Burned Again By the Oil Companies

So basically, there's even less of a chance that the oil off shore gets drilled (even less so by making it a state issue), but packaged together with a serious comprehensive energy policy reform (higher CAFE standards, fully funded Gov't sponsored research into alternative fuels, increased environmental regulations, conservation education...), we get everything that it takes to get the nation moving off of oil and give away nothing (and if Bush/McCain veto it we own them), jerome

Jerome's pointing out some scary polling about oil prices and offshore drilling. The public wants it and the GOP is lining up to give it to them.

Two things.

One -- the NYT notes that there aren't enough modern oil tankers to drill for the offshore oil that's already legally cleared to be pumped:

In recent years, this global shortage of drill-ships has created a critical bottleneck, frustrating energy company executives and constraining their ability to exploit known reserves or find new ones. Slow growth in oil supplies, at a time of soaring demand, has been a major factor in the spike of oil and gasoline prices.

Mr. Bush called on Congress Wednesday to end a longstanding federal ban on offshore drilling and open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration, arguing that the steps were needed to lower gasoline prices and bolster national security. But even as oil trades at more than $135 a barrel -- up from $68 a year ago -- the world's existing drill-ships are booked solid for the next five years. Some oil companies have been forced to postpone exploration while waiting for a drilling rig, executives and analysts said.


Two -- its been thoroughly documented that because of lax oversite and corruption in the Bush DOI, the oil companies mostly don't even bother paying Uncle Sam for the oil they take off public lands -- which includes the vast majority of offshore drilling.

A 2007 Inspector General’s report found that:

The Interior Department’s program to collect billions of dollars annually from oil and gas companies that drill on federal lands is troubled by mismanagement, ethical lapses and fears of retaliation against whistle-blowers, the department’s chief independent investigator has concluded. The report, a result of a yearlong investigation, grew out of complaints by four auditors at the agency, who said that senior administration officials had blocked them from recovering money from oil companies that underpaid the government.

So even as we learn that the oceans are overheating much faster than expected we find out that the big four oil companies are carving up Iraq. Once again the oil companies have created another heads we win, tails you lose game.

Tags: offshore drilling, Oil, Oil Accountability Project, oil prices (all tags)

Comments

41 Comments

Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

I thought there was something like this afoot.  Great work!

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 01:03PM | 0 recs
Keep in mind

Jerome thought we needed to roll on the gas tax holiday as well.

by RandyMI 2008-06-19 01:24PM | 0 recs
Get your facts and slurs straight

No, that has nothing to do with this, and I advocated for it in conjunction with the windfall tax, in order for Clinton to win Indiana. How'd that turn out?

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Get your facts and slurs straight

Its the pandering to sway voters to try and win an individual state that diminishes the overall brand of a candidate. Do it enough times and you end up loosing the whole thing. Clinton won Indiana but lost the primary, that obviously didn't turn out too well for her.

by montana36 2008-06-19 09:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Why was Obama on the backhand on the oil drilling?
If the polls said it was a gooder. He should have went for it.
He needs bold set pieces and it would have been perfect for him.

Oh well there is School vouchers and affimative action.

by Makey 2008-06-19 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies


the NYT notes that there aren't enough modern oil tankers to drill for the offshore oil that's already legally cleared to be pumped:

If this is true, then granting the permission to drill will have no effect on the actual drilling itself.  Why are you not FOR allowing increased drilling in that case?  

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Exactly. It's a friggin no-brainer to get a bunch of other things while compromising.... but nooooo, we gotta be all purist.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Ah, and you expect all of that "other stuff by compromising" from what historical precident on this issue?

by ElitistJohn 2008-06-19 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Its a bit like mid 2002 in my mind, when Dems got McCain-Feingold and Sarbanes-Oxley passed and Bush signed. We have that sort of environment right now (but diff issue obviously).

Time to think big instead of the small-minded proposal that Pelosi is floating.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Additional drilling is an interesting thought... and I don't think I am on board.  

