Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fat Cat Democarts, Offshore Drilling

"New Jersey Governor John Corzine [Democrat, former Senator, and Obama supporter] doesn't think offshore drilling is the answer to high gas prices." John Roberts, CNN, 12:30 ET)

Of course, John Roberts, being one of CNN's robotic liberals, probably doesn't think so either, as suggested in the cocksure way he made his statement. Don't expect Roberts to throw anything at Corzine other than a steady stream of journalistic softballs.

Frankly, the Democrats are in a terrible bind on gasoline prices. As the material at the end of this piece indicates, Democrats have voted consistently about the production of oil and other forms of energy (including coal and nuclear).

For example, 96% of Republicans have consistely voted to increase refinery capacity, while 97% of Democrats have voted against it. How on God's Green Earth can we produce more gasoline without refineries?

A national commitment to energy production will not immediately cause a significant reduction in gasoline prices. However, it will send a message to energy-producing countries -- and to speculative buyers of high-priced oil contracts -- that the U.S. is finally serious about doing its part in dealing with the energy crisis. We can't depend on people like Hugo Chavez and the various Sheiks of Araby to bail us out of our energy problems.

The Democrats, from Obama on down, have been consistently in bed with what The Economist magazine calls the "hair-shirt crowd." Those are the environmental extremists who believe that we in the U.S. have been "bad" when it comes to energy consumption -- and that therefore we should suffer.

Notice I don't say "they" (the Democrats and their allies) should suffer. Most of them won't, because they're extremely wealthy. If gasoline cost $20 a gallon, it wouldn't put much of a dent in their fortunes.

John Corzine made hundreds of millions of dollars on Wall Street. In fact, Corzine -- like his friend Jay Rockefeller -- spent tens of millions of his own vast fortune to buy his seat in the Senate. Then, these filthy rich individuals spend most of their time in office lecturing the rest of us on our consumption habits.

Ted Kennedy and Jay Rockefeller inherited million of dollars. John Kerry married one of the wealthiest women (Teresa Heinz) in the nation. Senator Diane Feinstein and Representatives Jane Harman and Nancy Pelosi married mega-rich men. In this decade, Hillary Clinton and her husband have made more than $109 million.

OpenSecrets.org provides information about the wealthiest members of Congress. Perhaps to your suprise, most of them are Democrats. http://opensecrets.org/

When such gazillionaires tell us that they "feel our pain" over gas prices, we should be excused for letting out a loud guffaw. When John Corzine was injured last year in a huge SUV going well over the speed limit, he wasn't exactly searching for change to buy a gallon of gasoline.

The Democrats in Congress who vote constantly against energy production are not all as wealthy as the men mentioned. However, they have all have nice big salaries and the best benefits of any legislators in the world. So, when they tell us that they too are hit hard by $4 a gallon gasoline, we should disbelieve them.

I hear today that in one opinion survey Barack Obama has the support of 49% of the American people. I doubt half those people will end up voting for him when they learn that he thinks it's just great if gas prices go much higher. Obama is worth about $5 million. He's not worrying about where his next tank of gas will come from.

Obama -- and his allies in the House and Senate -- don't want us to explore for ans produce more domestic oil and natural gas. They don't want to build non-polluting nuclear facilities. They don't want to expand oil refinery capacity. They especially don't want to develop "clean coal" technology that's vital to Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Melissa Hart's 4th district opponent, Jason Altmire, voted for the Democrats' recent weak energy bill. As Melissa noted, the legislation didn't even mention clean-coal technology. In fact, that important form of energy would be a tremendous economic boon in Appalachia. But Altmire still wants coal miners and coal communities to vote for him. Why on earth should they?

Today, on Harrisburg-area radio, candidate Toni Gilhooley, a wonderful woman, blasted her opponent, Tim Holden, for consistently opposing domestic energy initiatives. Holden likes to pretend he's a "moderate," which fools just enough people to give him a safe seat. In Holden's district, people depend on gasoline to get to work and to pursue their livelihoods. Yet Holden's answer is to have them pay higher prices. When on earth would anyone in the 17th district vote for Tim Holden?

