Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lifting The Offshore Oil Drilling Ban, Feeding The Oil Habit

Video Transcript for:
Lifting The Offshore Oil Drilling Ban
Feeding The Oil Habit

Hello, welcome to Real World Politics. My name is Larry Halstead. The topic today is about the issue of offshore oil drilling and the proposal for Congress to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling that has been proposed by both President Bush and Senator McCain.

Right about now, the Republican nominee, John McBush is looking at the pathetically low approval rating of who the vast majority of Americans now consider to be the worst president EVER. McCain is working overtime to distance himself from the president and the policies of the current administration. Since securing the nomination, McCain is treating Bush like the plague and going out of his way to avoid being photographed or even seen together.

But as anyone who has taken the Bush/McCain Challenge can tell you that the real significant difference between George and John doesn’t amount to more than a teaspoon full of spit. Clearly McCain is running for Bush’s third term.

For over seven years now, the oil boys in the White House have set us on the course for increased dependency on foreign oil and making a bigger profit for the oil companies they represent. Americans are currently paying more than three times the price at the pump than they were at the beginning of this national nightmare presidency.

When George W. Bush was first appointed president by the Supreme Court, the price of a barrel of oil war was around twenty four dollars and we were paying about a buck forty-seven per gallon. Today we see oil prices have soared under the Bush/Cheney Oil Company to one hundred and thirty-eight dollars per barrel and we are paying over four dollars per gallon. Every day the price of oil surges skyward and we all now realize that $5 per gallon is just around the corner.

Look at this chart on the history of oil prices prepared by the oil industry itself. This chart shows the fluctuation in gas prices as influenced by crisis and war in the Mideast. On the right side of the chart you will notice the price spike that began on 9/11 and has continued to sky rocketed at an alarming rate. This graph was current as of May 2008 and you will notice that the all time record at that time is still way below the one hundred dollar mark. Within a month of completing this chart, oil prices spiked again to an astounding one hundred and thirty eight dollars per barrel and climbing.

We are fighting a costly war over oil while the oil companies are enjoying record windfall profits in the billions of dollars, Bush and McCain are again singing from the same hymnal. They want to exploit the American pain at the pump and the resulting higher prices for food and all other goods and services.

On the exact same day, both Bush and McCain seized the opportunity to exploit our misery of high prices at the pump into even more profits by violating our ocean resources. Bush started urging leaders in Congress to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling on the same day that McCain was pitching his own energy policy calling for….SURPRISE…. ending the ban on offshore drilling.

From Barack Obama on down, every single leader in the Democratic Party are leading the effort to end our dependence on oil and make the switch to renewable resources.

Yet McCain, who has the oil lobbyist running his campaign, has made it the corner stone of his energy policy to help stay the course on oil dependency and continue the Republican strategy of oil exploration and production with no regard for the devastating environmental destruction and global warming it represents.

For both Bush and McCain, the only solution to our skyrocketing energy crisis is to drill, drill, drill. Their two top targets are the protected Artic regions and the Outer Continental Shelf.

Congress chose to protect these federal waters from oil exploitation in 1981, and has voted to renew that ban every year since then.

But today, these federal protections are under attack.

Lifting this critical environmental ban on offshore drilling is a false promise and an unnecessary risk to our oceans and our coastline. Worse yet, it keeps us on the same path of oil dependence that has been the primary source for global warming.

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling will not help the price we pay at the pump and it will hurt our environment.

The House Committee on Natural Resources just released a new investigative report which studied the current system of drilling permits on federal lands and in federal waters. The Committee found that our current energy crisis is just NOT a crisis that we can drill our way out of.

Here’s what the report found:

-There is no correlation between increased drilling and lower gas prices. The number of drilling permits increased by 361 percent from 1999 to 2007. And yet gas prices more than doubled in that time.

-The vast majority of the oil and natural gas believed to be on the Outer Continental Shelf is already available for exploitation. In fact, 82 percent of natural gas and 79 percent of oil believed to exist on the Outer Continental Shelf is available for drilling throughout existing leases - right now.

-Oil and gas companies are failing to exploit the existing drilling permits they have been issued. In fact, there are 10,000 additional permits for 68 million acres of federal lands and waters where drilling leases have been issued, but are not being used to increase production leases are located in federal waters.

Efforts to reopen the federal waters off coast of California to drilling could allow unreliable oil rigs to be as close as three miles to our beaches.

As Californians we are all too familiar with the consequences of offshore drilling. An oil spill in 1969 off the coast of Santa Barbara Killed thousands of birds, as well as dolphins, seals, and other marine animals. In 1971, there was another oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in the environmentally sensitive Alaskan coastal regions. Less than a year later, another tanker, the American Trader spilled another 300,000 gallons of crude oil off Huntington Beach in Southern California. And we know this could happen again.

That’s why California has had in place additional protections to prohibit oil and gas drilling State waters since 1994. The people of California feel strongly about protecting the coast of California from offshore drilling. We pride ourselves in our coastline and the beaches of California are part of our American culture.

It is time for us to get off our long-term dependency, addiction and obsession to fossil fuels. Our oil habit is killing our planet and all living things that live on planet Earth.
Americans are now suffering through a major recession with a record number of foreclosures. At the very same time, we are paying higher and higher gas prices every time we go to fill up. While the extra price at the pump cuts into our food budgets, the higher price of petroleum adds to the cost of transportation and manufacturing, which in turn equates to higher prices for us at the grocery store.

It is long past time to break the habit of fossil fuels and move away from energy that pollutes the planet, creates war, and fuels the terrorist actions against us while keeping us enslaved by the special interest of big oil.

While the reality of over $4 per gallon is already here, $5 per gallon is just around the corner. But meanwhile, Exxon reports record profits of almost 12 billion dollars just last quarter alone. And that breaks the record just set in the previous quarter.

We must wean ourselves off of petroleum and we must NOT create new dependency by further investments in offshore drilling that puts our ocean environment at further risk. Simply put, we must not go backwards by lifting the ban on offshore oil drilling. Our environment is in danger and we must take extraordinary measures to protect and restore it.

Please take a moment to contact your Congressman and both of the two U. S. Senators that represent the state you live in. Tell them not to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling. Tell them you expect them to take measures to protect our environment. Finally tell them we need to invest in renewable resources like solar, wind, and bio-fuels.

It is past time to turn a page on our energy policies. We must break our insatiable oil habit and make the transition to renewable environmentally safe energy, now referred to as GREEN ENERGY.

Right now I am working on some new videos on breaking our dependencies to fossil fuels and about what we need to do to development and implement a new energy policy based on alternative renewable energy.

Green Energy is our future. Let’s unite to embrace it together.

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