Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's an ill wind that blows no good

WASHINGTON -- The environmental movement, only recently poised for major advances on global warming and other issues, has suddenly found itself on the defensive as high gasoline prices shift the political climate nationwide and trigger defections by longtime supporters.

Opposition to offshore drilling -- once ironclad in places like California and Florida -- has begun to soften. Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida on Tuesday eased his opposition to new energy exploration off the coast.

"Floridians are suffering, and when you're paying over $4 a gallon for gas, you have to wonder whether there might be additional resources that we might be able to utilize to bring that price down," said Crist, a Republican.

At the same time, pressure to drill is mounting.

President Bush today is expected to call on Congress to lift the ban on new offshore drilling, and a House committee will consider a proposal to relax the moratorium.

John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, opposed new offshore drilling in his 2000 presidential campaign. He said Tuesday that he now supported lifting the long-standing ban.

"I believe it is time for federal government to lift these restrictions and put our own reserves to use," the Arizona senator said in a Houston speech on energy security.

Much of the nation's coastal waters are off-limits to new oil and gas leasing until 2012 under executive orders first issued by Bush's father,President George H.W. Bush, in 1991 and extended by President Clinton in 1998. In addition, Congress has taken action annually since 1981 to preclude drilling in coastal areas.

But high petroleum prices have caused policymakers to begin rethinking a variety of issues, including opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration and imposing mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries and power plants.

If it took $4.00 gasoline to get us to open our own reserves then $4.00 gasoline was worth it.

The fact is that Americans are spoiled. We are rich and powerful and have developed a mindset that tells us that we somehow are entitled to have our own way in everything. Just listen to the way that Rush Limbaugh constantly misuses the concept of American exceptionalism. The fact is that we bought into the myths peddled by the eco-Nazis because it made us "feel good" to do so. Oil from the Canada and Mexico and the Middle East was cheap so we could afford to close off our own supplies in the name of the great goddess Nature.

The left-liberal is never happier than when he/she has found some way to imagine themselves occupying the moral high ground without actually doing anything or suffering any inconvenience.

Of all the unpleasant sights in this world the most sickening is the preening moral vanity of the modern Western liberal.

Environmentalists are increasingly concerned. Richard Charter of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund called this "the most risky year in 29 years" for the drilling ban.

Good! I hope their hearts literally fail them for fear because these environmentalist ass-hats would serve their fellow man far better by being turned into fertilizer than they ever have through their activism.

Environmental groups, as well as McCain's Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, argued that renewed offshore drilling would not increase supplies or lower prices for years. They warned that new drilling off California and other states would carry the risk of pollution.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a senior advisor to McCain's campaign, acknowledged in a conference call to reporters that new offshore drilling would have no immediate effect on supplies or prices.

But he added: "There is an important element in signaling to world oil markets that we are serious."

That message that we are serious is why the mere announcement that we are going to drill offshore and in ANWAR would cause an immediate drop in the price of oil of at least $30.00 per barrel. If Obama and the congressional Democrats would issue a joint statement that they are committed to victory in Iraq and are willing to stay as long as it takes that would cause another $25.00 drop in the barrel price because there is an "uncertainty premium" built into the price of oil due to fears over the future of the Middle East.

Bottom line: Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. Go here and sign the petition.