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Dole supports offshore drilling measure

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole supports lifting the ban on offshore oil drilling.

In a statement released Wednesday, Dole said she supports allowing oil exploration off the North Carolina coast, which has been prohibited for 27 years.

"Now, more than ever, responsible and practical steps are needed to increase our energy independence and strengthen economic and national security," she said.

She said it should be an option as long as exploration is safe, clean and not visible from land. She plans to sign onto a Republican measure allowing states to open areas at east 50 miles off their shorelines to exploration.

The position is a reversal for Dole, who has supported the ban for years, saying it was necessary to protect tourism and marine habitat, but she said the United States must now work to end its dependence on foreign oil. (AP


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Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

Um, could I please have another slice of Heritage Foundation truthcake? I've been leaning way to the left lately, and I'm afraid I'm going to fall over. ;o

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

The amount in the ground doesn't matter because you can't use it for anything. The amount that you can take out of the ground is what matters.

On a similar note, the amount of gray matter in your skull doesn't matter. It's the amount you actually use that matters.

I suggest you switch to velcro shoes, if you aren't wearing them already.

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

You based your conclusion on 16 billion and the assumption of 10 years to reach peak production, plus NYT is not a reliable source. They are not scientist at all.

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

How is the total size not important? We have been waiting for about thirty years for alternative technology to break through...so are you saying you would rather continue to wait and pay prices overseas for oil or drill and reduce our dependence?

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

The total size of the oil reserves is irrelevant. What matters is how much you can pull out per day (or per year) and how that compares to global production per day (or per year).

I know nothing about the viability of oil shale, so I'm not arguing that point with you.

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

Trust me...I have plenty of other articles that further support my first two articles...

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

If you would have read the next article...there is some information about future supplies...

The supply numbers are staggering. Everyone acknowledges that there are at least 18 billion barrels of oil under the continental shelf, and possibly as much as 95 billion. Tens of billions more are found in various states nationwide.

But the mother lode is in shale rock. It's estimated that the Saudis have about 260 billion barrels under their sand. By comparison, with current technology, we can safely recover more than 800 billion barrels of the estimated 7 trillion barrels of oil in the shale rock from the Rocky Mountains. That means that current technology could give us more than three times the entire national resources of oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Extracting oil from shale rock only recently has become economically feasible. It costs about $70 per barrel to extract and make the oil usable. When oil was $18 a barrel that would have been crazy. But at $138 a barrel, it's a bargain. And American companies can make money by supplying our nation's need, and lowering costs for all of us in the process.

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

uncgop,
Do you notice that your sources never try to put future supplies from these currently off-limits areas in to any real context? What is important is how future supply from these sources will add to the future global supply. Estimates from the NON-PARTISAN Energy Information Agency put that at about 1%.

Notice also that your source in the first article says "It’s a simple matter of supply and demand." That's because she is unfamiliar with the term "elasticity" and knows nothing about economics. She is a director of communications and marketing, and former beauty queen. While she might be nicer to look at than the nerds at the Energy Information Agency, I'd rather take my information from the experts.

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

And now to offer the other side as this previous clearly slants left.

Unleash America's Energy Potential
Rebecca Hagelin
Thursday, June 26, 2008

As any driver can tell you, the pain at the pump is pretty acute right now. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Demand is up (thanks, in part, to an increasing appetite for fuel in China and India), and supply is low.

And if there’s one thing that makes the pain worse, it’s knowing that supply doesn’t have to be this low.

Are the ridiculously high prices we’re paying the fault of the big, bad oil companies? No, the lion’s share of the blame goes to politicians, who have locked away vast amounts of American energy -- both oil and natural gas.

In the 1980s, Congress began restricting more offshore areas from energy exploration -- prohibiting drilling in more and more places around the country. With energy relatively cheap, it was easy to give in to the carping demands of radical environmentalists, who (then as now) exaggerated the impact of drilling and downplayed the benefits.

Then, in 1990, President George H.W. Bush issued a directive restricting new offshore exploration and drilling. President Bill Clinton compounded this error in 1998 by extending the directive to 2012.

Fast forward to 2008, and it’s abundantly clear that we can’t leave huge deposits of energy to remain buried in our own backyard for another four years.

How huge are these deposits, you ask?

The latest estimates from the Interior Department indicate that the off-limits areas contain 19.1 billion barrels of oil and 83.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. According to Ben Lieberman, an energy expert at The Heritage Foundation, that’s about 30 years’ worth of imports from Saudi Arabia -- and enough natural gas to power America’s homes for 17 years.

At a time when you practically need to take out a second mortgage to keep your car in gasoline for a month, it’s insane to keep such restrictions in place. Yet that’s exactly what politicians have been doing for years, even as they harp on the need for “energy independence.” The hypocrisy, even for Washington, is astounding.

But what, some ask, about the environmental impact? If we drill in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, for example, or in many offshore areas, won’t we be harming nature and local species? In fact, technology has improved substantially over the years, reducing the “footprint” of such drilling efforts to a tiny one. (The booming herds of caribou around the Prudhoe Bay area in Alaska, for example, are encouraging.) And their safety record is impressive. As Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson says, “We have thousands of rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, yet not even hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in spills of any significance.”

Fortunately, President Bush has called recently for America’s offshore areas to be opened to exploration and drilling. “If Congress is serious about addressing high energy costs,” Lieberman writes in a Heritage Web memo, “it should quickly send legislation to the president that removes restrictions on these vital energy reserves.”

