Oil uh oh

When I first heard McCain come out for drilling offshore for Oil, I knew something must have shifted in public opinion over the matter, especially when FL Gov Crist came out for it:

A veteran of Florida politics who is not tied to Crist says the gas price-driven poll numbers justify the drilling flip-flop (justify in the political sense, that is):

"[After many years working in the state], I would have told you that it was the single issue that would never, ever, ever change. Ev-uh," says the source.

But "somewhere between $3.00 and $4.00, the [poll] number literally flipped upside down."

Rasmussen has more on the polling, in FL, in OH, and nationally.

...The Florida survey also found that McCain currently leads Obama in the state by a 47% to 39% margin. Six percent (6%) said they would vote for some other candidate while 8% are undecided. However, after voters were told that McCain favored offshore drilling and Obama opposed it, McCain's lead increased to eleven points, 49% to 38%.

...Seventy-one percent (71%) of Ohio voters agree with McCain's position that the ban on offshore drilling should be lifted, while 18% disagree.

...67% of voters believe that drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states. Only 18% disagree and 15% are undecided.

The politics have changed, and I don't see the principle that guides Democrats to be unequivocally against offshore drilling for oil at this point. We are stuck on oil for a long time. Congressional Dems should adopt the position, include some safeguards, and alongside billions in funding for finding alternative fuel solutions, make it part of a long-term solution.

Update [2008-6-19 11:47:58 by Jerome Armstrong]: First of all, I don't care if you word it differently, the poll numbers in Ohio (71 - 18) are not going to change the outcome that much by changing the wording. Second, we're talking about leveraging the short-term solution that Bush has offered up as a means to get a long-term solution in place, not about whether drilling for oil offshore is legitimate as a solution. Third, the ideological purity position of there being an environmental/aesthetic argument against it is exactly the position the Republicans want us to adopt.

Tags: 2008 election, mccain, obama (all tags)



Re: Oil uh oh

I have to disagree Jerome.

First, Obama has historical precident, we have had this ban for decades.

Second, The republicans are so associated to oil all Obama has to do is frame it as a deflection to raising CAFE standards and the war in Iraq (which Rupert Murdoch guaranteed would net 20$/barrel oil)

Third, We are a nation of low/no information voters, all we have to do is convince them that this gimmick will not effect prices for years.
They believed the gas tax holiday was a gimmick, this is even easier.

Fourth, unlike many nations we do NOT have nationalized energy,
SO,  who profits from this offshore drilling, our buddies in Texas and Dubai.

Fifth, Obama is rising in the polls at a time when McCain is running on and losing hard on his "perceived" strengths.

Iraq, War, Oil, Constitution, Economy, Civil rights?

Bring it McCain,

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Sixth, since when do Progressives let swing state public option polls determine our countrie's long term energy and environmental policy.

Sounds like a recipe for smog filled cities and clear cut forests.  

by JoeCoaster 2008-06-19 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Since gutless wonders like Schumer, Emmanuel and assorted DNC morans have been in charge.

Like forever.

'Bama man don't nip this bullshit in the bud CA goes in play for McSame.

No one our hear will support any drilling. The dumfucks of Ohio can go back to sleep.

This will be a critical test for Mr. Magic.

by Pericles 2008-06-19 08:12AM | 0 recs
Disagree with Jerome

the politics have changed because of low information about underexploited leases, the danger of oil spills from oil platforms, and the lack of exposure on the problem of unregulated oil speculation.

And why tap into energy that will worsen global warming.  It's backwards thinking.

by magster 2008-06-19 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Disagree with Jerome

Ok the thing thats going on in Florida, is that the offshore waters on the gulf side, near Tampa/St. Petersburg area, if Fla. can get their lines extended, would provide emminent domain to a 5 billion barrel dome they discovered two years ago beneath the gulf of Mexico.

Which is to say, Florida will likely vote for it even though most of the other Governors, like California, etc. will not.

This thing may simply - not have the votes, right now. The states should be able to decide, true enough - but the Fed has a role to play as well regulating it all for safety and EPA concern so in my view this is a tricky one.

I'd argue the best position is to push it to the states and let them decide. That will give an effective ban on drilling, with a few exceptions.

by Trey Rentz 2008-06-19 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Seventh:  There is no Oil crisis that we can't take care of.

a) only 17% of the leases for oil exploration and extraction offshore are being used.  This new proposal amounts to a land/water/area givaway to big oil companies.

b) we have easily accessible oil in reserves that would be easily extracted with little impact on the environment in northern Alaska.  Please read/see the following video (I know this guy isn't the best speaker but I believe he is sinceer if misguidied).  The book is also available.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid= 3340274697167011147

The book (The Energy Non-Crisis):
http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/envir onment/energy/1.html

c)  There are other sources of (carbon negative due to the method of production)oil such as:

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/rese arch/2007/ancient_bacteria.html


d) The offshore drilling is nothing more than a Band Aid (non)solution for a problem that is our DEMAND for oil.  The effort will not change anything in the cost of gas at the pump.  What we need is to refocus on alternate

e) Our retirement systems are speculating in oil driving the prices up even higher.  Maybe a ban on government oil speculation would be in order.

by Why Not 2008-06-19 08:27AM | 0 recs

This is a complete cave-in to the GOP frame on energy.  

But then Jerome also bought into the gax tax gimmick.


by fladem 2008-06-19 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Don't underestimate the importance of not being out of touch with the voters.  I think that coming out in favor of limited access to coastal drilling, as part of a far more extensive energy package mainly focused on increasing alternative energy options might be a way to get more than we are giving up.  I just don't want to see this become a signature difference between the candidates, with Obama on the wrong side.  

Politics is about dealing with reality - and the reality here is that a lot of folks are very concerned about rising energy prices.  I'm with you Jerome.

by tarheel dem 2008-06-19 12:10PM | 0 recs
If you think it's uh oh for oil now, just wait

When gas gets seemingly "expensive" most people in the US will be more than willing to grasp at straws like drilling in sensitive areas, and arguing against it will fall on deaf ears.

But we haven't seen anything yet.  Americans are in for a very rude awakening when it comes to energy.  Next summer when gas is averaging over $5.00, we'll all look back fondly on the summer of 2008 when gas was cheap at just $4.00/gal.  

U.S. gas prices are going rise roughly $1.00/gal PER YEAR for the next several years. By the end of Obama's first term in 2012, oil will likely be $250/barrel and gas will cost $7.00 to $8.00/gallon.

There's a huge upcoming discrepancy between global energy supply and global energy demand.  Oil is only our most immediate problem -- next will come natural gas (in the 2010's) and then coal (in the 2020's or sooner).  We can't build or drill our way out of this.  Energy shortages and rationing by price -- or other forms of rationing -- are going to be issues which dominate the rest of our lives.

As many other posters here have said, increased domestic drilling won't make a whit of difference.  But Americans are desperately going to want to continue Business As Usual at almost any cost.  There's going to be a lot of economic pain.  No matter how little sense drilling makes, I can't see any way that the stance of opposing drilling is going to be anything other than a huge political loser.

by Johnny66 2008-06-19 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Well, Jerome, I guess the healing process has begun for our party.I agree with you %100. I have been saying for ever and a day that we should dril in ANWAR and the Gulf, as long as it was party of a long-term package that included alternative fuels.
Personally, I have always thought that the Dems should frame the alternative fuel issue in the sense of national security, especially after 9/11. Getting off of foreign oil is a security issue, getting off of oil period is the domestic issue. One lead right into the other.


by xodus1914 2008-06-19 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Yea lets drill for more oil while remaining just as addicted as the world gets more addicted.

Strength by Obama would be to force the Caffe standards NOW, not in 20 years.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Thats hard to do as a candidate...

And as an engineer I can tell you that 4 years from now the problem will largely fix itself via serial hybrid cars and new electric generation.

Wind even domestic homeowner based wind is economically viable now.  Solar is almost there.  45 Nuke plants is a massive step.

Chevy volt comes out in 2010, prius will be plug in by then too, Mitsubishi wants in to that race with a serial plug in too.  Even the hydrogen cars provide the ability to run off electricity in the form of home hydrogen generators.

Let me repeat myself by 2012 this issue will largely be over and who ever is in the white house will own it.

Try and see the forest not the trees.

by dtaylor2 2008-06-19 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

As an engineer you should remember the famous VW Lupo 3L.

As an engineer, would it be hard for USA to have entice VW to sell these small but safe cars here?

This car got 80mpg 6 years ago!  no batteries, no hydrogen etc and under 13K.

The technology has been around for years, hell even the 1991 honda CRX got 50mpg.

Thank god for 5$ gasoline, we mpg'ers have been waiting for years.
Hard to import economic cars when gasoline is less than 2$ a gallon.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Electrical equivalent gas is $1 a gallon.  That is to say the cost of going 30-40 miles.

When the Chevy volt and the other serial hybrids with real batteries that allow people reduce a gallon a day using only $1 of electricity we will see the something like 8 barrels of oil per car per year reduction in consumption vs status quo

Factor in the hydrogen cars fueled from water and electricity and you have long commuters who can go completely gas less.  For a professional driver who may go through 10 gallons of gas a day this will save 80 barrels of oil per car per year.

And sometime between now and 2012 algae diesel and algae jet fuel will come on line and there will be a MASSIVE ramp up and each barrel of that reduces consumption by a barrel roughly.

The next president will get credit for all that...

by dtaylor2 2008-06-19 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

But by then we will already have given the land/water away to oil companies.  If what you say is true and our dependence on oil has decreased that doesn't mean that the rest of the world will follow suit (and certainly not as quickly).  So the oil companies will begin exporting oil from the off-shore refineries.  It will be much harder to ban it again once we've taken away the environmental protections.

I think we'd be stuck with this decision longer than you realize.

by Tenafly Viper 2008-06-19 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Yea, we have a bunch of ideologues that would ban oil right now if they could, to covert first, into understanding that compromise is gonna be necessary to get a solution.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I am the most liberal person I know, I even studied environmental science in college, and we need oil. It's a fact. I would love if we could move off oil right now. We cannot. People going around saying "we deserve this" are mostly right, but seriously look how elitist that sounds. It makes Democrats look like we do not care about the 'little person'. Last time I checked we are the only political party who does. Obama may be correct on the issue, but we will need the oil anyway. The purity wing is definitely out and I am afraid they don't see Obama's flaws at all.

Tie the offshore drilling to CAFE standards, give it a try. The Democratic congress needs to do something in conjunction with the Obama campaign or we look really weak on this issue, when we should be kicking ass on economic issues!

by Airb330 2008-06-19 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Bringing it in with higher CAFE standards is a great idea.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh


Read this:

Solar Grand Plan

...spend the 500 billion it calls for and everybody will be driving plug-ins in 20 years.