I can't help but to point out that the argument in defense of high gas prices ( while simultaneously in favor of major oil revenues) was the lack of refining capacity...  We can't refine enough oil quickly enough, so prices are high...

How would additional drilling address that issue?  Or is it simply the paper dragon I took it to be?

by JenKinFLA 2008-06-19 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

There is a problem with refining capacity.  There is also a problem with crude oil supplies.  People stopped building refineries because they do not believe there will be additional supplies (and for other reasons too) ~ so they are not unrelated.

But, on the grander scheme, refining capacity can be increase easily... or at least, more easily than the crude oil supplies can be increased.

If you have more crude, you will get more refineries...

by SevenStrings 2008-06-19 09:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Not necessarily. We have plenty of crude available for refining now. The problem with gas prices today has nothing to do with availability of supply.

by skohayes 2008-06-20 02:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

People did not stop building refineries because of a concern about crude supplies.  People stopped building refineries when they discovered that keeping supplies and inventories tight increases margins.  

by StrangeAnomaly 2008-06-20 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Jerome, you used to be about crashing the gate, now you are getting all DLC?  Capitulating to republican talking points have been a sure loser for Democrats for over a decade!

A better strategy is to condemn this gimmick as a fraud, then put forth REAL solutions that will actually do something instead of this farce.

Standing up for what is right winds way more than giving in to bogus republican talking points.

by LordMike 2008-06-19 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

On this issue, yeah.  You can't compromise when it means you lose stuff you just can't get back.

by mady 2008-06-19 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Remember, Obama is correct on all issues all the time. I swear I will work as hard as I can in PA and DE to elect him, but boy some people will swallow anything he agrees with. I think we both agree, oil has to go, but like you said get a compromise, CAFE standards as I said in the other thread. Something. If we don't do anything, McCain wins, even if it is on misinformation. People want solutions. Saying "5$ a gallon is good" is elitist and frankly even offends me...someone who studied animals and environmental science in college. People are part of the equation and unfortunately so is oil. Thanks Jerome for pointing out what is so obvious to even my very liberal friends.

I started reading Mydd, electoralvote.com, dailykos, etc in the summer of 2004 and do NOT remember people demanding 100% liberal positions all the time. While I'd love to see those enacted, we need to compromise. Remember how it felt when the Republicans never compromised, it just doesn't work (of course our positions are at least mostly correct!).

by Airb330 2008-06-19 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Yeah, seriously, this is an issue where Obama needs to be a little more flexible on.

And if McCain hits him for changing his mind, he can hit right back, point out McCain did the same thing.

I'd also note that gas prices have gone up a lot since the gas tax debate.

by bosdcla14 2008-06-19 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

No, it's an issue that Obama needs to point out is a complete fraud and gimmick, a giveaway to the big oil companies at taxpayer expense, and will do nothing for oil prices, and takes away development money from the interior of the country like Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas...  Especially since there are millions of acres already leased that are not being developed as we speak.  

The GOP makes a confident play on something and everyone gets all weak-kneed and goes into DLC capitulation mode... (which is always a losing strategy)... better to stand strong for something that may be unpopular than cave into your opponent's pander.  The latter is a strategy that always loses... just ask the DLC... they've been proving what a loser it's been for over a decade!

by LordMike 2008-06-19 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

I hear you (and would agree with you if we were talking about telecom immunity).

But while the party has to stand for something, I think we can both agree that trying to force the party to stand for the most progressive position on every issue would be crazy.  We're not planning to try to force Democrats in conservative districts to be pro-choice and pro-same sex marriage, are we?

And I think that that public one this one is going to want someone to "do something!"  And I think saying to them "well, look, this really isn't going to change things for years, and even if it changes them the effects will be very minor" is a strategy that's tough to do when the public is so (justifiably) pissed at gas prices.  

by bosdcla14 2008-06-19 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

I agree, but doing "something" for the sake of doing something is what got us into Iraq.

I think that Obama does need to make a bold counteroffensive.  Whether he includes the offshore drilling thing or not is his choice, but he needs to do it in a way that doesn't look like caving to the republicans.

