Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Independence from Oil-industry Shill Pombo

Pombo keeps pumping out the rhetoric about "energy independence" and getting off "foreign oil". His push is for "independence" from foreign oil, not from oil itself. This is an important distinction. His policies promote the continued inefficient use of oil, with the preference that it be American oil we are wasting. Pombo seeks to develop as many American sources of petroleum as possible, the environment, conservation, efficient-use, alternatives, and social issues be damned.

For instance, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-NY, offered an amendment to Pombo's bill to drill for offshore oil that tied it to increasing fuel efficiency of vehicles. This amendment was shot down and never made it into the final bill. Pombo is just not interested in more efficient use of oil, and has voted against every attempt to increase fuel efficiency in cars and trucks. What kind of insanity is it to push hard to drill for every drop of oil, but not to seek to use that oil efficiently? How hollow his rhetoric about "security" and "independence" sound when his only concern is drill, drill, drill.

Pombo is taking an incredibly foolhardy and dangerous approach. Not only do fossil fuels contribute to global warming (which Pombo blithely ignores), oil production is a messy and toxic enterprise. Pombo puts out the oil industry propaganda about the safety of new drilling techniques, etc., which sounds amazingly similar to what they said about the Alaskan oil industry just before the Exxon Valdez. Pombo talks about using "only 2,000 acres" in the Arctic Nat'l Wildlife Refuge, but a closer look shows that figure is grossly and deceptively underestimated. For example, the estimate only counts where an oil platform actually touches the ground, similar to claiming that a 6' x 6' table only takes up the space where its legs touch the floor. That turns a 36 sq. ft table into 0.11 sq. ft. These are the kinds of twisted figures that come from Pombo and the pro-industry, propaganda-spewing Resources Committee under his guidance.

Pombo's "energy independence" is also not a realistic goal. See this article from USA Today, for example. The whole article is worth reading, as it has production and consumption charts, and also discusses the kinds of realistic solutions that politicians carefully avoid mentioning. This was written during the 2004 presidential campaign:
Energy independence may be a pipe dream
By Tom Kenworthy, USA TODAY, Posted 10/24/2004
The presidential candidates are touting their plans to reduce the USA's reliance on foreign energy sources. Are the campaign promises simply running on empty?
Simply put, many energy executives don't believe America can free itself from dependence on foreign oil.

"We do not have the resource base to be energy independent," Exxon Mobil Corp. chairman Lee Raymond said in a recent speech. "We simply cannot avoid significant reliance on oil and gas from the Middle East."

Someone forgot to tell that to President Bush and John Kerry.

As have legions of politicians before them, both Bush and Kerry are holding out the promise of loosening the grip that foreign oil producers have on the USA. Kerry talks of independence, Bush talks of more domestic reliance.

"Together, we'll make an America that is energy independent," Kerry said last spring in Seattle.

And Bush, earlier this month in Columbus, Ohio, sang a similar tune: "To make sure our economy remains strong and people can find work in America, we must become less dependent on foreign sources of energy."

Energy experts dismiss such talk as little more than empty campaign promises that are not backed up with tough policy changes needed to make a significant difference.

"You need to understand that when they discuss energy independence it's a rhetorical gimmick," says Paul Roberts, the author of the book The End of Oil.

"It sounds good, but the truth is there is no such thing as energy independence for a country that uses as much oil as we do in the United States," Roberts adds. "They've been saying it since Nixon's time. You have to say it. It's like mom and apple pie."

That phrase "rhetorical gimmick" pretty much explains Pombo. His talk of "energy independence" is politically expedient, but completely hollow. It may sound good to his supporters, who somehow think the goal of using "American-only oil" in the vast quantities we do (21 million barrels per day) is both attainable and desirable. But Pombo's talk also satisfies another clientele of his, the large pool of oil and energy industry campaign contributers, who hold fundraisers for their loyal and reliable shill in Congress. They like a return for their money, and they don't get it from "conservation" and "efficiency" -- they get it from Pombo's bills that reward them with new drilling territory, concessions, subsidies, reduced or eliminated environmental review, and little public oversight.