Yes, we will still need oil for the chemical industry for a while but the American public is so brainwashed that they are unaware of the reality of the situation.

I can buy an all-electric Indian car, being sold out of a BK Cadillac dealership, today.

The Solar Grand Plan will work.

All we need is some gotdamned leadership.

We sure don't' need low-info morans from Ohio telling us what to do.

by Pericles 2008-06-19 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Solar will work

but it will be called algae diesel

and we will all use liquid fuel.

There is talk that the can even make normal gas out of the algae if so we will all drive our same cars guilt free and carbon neutral...

Thats a pretty easy sell.

by dtaylor2 2008-06-19 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I am also one of the more liberal/progressive people around -- ask anyone who knows me.

One of the precepts of being a progressive for me is caring about and understanding people -- little, big, in-between.

One thing I know and can see is that people are suffering because of high gas prices. People have to get to work, food has to get to tables, other commodities need to be brought to consumers. All are affected by the price of oil. That will not change unless we do something about it in the short run as well as the long run. It is a matter of the urgency of now.

If it would alleviate people's suffering and anxiety, if it would make it easier for people to get to work, buy food, etc. Then I am all for drilling in ANWAR, off-shore drilling, and whatever else will make life easier.

Make it part of a long-term, comprehensive plan which includes research and funding for alternatives. Fine.

But oil needs have got to be addressed now.

How selfish is it to say that people deserve this crisis? How little compassion do you have? Are you so removed from your fellow human beings that you don't really care about their lives? Instead you care more for your ideology, your sense of purity, your imagined high-ground position.

And, if your ideology also has a global component, then tell me: why is it only the US that should be spared the supposed environmental horrors of drilling? Aren't all environments worthy of protection?

I'm afraid that there is a lot of selfishness, ideological self-delusion, lack of compassion, and an inability to understand compromise and reality going around and we need more than that right now.

by cuppajoe 2008-06-19 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Well that was directed at me, at quite unfortunate.

I think the high prices are terrible, but nothing suprising.

At the end of the day I feel fear for businesses because Diesel is over-inflated because of distilation issues.

But I stick with what I said, we deserve this crisis.

We built our society on the idea gas would be 1$ a gallon for ever.  When it went to 1.70$ pandemonium nearly broke out.

What price drove Clinton to release the reserves?

Call me a purist all you want, but when you saw the looks on the faces of my friends in europe, when I told them in 2003 that I was paying 25 CENTS a liter, and they were paying 1.20 a liter they responded very hatefull towards me and my country.

To them, the exploding Iraq war and America having fuel 5x cheaper than them spoke volumes.

I am happy we have high fuel, I proved everyone wrong who called me a hippy for buying a VW TDI that got near 50mpg and now the financial incentive is there to force Americans to change.

Maybe now we will stop raising the AC just because we like to wear sweaters in the summer.

It might sound harsh, but the decadency of rome didn't last forever, nor will it here.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I hadn't exactly directed it you when I first posted. But rather at anyone with similar attitudes.

Of course, your follow-up post proves my point. There are real people suffering and all you can do is gloat over the fact that perhaps you had a point. (Which you didn't then and don't now.)

I know people who use cars that get good mileage; they don't live extravagantly; they don't use AC much. But they are having a lot of difficulty paying for the gas they need to get to work and do other necessary things.

You're attitudes are awfully dismissive of real people and real problems. And I have no respect for that.

by cuppajoe 2008-06-19 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Aren't you a big environmental guy?  I thought that was how you got into politics in the first place.  

If so, this is a terrible idea that won't have ANY impact on gas prices for years to come.  In other words, it's nothing but another gimmick.  

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Yea, but I know its gonna be hard to get out of this mess. It's not a gimmick, quit fooling yourself. We need oil.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Do you think it is right our government allows CAFE to be completely ineffectual?

Doesnt it make you mad that the police here drive V-8 Crown Vics and the police in Germany drive 45mpg Diesel BMW's?

Jerome, you know oil is a global product, what you are proposing is adding more oil to the international market, because if our refineries our at max capacity, more available crude will just be exported.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

What jerome is saying is that the amount of time it will take to get off oil, should require us to tap other sources - the price of gas will go so high there will be voter unrest if the fed doesnt score some relief, somehow.

And the price of gas skyrocketing will take care of what years of environmental nudging couldn't - which is to say, you'd better believe people are going to be backing alternatives at this point.

My mom bought a new hybrid. She lurves it. The Hummer is now going out of production. Poof. Just like that. People are moving very, very rapidly to a green economy.

The drilling Jerome's talking about might just help us when we will need it most. Its a finite resource, everyone knows that.

by Trey Rentz 2008-06-19 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

VW is also bringing back the TDI model this September.

Will get 140hp/240lbs tq and 48 mpg.

I have a 2002 TDI, which stock was 90hp/170 and after 2500$ in engine upgrades makes 137/235.

Point is the newest CommonRail technology coming out is just as economic, and just as fast as my tuned to the max ALH TDI motor.

Also to all the haters, TDI's do not lose economy as they are tuned.  Our cars burn a fixed ammount of fuel, tuning just allows your foot to tell the care to inject that fuel faster.

And for all you car nerds, I got 15.5 on the 1/4 mile last week (went to a redneck race track for kicks)

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

if anything, your argument backs up the assertion that new drilling should not be done.

the environmental movement is being helped by the high price of crude. It's changing how people travel and giving us a greener nation.

So, we can open up the Gulf Coast and ANWR to more drilling, and then we can see the Middle East increase production even more then the 1/2 million barrels a day Saudi Arabia is about to add to the market.

by alex100 2008-06-19 08:07AM | 0 recs
It will have zero

impact on the current price of oil.


It will take at least 10 years for this oil to come online.

by fladem 2008-06-19 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Thank you. It seems the purity wing of the Democratic Party is out in force. Seriously, this is a MAJOR losing issue with us. I am 100% against ANWR, though I'd have to say the public is probably going to start backing that too. Offshore drilling, however, provides jobs and oil, which we need and to the public...seems less disruptive than ANWR. I'd love to not need it, but lets be realistic.

by Airb330 2008-06-19 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

First, I am proud to be a "purity" Democrat, whatever that means.

So do you think a compromise of nationalizing this offshore drilling so only the government and government employees benefit is a good idea?

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:39AM | 0 recs
Why is driling 100 miles

from the everglades and beaches that are the lifeblood of an economy LESS disruptive than drilling in ANWAR?

by fladem 2008-06-19 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

We have oil, we're just finally starting to pay more for it, like the rest of the world.  I'm concerned about gas prices, because that hurts people who need to get to work every day and heat their homes.  But no one claims that these measures will actually reduce gas prices this decade.  Plus there are plenty of other ways to help people address those economic pressures.  Like, for example, a middle class tax cut.  Given that, I really don't see any policy argument in favor of this action.  

If you want to argue its the right political action, then fine.  You're a political pro, so I'll readily concede you may be correct in that assessment.  But I don't see how you can call this anything but a gimmick.  And I think it's unfair to label anyone that disagrees with you an ideologue.  

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Solar Grand Plan

We do not.

Please educate yourself and stop buying off on the idiocy of oil.

Every hear of 'Peak Oil'.

It's real and we've got to get off The Road to Olduvai Gorge....

Before it's too late.

by Pericles 2008-06-19 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

The solar plan is much easier now at $4 a watt than in the 70s at $100 a watt.

If we delay with oil it may end up $1 a watt and will just happen.

Or we may find bio-diesel or algae diesel wins and photovoltaic never happens....

But I will add an interesting aspect that you may not have thought about.

Photovoltaic solar acts as an air conditioner to the outside.  Every kilowatt of electricity that you generate is a kilowatt of heat that would have existed.  

I did a very rough estimate that for 105 billion worth of solar panels at $8 a watt installed in the CITY of Los Angeles would be enough to cover 10% of the land with 10% panels and reduce effective solar radiation by 1% and that is about a ~5 degree F change.

Math is space is 3 degrees Kelvin, LA is ~30 degree C or 303 degree kelvin for 300 kelvin difference from space and solar heating is major cause for temp and 1% reduction is 3 kelvin or 3 celsius or 5 Farenheight.  

I know when you are serious about physics its more complicated that that due to heat radiation not being first order (its 3rd order) but the reduction in heat also reduces the need for AC which produces heat and the panels would likely be 13% so small 2nd order and 3rd order terms need merely be smaller than 3-4% of the linear term.

297^3 is 97% of 300^3 so the higher order error from nonlinearity for radiation is ~2% from the expected 99% that linear would predict.  Thus the simple math produces the correct numbers.

Now in practice the surrounding areas would blow hot wind into LA and the above would only work in areas that are the hottest area surrounded by cooler areas.  But it would work in those areas.

by dtaylor2 2008-06-19 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

To some extent, yes, but let's not shortchange our potential to do things right.

In 1961, Kennedy decided to put a man on the Moon.  The Eagle landed in 1969.  If begun today, right now, drilling in ANWR or off-coast Florida wouldn't likely have an impact on gas prices for a decade.  With some agressive initiatives, we could significantly reduce our oil dependance in a relatively short time.  

Trouble is, we didn't have a hard-wired multi-gazillion dollar industry whose interests were AGAINST lunar landings intertwined with the federal government in the 60s.

Despite that, and given the very real environmental risks, neither ANWR or offshore drilling are particularly good solutions, even in the short term.

by fogiv 2008-06-19 08:24AM | 0 recs
No one who cares about the environment

would run the risks that offshore drilling entails.

And for oil that won't be available for 10 years, and for amounts that will make no difference.

by fladem 2008-06-19 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I read somewhere that abortion is unpopular with 51% of the country.  Perhaps we should let the states decide whether a woman can pick what to do with her own body?

Wasn't it here that I read a study posted on the front page saying that if we were to get all that oil, it would lower prices by about $5 a barrel- in 10 years???

by ihaveseenenough 2008-06-19 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Obama has already come out against it, he can't switch now.  What he needs to do is beat McCain over the head with the fact that he flipped his position from 3 weeks ago at the  behest of his political operatives.

by Mr Sifter 2008-06-19 07:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

This isn't really about Obama, but congress and their battle with Bush, right now.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 07:27AM | 0 recs
How 'bout this?

RICHMOND, June 18 -- Senate candidate Mark R. Warner said Wednesday that the U.S. government needs to get tougher with OPEC and better regulate investors speculating in the oil market to drive down gas prices.