Personally, standing strong on this issue can only help him in the coastal states he's fighting for...

by LordMike 2008-06-19 05:56PM | 0 recs
No cheaper gas

We just have to make sure that the American people understand that this will NOT make cheaper gas.

In all of the survey's the support was based on drilling bringing cheaper gas.  Obama and the Democrats need to let the people know that all of this extra drilling would only cheapen gas by 2 or 3 CENTS per gallon, and not for a few years.

The only thing it will do is to put more money into the hands of Exxon and Shell and the other oil giants.

by monkeyga 2008-06-19 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

No, because if we stand strong, then we perpetually suffer from what could have been. Obama needs to be the one to counterpropose here. It makes John McCain still look weak, it makes Barack Obama seem more like someone who gets shit done, and best of all, we get to protest it the whole way. So when it doesn't do anything and becomes clear it won't do anything soon, we will emerge victorious for coming out of that with the ONLY short-term ideas to solve the oil crisis.

And if we want to get that oil windfall tax, this gives us the leverage to do it.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 05:52PM | 0 recs
No

Promoting another diary won't make us agree with you.

A single poll won't make cowards of us.  There's no need to "compromise" on something that will do more harm than good.  We have the Legislature, we set the agenda unless we surrender.  

by PantsB 2008-06-19 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: No

This is NOT about a single poll. Yes, the poll brought the issue forward. I would have felt the same way, however, without the poll. Attach this SOB to CAFE standards, to real alternative fuel research done by the US Gov't not Shell or Exxon. The oil will not help prices, yes I agree, and I think Obama should tell Americans that. But, we come across as elitist, and bankrupt for ideas with the "don't drill it is bad for the environment". Let us turn a slight negative into a HUGE net positive with a comprehensive energy bill here. Or at least try...

I am not a coward, and I really don't think this is surrendering. I doubt Jerome or the other posters willing to at least consider some positives out of this are either.

by Airb330 2008-06-19 08:20PM | 0 recs
Why?

Everone advocating seems to admit that its a bad idea, won't do any good for gas prices.  So why do it?  We can put CAFE standards forward and force the President to veto it without putting forth this terrible plan.  We can wait until January and hopefully not have to worry about the veto.  

And yes this is about a single poll.  Every poll before this one has shown it to be a terribly unpopular idea.  

by PantsB 2008-06-20 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

Has anyone considered simply promoting ways to use less oil, and less energy for that matter?

It seems so simple, yet no one, not even Barack Obama, seems to have considered this (publicly).

Maybe we're the problem, and not the oil companies.

*gasp.

by AoeJnthony 2008-06-19 05:47PM | 0 recs
Conservation of energy biggest bang for the buck

In the short term, that is the very best strategy. Finding ways to use less oil will help reduce polution much faster than searching for ways to use no oil. So yes, I think everyone agrees that in the short term we figure out how to use less and work on using none.

by alectimmerman 2008-06-19 06:11PM | 0 recs
Give up ANWR to save humanity

First off, drilling in ANWR/offshore won't help and is stupid, however,

If we put a deal on the table where we said you can have your ANWR and offshore if we can have an Appollo size energy program wouldn't it be worth it?

To get solar panels on 50% of all homes and businesses and small wind powering 15% of all homes, and massive research into new energy solutions?

I have been totally self righteous about ANWR being comepletely off limits and a line we should never cross, but if we could give up ANWR to save humanity, shouldn't we?

P.S. It is about saving humanity. The planet will surivive just fine without us. We don't need to save the planet, we need to save ourselves and our children.

by alectimmerman 2008-06-19 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Give up ANWR to save humanity

of course you are right.  But you don't start off with the position that winds up being your eventual compromise.  And I haven't heard any politicians in the power structure suggest that.  Nor do I think it would have an ice cube's chance in hell of passing - it would take hundreds of billions of dollars.