Lawmakers can take some other sensible steps while they’re at it. They should repeal the mandate to mix more ethanol in our nation’s gasoline supply, for one. As Ben Lieberman notes in another Heritage paper, all the ethanol mandate has done is raise prices -- not only on energy (which it supposedly would bring down) but on food.

It’s also time for Congress to stop subsidizing “alternative” energy sources such as wind and solar power. There’s anything wrong with such sources -- if private investors want to fund them, no one’s stopping them. But more than 30 years of attempts by the federal government to encourage such alternatives have resulted in numerous failures. Even after decades of special tax breaks, wind and solar power account for less than 3 percent of our nation’s electricity.

What else can policymakers do? They can cut some of the regulatory red tape that affects refineries and gas supplies. Heritage research shows that tight refinery capacity contributes to higher prices at the pump. We need new refineries, but current regulations make it all but impossible to build a new one or expand an existing one. This needs to change. It’s also crucial that we get more of our energy from nuclear power.

President Reagan knew how to respond to high gasoline prices. He deregulated crude oil prices in the 1980s, a decision which brought gas prices down and helped spur economic growth.

It’s time we open the marketplace and harness the rich, natural resources of oil right here in America.

The Energy Quagmire
Ken Blackwell
Thursday, June 26, 2008

America is in a worsening energy crisis, and the increasing consumer costs associated with it are wreaking economic havoc on American families. Tackling this crisis has fallen prey to presidential politics and looms large as a top-shelf issue in this fall's election.

Gas prices have topped $4 a gallon, and prices are soaring across all sectors of the economy because of the impact of fuel prices on businesses.

Families are hurting. It's worse than just having to cut back on family vacations and travel, or not being able to visit each other. It's sapping money out of the paychecks of families, money that would otherwise go to funding non-public schools, college, retirement, buying or paying off a home loan, or getting out of credit card debt. Energy prices are undermining family independence.

Voters are demanding action and the presidential candidates are scurrying around in response.

Barack Obama is proposing taxing the profits of oil companies while vigorously opposing any additional oil exploration and nuclear power. Even the liberal L.A. Times blasted his approach this week. And a former Democratic senator of Louisiana, John Breaux, said taxing companies will not generate a single barrel of oil.

Enter John McCain. He advocates building dozens of new nuclear power plants, building new refineries, and now supports aggressive oil exploration on the American continent and other locations. That would be an enormous step in the right direction. This week he said that he would create a $300 million prize for any person or group that can create a battery for electric cars meeting the needs of the average driver.

President Bush just has proposed an eco-friendly energy plan, largely on the same page as Mr. McCain. Among other things, he proposes drilling on the continental shelf and extracting oil from the shale rock of the Rocky Mountains.

The McCain and Bush plans aim to meet our domestic energy needs, and eventually move us away from foreign suppliers. Right now, the world consumes almost 86.4 million barrels of oil per day, and only produces 86.5 million barrels. America consumes about 20 million barrels a day. That tightness of supply and demand accounts for most of the runaway prices.

The supply numbers are staggering. Everyone acknowledges that there are at least 18 billion barrels of oil under the continental shelf, and possibly as much as 95 billion. Tens of billions more are found in various states nationwide.

But the mother lode is in shale rock. It's estimated that the Saudis have about 260 billion barrels under their sand. By comparison, with current technology, we can safely recover more than 800 billion barrels of the estimated 7 trillion barrels of oil in the shale rock from the Rocky Mountains. That means that current technology could give us more than three times the entire national resources of oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Extracting oil from shale rock only recently has become economically feasible. It costs about $70 per barrel to extract and make the oil usable. When oil was $18 a barrel that would have been crazy. But at $138 a barrel, it's a bargain. And American companies can make money by supplying our nation's need, and lowering costs for all of us in the process.

Speaking of profits, don't buy into this tax-the-company mentality. If people want to criticize how much oil executives are paid, that's one thing. But the profits go to you and me. Almost two-thirds of oil-company stock is owned by mutual funds and pension funds. That means taxing those profits would decrease the return on your 401k or IRA. And most of those pension funds serve union members. So taxing those profits would hurt middle- and working-class Americans. That's unacceptable.

We need to find more domestic oil and get it. We need more refining. And we need to aggressively expand alternative energy while we build dozens of next-generation nuclear reactors. Finally, we need to create new models of cars that use no petroleum fuels at all. We need to do all these things starting now. Energy is a major issue, and could decide this fall's presidential election.

Re: Dole supports offshore drilling measure

RTB, can we put this into some kind of context so that voters can weigh the pros and cons? People might support offshore drilling if it's expected to lower gas prices by a dollar, but might be opposed if the effect on gas prices is expected to be small. Unfortunately, voters can't make those decisions because the reporting on this issue fails to provide any context of the trade-offs involved.

Let me attempt to do your job for you. According to the NYT, the Energy Information Agency estimates that the total amount of oil in the offshore zone in question is about 16 billion barrels. If we assume that it would take about ten years from the day of authorization to get to peak production, that would be equal to about 1 percent of world production in a decade. A 1% increase in production is unlikely to have any significant effect on gas prices.

PS, that took me about 5 minutes of Googling while at my full-time job. It's not that hard to inform your readers if you just try a little bit harder!

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