Warner (D) unveiled his energy policy the same day that President Bush called for Congress to remove the federal ban on offshore drilling, including areas off the Virginia coastline. Warner said he supports offshore exploration for oil and natural gas but stopped short of endorsing drilling, expressing environmental concerns and saying it would have no immediate impact on gas prices.


Warner hit back at Gilmore on Wednesday, calling his solution shortsighted and unrealistic. Warner instead unveiled a multifaceted proposal that seeks to reduce the U.S. reliance on oil.

"The Bush-Cheney energy policies not only sound like they were written by Big Oil, they were written by Big Oil, and we are paying at the pumps," Warner said in a speech at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. "My opponent in this race, who was the biggest proponent of sound-bite solutions, is now advocating the continuation of those very policies right now. I hope this becomes one of the defining issues of this Senate race."

Tim Craig - Gas Prices Energizing Va. Senate Race Washington Post 19 Jun 08

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-19 03:19PM | 0 recs
Re: How 'bout this?

"Warner said he supports offshore exploration for oil and natural gas but stopped short of endorsing drilling"

He's a smart man, no doubt, capable of making the exact sort of solution I point toward.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: How 'bout this?

I'm basically agreeing, but note he is keeping faith with the platform, while sticking it to the opposition on the issues.  I like the way he is saying it much better.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-19 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

...and make sure that everyone knows that McCain's policy is Bush's policy...

by LordMike 2008-06-19 10:01AM | 0 recs
Because its stupid as hell?
The politics have changed, and I don't see the principle that guides Democrats to be unequivocally against offshore drilling for oil at this point

How about its dumb in that it won't change oil prices for the next 20 years by which we should have largely weaned ourselves from oil as a major energy source, but will do environmental (and aesthetic) damage now?  
by PantsB 2008-06-19 07:11AM | 0 recs
And what's your solution?

Read the rest.

Obviously, you don't understand that its part of a larger solution.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 07:34AM | 0 recs
Its not a solution

Its pandering.

And "Solution" to what?  It doesn't solve anything.  Our oil dependence isn't going to be solved by gimmicks and the US isn't dumb enough to think it will be.  Pandering to the Republican position - reactive strategy - instead of pointing out McCain's "flip-flop" and that its a foolish placebo that just tries to hide the real problems we have - a proactive strategy - is the kind of thinking that leads to Republican-lite, losing Dems.

Sticking to your guns, especially when you're right, is something Americans admire and its one trait Obama needs to not sacrifice, especially to simply react to Republican attempts to set the topic on an issue (enviromental/gas prices)  Obama will win in November, at the cost of his image as a genuine agent for a change in both the way politics work and the policies of Bush.

by PantsB 2008-06-19 07:47AM | 0 recs
On the Update

Second, we're talking about leveraging the short-term solution that Bush has offered up as a means to get a long-term solution in place, not about whether drilling for oil offshore is legitimate as a solution. Third, the ideological purity position of there being an environmental/aesthetic argument against it is exactly the position the Republicans want us to adopt.

How does Obama need "leverage"?  A campaign issue isn't about "leverage" and if he gains the WH he'll have Democratic majorities in both Houses and a political mandate to put into place superior alternatives.  This is only a central issue(offshore drilling) if Obama agrees to make it so and if he's simply going to agree that McCain is right there's no reason to.

Second, who cares what the big bad Republicans want?  We don't react to them anymore.  They react to us.  They aren't all knowing chess masters, they're the ones who have less than 200 Members of Congress.  

by PantsB 2008-06-19 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: On the Update


it's sad how easily one would capitulate to such a bad proposition.

The Middle East very well knows the pressures the U.S. is facing with gas prices and is one reason why the Saudis will be increasing production by 1/2 million barrels per day. It's in their best interests for prices to stay low so that alternative fuels don't get a foothold in this country.

Its bad policy and no amount of GOP framing on the issue (they call it "safe, environmentally-friendly oil drilling") would sway my mind on the issue.

by alex100 2008-06-19 08:36AM | 0 recs

this post and your prior support for the gas tax holiday suggest you don't know anything about this issue.

This is not a short term solution.  It will have no impact on the price of oil.  No one knows how much there is, and the oil compaines aren't even drilling where they are currently allowed to drill in the gulf.

Frankly, your support is based on ignorance.

by fladem 2008-06-19 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

There's no reason for you to lie about my position in order to make childish name-calling a habit.

The gas tax, coupled with the profit tax, was a winning issue. You can refer to the IN results, where Obama would have otherwise won, for confirmation.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

She was polling 6-12 points ahead of Obama days before the election...She won by less than 1%....It wasn't a winning issue for her in Indiana.

by hootie4170 2008-06-19 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

bs, look at Obama's own projections, they thought they'd win the state. Everyone, post-Iowa, had Obama up in the state. Clinton made it the issue the week prior to the election. She closed the gap and went up.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

Hey I'm just going by RCP and their polls...Check them out, she was up by much more 2 weeks out...Something made that number go down, my guess was the gas-tax pandering....BTW, thanks for my rec/rate privs back...

by hootie4170 2008-06-19 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

No you are not:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/ 2008/president/in/indiana_democratic_pri mary-639.html

The issue became full boar the last week of April and first few days of May. That's when Clinton overtook Obama.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Actually

Well we disagree...I love mydd though...

Jerome, I never read your book...Can it be ordered on mydd?

by hootie4170 2008-06-19 05:33PM | 0 recs
I was referring to the public

merits of the gas tax holiday.  Which were non-existent.

by fladem 2008-06-19 12:56PM | 0 recs
Re: I was referring to the public

The merits were to win the election in IN, and looks like that's what it did for Clinton.

You know, sorta like the NAFTA bashing that Obama engaged in, before droppping it by the wayside...

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Because its stupid as hell?

Well to the general public, they want action. Obama comes off as elitist and uncaring. I definitely think Obama can turn this into an issue about "flip-flopping". People do not want to hear statistics and 20 years this and that. Have we not learned this already from 2004, where we though Bush was dumb...that turned out amazingly well.

by Airb330 2008-06-19 07:36AM | 0 recs
Thats what they said about the gas tax holiday

The "public" isn't as dumb as people think.  "Flip-flopping" is what Obama would be doing if he compromised on his right and correct position because of some very short term polling (especially in that it contradicts long term trends in Florida and CA).

by PantsB 2008-06-19 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Thats what they said about the gas tax holiday
Excuse me, but if John Q Public thinks gas prices are related to supply problems and that drilling for oil that may not be available for 7 to 10 years will lower prices, yes they are that dumb.
(But I agree with you about Obama)
by skohayes 2008-06-19 08:27AM | 0 recs
Good news!!

The Democrats aren't unequivocally against off shore drilling.  As Pelosi said yesterday, the oil companies need to exploit the offshore fields they currently lease before we should lease them more.  LINK

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-19 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Good news!!

well to tell the truth, prices at the pump could drop by as much as 40 to 90 cents if the oil companies would simply bring their additional refining capacity online. they short that capacity to keep prices high. And there are in fact, only a few of them actually operating in the US. What. Seven of them?

by Trey Rentz 2008-06-19 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I disagree I dont care what people in Wyoming think of ofshore drilling, no one is lining up to see how the voters of Colorado will take it.

I want to really see what the people of Florida think, I do not think the politics have changed, and I think THOSE voters would be the first to know that they wont get much for 20 years

and why has EVERYONE seemed to have forgotten its not the oil thats the problem its the refinerines, so how does increasing oil but still not increasing refineries solve anything?

by TruthMatters 2008-06-19 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

How does driving SEDANS that get less than 30 mpg save anything?

Not to toot my own horn but I have been driving a car that gets 47mpg since 2002 (and its not a silly hybrid).

Americas average MPG is worse than most developing countries.

We have the energy crisis we deserve.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:19AM | 0 recs
Why are Hybrds "Silly"

My Prius gets 55 silly miles to the gallon! So hows that compare to your Silly, 47mpg gas guzzler! LOL :-)

by eddieb 2008-06-19 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Why are Hybrds "Silly"

Watch it there, I drive the evil VW TDI.

The car not cool enough for the hollywood or Political elite.

I call it silly because it boggles the minds of car enthusiasts world wide how America, and only America was able to latch onto the idea of huge, expensive, bad for the environment batteries with a small engine would be a good idea.

The VW TDI platform has been America for ELEVEN years now.

Also, my TDI is about twice as powerfull as a hybrid gas model, I can use my AC without any loss of power or economy, and I can drive as hard and fast as I want (economy stays the same, nature of diesel combustion)

Not to knock hybrids or the people that buy them but any person who KNOWS automobiles will tell you Diesel is the best clean solution.

If hybrids were so good they would have put a dent in the euro market but they haven't.

Also, VW, MINI, and FORD have all introduced TSI/FSI which is direct injected gasoline.
Basically it burns gasoline the same way a diesel engine does.
This technology is not as efficient as diesel, but is close and makes more power than older tech.

Please check out TDIclub.com for more info.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why are Hybrds "Silly"

I take back the word silly, Im sorry, just understand as a TDI owner I supported hybrids back in the day but when you see the media, celebrities, politicians outright ignore a economic solution that is in place RIGHT now (the eu is average 50% diesel cars) it blows the mind.

Anyways, in defense of lithium batteries, VW will be the first German firm to enter the hybrid arena and they will do it victoriously with diesel motor as 1/2 the hybrid system.

IT will get 70 mpg, a 28 increase over the 2.0 TDI

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/03/04/ geneva-2008-miserly-vw-golf-tdi-hybrid-c oncept-uses-1-2l-3-cyli/
http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/03/04/ geneva-2008-miserly-vw-golf-tdi-hybrid-c oncept-uses-1-2l-3-cyli/
http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/03/04/ geneva-2008-miserly-vw-golf-tdi-hybrid-c oncept-uses-1-2l-3-cyli/

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 08:06AM | 0 recs
they were told the drilling would lower $$$

at the gas pump in the Rasmussen survey. That's why I don't trust the results of this survey, given the leading question.

by slinkerwink 2008-06-19 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: they were told the drilling would lower $$$

Especially since the evidence suggests this wouldn't affect gas prices for a decade or more.  

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Changing a policy position based on an outlier poll with misleading questions about the effect drilling would have on gas prices seems like an AWESOME idea.

by Jay R 2008-06-19 07:18AM | 0 recs
Absolutely wrong.

The best predictions state any offshore oil would not become available for another decade (or three). Furthermore, the oil available at that point would provide an insignificant increase in oil supplies.

Do you really think it's worth further damning up the earth to keep prices at $20.50 instead of $21.00 per gallon for three months in the year 2020? Because that's all this extremely stupid idea would do for us.

We need to move off oil. Period. Full stop. There is no other reality-based answer. Let's stop emulating Republicans in praising non-existent benefits for long-term damage.

by Firewall 2008-06-19 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely wrong.

