In his June 28 column, The Blade's Jack Kelly correctly places responsibility for the "fix we're in" with the "25 years of folly" which, if you do the math, began under President Ronald Reagan.
Jimmy Carter recognized that our dependence on imported oil posed a threat to national security as well as our economy. During his presidency, oil imports fell by 2 million barrels per day. Had we continued his programs, integrating conservation with alternate and renewable energy and wise use of nuclear energy and fossil fuels, the price of oil today would probably be under $50 a barrel. President Reagan removed the solar panels from the White House, privatized the synfuels program, de-emphasized energy efficiency and conservation, and refused to enforce anti-trust laws as oil companies merged. Thanks for characterizing those policies as "folly," Jack.
Although oil companies in 1982 were offering newly graduated geology majors starting salaries higher than those of their professors, domestic production continued to fall (except for a brief surge of previously discovered Alaskan oil) from 8.5 million barrels per day in January, 1981, to 7.9 million barrels per day in January, 1989. Oil prices collapsed in 1985, in part because many OPEC members were selling over their quota and in part because of non-OPEC production from North Sea fields. Entire exploration offices closed, forcing many petroleum geologists and exploration geophysicists into other careers.
According to Worldoil.com, there are more rigs operating globally today than any time in the last 20 years. Even if our entire continental shelf was opened to exploration, the hardware and professionals needed to locate and tap new oil fields there are already busy elsewhere.
Jack was right. Today, there is no single solution to this "fix we're in."
I read with amazement recently that the Democrat majority does not want to drill offshore, drill in Alaska, or build nuclear plants and additional refineries, yet asks Saudi Arabia and OPEC to expand production and shipments of oil.
Why do we ask other countries to supply us with more oil yet we do not tap into our own oil deposits and reserves? Is this the way to answer our country's energy needs - now and in the coming years?
We do not need another attack on American soil to be defeated by terrorists they are already destroying our country financially. They want us to stay in Iraq because the longer we stay there, the more deficits we incur. Between the obscene money spent on this unnecessary war in Iraq, disastrous flooding, tornadoes, and the price of gas, we are sinking deeper and deeper in the hole.
Where is all the money from Iraq's oil we were promised that would fund the war? Maybe Vice President Dick Cheney can answer that question. Obviously, our commander in chief cannot. Pretty soon, China will own us. It is going to be a long, long trek back to be the world's leader.
What a shame to spend all those trillions of dollars and not be able to help our own citizens. It's disgusting that many of our brave troops returning home have nothing to look forward to, much less a place to live. Let's get out of Iraq and try to build our United States to be the leader we once were.
James Gate Drive
Gas-price prayers are just a joke, right?
Praying for world peace; praying to end disease, and praying to end hunger all are worthy efforts.
A June 23 Blade editorial discussed oil companies seeking contracts to run Iraqi oil production. The editorial used the worn-out line, "Bush and Cheney went to war for oil." As a consequence, those nasty, greedy, big oil companies stand to make huge profits.
One might ask, what is the object to running a business, other than to make a profit while bringing a product or service to market. The Blade is certainly looking to make a profit by bringing news and advertising to the public. Are we to be upset because the paper makes money?
In case The Blade's editorial staff has forgotten, this country still runs on oil, gas, and coal. Being in a position to obtain these products is a good thing for the country. The dictatorships and kingdoms of the Middle East have no loyalty to anyone and could turn off the flow of oil on a whim. We are dealing with people who condemn our society and way of life.
The last line of the editorial was laughable: "Why not just buy Iraqi oil on the open market?" We should buy on the open market, especially if it is from an American company, one that has an interest in our future well being.
Building oil infrastructure and moving the product takes huge amounts of money but there is no discussion of this in the media, only talk of "taxing those windfall profits" of the oil companies. Taxing a company is just reflected in higher prices.
Where do we draw the line? Is a company only allowed a 2, 5, or 8 percent profit? What if The Blade had a 20 percent profit in 2008 and the government wanted to tax The Blade's profits? I would love to read that editorial.
I think we can all agree that we need more energy.
One side says drill for our own oil, increase refinery capacity, and build nuclear power and coal gasification plants.
The other side says no, we need to raise mileage standards, encourage hybrid development, and promote solar and wind power.
These two sets of ideas are not mutually exclusive. Why can't we do all of the above?
In the June 23 Readers' Forum, one reader stated that I had "plenty of clout and influence, but has done nothing for us" on the issue of energy independence. The facts tell a different story.
Last year, I helped write the Energy Independence and Security Act, a new law that increased fuel economy standards by 40 percent, while preserving American jobs.
In May, I urged President Bush to temporarily stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. After initial resistance, the President eventually relented and signed legislation to suspend contributions to the SPR through the end of the year, as long as the price of crude oil remains above $75 per barrel.
On June 4, I co-sponsored HR 6052, the "Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008." This bill would provide more Americans an opportunity to choose affordable public transportation, thereby reducing our dependence on foreign oil and providing an alternative to record gas prices.
On June 11, I introduced legislation that would help bring needed accountability to the energy markets. Some experts say that half the price of a barrel of oil can be attributed to speculation.
Since the beginning of this Congress, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which I chair, has held more than 20 hearings on climate change. This is part of an ongoing process to craft comprehensive, economy-wide legislation to reduce our nation's greenhouse gas emissions by between 60 and 80 percent.
This is a good start, but there's much more to be done. I will continue working to strengthen our energy security, while protecting our environment and preserving American jobs.
U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell
If the people of California get to decide whether we drill for oil off their coast, then the people of the Great Lakes states should get to decide whether lake water is diverted to other parts of the country. It s the exact same thing.
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