Maxine Waters threatens to nationalize U.S. oil industries

Maxine Waters threatens to nationalize U.S. oil industries

Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters said the following to the president of Shell Oil during a House hearing:

“And guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal would be all about socializing — er, uh. [Pauses for several moments] …. would be about … [pause] … basically … taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”

“As soon as the word “socialization” exits her lips, she knows she made a big blunder, not the least of which is that the actual term is “nationalization”. Waters just declared a socialist policy of total confiscation in the House hearing room, and she looks for an exit strategy, finally winding up with the slightly more ambiguous idea of Washington “running” the oil companies. Two people in the background try mightily to stifle laughter at Waters’ predicament.” (Note by Ed Morrissey from

I guess her leftist-totalitarian slip was showing once again. These Democrat politicians are not democrats, or liberals, or progressives, they are communists pure and simple.

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22 thoughts on “Maxine Waters threatens to nationalize U.S. oil industries”

  1. Much of the blame for the spike lies on OPEC and its refusal to increase production, although it’s increasingly clear that America is going to have to re-evaluate its consumption when we apparently import 68% of our oil (according to the Heritage Foundation who even recommends increased methanol and ethanol imports) and consume almost four times the amount of this resource than China.

    Auto-makers are starting to see the light: Honda is coming out with a clean diesel engine that will get between 50-75 mpg on the freeway. While diesel runs at the $4.75 mark, this would effectively equal about $2.35/gallon of regular fuel given the mpg. Hybrids are becoming more prevalent as well. This will eventually reduce demand and (hopefully) bring down prices as well.

    Americans need to take some responsibility in this and start downsizing, and auto-makers need to step up to the plate and start producing more efficient vehicles: we do not need 13/mpg trucks. In other words, things can be done that would alleviate this crisis that do not require government intervention (at least yet 😉

  2. James, Your impulse to tell Americans how to live and what to drive smacks of the leftist-totalitarian mentality so prevalent in the Democratic party. Who are you to decide how people should live and how to drive?

    Regarding your comment: “we do not need 13/mpg trucks“. Try telling that to business owners, building contractors, construction companies, families with 3+ children, farmers, ranchers, etc. etc. etc.. What next, you’re going to tell companies and inviduals they’re not allowed to own private planes, they can’t have a house more than 2,500 sq. ft., they can’t eat more than 10 pounds of red meat a month, they can’t have A/C on, etc. ? It’s called communism, and last time I checked it was a COMPLETE FAILURE!

  3. I don’t recall saying anything about legislating what people should drive. Instead, I’m simply suggesting that incentives be offered to encourage more fuel-efficient vehicles. How is that “socialism”?

    So, I guess people are “entitled” to drive whatever vehicles they wish, and the gas companies are “entitled” to charge whatever they wish for a gallon of gas despite the fact that the oil industry could have survived without charging what they have over the last year based on their record profits.

    How is that supposed to work, exactly?

    I’m not opposed to opening up drilling within Alaska, so perhaps you should put forth some statistics about what the estimated impact would be to our reserves and to the price of gas should we do so instead of your usual continuous moaning about the liberals.

  4. There really is no way to know what the reason for the recent rapid increase of petroleum is. Some say that the weakened U.S. dollar is one factor to blame. The manipulation of oil prices on the commodities market is also named as a factor. No matter what, there are areas in the United States and the Gulf of Mexico that are “off limits” to the drilling and extraction of oil by corporations. This is the case because of laws enacted by Congress. Of course left wing environmentalists are the main influence behind these laws. In places where corporations are not allowed to drill, one finds the Communist Chinese drilling. Environmentalists have no problem with this. Historically, Communist countries have been the worst polluters of the earth. Yet environmentalists get enraged and combative when this point is made to them. Environmentalism is not about saving the earth. It is about destroying America. No matter what their flaws, oil corporations have provided the world with the lifestyle everyone on earth wants to benefit from. If Maxine Waters was to take over the production of our energy needs, we will be back to living in the “Stone Age”.

  5. Chris B. writes: “Regarding your comment: “we do not need 13/mpg trucks“. Try telling that to business owners, building contractors, construction companies, families with 3+ children, farmers, ranchers, etc. etc. etc..”

    Sure, there are lots of examples of vehicles that are necessary that aren’t going to get good gas mileage. But compared to the total number of personally-owned large trucks and SUVs, these are relatively few. Most of the time I see SUVs there’s one person inside. I would suggest that a 100 pound woman riding around in a “Hummer” is simply not a very good use of a limited resource.

    To the extent that people’s personal vehicles get poor gas mileage, it increases demand for fuel and thus drives up the cost of fuel for everyone else — contractors, farmers, ranchers, and others who really do need the larger vehicles. It also drives up the cost of products that are petroleum-based — plastics, lubricants, asphalt, etc.

    For example, modern agriculture is highly mechanized and is largely done by machines, and it also relies on trucks for distribution of products. As some have said, modern agriculture is basically a way of turning oil into food. Thus, as the price of fuel increases, the cost of food increases.