All the more reason to support this bill halfway. Allow some drilling outside the Alaskan coast like McCain wants, refuse to give in on any rigs anywhere NEAR Florida, and insist that it be tied to matters related to alternative energy and gas prices that we know can work now. Make sure all new cars get lower gas mileage. Give more money to help build up mass transit systems in areas where they are not doing too well (Florida is a great example). Give money to states if they promote and run a good carpooling program.

I saw the tea leaves just like Jerome. I don't think we can get out of it, but I do think we can make it clear that this plan will NOT cut gas prices within the foreseeable future. Our stuff might.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely wrong.

Plus, if we nail McCain on supporting it for Florida, we still kick the everloving shit out of him in the process. Everybody wins!

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely wrong.

Agreed 100%. Definitely not near FL, but otherwise spot on.

by Airb330 2008-06-19 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely wrong.

Florida is not a special case. The massive, newly discovered reserves off her coast are the white elephant in the room. Seriously, its 5 billion barrels of oil down there.

by Trey Rentz 2008-06-19 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely wrong.

That won't get gotten for a very long time. Alaska has way way more. I thought we were supposed to be for reducing the PRICE of oil. If we focus on using less in our cars, oil goes down, diesel goes down, gas goes down. We just have to keep getting money in there to make sure people will still use the alternative means when oil does go down.

Perhaps we could make a deal with the devil and make it clear that participation in alternative energy investment and more efficient automobiles will be a top priority for energy companies if we are desperate enough to tap our reserves at the risk of our wildlife.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely wrong.

The best predictions state any offshore oil would not become available for another decade (or three). Furthermore, the oil available at that point would provide an insignificant increase in oil supplies.

I keep hearing opponents of offshore drilling making this point, but I am not persuaded.

First off, if the amount of offshore oil is insignificant, oil companies will simply decline to drill.  Why make huge capital investments for a miniscule quantity of oil?

If in fact offshore oil is so sparse, there's no drawback to giving oil companies permission to drill.  They'd never take the government up on its offer.  Let the market work.

This leads me to my next point: just where is the data that says there's so little oil offshore?  What are the amounts of proved, probable, and possible resources -- and what is the basis of the estimates?  Who's doing the estimating?

My suspicion is that drilling opponents don't want to answer that question, because they're afraid that once oil companies gain the right to drill, they'll do real seismic analysis and find that there's more oil than drilling opponents claim.

Finally, there's a huge difference between saying the oil won't come online for one decade, or for three.  I truly get the sense that numbers are being bandied around without any basis.  So again: what is a realistic estimate for how long it takes to do the seismics, procure the necessary capital equipment, drill test wells, and deploy large-scale offshore drills?  I'm not a petroleum engineer, so I can't say, but I'd be surprised if it's thirty years.

Now, I agree that we need to do far more R&D into alternative energy sources.  And I also think that the real bottleneck is in our lack of refining capacity as much as in the extraction of crude oil.  But it is also silly to think we can rely on foreigners to extract our oil indefinitely -- and we do have to address short- and medium-term issues, not just long-term ones.  So I am tentatively in favor of drilling offshore.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-19 08:23PM | 0 recs
Here's your sources, dammit

This one is an unadulterated crock.  Roll up your pantlegs while I shovel.

Let me say, first off, anyone who says drilling is, to quote the disingenuous bobbing, weaving, flip-flopping cobra McCain, a "short-term solution" is delusional.  Any land -- or for that matter, portion of the seabed -- released for drilling today won't produce a drop of oil for a decade.  At least that's what the oil lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, says.  Since they get paid to be optimists about oil, you have to figure a realistic estimate would probably be longer. Source: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/stor y/41379.html

Second, as with any other resource, certain extraction methods are more expensive than others, and will only be employed when they become profitable.  Offshore drilling is expensive.  The more remote the site, the more costly.  Offshore drilling only makes economic sense if the oil tapped can be sold at a high price. Once the price of oil drops (unlikely, but let's think hypothetically), the offshore drills operate at a loss, they get shut down, and prices go up again.  Provided it even makes economic sense to drill offshore, analysts on all sides agree it is a political, regulatory and environmental powderkeg.  If exploration were allowed, permits would have to be granted, and before that environmental concerns must be addressed.  Think about it this way: you're the governor of Florida or North Carolina, whose coastal economy has billions of dollars tied up in high-value housing and tourism.  Are you willing to risk the imagined or real consequences of offshore drilling rigs (I have friends who've been to the beaches in Texas where the tar balls roll ashore all day; people prefer Florida and Carolina beaches for a reason). Source: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/stor y/41451.html

Third, there's probably not a lot of oil out there.  The Interior Department offered a wide range of estimates of how much oil might be within reach of U.S. offshore drilling in a 2006 report. It estimated that the Outer Continental Shelf could hold 115.4 billion barrels. However, it also estimated that recoverable reserves off U.S. coasts in areas now banned (well, it's actually a moratorium, dating from 1981, imposed by Ronald Reagan of all people) from production probably hold only about 19 billion barrels.  So do the math on that.  The world consumes about 86 million barrels a day. The U.S. share of that is about 20.6 million barrels, 60 percent of them from foreign sources.  One thousand million barrels equals 1 billion, so if there are 19 billion barrels in the areas McCain would open to drilling, that's enough to provide about 920 days, or about 2.5 years, of current U.S. consumption.  That's right. Drill in all the places you can't drill now and you get (gong!) a whopping 2.5 years worth of oil. And that's assuming consumption levels stay static, which they have never done.  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:World _energy_consumption%2C_1970-2025%2C_EIA. png

Fourth, there are not enough ships to carry the oil.  Let's assume you build the wells (remember, that's 7-10 years out), make it economically feasible (i.e. continued high prices), and are willing to go after that slim supply (2.5 years worth), you still need a highly specialized craft to go out there and do the drilling.  The world's current supply of drill-ships is booked solid for the next five years. It's a critical bottleneck that has frustrated oil executives by constraining their ability to even go after known reserves, let alone begin exploring for new sources.  Let me repeat that.  You can't even begin drilling currently known reserves offshore for the next FIVE years because of a shortage of drill ships.  Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/busine ss/19drillship.html?_r=1&hp&oref =slogin

Fifth, while we're on the topic of shipping, per the Jones Act, only U.S.-flagged oil tankers can go out to a drilling rig and bring the extracted oil to a U.S. port.  I have no data on whether there are enough U.S. flagged oil tankers available, so I'll leave it an open question, but I'd wager a weeks wages that the answer will be similar to that of the availability of drill-ships.

Sixth, the assertion by the McCain campaign, in careful, lawyerly words, that "hurricane Katrina did not cause any oil spills from the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico" is disingenuous, if not an outright lie.  The reason: the offshore rigs all shut down, were abandoned or went into other failsafe modes in anticipation of the storm, as they always do for safety's sake.  Yet, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Hurricane Katrina caused what amounts to one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history, 6.5 million gallons, from the rupture of near-shore storage tanks and pipelines, that exist to serve the offshore rigs. Source: http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/ 050915.asp

Seventh, and perhaps the biggest argument against dropping the moratorium, the oil companies haven't developed the leases they currently hold.  Political hay is being made right now about the 1981 moratorium on drilling in certain coastal areas.  Other areas are not only open to drilling, but the leases and drilling permits have already been issued.  And they are not being drilled.  In fact, only 17% of the leased areas is in production.  So, with about 33 million acres of offshore areas already available to drill and not being drilled, why does the oil and gas industry need to have access to still more?  The fact is that nearly 25 BILLION barrels of oil off the coast of the United States is currently available for drilling ... and industry is not drilling it.

This is the story on dry land as well.  More than 44 million acres of onshore public lands are leased for oil and gas development and yet most of it is not being drilled.  All told (onshore and offshore), 68 million acres are leased and sitting idle.  Over 10,000 permits are currently 'stockpiled' by industry. But still they want more.  Between 1999 and 2007, the number of drilling permits issued for development of public lands increased by more than 361%.

Let me ask this:  Did you see your gasoline costs drop?  How about your electricity costs?  Propane?  natural gas?  Uh...no. There is absolutely no correlation between the industrialization of public lands and the price of fossil fuels.  
It has been estimated that if all of those currently inactive leases were drilled, the USA would produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas EVERY DAY, accounting for a doubling of US oil production and a 75% increase in US natural gas production.  The Minerals Management Service tells us that about 80% of fossil fuels available in offshore are currently available for development.  I forgot to mention about offshore natural gas.  Most of the natural gas occurring offshore (over 328 TRILLION cubic feet - an eleven year supply at current consumption rates) is currently available for leasing and development.  Like the oil I mention above, the industry is not going after it.  Source: Energy Information Administration, Analysis of Crude Oil Production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,May 2008; Inventory of Onshore Federal Oil and Natural Gas Resources and Restrictions to Their Development, U.S. Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy; May 2008.
Finally, the last argument the drill-lovers have to fall back on is a belief that the current oil price spike is not just supply (or supply chain) and demand, but being pumped up by speculation.  There's a lot of debate on this, and I'm actually leaning toward agreement with that narrative, and think Paul Krugman is a fool for arguing otherwise in recent NY Times columns.  But answer this: if drilling is necessary to wring speculation out of the price, wouldn't a big investment in real solutions like alternative, non-oil-based energy do exactly the same thing?
I'll sum up:





There is no way offshore drilling, one of the most expensive methods of extraction there is, will reduce gasoline prices.  Not in the long term, as the data shows, and for sure not in the short term, as simple laws of physics won't allow.

Oil companies have access to oil and gas resources that they are not extracting, so that begs the question, why?  Is it just greed to keep prices, and therefore profits, artificially high?  I tend not to buy into greed arguments, since it implies the ability to read the emotions of C-level people who are a decidedly odd and tough-to-read lot to begin with.

Besides, the answer is a lot simpler, and is more black-and-white.  It's because that is how the business model of the oil industry is currently designed.  

Someone told me once that the real value of McDonald's is not in selling burgers and sodas.  That only pays the rent, so to speak.  The real value is in the land all the stores are built on: high-value, commercially-zoned, high-visibility parcels, usually in high-traffic areas near interstate highways.

The oil industry works the same way.  The real money is not in the exploring, extracting, pumping and retailing of oil and gasoline.  Those are just pass-throughs.  The real family jewels for the oil industry is the land -- large tracts, zoned for industrial extraction, with mineral rights and proven or suspected resources underneath.  What a coup to gain new lands now, and begin extracting oil from them 15 or 20 years hence, when prices and profits are even higher!

