move

http://www.reuters.com/article/marke...37813720080714

By Jeremy Pelofsky and Tom Doggett

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday lifted a White House ban on offshore drilling to try to drive down soaring energy prices, a largely symbolic bid unlikely to have any short-term impact on high gasoline costs.

With prices at the pump over $4 a gallon, Bush pushed the Democratic-controlled Congress to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf and give oil companies access to the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge.

High gasoline prices and soaring food prices have irked American consumers in a presidential election year, when Bush's Republicans are trying to keep the White House and wrest control of Congress back from Democrats.

"Today, I've taken every step within my power to allow offshore exploration," Bush told reporters. "This means the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the U.S. Congress."

Congress too has a ban on offshore drilling and while it expires on September 30, it could be renewed. Plus, federal officials say it would take years for any oil to be produced in those areas, together making Bush's move largely symbolic.

"Now the ball is squarely in Congress' court," Bush said after signing a memorandum reversing a presidential ban that was instituted by his father, then-President George Bush, almost two decades ago. "The time for action is now."

With an eye to the November election, Bush accused Democrats of having "done nothing" as gas prices have gone up and urged them to pass a law for "responsible offshore exploration" and to give states a say in the decisions.

House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Bush's plan a "hoax," joining a chorus of condemnations from environmental groups. The business-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce hailed the move as a step towards alleviating high gasoline prices.

Democratic White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's campaign also criticized Bush's move. "It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years," spokesman Bill Burton said.

Even if more Democrats in Congress backed lifting the legislative ban, it would be unlikely that they would buck their presidential candidate ahead of the November election.

Republican White House contender Sen. John McCain, who reversed his previous opposition to offshore drilling, told reporters that he thought the decision was a "very important signal" and that "states should continue to decide."

NO SHORT-TERM RELIEF IN SIGHT

Despite the hurdles, stocks of offshore drilling companies rose, including Noble Corp. up 1.8 percent and Hercules Offshore Inc. up more than 4 percent. August light crude oil was up slightly to $145.20 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. Energy Department's forecasting arm has said opening the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf of Mexico regions to drilling "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030."

Based on data more than 25 years old, the department estimates that drilling on closed federal tracts off the U.S. coasts could produce 18 billion barrels of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Congress has blocked many attempts to allow updated surveys on the amount of oil and gas reserves in the banned areas.

If both the presidential and congressional bans were lifted, it would then be up to individual states to permit drilling off their shores, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. Florida's Gov. Charlie Crist has expressed support for drilling while California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reiterated his opposition.

Perino said the president initially wanted to move in concert with Congress but decided to go ahead alone after being rebuffed by Democratic leaders and because of a relentless upward rise in energy prices.

"There's a lot of things that would need to be worked out," she said. "And both the legislative ban and congressional ban need to be lifted in order for us to move forward to try to develop more sources here in our own country."

Environmentalists said more drilling would not end U.S. dependence on oil or cut gasoline prices.

"Calls for more drilling will only increase the already record profits of big oil and will do little to reduce the costs of gas at the pump," said Larry Schweiger president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation.

The presidential offshore drilling ban was instituted in 1990, was later extended by then-President Bill Clinton and was set to expire in June 2012. Most offshore drilling is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but not Florida.

"The president cruelly is misleading Americans for attempted political gain," said Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat. "He knows ruining our coastlines won't bring down gasoline prices nor solve our energy challenges."

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I know democrats would be up in arms and claim that the environment needs to be saved by alternative energy...but even the stalwarts of the democratic party don't want alternative energy in their backyard as shown by the article below:

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.p...w&pageId=69574

"Can Do America" says: "Increase the supply. Bring down the price."

Drill more oil? Absolutely not! Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke for "Can't Do America" when he said, "We must stop using fossil fuels." Tell Las Vegas to shut its lights off first, senator.

Savoy Energy LP wants to drill on a lease in Michigan it already bought and take five years doing the required environmental studies. No, says U.S. District Judge David Lawson of Detroit. The Kirtland's Warbler sometimes nests in the area, and even though the lease is outside the wilderness area, no drilling.

If Murphy Oil wants to expand its existing oil refinery in Wisconsin to accommodate oil from Canada and reduce our dependence on OPEC oil, the answer is "no." A federal judge will block it.

Want to join the "alternative energy" crowd and build a wind farm off the New England coast? No, the champions of "alternative energy" ? Sens. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy ? will block that because it might affect the pristine offshore view from Hyannisport.

Want to champion solar energy? A private company proposes the largest solar energy plant in the world ? a $100 million effort in the California desert. No, local enviros oppose the solar plant because they don't like the transmission line that crosses the mountains to San Diego to bring the solar energy to the people."

================================================== ==

so the dems don't want to drill domestic oil and are also blocking some alternative energy projects. I guess we're just supposed to start living without energy then.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:29 PM   #2
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Opening these areas up, while not having an immediate impact on oil available, would reduce futures trading, and indirectly help us right now.