Most Democratic voters in Pennsylvania are blissfully unaware that their federal legislators are the primary cause of skyrocketing gas prices. They've forgotten (if they ever knew) that Bill Clinton vetoed legislation that would have alloowed drilling in ANWR

When Republican candidates like Melissa Hart try to inform voters through Op Eds and other communications, the Democrat-leaning media refuses to print or air them. Those papers truly believe "silence is golden" when it comes to telling the truth about the Democrats' culpability.

The Democrats are now trying to pin the blame on someone, anyone -- ranging from the oil companies (forbidden by Democrats to explore or produce), the speculators (who have no control over supply or demand), or even President Bush (who strongly supports domestic production).

Let's face it: the Democrats have put the nation in a real bind. It's time for Pennsylvanians to stop voting for candidates who believe high gas prices are a fit "punishment" for American consumers. Our problems -- unlike most of our oil -- were produced right here at home.

Statistics below deal with how the two Parties have voted over the years on energy:
Congressman Roy Blunt put together these data to highlight the differences between House Republicans and House Democrats on energy policy:

ANWR Exploration
House Republicans: 91% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Coal-to-Liquid
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 78% Opposed

Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported
House Democrats: 83% Opposed

Refinery Increased Capacity
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 96% Opposed

SUMMARY
91% of House Republicans have historically voted to increase the production of American-made oil and gas.
86% of House Democrats have historically voted against increasing the production of American-made oil and gas .

Republican candidates must hammer home the facts of the energy situation

24 comments:

Michael Pasternak said...

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), America's refineries are currently running below their normal capacity for this time of year: 88 percent compared to the normal 95 percent. Executives from the five largest oil companies have all publicly stated that they do not intend to build new refineries. In fact, Chevron's vice chairman Peter Robertson said when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 21, "We have adequate refined capacity … the issue is the price of crude [oil]."

We need real solutions to fix America's energy crisis, not misleading rhetoric. Congressman Altmire is working to clamp down on energy speculators who inflate the price of oil. He is also trying to increase domestic drilling by pressing oil companies to drill on the 68 million acres of federal land they currently hold leases to before they are given leases to new land. This alone could double the America's domestic oil production and help end our costly addiction to foreign oil.

Michael Pasternak said...

Stephen,

You readers might also find this video interesting: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/25252591#25252591

Mike

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

I have been reading your blogs for a few months or so. I live near you in PA. I am a huge supporter of Sarah Palin.

I couldn't find on Jason Altmire's website what his stance on many of the energy issues were so I called his office today. I am a constituent of his as well.

No surprise, but I asked his staff where he stood on the following issues:

Drilling- AGAINST
Refineries-AGAINST
Nuclear-Not sure..she couldn't give me a straight answer
Clean Coal-AGAINST

I then asked if he was voting his energy policy strickly down party lines. She said, "I wouldn't say that.", but that was pretty much the answer that I got.

It's time to bring him home from Washington. It is rediculous how we are being held hostage in this country.

Thanks, Stacy

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Stacy, I just sent a copy of your note to Melissa Hart's office. It's fascinating, and it proves my point. Poor Michael Paternak continues on and on with his brain-dead intonation, "The Dimmicarts are good, the Dimmicrats are good." Stacy, I know Melissa well and she deeply appreciates your support. Nothing Altmire does or says surprises me any more. I hope you keep coming back. We'll have some fun between now and the Election Eve Party, which I hope you'll attend if you can. Email me anytime you want at: TalkTop65@aol.com.

steve
ambridge, pa

Michael Pasternak said...

Stephen,

Did you notice that I only comment when you are blindly spouting crap from the Republican Party line with no facts to back it up?