The fact that you can do this while in the same fell swoop embarrass Barack Obama, take down the Congressional Democrats, increase corporate profit and further drive up the price of energy, well, that's all just a bonus.  The fact that this became a topic of discussion among the punditocracy at this time and place, as opposed to, say, five or six years ago when anyone could have seen it coming, should be all the proof you need that this is nothing more than a political ploy and a land grab.  But if you need more evidence, note that both McCain and Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, both staunch opponents of drilling in ANWR and offshore, respectively, have just last week changed their tunes 180 degrees.

So quick was the flip by McCain, they are calling it McCain vs. McCain: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/18 /mccains-offshore-drilling_n_107872.html

And you will note that, in all of this, I did not make one single, leftist, environmental, tree-hugging, save-the-planet-for-the-unborn-gay-baby- harp-seals argument.

God, I hate batting down these stupid GOP-driven narratives.  I feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole.

by gas28man 2008-06-20 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I think the politics only appears to have changed based on misinformation that additional drilling will lead to decreased prices in the short term.  Explain that it won't, and the numbers will probably normalize.

by rfahey22 2008-06-19 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

There are something like 68 million acres under lease and approved for drilling both on and off shore in thye USA that are not being drilled right now. Oil companies in the ground reserves play heavily into their stock price and the oil companies would love to get their hands on more reserves without having to tap what they already have.

The only thing that could impact gas prices short term would be if countries like China and Saudi Arabia reduced subsidies for domestic gas. Cheap subsidized gas in developing nations is exploding demand. Long term we can not drill our way out of the problem and it remains to be seen whether the potential billions in loses to economies dependent on pristine coastlines will be offset by the gains.

Like the gas tax this sounds like a good idea until you spend 30 seconds looking at the facts. It will provide zero short term relief and it does not solve the long term problem. So is it worth putting the coastal tourism, real estate industries these states depend on at risk for a stop gap measure that will have little effect?

by hankg 2008-06-19 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

SE Asia, China and India are already cutting their subsidies.


They're out of dough for such and as are result the citizenry is rioting sproadically.

The EU ain't too happy either.

I guess folks here missed the 'news' due to the big Russert send off.


Jerome is utterly wrong on this and I dont' have say anything other than CA will never allow off shore drilling and any Presidential candidate who advocates same is losing this state.

by Pericles 2008-06-19 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

China's hike of 18% makes a small dent in subsidies that keep Chinese prices half what they are here. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Burma, Malaysia, Kuwait, Venezuela, Taiwan, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Brunei and Nigeria all subsidize fuel prices. This really encourages demand growth putting additional pressure on prices. Massive subsidies in oil producing nations greatly reduces the amount that they can export.

The drill offshore effort will when it meets competing local economic interests that would lose billions with wells appearing on the coastline will produce very little but consume lots of time, money and energy. A distraction from solving the real problem.

by hankg 2008-06-19 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

So is it worth putting the coastal tourism, real estate industries these states depend on at risk for a stop gap measure that will have little effect?

My understanding is that most offshore drilling would take place far enough away from the coastline that you'd never see it.  If so, aren't these concerns about tourism and real estate being overstated?

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-19 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

It's not the sight of the oil rigs that's the problem.  It's the constant spillage in small amounts, a natural consequence of the entire enterprise (drilling, piping, transfering oil onto tankers, etc.), that causes floating tar balls to roll up on the beaches at every tide.

There's a reason people prefer the beaches in Florida and the Carolinas.  It's because the ones in Texas are pretty gross.

by gas28man 2008-06-20 06:41AM | 0 recs
Don't Get Played...

The oil companies are using the gas price scare to grab more public land and fatten their stock prices.

Big Oil is not interesting in actually investing in increased production...they just want the oil leases to attract investors.

Most Oil Leases on Public Lands Go Unused

Nearly three-fourths of the 40 million acres of public land currently leased for oil and gas development in the continental United States outside Alaska isn't producing any oil or gas, federal records show, even as the Bush administration pushes to open more environmentally sensitive public lands for oil and gas development.

Morton said the leases, which companies can lock up for 10 years with annual rents of only $2 to $3 an acre, are an economic boon to some companies because they count as assets that can make debt refinancing easier while also attracting potential investors.

by JoeCoaster 2008-06-19 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Take a good look at the way the poll question was worded:

" John McCain favors offshore oil drilling to help bring down the cost of oil and gas. Barack Obama opposes offshore oil drilling and says it will not bring down the cost of oil and gas. Knowing this, how likely is it that offshore oil drilling would bring down the cost of oil and gas?"

Also, the same poll gave Bush a 48% approval rating.  I'd love to see their crosstabs but Ras isn't publishing them.

by Homebrewer 2008-06-19 07:21AM | 0 recs
Yea, lets privatize Social Security too!

I don't get it? We and or children's  children are facing a World wide castastrophy because of global warming and our use of fossil fuels are a major contributer. Thats more than reason enough to fight offshore drilling. The sea is under enough stress as it is. There have been over 60 oil spills in the Gulf since they started off shore drilling there. I can't believe you are falling for this blantant repiglican attack on our enviornment that will only put more money in the pockets of the rich. We have to stop triangulating enviromental politics.

by eddieb 2008-06-19 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Jerome: Now more pro-drilling than the WSJ.

by really not a troll 2008-06-19 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I'd rather not lift the ban, or comprimise on the matter.  McCain may get a few points from this, but he's jonny-come-lately to drilling, and lacks credibility.  Obama should stick to his guns, and do what's right, not what's politically expediant.  It will certainly benifit his campaign in the long run.

by NewOaklandDem 2008-06-19 07:26AM | 0 recs
We should fight smarter, not harder

Why adopt the stupid anti-environmental position when we can go all gas-tax-holiday on their asses and turn the public against them?

Congress could end the quickly rising gas prices today by closing out the Enron loophole and ending gas speculation.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-19 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

We are witnessing the same tatics that got us into Iraq. There s a coordinated all out effort to turn our countrys resources over to Big Business. They are leveraging the High price of gas just as they used 9/11 to leverage us into war. Why we are faling for it all over again is beyond me.

by eddieb 2008-06-19 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

It will be a long time before the oil becomes available, 7 years at the earliest, as the major drill ships are booked the next five years. And if we can't find an alternate solution, then the extra oil won't help us.

As to the politics changing, if we can attack the idea as done with the gas-tax holiday, we can change the politics.

by devil 2008-06-19 07:31AM | 0 recs
What about the strategic oil reserves?

Could we draw down those instead?  Or at least stop contributing?  Or put some controls in place on commodities speculation for oil?

I guess my question really is...is there another short term solution to bring down oil prices?  Because it's the short term we are really talking about here...I hate to solve a short term problem by creating a long term one if we don't have to.

by GFORD 2008-06-19 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

I'm talking about leveraging the short-term solution that Bush has offered up as a means to get a long-term solution in place.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

As I mentioned in the earlier post, 7 years cannot be a short-term position.

by devil 2008-06-19 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

The oil game is a 50 year game, its over in 50 years. We passed the point of maximum extraction in most of the oil fields in the world, back in Feb. of 2004.

The slow realization dawns. There are two or three major untapped resources: the caspian sea dome (which would require a pipeline down to the persian gulf... ), the big reserves off florida..
and extraction techniques in the oil fields of the middle east like pumping sea water in there, etc -

The rest of it is very expensive to extract from oil shale, and oil sands -

So thats what the market has been playing on. The price, remember, is set by a bunch of people playing games with futures.

7 years IS a short term position. Getting the rigs in place will take two years or so, extraction, will take 15 years.

My 2 c

by Trey Rentz 2008-06-19 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

Or... we could just figure out how we can use between 1% and 10% less oil. That would help too.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:53AM | 0 recs
The way I see it

It's more of choice between drilling and using 30% less oil, or not drilling and using 40 or 45% less, or not drilling, still using 30% less, and shipping hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to pay for it.   The world's big fields are in decline.  We're on plateau for now, but by the time ANWR/offshore come online I don't expect that to still be true.  And producers are using more of their oil domestically, so the oil available for export is going to decline faster than total production.

The other issue is where the money goes.  Right now we're sending 1.7 billion dollars overseas EVERY DAY.  If we could keep, say $300 million of that within our borders (divided among nat'l and state gov'ts, oil company employees, and oil company stockholders), that would do a lot to improve our balance of trade, and thereby reduce the damage to the dollar.

I used to be opposed to expanded drilling, but I now think that the time has come.  It won't do much to lower prices, it's true.  But it could ease the difficulties we're going to face as we transition our energy systems, and it would strengthen us economically.


by lilnev 2008-06-19 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

That sounds right to me. Otherwise, we run the risk of being nailed on the opportunity that was lost and never get anything passed at all.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

I suppose I meant "opportunity". Can't forget the quotes in that one.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

There is a small but significant problem with you idea. The repuglicans will take control of the issue and Dems will onces again appear weak and have have caved on the issue.

by eddieb 2008-06-19 07:44AM | 0 recs
They will if we let them.

If offshore drilling is the only solution, then I agree that we have to go along.  But if there is another solution that is faster, cheaper and better and we can demonstrate that then we own the issue.

by GFORD 2008-06-19 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

For what it's worth, I'd love to see a longer post fleshing out what you'd like to see Democrats get in exchange for this kind of concession.  If that's what you have in mind, and depending on the specifics, I could be persuaded that you're correct.

Since you seem to be passionate about this topic, I would really love to better understand your thinking.  

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

Higher CAFE standards, fully funded Gov't sponsored research into alternative fuels, increased environmental regulations, conservation education...  I'd throw in the whole wish list and go from there.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-06-19 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

Fair enough.  If we can actually get enough of the wish list, then sign me up.  But I'd want to see concessions before Congress or Obama changed their tune.  Otherwise, they would win without giving anything up.  

by HSTruman 2008-06-19 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

Absolutely. If they want to play these bullshit games of chicken, we need to make them bleed. The GOP loses nothing in this deal, and McCain is sacrificing only his self-respect.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

I'd go even further and say any new resource leases on Federal land need to be part of a National Oil Trust similar to what Norway has done with its oil reserves. This would ensure the profits benefit the American people and not the shareholders of ExxonMobil or ChevronTexaco.

by ces 2008-06-19 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

Good idea.  I'll do a little research and see what I can find out.

My position is one of pragmatism I guess.  We have a short term problem and a long term one with regards to energy needs.  I hate to do any damage to the environment solving the short term problem if it can be avoided.

The demand for oil/gas is elastic over the long term as people adjust their lifestyles to use less of the expensive stuff thus reducing the demand.  And over the really long term, a massive 're-tooling' of energy infrastructure will switch us to some other form.