So yes, I would make that trade-off.  But I'd also be happy with a lot of other things that are unrealistic also.

by edparrot 2008-06-19 07:42PM | 0 recs
16000 Oil drilling sites

We still have another 16000 Oil drilling sites but the oil companies refused to drill those. How about lets educate the public about those 16000 sites and make sure that they are all drilled first before we touch any other areas. The Federal Government gives Exxon Mobil alone 4bil annually to locate more sites to drill but instead in their annual report they said it's sufficient at the moment and thus split the 4bil into dividends. Are we going to do anything about this too?

by stevent 2008-06-19 06:33PM | 0 recs
Can you say, "Gas tax holiday?"

The public wants it and the GOP is lining up to give it to them.

Please spare us the chicken little routine every time McLame tries a new version of an old gimmick that didn't work.

by Beren 2008-06-19 06:54PM | 0 recs
But the President is behind it!

And if its part of the President's energy policy it must be a) a winner and b) popular.  Also, allowing McCain to link with Bush and fortify the Obama vs Bush meme would be suicide!

by PantsB 2008-06-20 05:30AM | 0 recs
We've been snarked!

by Beren 2008-06-20 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

What the hell happened to Jerome? He used to be reasonable. Did he suddenly blow a gasket?

This proposal for drilling is an OUTRIGHT FRAUD and Obama and everybody else needs to stand up and say so forthrightly. That's leadership.

We say this is a stupid idea that isn't going to work. It's NOT going to give you ANY relief on the price of gas, period. We need a serious energy policy that reduces the NEED for oil by converting as much of our economy to renewable energy as we can as quick as we can.

We need to MAKE the oil companies stop hording oil in sites that haven't been drilled in 30 years, because it's more profitable to keep them on the books that way.

All Obama has to do is say "if this were going to lower oil prices at the pump or solve the energy crisis I'd be for it. But, it won't do either. It's a PHONY solution that only lines the pockets of the big oil companies, which is exactly why Bush and McCain are for it."

by Cugel 2008-06-19 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

I am sorry, but this is out of line. Uprate all of the "you are cowards, you are acting like Republicans" posts all you want. This, however, is ridiculous. Do not attack posters, especially someone who runs this site, it is disrespectful. Make your point without pointing towards posters. Talking about this in scientific terms will only LOSE votes. Look at Gore and Kerry. Do you know how many people I have heard say "Gore was right with that lockbox" yet he was ridiculed. Be right, but also get what you want out of it. Hopefully, this just all blows over.

If a Republican wins because of gas/economics I will  have lost faith in Americans though for sure...!

by Airb330 2008-06-19 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

the great mogambo at asia times had this to say about the recent congressional hearings about the price of oil"

"I'll gladly answer that question, senator! The reason that oil costs so much in dollars is that the purchasing power of the dollar has dropped by 40% in five lousy years, thanks to you letting the Federal Reserve create so much damned money, you lowlife scumbag! If the dollar still had its buying power, oil would still be US$25 a barrel like it was in 2002, but nooOOoooo! You dumb, stupid, ignorant congressional morons decided to borrow and then spend so insanely much money that the Federal Reserve was required (and only too happy!) to create all the money and credit needed to finance the disgusting orgy of your irresponsible government spending, now totaling $9.4 trillion in national debt, because if the Fed did not create the money, your enormous borrowing needs would have sucked up every freaking dime of savings in the country a dozen times over, driving interest rates through the roof, called the 'squeezing out effect'. That's why oil costs so much, you ignorant, preening Congressional moron!"

by hueydixiepearl 2008-06-19 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

if that was the main .reason, oil would be $50 a barrel, not $139.  The dollar is a bit of the reason, speculation is another bit - probably less than the dollar, and the rest is the fact that worldwide oil production peaked two years ago and people are scared about medium and long term supply given the population growth in the world.  And quite possible with good reason.

by edparrot 2008-06-19 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

That certainly did not help did it? I would LOVE to see Obama talk about the fall of the dollar due to Republican spending and how the average American is suffering. It is certainly the truth. I think most people get that the $ has fallen dramatically since 2001 but they do not equate it to the asinine republican policies implemented in that period.

by Airb330 2008-06-19 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

"She said oil companies already lease about 68 million acres of land that is not being drilled. She questioned why oil companies were pushing to open up the ANWR in Alaska when so many acres they currently hold are not being developed.