I was surprised that Stacy was told Jason Altmire is against clean coal and had no position on nuclear energy when last week he announced his support of John McCain's proposal to build new nuclear plants and invest in clean coal Altmire Statement on McCain's Proposal to Invest in Nuclear Energy, Clean Coal. This was also covered in the Trib and several other places.

Stephen, to help me see how I am so misguided, please explain why we need more refineries that the oil companies have said time and time again that they do not want or need?

Please explain why we need to expand the sites that can be drilled on, when the oil companies haven't explored millions and millions of acres of land they already have access to?

Lastly, please explain why the Republicans are against closing the "Enron Loophole" that allows for speculation on oil prices? McCain's buddies put this in place and it is blamed by everyone for the increase in gas prices.

Anonymous said...

Michael,

The oil companies pay millions of dollars for those leases each year. Contrary to what the Dems have said, they are exploring on those leases. The difference between the leased areas and the OCS or ANWR is that there are no proven reserves on the leased areas. There are, however, proven reserves in the OCS. Also, it will not take 20 years to see that oil. If you listen to Sarah Palin, it would only take 5 years to produce oil in ANWR. They already have the infrastruture and pipeline in place. The drillers in the Gulf have stated that they could have oil in 1-2 years because they also have the infrastruture in place. The areas that would take longer are those areas on the east and west coast where they do not have any infrastruture available.

Finally, in regards to the refineries. They used to produce at 100% capacity. Unfortunately, US production over the last few years continues to decline and they do not have as much crude to refine. That would change should we increase US oil production. Drilling is not the ONLY answer, but the only thing you hear the Dems say is NO or CAN'T. That is why I left the party a few years ago.

Steve, I look forward to the discussions. Political activism is a little new to me, but I am enjoying every minute of it.

Michael Pasternak said...

Anonymous (Stacey?),

Thank you very much for your respectful and well thought out response. The problem will require honest discussion from everyone. I get very frustrated by people like Stephen that blame the Democrats for everything or by liberals that blame the Republicans when it was really a group effort that got us here, and it has to be a group effort that solves the problems.

I think there is a compromise here if people would step back and look for it. There probably is a way to drill in ANWR while protecting the herd migrations (e.g., maybe it is a silly idea like elevating or burying the pipelines?).

I have always liked Jason Altmire, because he is open to considering different ideas and does not blindly follow the Democratic party line like Stephen would want you to think. His support for FISA (twice), funding in Iraq and McCain's proposal for nuclear power are examples of this. Every independent measurement of his voting record defines him as a moderate which I am, and you probably are too.

I would highly recommend that you meet Jason Altmire if you have the opportunity, and you will see why I like him.

Mike

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the anonymous, but still figuring things out. Michael, thank you for having a conversation instead of a shouting match. My frustration with the Democrats is that it seems the radicals are running the show. I am actually conservative, however, I put country before party. I can have an honest disagreement without name calling. I have looked at Jason Altmire's record. I am not sure why his office told me he was not for nuclear or coal...I think they could have been caught off guard by my question. However, the first words out of her mouth were the standard Democratic line about drilling not helping the gas price and oil companies needed to drill the land they already had. It becomes frustrating. Especially when you see that 71% are in support of it. He has voted with the Democrats 86% of the time. That is not horrible, but there are many issues that I disagree with him on. He seems to be a very nice genuine person, but as for my support, I will be giving it to Melissa Hart. I look forward to future debates....I like to change peoples minds. (ha ha ha)

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Stacy, my problem with Michael is that he appears to be one of those profoundly dishonest Democrats who ignores evidence (key word) that conflicts with his presuppositions. Robert Novak studied Altmire's record on eight key issues and found he sides with Pelosi on all eight. Novak's assessement of Altmire, "There is nothing conservative about him." When he campaigned for Congress, he said many times that he opposed a timetable. When he got to Congress, he immediately voted for a timetable. I have news for Michael Pasternak. That alone should be rason for iim -- Michael -- to vote for Melissa Hart. The vote shows Jason Altmire is a dishonest individual. Unfortunately, a small detail like that doesn't matter to Michael. The fact that Altmire didn't vote to withhold funding for American soldiers (something that would result in American death) does not exactly establish him as a profile in courage. Again, since Michael is basically one of those dishonest Democrats who has done great harm to this region and the country, he's comfortable with anything Altmire does. Michael now realizes that Altmire is highly vulnerable on critical issues, so he kicks and squirms in order to protect Jason. It's pathetic, but hey, that]s Michael Pasternak for you.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Stacy, you wrote the following in regard to Michael's comments.