A short and fairly stupid analogy:
If I'm short of rent money this month because I haven't gotten the first paycheck from my new job, selling the baby would bring in the needed cash but in the long run I would be sorry.

by GFORD 2008-06-19 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?


Yer talkin' 'More of the Same'. read my comment with the link to The 'Solar Grand Plan' above.

This infrastructure can be built with off the shelf tech for $420 Billion bucks in 20 years and would supply:

100% of all the nation's electrical needs; including the electricity to run the nation's cars.

90% of all energy needs.

Sponsored by Scientific American this is not bs nor pie-in-the-sky!

Get yer head out! The first plant is slated for construction in AZ see here:

under construction

But if the tax credits in place now are not renewed it may not happen.


Wake the FUCK UP!

Dammit Jerome read your history, I don't have to I was there pal, .....

Reagan tore the solar panels off the WH that Carter put in place.

Thanks to that and decades of Big Oil propaganda we are now...

Running out of time.

by Pericles 2008-06-19 08:36AM | 0 recs
Re: What about the strategic oil reserves?

I will never get over the fact on how Republicans pummeled Clinton/Gore for releasing the reserves when gas went to 1.50 a gallon.

There Talking point was "only in a time of WAaaaar"

Well we have been at war for 7 years, and our gasoline has quadrupled in price.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Will someone post a link to a study that discusses how long it will take for this (or any) drilling to affect extant gas prices?  I see a lot of references but I'd like to see why this is so.

Basic economics tells us that an increase in supply (or even certainty about future supply) will decrease price.  So is the issue that the supply isn't significant enough to affect price?  The supply won't be realized in time?  There is too much uncertainty about future supply due to offshore drilling?

by ASDem 2008-06-19 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

All of the above, actually! This is something that will prolong the inevitable, but won't do jack shit right now except ugly up the country. And there's no proof that we have more than a little bit of oil out there. To get the kind of benefits that the GOP is talking about, we'd have to drill every damn bit of it, and no country in the world is stupid enough to do that (except the GOP, apparently).

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Here's a study on ANWR. Short answer, drilling in ANWR would reduce the cost of a barrel of oil by about 75 cents when production peaks around 2025. That translates to something like 3 cents per gallon at the pump. In 2025.

by fwiffo3 2008-06-19 07:57AM | 0 recs
I disagree

and if the Democrats lay down and let the repubs run over them on this, it will just be another reason why I no longer consider myself a democrat.

by SoCalVet 2008-06-19 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I think the Dems position is fundamentally the better position.  This offshore drilling thing is nothing more than another gimmick to get peoples vote.  I think, if anything, the Dems need to make it clear that even if the laws were changed tomorrow, and the oil companies could drill our oceans into swiss cheese, we wouldn't see any change for like a decade, and even then most economists are measuring the difference in cents, not in dollars.

That being said, the Dems need to do a big PR campaign to let people know about the fact that offshore drilling is not a short term fix at all and in the end the only people to really profit are the oil companies.  Also, this is actually a bad move for national security.  It's kind of like breaking open the last piggy bank prematurely.  IMO America should have its remaining oil reserves primed for use, but not use them until it is clear that access to foreign oil is no longer secure.  THEN, we should be using the oil reserves, as a measure of last resort, until then, let OPEC et, al burn through their remaining supply.

by tlhwraith 2008-06-19 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Studies show that drilling in the ANWR would only decrease the cost of a barrel of oil by 75 cents.  That wouldn't make much of a difference in the price of gas.  Obama is making the right stand by staying firm on this issue.  Just like he had the right stand on the gas tax holiday.

by ctd72 2008-06-19 07:40AM | 0 recs
Yes, and we should authorize war with Iran

and include some safeguards, and alongside billions in funding for finding our souls, make it part of a long-term solution to exit Iraq.

by lizardbox 2008-06-19 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Just like the Gas tax holiday, when people really start to examine the effect they'll realize this only helps the oil industry.   It is pandering with the oils solutions...  "Let's drill our way out of this energy crisis!"   Obama should stand strong with the truth behind him.  

by mjtosner 2008-06-19 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Yes and no.  I agree that if this is going to go through, Democrats should force a rider on to that bill which includes appropriations for alternative fuel research.  I also think we should introduce modest tax incentives for auto companies that produce hybrids and spend a specific threshold of money on enhancing hybrid efficiency on that same bill.

Now, as far as the actual drilling, people are correct in saying that it will take a long-time to even see the benefits, but I'm far more concerned about the dangers posed to refinery employees, tax payer money and the environment if some natural disaster should occur - another Katrina for example.  It would be another post-Katrina spike in oil prices, negating whatever value those original cuts were in addition to any clean up necessary.

So, it's not so much philosophical for me as a point of practicality and consumer protection.  I do, however, realize that if the winds are blowing that way, we should accommodate them but on our own terms.

by ejintx 2008-06-19 07:46AM | 0 recs
I don't buy it for a second

Qunipiac has Obama out front in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x2882.xml?Rele aseID=1187
PPP has him ahead in Ohio too
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/P PP_Release_Ohio_61708.pdf

We should sell out core principals because of a single Rasmussen Poll? I don't think so.

by Phil In Denver 2008-06-19 07:50AM | 0 recs
We need to pound the GOP on this.

They are great at having the ideas that sound good to the average person but only serve corporate interests.  We need to make sure everyone knows that the average person will not see any real savings as a result of this but oil company profits will skyrocket.

by Tumult 2008-06-19 07:50AM | 0 recs
It's a small enough amount of oil...

I'm actually going to agree with Jerome here.

Drilling in ANWR and offshore is not going to increase domestic production by that much, and it won't increase it very soon. That's why Democrats probably ought to support it. Since it's not a very big increase in production, it can't lead to a significant increase in consumption.

If drilling is part of the bargain, we could probably pass an otherwise progressive energy bill that includes investment in alternative energy sources, increases in fuel standards, energy conservation, some sort of reduction in carbon emissions and new standards to prevent spills and such. It would be a big net positive, even with new drilling.

It's just not a big enough amount of oil to lose votes over.

by fwiffo3 2008-06-19 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a small enough amount of oil...

Also, when the drilling fails to do anything to the price of oil, we can point at it and say "look we compromised on drilling and it didn't do squat, we have to do something different."

by fwiffo3 2008-06-19 07:54AM | 0 recs
"Look, we were wrong" is a winner?-nt-

by PantsB 2008-06-19 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: "Look, we were wrong" is ...

No, it's "look, they were wrong". We can make drilling part of a compromise. We can say "look, if it makes you happy, we'll drill, but it's not gonna help. And if we're gonna do this, we're going to require that we work on some real, long-term solutions."

by fwiffo3 2008-06-19 08:17AM | 0 recs
"So you did it anyway?"

If we compromise, its no longer them, it us.  You can't pin something on someone else if you supported the idea.  

by PantsB 2008-06-19 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: It's a small enough amount of oil...

Not only that, but if we keep making a stink about how that drilling won't reduce gas prices, we can say "we told you so" later on.

by vcalzone 2008-06-19 07:55AM | 0 recs
its not a surprise

that with the price of gas, people are favoring off shore drilling.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-06-19 07:58AM | 0 recs
"ideological purity position"

Wow. I have a simpler name for it. "My opinion."

As I recall, changing our positions based on what we think the Republicans want us to do or not do hasn't generally worked.

by odum 2008-06-19 07:58AM | 0 recs
Still picking the wrong horse, I see

I wouldn't give McCain or Bush and inch on this.  In fact, I'd talk about this in terms of yet another give away to Big Oil and how this is a gimmick meant to trick people into voting one way or another.  I'd tell people they've been tricked into 8 years of Bush and shouldn't be again, this time, into yet another Bush term.  

Obama's strength is his pragmatism.  If he says "folks, you won't get platforms out into these new drilling sites for years even if they were approved today" and "they won't changed supply even when they're in place" he'll earn respect for that.  He could also make the point that because of this, there isn't any reason to hurry legislation through before the election.  It can be studied and DONE RIGHT when politics of the moment is taken out of the mix.

I'm tired of Democrats who just crater every time a Republican throws a temper tantrum.

PS.  There's a diary out there with links to anti-Obama and pro-McCain web sites.  I suggest you do a little clean-up on this site.  The trolls own the place.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-19 07:58AM | 0 recs
Oil and discipline...

...will both be needed, Jerome.

When it became obvious that pre-1973 oil prices were slipping away from us forever, both business and government moved toward conservation policies to reduce need (and related costs).

In spite of the Reagan administration killing off most of the ideas put forward under Carter, business continued their policies in this regard, and the final result was a huge decrease in use and, for a time, also price due to reduction in demand.

Can we walk away from oil tomorrow?  No - of curse not.  Fertilizer and nitrogen fixing alone are probably the most dangerous arenas in which we deal with today's much higher prices.  

But to capitulate on this issue without a fight is the type of mentality that made the DLC "famous" and eventually despised, if not outright shunned, by most committed Democrats and more than a few key politicians, Obama included.

Be aware of shifts in the public mood, most certainly, but this is one poll, from an outfit that tends to prefer to carry the water of the corporations and most especially the economic conservatives, more often than not.

My two bits...

by palamedes 2008-06-19 08:00AM | 0 recs

Bush is going to be out of office in less than seven months.  Why don't we just wait until then to enact our long term solution to the oil problem?  I don't understand why you think we should try to work with Bush at all.

by Blue Neponset 2008-06-19 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

How is this any different from the gas tax holiday?  It's a gimmick designed to be a giveway to the oil companies, and that's why Bush has waited this long to push for it.

Obama resisted both McCain and Clinton's gas tax holiday pandering- and it worked with voters.  If he gets up, gives a legitimate speech about how this is going to cut gas prices by 0.05 a gallon in 2025, and that there are 13 million acres not currently being drilled now, that will go an awful long way.

I do wonder what the delay on this is, though.

by ihaveseenenough 2008-06-19 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Look what was left out of the quote:

Four out of five Republicans (79%) think prices are likely to fall thanks to offshore drilling, a view shared by only 55% of Democrats. Sixty percent (60%) of unaffiliated voters expect it to happen.

A little education will go a long way here.

by ihaveseenenough 2008-06-19 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

A large percentage of Americans still think Saddam was behind 9/11. Trying to educate Americans on political issues has never worked. It's a lot simpler to just work around the stupidity.

by fwiffo3 2008-06-19 08:18AM | 0 recs
re: "has never worked"

gas tax holiday.

by kydoc2 2008-06-19 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: re: "has never worked"

Exactly.  Make sure they know this is what it is- George Bush's gift-wrapped going away present to the oil companies.

by ihaveseenenough 2008-06-19 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Sad but true - Kerry might be in office if you could simply educate the American public.