Those companies sure know where to invest their dollars!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wave that French Flag!!!! "independence is not a worthy goal, or even achievable." You pseudo intellectual nitwits might want to look into oil shale...the US has the preponderance of the stuff in the world. Israel is looking into it, as are the Chinese, as are other countries. In the US there's an estimated 2 trillion barrels...more than twice as much oil as we've burned since time began. The Saudi's estimated oil reserves are in the 270 B range, for comparison. That is wasted energy under the ground just waiting to be tapped by American ingenuity and liberated to course through our national veins like the strength-making jazz that it is. That will make our country even more powerful, more great, more able to withstand the attacks against free enterprise and free minds that come from collectivists and redistributionists who hate our nation. How's that melt your iceberg, baby?

6:02 PM, July 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again (and a big thanks to our anonymous friend)

You've given me so much ammo to use, I don't know what to say, but to merely thank you on behalf of your "re-elect Pombo campaign" for revealing your campaign's innermost thoughts, strategies, and tactics -- that was really stupid but I thank you for being so naive and/or arrogant; there is ALWAYS another race to contend with.

$.02 out.

10:29 PM, July 09, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

To Anonymous (also known as "Annette"):

I appreciate that you call me "baby" since we hardly know each other. But I can see where you are getting tired of "little Dick" and looking for someone to keep you company while he is off with his mistress.

Now, back to oil shale, anyone with a clue knows that oil shale is "snake oil", sold to people like you who want to believe "little Dick" is "big Dick". Well, he ain't, and oil shale is a "pie-in-the-sky", or more accurately, "pie-in-the-ground" fantasy. I think you have something else course through your veins if you are getting high on oil shale.

Don't believe me? How about listening to people from the "reality-based community", such as the World Energy Council:

it seems unlikely that shale oil recovery operations can be expanded to the point where they could make a major contribution toward replacing the daily consumption of 73 million barrels of oil worldwide.

Perhaps oil shale will eventually find a place in the world economy, but the energy demands of blasting, transport, crushing, heating and adding hydrogen, together with the safe disposal of huge quantities of waste material, are large. On a small scale, and with good geological and other favourable conditions, such as water supply, oil shale may make a modest contribution but so far shale oil remains the "elusive energy".


Or this from the Oil Drum:

Call me a skeptic. Current U.S. oil usage is over 20 million barrels a day, and it would require 10 new power plants and five new coal mines to replace less than 5% of our consumption. Add to that a multi-billion dollar capital expenditure, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and a process with a marginal EROEI. Consider that we could “create” the same amount of oil by simply cutting consumption by 5%. It seems to me that enacting conservation policies would be far more cost effective than developing oil shale.

1:34 PM, July 10, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

And might I add that el senor moron Pombo voted AGAINST an amendment to increase fuel efficiency standards. Mucho stupido.

I mean that guy really has to be a moron. How can you spout all this bullshit about "energy indepedence" and "getting off foreign oil" and all that crap and VOTE AGAINST raising fuel efficiency in cars and trucks?

Obviously, Pombo's blather about "energy independence" is just a manipulation of ignorant, jingoistic fears to succeed in passing the oil industry's agenda of opening up more land and waters to drilling.

"Look out! All these bad, scary A-rabs control our oil! Give the massively profitable oil industry whatever it wants so they can give me even more contributions. And shut up about 'conservation' and 'fuel efficiency'."

2:49 PM, July 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FRIED SCALLOPS, PORTUGUESE STYLE

1 lb. fresh bay scallops
8 tbsp. butter
1 c. flour
1 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 fresh lemon

Wash the scallops quickly in cold water. Spread on one layer on pan, cover with linen or paper towel. Cover with other towel and refrigerate for several hours to drain. Melt butter over low heat. Place flour in large bowl and drop scallops into it. Toss scallops about gently until they are coated on all sides with the flour. Turn into sieve to remove excess flour.

Add the scallops to the butter and sliding the pan back and forth, fry them for 3 to 4 minutes until they are firm but not brown. Do not over cook the scallops. Add the garlic and parsley to the skillet and cook for 30 seconds longer. Squeeze the lemon juice and add the salt and pepper to taste before serving.

12:57 PM, July 12, 2006  

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