Sorry about the anonymous, but still figuring things out. Michael, thank you for having a conversation instead of a shouting match. My frustration with the Democrats is that it seems the radicals are running the show. I am actually conservative, however, I put country before party. I can have an honest disagreement without name calling. I have looked at Jason Altmire's record. I am not sure why his office told me he was not for nuclear or coal...I think they could have been caught off guard by my question. However, the first words out of her mouth were the standard Democratic line about drilling not helping the gas price and oil companies needed to drill the land they already had. It becomes frustrating. Especially when you see that 71% are in support of it. He has voted with the Democrats 86% of the time. That is not horrible, but there are many issues that I disagree with him on. He seems to be a very nice genuine person, but as for my support, I will be giving it to Melissa Hart. I look forward to future debates....I like to change peoples minds. (ha ha ha)

I've known Michael for a long time, and I assure you he will not tackle the statistics you raise about Altmire and the American people. Michael doesn't do stastics or facts. Michael does generalities about Republicans and Melissa Hart. When he's confronted with a fact he doesn't like, he ignores it. That's why I called him dishonest. I wouldn't try to convert Michael, because there no leverage points of fact or reason that he even considers. In other words, he's a true 4th district Democrat. Luckily, he's in the minority. Of the supposed 68 million acres, I would guess that millions of them would be in PA, OH, and WV. No one believes there is much oil underground in these states, although there are some nice natural gas deposits that companies, most of them small, continue to explore and develop. Oil and gas companies produce oil and gas (when it's available) in much the same way that Pizza Hut produces pizzas. Again, Michael pretends not to understand (or believe?) such obvious points, so that's why I call him dishonest. Again, thanks for your support of Melissa Hart.

steve maloney

Michael Pasternak said...

A month or two is a "long time" to you? How do you describe your lifelong friends?

Stacey presented more facts in her first couple postings than you have since I started reading your blogs. It gave me some things to think about that I had not heard before rather than something silly like “It will tell the market that we are serious”.

I also don't appreciate being called dishonest simply because I have a different point of view. If you want to talk about dishonesty, we can talk about McCain's top advisors being the architects of the Enron loophole, or Melissa Hart’s relationship with Tom Delay.

Speaking of facts, can you please post a link to Robert Novak's article that you have referenced?

Lastly, I will again ask if you can please list what Melissa Hart accomplished during her previous terms in office that you are proud of and why she deserves to be returned to office. You have made it clear why you think Jason Altmire should not. Actually, maybe Stacey should answer that question since you have ignored that question since my first posting which I guess was a long time ago.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I describe my lifelong friends as "lifelong friends."

Stacy said...

Hi there,

Boy did I stir up some controversy. Just kidding. I completely understand passion in politics. My is new, but never the less just as strong. I would love to answer some of Michael's debate questions. As for the Enron loophole, it was actually closed on June 21 with the farm bill that I actually strongly opposed. It's very misleading that Barack Obama continues to use that for political reasons. He seems to think that just by saying Enron a hundred times that it changes what is going on at the pump. I can get you specific details if you want them.

As for the Tom Delay issue, I have an issue with that. Due to my husband's job, we move ALOT. I actually lived in his district for several years. He is a good person, a little strong-headed to say the least. As for his legal woes, you should check in the updates. Many of the charges have been dropped. The other charges he is pleading to got to court over and clear his name. The democratic prosecutor there really is a jerk and is trying to make a name for himself. He is intentially delaying the trial to stretch out Delay's legal woes. I am not one to defend any corrupt politician regardless of party, but he should be given his day in court.