Work with it, reduce its total impact and try to make an intrinsic benefit out of it.

by ejintx 2008-06-19 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Low Info voters like when politicians tell them about magical solutions that they can comprehend.

I commend Obama for pushing conservation.

The ideology we are at war with is what that would call us communists for calling on all Americans to take responsibility and conserve fuel thereby cutting demand.

Its so like the drug war its ridiculous.

Republicans like to attack addictions Supply side (kill Columbians, drill more oil) and Democrats are about Demand (help drug users get help, lower fuel demand by increasing efficiency)

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-06-19 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Republicans like to attack addictions Supply side (kill Columbians, drill more oil) and Democrats are about Demand (help drug users get help, lower fuel demand by increasing efficiency)

Well, I for one favor the Third Way option of being tough on crime, and also tough on the causes of crime.

We need to drill for more oil and build more refineries, but we also need to promote alternative sources of energy (including nuclear) and conservation.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-19 08:43PM | 0 recs
Let's just BE Bush or McCain then...

Hey, why not, if we can switch our views on something this elemental, why not just go with whatever the polls say we should day by day?  Why should anything have any meaning at all?  The war, let's look at polls; the environment, hey drilling in ANWAR is up, why the hell not? What becomes off limits then for this kind of major, major pandering.  Why have two parties at all?

by mady 2008-06-19 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's just BE Bush or McCain then...

Sorry, ANWR

by mady 2008-06-19 08:19AM | 0 recs
It won't change a thing until 2030...

Energy Information Administration: "The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. ... Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant."


I recommend we don't surrender on this because of one poll or the politics of the moment.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-19 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Jerome, you're way in the wrong here.  As others have said, should progressive Democrats change principled positions because of polling numbers?  (And a single, flawed, leading poll at that?)

Offshore drilling just slaps a bandaid on the problem.  And we don't even get the benefits of that bandaid for 15-20 years.

Meanwhile, what happens when some drunk tanker captain runs aground on the shores of St. Petersburg Beach in Florida?  Hundreds of miles of pristine coast could be ruined for years.

I can't believe in a state like Florida, where tourism is by far the #1 moneymaker, that idiots like Mel Martinez and Charlie Crist have reversed their longstanding oppositions.

Oh wait, they're idiots, so I guess I can believe they would tie their positions to dead-ender #1 (Bush) and dead-ender #2 (McCain).  I suppose Crist is still bucking for the VP slot, even though the persistent gay rumors, combined with McCain's already-serious trouble with the social conservative wing of the GOP, mean that Crist will NEVER get a shot.

But Jerome, you're not an idiot.  You should know better than this.

by erzeszut 2008-06-19 08:23AM | 0 recs
Quinnpiac Poll was a fluke. What a joke!

Obama is obviously not going to carry Florida's 27 electoral votes. That Quinipiac Poll was a fluke.  Drilling for oil in Florida is a position that the GOP has flip-flopped on, and if Obama was to adopt that position HE STILL WOULD NOT CAERRY FLORIDA.

by nzubechukwu 2008-06-19 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnpiac Poll was a fluke. What a joke!

There was more than 1 poll that Showed an Obama lead in Florida, just for the record.  If anything one could argue the Rassmussen poll was a fluke.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnpiac Poll was a fluke. What a joke!

TO follow that up, looking at Pollster, I got to think methodology or LV models are the cause of the difference.  Quinnipac has had florida closer than Rassmussen has... one of them has a bad LV model.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Quinnpiac Poll was a fluke. What a joke!

Interesting that many in Florida who have to run for re-election are still against offshore drilling.

The issue is also a huge loser on the West Coast. Offshore drilling is incredibly unpopular in Washington, Oregon, and California. Heck even dim Dave Reichart who votes with Bush on almost everything is against drilling offshore of Washington State.

by ces 2008-06-19 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Here's the thing... and while part of me agrees with you Jerome, part of me disagrees with your notion its not gimmicky.  There is gimmick in this since states can opt out of the drilling... You could remove the ban and the have 0 states participate or a minimum that doesn't effect overall prices.  The other thing is HOW long will it take to put these up...I have to think a few years... We may not even see price affected until mid term elections or possible 2012.  

But I do think Obama needs to come up with something to help short term gas pricing.  Whether its tapping reserves, permanent tax removal, alternative drill, coal to oil (not supporting any or all of these just posting some proposals I have seen), he needs to hit on this the way he is hitting on Iraq.  Luckily, the concept of meeting with Foreign leaders is extremely popular (77% support) so that is a losing prop for McCain.  Cut off the avenues of attack.

by yitbos96bb 2008-06-19 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

This may be the issue that sinks Obama.

McCain has solutions 45 nuke plants and more drilling will dramatically lower oil prices.

Chevy volt + nuke electricity = less oil and jobs in Michigan.

I suspect that the argument that drilling takes 10 years to provide results depends on the speed of governmental red tape.  Think about it the US build an atomic bomb in less than 5 years, we ramped an economy up for a war in less than 5 years, Nothing to do with drilling a mile under ground is soooooooooo complicated that it will take longer to do that that.

Democrats saying we can't,  Republicans saying we can......IS NOT AN ELECTION WINNER.

If the GOP can put the price of gas on OBAMA then he will lose at it may be much higher come election and if it isn't Bush will get credit.

Its not even October and he got surprised already...

by dtaylor2 2008-06-19 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

You are delusional.

No one.

No one is going to build one nuclear plant.


No insurance...oh, you want the U.S. government, that is you pal, to pick up the tab?

Gee...I wonder how much that will cost.

Second, go Google how long and how much it to to build the last Nuke on U.S. soil.

What this is really all about is stopping this from happening.

Nuclear power is dead and rightly so. Do you know how much it costs to produce electricty from uranium/

Might want to research that also.

by Pericles 2008-06-19 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Well France and Japan seem to have had relatively good success with their nuclear programs.

Given the choice between:

  1. burning coal and using what remains of North American natural gas reserves, and
  2. building more nuke plants

I'll take #2 every time. Solar and wind are great and so is conservation but they still aren't anywhere near large scale power production technologies.

The US has roughly 1 Terrawatt (1,000,000 Megawatts) of net generating capacity with about 750 Gigawatts average summer demand. 2/3 of this power is generated by coal or natural gas. There is currently only about 25 GW of total renewable generating capacity in the US.

I think nuclear has to be part of the mix to get the US off of fossil fuel based generating technologies. As for cost I believe both coal and natural gas are artificially cheap because they are not forced to pay for all of the environmental destruction they cause (global warming, mountaintop removal, mercury and sulfur emissions, etc.).

by ces 2008-06-19 10:42AM | 0 recs

Thinking about the story a bit more it gets even worse.  What is exempt, then, from policy by polling?  Protection of our long-term resources from the gluttony of our culture is one of the big reasons Democrats are Democrats today.  If you abandon that in favor of the GOP line which is use is good, more use is better, swallowing the world whole is the best, hey it's what we Americans do, why do we need to even exist as a party?

If we cannot win this election with a platform that includes respect for the environment, then we will not and the GOP will govern, sort of, until they bring the house down on all our heads.  And we will rebuild.  I do not want US to be the ones to do that bringing down.  I want this party to stand for something.  

The fact is about gas prices, is what we need to be talking about is measures to get lower income people help in paying for fuel while we transition to lower use of fossil fuels.  We need supports and also education so people realize that we cannot continue to consume this way.  It is a sticky, complicated problem.  Suddenly deciding that what the hell, it will bring our ratings up if we despoil and risk the coasts is not the answer.  If this is the only thing that people will respond to we are pretty much doomed as a country, and not in the LOL WE'RE DOOMED sense, but for real.  Really, for real.

by mady 2008-06-19 08:29AM | 0 recs
Can we all agree . . . ?

Republicans can NOT be trusted on environmental issues.  Any.  Ever.

by kosnomore 2008-06-19 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I don't see the principle that guides Democrats to be unequivocally against offshore drilling for oil at this point.

That's probably because you've been blind in at least one eye for some time. For Democrats to flip on offshore drilling and betray their own base would be the height of political folly as well as a craven LACK of principle.

This is another diary where you've essentially backed McBush. And now you've added the oil companies to your list of new friends.

BTW, pandering about oil really helped Hillary, didn't it? When you're always demonstrably wrong, it's time change the way you think.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

This is a case of forget the base and pander to the "swing voters".

by spacemanspiff 2008-06-19 08:35AM | 0 recs
If I didn't know better....

I'd think he wants Obama to lose so Hillary can get a redo.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 08:40AM | 0 recs
Look at the government's own report on this

Jerome, not saying your position doesn't have merit, I just disagree:
1.There are environmental risks - the benefits would have to outweigh the risks for it to be worth it

2.Take a look at the government's own conclusions on this:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otherana lysis/ongr.html

There are only 18 billion barrels that are not available for drilling but 40 billion barrels that are available and have not been tapped.  What's more, they estimate that this will have no impact on supply until 2030.  And even then, it will have a negligible impact on price.

In 22 years of of actually focusing on alternative energy instead of what we've been doing the past 50 years, we could certainly find alternative ways to generate many times the amount of energy in 18 billion barrels, at an equivalent or cheaper price.

by edparrot 2008-06-19 08:38AM | 0 recs
The timeline:

That DoE projection is hypothesizing that the offshore moratorium is allowed to expire in 2013 (as it's set to, unless extended).  They estimate first oil in 2018, max rate a few years later.

So 5 years is about how long an offshore project would take, except it might currently be longer because of bottlenecks in the supply chain, especially drilling ships.

10 years is the estimate I've usually heard for ANWR, I think because some of the work can only be done in the winter when the permafrost is frozen.

by lilnev 2008-06-19 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I have to say that even if we were to drill in the gulf of mexico, there are not enough ships to get it started for years.  Another thing is that we have just one bad hurricane in the gulf and it tips over a ship that is carrying oil the whole ecosystem will be ruined and will do away with any gains the new oil would make.  I think that Ras is totally in the wrong on his poll of Florida.  I live in Florida and have talked with many Floridians and they don't want our beaches ruined.  So, if McBush and Cristo wants to keep on this drill in the gulf scenario I say let them go for it.  McBush will be crushed in Florida.  LOL.

by Spanky 2008-06-19 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I live in Florida and have talked with many Floridians and they don't want our beaches ruined.