    A larger problem is that excessive consumption of oil is a national security issue. For example, we have a number of military basis in and around the Middle East. To a significant degree that is driven by the fact that the Middle Eastern countries are major producers of oil. Take the oil out of the Middle East, and we wouldn’t care much about what goes on over there. And we certainly wouldn’t have the president travelling, hat in hand, to ask Saudis if they would please increase oil production. Or when the president of Venezuela got into some kind of rant, we would just laugh at him, not consider him a serious threat.

    The people who pay for the massive cost of military expenditures in the Middle East are not just the drivers of large SUVs. Everyone pays, just as everyone pays for higher food costs, higher travel costs, higher home heating oil costs, and higher costs of all the other products made from petroleum. In that sense, much of the cost of excess oil consumption is socialized — we all pay for it, even those who don’t own cars.

    The problem is that oil is a limited resource, and at this point production far outstrips new discoveries. Even if we opened up ANWR to oil drilling it would have little impact on prices or on our reliance on imported oil.

    The difference is that you see this as a consumer issue. I see it as a national security issue, intimately related to military expenditures, foreign policy, and the future economic viability of the country. If that’s an example of a “leftist-totalitarian mentality,” so be it.

  6. Looking at my last post, the one just previous to this one, I noticed a mistake that I made. The first sentence of my previous post should read ….There really is no way to know what the reason for the recent, rapid rise in petroleum prices is. I left out the work price, by mistake. I’ve really got to stop drinking so early in the morning.

  7. The reasons for the high petroleum prices are complex and interrelated – speculative trading in oil futures, a weak dollar, geopolitical risk, strong demand growth, depressingly low growth in new supply, etc. The oil market is extremely dynamic, and the relative importance of each of these factors changes almost daily. In the long run, there is no single factor that is dominant in driving prices higher.

    What is certain is that the blame should not be set at the feet of the oil companies. No American oil company – not even mighty ExxonMobil – has enough share of the globe’s reserves or production to allow it to control prices in any way. In fact, American oil companies only have access to about 7% of global petroleum reserves; the rest are controlled by national oil companies.

    When it comes to supply, I don’t blame OPEC. Saudi Arabia is the only OPEC member currently not producing at full capacity. I blame America’s government, particularly Congress. The U.S. has vast areas that are yet to be fully explored, and each area has tremendous potential to add new reserves. How can we criticize OPEC when we won’t even develop our own resources? Is that logical? Offshore California alone is estimated to hold 10.3 billion barrels of oil according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There are probably very large resources to be found offshore southern Florida and along the U.S. east coast. Unfortunately, the U.S. is one of the few – if not the only – developed country in the world to put such draconian, anti-developmental, counter-intuitive restrictions on the nation’s energy industry. Congress creates a supply problem, and then some members of that august body have the nerve to turn around and blame the oil companies. The oil companies are the key to increasing supplies – not the cause of the problem.

    By the way, true, sincere environmentalism is not about destroying America. It is about leaving our air, water, and soil as clean as possible for future generations and being good stewards of our resources. The vast majority of Americans fall into this category because nobody wants to live in a dump and breath and drink filth. It is really common sense. The problem is when you have leftist political activists who shroud themselves in the language of environmentalism in order to push a political agenda. They don’t care about the environment – they care about power.

  8. Don writes: “Offshore California alone is estimated to hold 10.3 billion barrels of oil according to the U.S. Geological Survey.”

    Which sounds like a lot, but at current rates of consumption would supply all of U.S. needs for 500 days. In future years it would be a lot less than that, as oil consumption in the U.S. continues to rise by around 2 percent a year. So lets say that it has not 10 billion but 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil. With the 2 percent increase in in the rate of consumption, that would last about 12 years. So lets say that it’s actually 500 billion barrels of oil. Given the 2 percent annual increase in the rate of consumption, that would last 34 years. And by then the rate of of oil consumption would have increased by around 230 percent over today.

    In other words, with exponential growth in the consumption of a finite resource, the starting quantity of the resource doesn’t matter that much, as it ends up being consumed at an ever-increasing rate.

    Don: “It is about leaving our air, water, and soil as clean as possible for future generations and being good stewards of our resources.”

    One hopes that being a good steward also involves leaving some oil for the next generations. Having a 100 pound woman driving to the grocery store in a “Hummer” does not help to accomplish that. Environmental concerns aside, this is why conservation today is important.

  9. Jim, You’re using a false argument. The “500 days” would mean we would be using ONLY the offshore oil. That’s a misleading and immature way of phrasing the argument. That’s the kind of boxed thinking that got us in this mess in the first place. We always have had multiple sources for oil and any new productive field will logically provide just a fraction of the total consumption. The more viable and freely developed sources of energy we have (outside the monopoly of the OPEC cartel) the better for us and our economy. Using your “logic” we should not develop any new oil fields unless they hold at least 50-100 billion barrels. What?!? But wait, we already have the shale oil deposits where potentially 200 billion barrels of recoverable oil can be found, and that’s still not ok for the dysfunctional bunch in Washington.