On that point, a group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation that would compel oil companies to drill in lands they are now leasing from the federal government.

"Oil corporations are trying to take control of as much land now during the oil-friendly Bush administration years, but are holding off on drilling until the price of oil soars to $200 or $300 a barrel so they can make even greater profits," said Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a New York Democrat and a sponsor of the drilling bill."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080612/pl_n m/usa_congress_energy_dc

I believe this is as this blurb suggests that this is a land grab by the oil companies. 68 million acres is a bit over 100,000 square miles or about the size of the U.K.!!! and they are no drilling on it. This is a gimmick.

by montana36 2008-06-19 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

It is a total gimmick.  Points:

1.  Refineries.  They are currently running at 86-89% of capacity.  Normally, except for the maintenance time, they run around 95%.  WHat happened?  They dealt with this part on CNBC last week.  When oil was $50/barrel, refineries pulled out ~$22 profit per barrel.  Once oil hit $100 their profit went to $8/barrel.  Not sure why it is not a linear drop to $11, but there it is.  As profits decline, refineries lower production to keep prices or REFINED products up.  No longer supply/demand per se.

2.  South Dakota, during the primary, authorized the building of a refinery in the state.  There is your new refinery IF they actually build it.

3.  As stated, this really is a land grab by oil companies while they can get it...they see a big Democratic Win in Nov. (and hostile environment after) and want to get all their "unbreakable" contracts lined up before January.  So who cares if they cannot drill for x-years?  Well, eventually they will get to drilling.  Even if the US miraculously goes all renewable in the next 5 years, many countries like India or China will not.  So demand of some sort will always be there.  And all it takes is one screwup by oil companies much more interested in profit than in responsability and tourist communities will wither off.  It will be a disaster that, as seen in the past, takes a LONG time to clean, is very expensive, and that Oil Companies love to worm out of.  And then there is the money needed to help the actual communities effected because of loss of livlihood.  Just a all around looser.  I don't trust oil companies one inch...period.

4.  Look at the Iraq land grab going on...and tell me the war was not infuenced in any way over that.  Right before the war, French and Russian oild companies were concluding deals with Iraq for access to the oil.  Now it is the "victors" oil companies that are moving in instead.  Sounds like oil warfare to me...

5. WHy compromise?  Instead, push for BETTER SOLUTIONS.  Like electric cars, personal energy production (solar/wind/whatever), and conservation.  Use government rebates and incentives, real ones, to push HARD for this.  Funding for it...the money that is being pumped into Iraq, the 4 Bil the oil companies are not paying that they should, and removal of incentives for oil companies.  I also say that all money for research into alternative energy should be made re-competative.  Giving big oil the leadership role to replace themselves is a BAD IDEA at this point.  Let them COMPETE for the future market and I swear we will have major innovation faster than anyone thinks.  Who here honestly believes that BIG OIL is really working to replace oil right now?

I just want to say that this is a GOLDEN opportunity for the Democrats to come out swinging and really hit this one out of the park.  Competative renewable energy research and implamentation between new companies and Big oil means a win for America.  Implementing a total restructure of public energy consumption, from the White House to the local court house, based on being energy independant through use of wind/solar/whatever.  Create Jobs making those products in the USA.  Create jobs in maintenance of those products.  Hell, create a Dept of public energy production.  COMPETE and WIN.

by Hammer1001 2008-06-20 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Burned Again By the Oil Companies

I think we both agree, oil has to go, but like you said get a compromise, CAFE standards as I said in the other thread. Something. If we don't do anything, McCain wins, even if it is on misinformation.We need to MAKE the oil companies stop hording oil in sites that haven't been drilled in 30 years,because it's more profitable to keep them on the books that way.

by blueskyadf 2008-06-20 10:50PM | 0 recs

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