Jun 18 2008

Let’s do it for the children

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 2:39 pm

Here’s an excerpt of an email from my mom, a smart lady who watches CSPAN, keeps up with the news, but is not a “political junkie” like some of us. She was watching the news today, which featured dueling senators on who was at fault for high oil prices, and the Democratic success at forbidding drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. Her questions follow:

I am puzzled about drilling for oil. Democrats and Republicans seem to
be arguing only about Alaska situation. I heard that there are 80 some
offshore drilling possibilities in the country. Is that true and if
so, why do they always use Alaska as example? Do you know other places?

And herewith, my reply.

Hi Mom,

Actually, today the Senate Democrats stopped a plan to drill off shore in the “outer continental shelf”, also.

Essentially, the outer continental shelf is within 200 miles of land. The oil pumping platforms that could be put up would mostly not be visible from the coast.

China will be drilling not far from Florida, and sharing the product with Cuba.

The potential is simply enormous, if we get started now. The common Left statement that drilling wouldn’t make a significant difference is simply a lie, a breathtakingly large one.

Bottom line: Democrats are in thrall to the environmental movement, which hates ALL drilling ANYWHERE.

For example, in Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) is about the size of South Carolina, and the area where the oil companies want to search and drill is about the size of Dulles International Airport.. Admittedly a big airport, but a very tiny part of the whole.

As you can see, the area where exploration/drilling would occur is very small. It’s the tiny red square in the left side of the green area, which itself is only a small part of ANWR. Try to imagine 3 square miles taken out of the state of South Carolina, and you get the idea.

Yet, we hear constantly from the Left that drilling will “destroy the pristine wilderness”… Which no one ever SEES, because no one goes there. It’s pure radical environmentalist ideology, and nothing but. This is not a cruise ship destination. No class of school children will ever visit on a “nature field trip”.

We are not talking about drilling in the middle of a widely visited national park, disrupting vacationing campers, despoiling nature, destroying irreplaceable habitat, or any of the lies told by the left to deflect attention from the simple map above.

Yes, we hear people on the Left say that oil companies already have lots of places to explore and drill. From the same story:

Congressional Democrats were quick to reject the push for lifting the
drilling moratorium, saying oil companies already have 68 million acres
offshore waters under lease that are not being developed.

The problem is that those are places with low probability of turning up anything useful (so it would probably be wasted money to look), or places where fossil fuels are known to exist, but would be very expensive to recover. Can anyone take seriously the notion that, with prices as they are now, a US oil company that thought it had access to a gusher wouldn’t be pumping as fast as it could and selling it?

So when people say that the oil companies already have lots of places to look/drill, they’re just blowing smoke to confuse the situation. Oil companies lease federal lands for oil exploration, without automatically knowing first what can be found. In many cases, the oil companies have already looked, determined that it would cost too much to get the oil, and are going to let the lease expire in a few years. Yet the Left will report those areas as “places the oil companies could already drill”. That’s simply a distortion of the situation… About what we’ve come to expect from the enviro-Left.

We know where the easily available oil is, generally. We have to get it. We need it.

Here is what the Left doesn’t seem to understand. We are going to drill, sooner or later, in every single place they are blocking it now. It’s only a matter of time, and public desperation. On my more bitter days, I hope the Left stalls even longer… So that maybe the public memory will pin the blame on the Left for making them suffer for so long. But given the short public memory, that’s probably a forlorn hope.

To return a common pleading of the Left right back at them: Let’s do it for the children. The ones who are 8 now will be 18 when we see significant return on drilling we do now, according to the Left’s naysayers. (It won’t really take that long.) All that amounts to is an argument to start NOW. And there are a lot of unborn kids who are going to need a ride to school in a few years, and are going to be wondering why mom is pulling them in a rickshaw.

Jun 18 2008

Not just a Tom Clancy novel

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 12:01 pm

Extremist groups continue to seek nuclear weapons: US official

Extremist groups continue to actively seek nuclear weapons, a senior US official said Tuesday during a meeting in Spain of a US-Russian initiative to fight nuclear terrorism.

“Combating nuclear terrorism is especially important today,” US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Rood told a news conference.

“Regretably we continue to see indications in the United States from information we collect of the very terrorist groups we are most concerned about making concerted efforts to acquire nuclear capabilities with the express intent to use them against our peoples,” he added.

Read the whole thing.

I note that there are two nations we are no longer concerned about getting nuclear weapons which could be “leaked” to terrorists, or used in a terrorist manner to threaten regional neighbors.

Libya is the first.

Iraq is the second.

A similar headline could have been written in 1999, and the news report could have been published almost unchanged, other than the dates of the conference. But those two nations would definitely have been high on the list of concern of nations that are actively engaged in developing nuclear weapons, or are doing the ground work and making plans, and biding their time.

Libya gave up its plans in direct response to the the US invasion of Iraq. Qadaffyduck (Saturday Night Live’s term about 25 years ago) decided he’d rather stay in power in a non-nuclear nation. And, of course, regardless of the actual state of Sadaam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program, his intent was very clear, just as soon as UN sanctions were lifted… which was coming soon, and he knew it, having paid off major Russian, French and German players to sabotage any UN effort to do otherwise, with the “oil for food” kickbacks.

Some will say that Iran’s program is a result of the Iraq invasion. Some might even believe it. I’m not one of them, tending to take the Iranian government at its word. It intends to kill Israel, one way or the other. After that, it will consider its options.

We live in very serious times. The presidency is not for dilettantes. Do you want Obama sitting across the table from Ahmadinejad, or John McCain, with all his flaws?