-Jay
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:33 PM   #3
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Just build some more damn nuclear power station! It's the most readily available green way to make power. Nuclear waste? Choose your poison.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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Opening more domestic oil wells may not have an immediate impact but it will open the road to finally eliminating dependence on foregin oil.

if it was done years ago we won't have an energy crisis now. we need to do something now so we can benefit from it a few years from now. doing nothing, while democratic party stalwarts BLOCK alternative energy projects would make the situation worse years from now.

the choices are clear, do something now and reap the benfits a few years from now or not do anything and pay a lot more a few years from now.

we are willing to have other countries take the environmental impact of oil drilling while we use the biggest share of oil production and yet we are unwilling to take some part of that risk. other countries blame us for using majority of the worlds energy resources so why not use our own resources here.

profits from domestic oil can actually be used to subsidize aternative energy initiatives in the US (as long as politicians like Kennedy stop being a hypocrite and actually start supporting alternative energy).

the government can subsidize one solar panel for each barrel of domestic oil that's harvested. I don't think that would be a bad deal at all.
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Old 07-14-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
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Choose your poison.
the poison that the left is choosing for us is deeper recession and possible depression...PERIOD!
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:34 PM   #6
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its the 1930's all over again I swear....

both candidates suck...all the good presidents got assassinated...

And i bet most of that oil that would be produced would be exported anyways, we already export a bunch of Alaskan oil to Asia...

like one of my professors said " i would not mind having a wind generator on my property if that means free electricity for me, or very drastically lower my electric bill...." i too wouldn't mind having one for my small neighborhood, the things are quiet and quite interesting to watch (kinda scary that something with blades that big is spinning that fast)

hell like 2 of those generators could power my entire town...

i think we should bunch up a buncha those morons who think wind mills will ruin the view off the coast of whatever or cutting a narrow strip of trees thru the mountains is going to ruin the wildlife... hell the local wildlife (turkeys, deer, etc) dont seem to mind living on caterpilars proving grounds (test area) for their bulldozers,excavators, backhoes, etc... had 14 turkeys cross in front of me running towards the area active with bulldozers...countless deer crossings thru there.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
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its the 1930's all over again I swear....

both candidates suck...all the good presidents got assassinated...

And i bet most of that oil that would be produced would be exported anyways, we already export a bunch of Alaskan oil to Asia...

like one of my professors said " i would not mind having a wind generator on my property if that means free electricity for me, or very drastically lower my electric bill...." i too wouldn't mind having one for my small neighborhood, the things are quiet and quite interesting to watch (kinda scary that something with blades that big is spinning that fast)

hell like 2 of those generators could power my entire town...

i think we should bunch up a buncha those morons who think wind mills will ruin the view off the coast of whatever or cutting a narrow strip of trees thru the mountains is going to ruin the wildlife... hell the local wildlife (turkeys, deer, etc) dont seem to mind living on caterpilars proving grounds (test area) for their bulldozers,excavators, backhoes, etc... had 14 turkeys cross in front of me running towards the area active with bulldozers...countless deer crossings thru there.
there can be measures put in place to ensure that the oil is used domestically...but if we harvest enough we can surely take a lot of that oil for export.

another reason for the current exporting of oil is that we don't have enough refineries to process the oil. we have to sell some of the oil but import it back as refined oil products (at a much higher prices as well).

as for the wind turbines, I definitely agree! I would love to have a vertical axis wind turbine along with solar panels on the roof of my house. the problem is, I can't afford it and unless more people buy wind turbines and solar panels, prices won't go down anytime soon.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:56 PM   #8
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Windmills are sprouting around here.
I had the chance to visit a small one (20-30 turbines), and it was a very pretty sigh, there is something calming about it, and it's very quiet...the wind in the tree leafs are more noisy.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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Windmills are sprouting around here.
I had the chance to visit a small one (20-30 turbines), and it was a very pretty sigh, there is something calming about it, and it's very quiet...the wind in the tree leafs are more noisy.
yea i know! i saw some news story about em and some lady was complaining they were too noisy.... prolly hearing things in her head more like it...

theres a few plces in IL where theres 30-40 of em, look cool from the interstate


yea we produce a buncha crude oil but what do ya know? we cant refine it so we ship it to somewhere else then get charged double if not triple back...how about this: those trillions of dollars in oil profit why dont you BUILD more refineries in the US? Helps alot of things from not having to pay for stuff we already produce, and provide jobs (during construction, and operating it) but cant do that cuz that would be good for the country and big wig wont get his huge check
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:45 PM   #10
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yea i know! i saw some news story about em and some lady was complaining they were too noisy.... prolly hearing things in her head more like it...

theres a few plces in IL where theres 30-40 of em, look cool from the interstate


yea we produce a buncha crude oil but what do ya know? we cant refine it so we ship it to somewhere else then get charged double if not triple back...how about this: those trillions of dollars in oil profit why dont you BUILD more refineries in the US? Helps alot of things from not having to pay for stuff we already produce, and provide jobs (during construction, and operating it) but cant do that cuz that would be good for the country and big wig wont get his huge check
Because the environmentalists say more refineries will be dangerous. That's why we don't have them. Nuclear power is carbon free energy, yet they don't like that either. Then they complain that hydroelectric hurts the fish. Personally I think the environmentalists won't be happy until we are all riding in donkey carts, and lighting our homes with candles.

-Jay
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