I've been to some very nice beaches in the Arabian Gulf.  You can't see the oil rigs, but you fly over them as your plane begins its initial descent into Abu Dhabi or Dubai -- so they're there.  I don't see that offshore drilling necessarily means the end of Florida's beaches.  And the Cubans will be drilling in their waters close to Florida anyway.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-19 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Obama needs to adopt and explain that he his for comprehensive energy policy reform, which will entail a massive program to develope alternative energy fuels. According to NPR news, there is about 18 billion barrels of oil off of America's coast. This is not very nuch oil and will take about 22 years before this oil will effect the oil market, and the effects will be small.

by Zzyzzy 2008-06-19 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

"Obama needs to adopt and explain that he his for comprehensive energy policy reform"

He has and will continue to.

One thing he mustn't do is jump on McSame's bandwagon as some are suggesting.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 09:04AM | 0 recs
Just more money to Exxon

Offshore drilling will have ZERO impact on oil prices.  Even if they found some huge deposit, it is not going to lower the price of gasoline, it is simply going to put more money into the pockets of Exxon and Texaco.

Democrats need to hit back on this, HARD.  We have to make sure that people understand that Offshore drilling will not lower gas, and we need to make sure that the pro-Republican media stops lying about off-shore drilling making gas cheaper.

by monkeyga 2008-06-19 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Just more money to Exxon

Even if they found some huge deposit, it is not going to lower the price of gasoline, it is simply going to put more money into the pockets of Exxon and Texaco.

I've heard this argument over and over again -- that drilling is only pandering to Big Oil -- and I am wholly unpersuaded.  It is abundantly clear that the price of crude oil has an enormous correlation with the price of refined products, i.e., gas.

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-19 08:53PM | 0 recs
Frankly, I could go either way on it.

I know it's a phony solution, but if the states agree to it, and agree to pay for any problems that might occur, I don't see a problem.

But us agreeing to it because of how the Repubs might use our objections against us is exactly how we got into Iraq.

by Bush Bites 2008-06-19 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I could go either way on it.

Not only is it bad energy policy. And not only is it bad politics to thrown the Democratic base overboard. It's the exact kind of craven pandering to Republicanism that DLCDems drove the Democratic Party into the ditch with.

Crash the gates? No. Man the ramparts!

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I could go either way on it.

On the other hand, I can see Jerome's point.

Most voters are too stupid to know the oil wouldn't come out of the ground for 15 years and, even then, it wouldn't effect the price of oil by a penny or our demand by a gallon.

So, do you play along or do you try to explain the truth to a country full of infantile voters?

I really don't know anymore.

It seems like every time we try to treat the voters like adults, they show they can't handle the responsibility.

by Bush Bites 2008-06-19 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Frankly, I could go either way on it.

There is no such thing as "the voters" as a monolithic block. McDesperate is pandering to his base by pandering to the oil companies. The suggestion that Obama should flip his position, abandon his base, and pander to McDesperate's base and the oil compaies is laughably ludicrous from a political standpoint.

It's also the exact same kind of "immitate the GOP" thinking that caused the Democratic Party to be perceived as weaklings for 15 years. And THAT's where the votes of Independents are lost.

Obama is handling this latest pathetic attempt by McDesperate to buy the support of oil companies and hold on to his own shrinking base as he should -- with what amounts to mocking contempt.

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Oil as an issue is overrated. Even more than Rev. Wright, this issue will fade to memory as people adapt.  I do agree that we need oil for the foreseeable future but I doubt Floridians are willing to risk their sunny beaches and tourism industry for a one act dog.  My point here is, JA, that you seem to overreact with every poll that goes the wrong way. I think we all need to be attentative and apprehensive but certainly not hysterical.  

by RAULC 2008-06-19 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Freespechzone

It's not about backing McBush, it's all about winning!  Ok?  People want solutions.

by nzubechukwu 2008-06-19 08:52AM | 0 recs
it's all about winning! Ok?

Pandering to bad policy in the wake of Bush/McCain is all about losing. OK?

by Freespeechzone 2008-06-19 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Freespechzone

If it's about solutions, then let's please not resort to polling to figure out what our positions on the issues should be.

Because when people argue about poll numbers to figure out what our positions shall be, then these people come off as phony panderers.

Then you've lost already.

On my part I'm not strongly opposed to either allowing drilling, and I'm supportive of nuclear plants -- this opinion brings me closer to McCain than many Democrats. But at least it's my own opinion, not a supposed "solution" that I came up with after I examined the polls to see if it would help me to hold it or not.

So basically my point is: if we change our positions because we change our minds based on new data/new analyses, that's fine. But if we change our positions in order to "win", then our loss is assured.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-06-19 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Freespechzone

On my part I'm not strongly opposed to either allowing drilling, and I'm supportive of nuclear plants -- this opinion brings me closer to McCain than many Democrats.

I thought Obama was in favor of expanding nuclear energy -- am I mistaken?

by He Who Must Not Be Named 2008-06-19 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

I must admit that I don't have much knowledge of off-shore drilling, but I do know that in terms of ANWAR, it would take SEVERAL YEARS before we began to even get a drop of that oil.  That's not much of a solution.

I'm sure if this is just another gimmick, it'll be shown to be that way via Obama, just like the ridiculous gas tax that McCain still favors.

It's unfortunate that Clinton didn't see it the same way.

by RussTC3 2008-06-19 08:59AM | 0 recs
I cannot BELIEVE you would

take this position, Jerome. To compromise our principles for an election is a horrifying idea. Truly disturbing. I don't care what position the Republicans adopt, I refuse to become what I despise. I'll be damned first. Leave those causes to the morally bankrupt.

by sricki 2008-06-19 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: I cannot BELIEVE you would

Come on,

The so called progressive sphere has beed doing that for ever. How? By not advocating heavy taxation on gas.

The ban on driling is mere sugar-coating compared to the real stuff that is taxing gas.

by TaiChiMaster 2008-06-19 10:48AM | 0 recs

1. How much do you know about oil exploration and/or extraction?

  1. Do we know the oil is out there? How much?
  2. Will rigs off the coast of Florida and the Carolinas be potentially more vulnerable to hurricanes as those in the Gulf?
  3. Do we respond to a flip-flop with our own flip-flop?
  4. Once we let that Genie out of the bottle, how can a President Obama put it back after the rigs start operating?
  5. Will gas still be an issue after the summer driving season and the speculation bubble bursts?

Before anyone gets snotty, political stands can have real consequences and if Obama give Bush the green light, there's no going back. There is no guarantee that gas prices will be a huge issue in November so you are proposing a long-term reaction to what could be a short term polling result.

by RandyMI 2008-06-19 09:35AM | 0 recs
How corporate Democrat of you.

If you can't beat 'em join 'em.  Yeah, because that's worked over the years and it's certainly working on FISA.  Give the Republicans an inch and they'll steal your party.

I thought for sure Harold Ford was actually the one who wrote this.

by Tenafly Viper 2008-06-19 09:38AM | 0 recs
It only polls well because people are ignorant

Lifting the offshore drilling band wouldn't do jack sht for oil or gas prices for two decades!

A poll question asking people wheher they want ugly oil derricks off their coasts that won't reduce the cost of gas or oil for 20 years would reverse those numbers pretty fast.

It's all about voter education and framing. A TV ad telling people these facts would actually richochet back on McCain and make HIM look bad.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-06-19 10:23AM | 0 recs
Has Stenny Hoyer taken over Jerome's body?

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-06-19 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Third, the ideological purity position of there being an environmental/aesthetic argument against it is exactly the position the Republicans want us to adopt.

Deciding Democratic positions based on what we imagine Republicans want us to do is the height of foolishness. By that standard of illogic, Democrats should agree with Republicans 100% of the time just to play it safe. And who is qualified to crawl into the mind of Karl Rove and his ilk to determine what they REALLY want Democrats to do?

Stick with standing up for what's right and Democrats will come out on top. Cave in to GOP positions and Democrats will go back to losing the old DLC way.

by Beren 2008-06-19 10:38AM | 0 recs

Deciding Democratic positions based on what we imagine Republicans want us to do is the height of foolishness. By that standard of illogic, Democrats should agree with Republicans 100% of the time just to play it safe.

Deciding Democratic positions based on what we imagine Republicans want us to do is why we are now in Iraq.

by RandyMI 2008-06-19 11:18AM | 0 recs
Good Idea

McCain is in retreat. He is literall walking backward from the Center to the Right while Obama is now filling that vacuum. Why do we want to follow him while he marginalizes himself?

by RandyMI 2008-06-19 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

If we win, but have no principles, what have we won?  This post is pretty damn spineless.

by nwgates 2008-06-19 11:52AM | 0 recs
Poorly worded poll

The poll from Gallup specifically said 'To reduce the price of gas'

More Americans just need to be educated that it will not reduce the price of gas.

1) Even if it were opened up, it would take years to possibly see any oil.
2) The amount of oil that comes out is going to be insignificant compared to the full world output.  Our Oil is not subsidized.  It is subject to the effects of world prices.   As long as China is willing to pay $140 a barrel our prices will not go down.

What we need to do is make Americans understand that these drilling policies will only put more money into the hands of the oil barrons and not be used to reduce gas prices.

by monkeyga 2008-06-19 12:21PM | 0 recs

While you are urging Obama to mimic McCain, the Governor of CA and Republican congressmen from New Jersey are running away from their nominee on the issue.

by RandyMI 2008-06-19 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

To:  Henny Penny
Cc:  Ducky Lucky, Gander Pander, Cocky Locky

Subject: The sky is falling.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-19 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: What about hemp?

Want to bring down fuel princes overnight? Easy. Threaten to legalize hemp for fuels.

Hemp planted in April is ready for harvest in August. By November it'll be ready to go to processing facilities. By late December, early January hemp fuels can be delivered to pumps selling for about $.60 a gallon.

Big Oil can't stand that kind of competition.

Even the threat of legalizing hemp will strike terror into the hearts of fossil fuel CEOs. That alone will trigger a sudden drop in fossil fuel prices.

by Hempy 2008-06-19 06:51PM | 0 recs
When in doubt, capitulate.

Capitulations based on Republican threats and public opinion polls has worked so well for the last two decades I'm surprised no one thought of this earlier. We can't let the public think we actually have principles. We need them to understand we will blow with the wind and cower before all Republican electoral strategies.

by Jawis 2008-06-20 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Brilliant idea.  Oil companies hold leases on millions of acres of land and refuse to drill on them, so the answer is to drill more.  Huh?  Don't you get that they don't want to drill for anything, they just want the reserves on their balance sheet to raise their stock price?  The capital expense of the drilling is more than the reward as opposed to having fields in reserve.  Oil companies don't want to drill for more oil.  They like it perfectly fine the way it is.

by dday 2008-06-20 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Oil uh oh

Actually, I think We're all Democrats.......I haven't had a single discussion on this issue from anyone .....I'd be pleasantly suport  the man who is really democratics.

by analyfjks 2008-06-22 06:18PM | 0 recs


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