Finally, I don't want to ramble all of Melissa's accomplishments. However, the one I would be most proud of is the "Unborn Victims of Violence Bill." Melissa was one of the leads on this bill and ensured that it was passed. It was written in response to the Laci Peterson case.

I hope this helps. I am happy to debate you gentlemen any time.

Stacy said...

Sorry for the typos...I posted before I checked.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Stacy, get in touch with the Hart Campaign, which you can do by e-mailing alicia@peoplewithhart.com. They will appreciate your commendation for Laci's act. If you get in touch with Alicia (Collins), campaign manager, you will get their releases and other material, some of which I'll be reprinting soon. They will not bombard you with e-mails, but a highly informed person like you in an asset to every political campaign. I also opposed the agriculture bill. I'm participating in various groups of Hillary Supporters who are now (mostly) supporting McCain, and I'm having great fun doing my thing. Melissa has a good shot at winning. Go to OpenSecrets.org and check up the material on the money Altmire has raised and who he got it from. That will tell you more about him than 100 speeches. You are a delight to have around. Keep commenting.

steve maloney

dayvoe said...

I wouldn't be so quick to praise Melissa Hart, though.

She was caught on live TV (Mike Pintek's show here in Pittsburgh) spreading the now-debunked item that the Chinese are drilling off the coast of cuba.

Here's the clip:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=TgLx-AnIrno

Will she be offering a correction?

Stacy said...

I wouldn't exactly call that a gotcha moment. Many of those who were making the statements about China were basing it off of a NYT article that claimed they were already drilling. Imagine the NYT writing something false...amazing. It has been stated in several sources though that both China and Venezuela are working with Cuba and have been issued some leases to drill off the coast of Cuba. I do not make this part of my arguement as to why I believe we should be drilling though. And as I have stated before, we should not JUST be drilling.

Stacy

dayvoe said...

Stacey;

This is the NYTimes article in question:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/09/washington/09drill.html

Can you show me where it says they were already drilling?

It just isn't there.

In any case what Melissa Hart said was completely wrong - even Vice President Cheney said there was no drilling.

When will she release a retraction?

Her credibility is at stake, don't you think?

dayvoe

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Stacy, if I were you, I'd ignore Dayvoe, who treats a minor misstatement as if it were the outbreak of nuclear war. Dayvoe is a guy who manifests what the French existentialists called "mauvai foi," bad faith. He has a crumb and treats it as if it were a loaf of bread. Melisss Hart, you, and I raise major issues and Dayvoe, like the pest Michale Paternak, ignores them. The Chinese have not started drilling yet. Give them time Dayvoe -- and grow a brain while you're at it. Sometimes I fear they hand out stupid pills in this district.

steve maloney

Michael Pasternak said...

Stacey,

If I were you, I would contact State Attorney General Tom Corbett, State Senator Jane Orie or County Councilwoman Jan Rea. These Republicans are great people that you will have a lot in common with, and will be glad to know.

If you read Stephen's latest posting, how sad it is that when Stephen Maloney and Melissa Hart should rejoice over a Supreme Court victory for gun owner rights, they still found a reason to be bitter and negative? It makes me wonder if they really care about the issue or just see it as an excluse to complain.

Mike

dayvoe said...

A crumb perhaps.

On the other hand, Ms Hart was presenting herself as someone speaking with some amount of expertise on the subject.

And, of course, the issue is not about when in the future the Chinese are going to be drilling. Everyone making that mistake said it was already happening.

If it was a crumb, she should just say "oops, I was wrong." and move on.

It's an issue of credibility for I dare say that if Altmire had made a similar gaffe the Hart campaign would be pointing it out every hour on the hour.

Michael Pasternak said...

President Bush is preventing the leases from being issued, not Congress. President Bush’s father wrote the executive order that prevents the oil companies from even getting started. If President Bush wanted to, he could get the ball rolling tomorrow by removing the order. The oil companies could get the leases and start their exploration and all the prep work that is needed. This would provide time for everyone to work on legislation that would satisfy everyone instead of pushing some bill through congress that we will later regret.

The oil companies are using their profits to buy back stock rather than reinvesting in exploration and drilling. For example, ExxonMobil is buying back $31 billion in stock and reinvesting only half of that in exploration. One of the reasons for the windfall profits tax proposal is to give the oil companies more incentive to put more money into exploration.

The Democrats took over Congress 19 months ago. Why didn’t the Republicans open up drilling when they had more than enough time to do it themselves? Had they done it 7 years ago when Bush came into office, the oil would have been close to being available now.

One of the Democrat’s beefs is that the oil companies are hoarding all these leases, but not doing anything with them. This stifles competition because it does not allow others to explore. What guarantee is there that they will not hoard these new areas too?

Some of the increase is tied to the decrease in the value of the dollar. In January, 2000 a Euro was $0.97. It is now $1.58. Depending on how you look at it, oil is significantly cheaper for Europeans or more expensive for us.

What do you think of: (1) President Bush allows the leases to be issued (2) The use-or-lose bill is passed so these areas can not be hoarded and must be explored in a reasonable amount of time (3) Invest additional R&D into making offshore drilling more environmentally friendly and safer.

Stacy said...

Dayvoe-I understand your point about what she stated on TV. As someone who is not supporting her it is probably a pebble in your shoe that just keeps rubbing your foot. But it misses the bigger point, there will soon be other countries drilling off of our shore, but yet we won't allow it. If you think those countries won't slant drill our oil, we are naive. In the grand scheme of politics, what she said is minor and why give her detractors the gotcha that you are looking for.

Michael-

I still haven't convinced you on this issue yet? I like a good challenge.

1. There are two holds on the oil. You are correct one is President Bush. The other is congress. President Bush has asked Congress to withdrawal the ban in conjunction with him removing the Presidential ban. I do not agree with this. I think the President should remove his ban and put Congress' feet to the fire.
2. There is no need to have a bill for useit or lose it. This is completely political posturing. Within oil leases, there is already a clause for this purpose. It is included in the contract to prevent exactly what you stated. A monopoly on oil leases. Oil companies must produce oil on a given lease within 5-10 years or they will lose their lease. As democrats keep saying, it takes 10 years to get production on line. Again, these are not known reserves as the OCS or ANWR have been found to have. Some of the issue with these leases are lawsuits by environmentalists. Look at California this week for example. Environmentalists who had tied up an oil lease off of the coast of California gave in to pressure and settled their lawsuit to allow the companies to drill. The oil companies agreed to pay millions in environmental causes to offset their yet to be done drilling. (do you think that has anything to do with increasing the price of gas?)

In 1980, when Carter passed the wind-fall profit tax, the production of oil actually decreased and the price of gas rose by over $1. The easiest way to increase gas prices is to put a windfall tax on the industry.

You are correct that the value of the dollar has something to do with the price of gas. We need to cut spending, shore up our credit, reduce the deficit and make the dollar stronger. Barack Obama's new trillion dollar programs will not accomplish any of these (he can't raise taxes on the rich high enough to pay for everything he wants to do)

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Stacey, thanks so much for your comments, which are excellent. I'm sure you'll read what I wrote today about the conference call and the coming defeat of Jason Altmire. I pass some of your stuff on to Alicia, Melissa's campaign manager. Hope you have a great week. Keep coming back!

Much, much happened today in regard to Hillary Supporters committed to the defeat of Barack H. Obama.

On oil: we sure as hell can't ask other countries to drill in their waters if we don't in ours. It is a very simple point, but it seems to frighten certain folks.

When you run for Congress, Stacey, I will support you. God bless.

steve maloney
ambridge, pa