    The point is that the laws of Supply and Demand (you know Basic Economics) help balance the market if governments and murderous dictators don’t interfere and purposely create shortages via cartels and by preventing more supplies from being found and developed. It’s FREEDOM that solves and will solve our energy issues, not the career politicians in Congress (from both parties, but mostly Democrats/socialists) who have forgotten what the real world is like and want to tax, spend, and regulate all of us to death; while they enjoy royal priviledges and retire with full benefits and enormous pensions.

  10. Jim,

    Using your analytical approach, there is no point in ever drilling another well to bolster petroleum supplies. After all, a single well will only provide enough petroleum for a fraction of a second of U.S. consumption. I guess we should never drill another oil well.

    The fact is that your approach is flawed. No single oil field or sedimentary basin has the potential to solve the problem. Our total supply comes from many field, the contribution of a single field being very small in the big picture. We need responsible development of all our resources because they all contribute.

    I’m not suggesting that one region alone has the potential to provide us with energy independence. However, when all of the areas that are currently off limits to exploration are taken into consideration – offshore California, offshore Florida, offshore east coast, vast tracts in the Rocky Mountains, ANWR – we could have sufficient resources to greatly alleviate our supply problems and improve energy security.

    I totally agree with your comments on conservation. Conservation is extremely important, and it should be a major priority. However, I can guarantee you that it is not by itself the answer. At the end of the day, the answer is in increasing supplies of energy. I didn’t say increasing the supplies of ‘petroleum’, though I think that is important. The answer is increasing the supplies of energy.

    By the way, do I think it would be ridiculous for a 100 pound woman to drive a humvee to the grocery store? Of course. However, this is America, and people should be free to choose for themselves their mode of transport and then bare the consequences of those choices. I am very skeptical of any effort by the state to regulate those lifestyle choices. You cannot force your value judgments on your neighbors, thoughtful and noble as your values may be.


  11. Don writes: “The fact is that your approach is flawed. No single oil field or sedimentary basin has the potential to solve the problem.”

    I didn’t mean to offer it as an “approach,” but rather to put the quantity in context. When we talk about billions of barrels of oil, that sounds like a lot. It’s not. The U.S. consumes a billion barrels every 50 days or so. Obviously a new oil field is not going to be tapped as the exclusive supply for the whole country, but it’s important to understand a potential new source in the context of current and future consumption.

    Don: “However, this is America, and people should be free to choose for themselves their mode of transport and then bare the consequences of those choices. I am very skeptical of any effort by the state to regulate those lifestyle choices. You cannot force your value judgments on your neighbors, thoughtful and noble as your values may be.”

    I would agree with you were this merely a private consumer issue. For example, we don’t limit how much perfume someone can buy. But oil is very different, in that it is used for much more than consumer enjoyment and personal pleasure.

    Modern agriculture depends heavily on oil-powered machinery for planting and harvesting and on trucks for distribution. The relationship is such that some have said that modern agriculture is basically a way to turn oil into food.

    As oil is consumed for the purpose of powering inefficient vehicles, that has the effect of driving up the prices of all sorts of other things some of which, like food, are critical to our survival. Because of the critical nature of oil, increasing demand for oil has foreign policy and military implications as well.

    At some point we have to have priorities. How important to the future of the country are “Hummers” and other gas hogs? Not very, I would say. For example, when you have a drought, you tell people that they can’t water their lawns. That’s not because we hate lawns or private property, but because in a drought watering a lawn is not a high priority.

    Going out on a limb here, but I predict that we’ll have gas rationing within a few years — not because cars are evil, but because we will be at a point at which the demand for oil will have so far outstripped supply that there literally won’t be enough for everyone to have all he wants at any price. At that point you have to make choices.

  12. Don, wow, I can’t force my value judgements on my neighbors? That means that any law that has ramifications for controling human behavior and ‘choices’ is invalid. That means that it is impossible to form any sort of social compact at all. Are you really an anarchist?

  13. Jim, I think there is a Malthusian overtone to your prognostication. While it may well be true that gasoline may soon become a limited commodity, it does not follow that gasoline is the only energy source for powering vehicles. Shoot, in just a couple of years, we will have the air-powered car available for basic transport (actually not fully air-powered, but primarily, with a projected range of 900 miles and top speeds of 75mph).

    If McDonald’s had any sense, they’d construct their own on-site refineries to turn their waste oil into bio-diesel and sell it rather than giving the raw material away to individuals as they do now. Just think, each and every fast-food joint a filling station. “Would you like fries and a fill with that?”

    Battery technology and electric engine technology are improving rapidly to allow more efficient, long-term storage and the performance that we like.

    Higher prices for gasoline will only give incentive to place alternatives on the market and for people to adopt them.

    The transition from animal power to internal combustion took 30 to 40 years to be complete. The transition from internal combustion to other methods will take less time than that once the price of oil gets high enough.

  14. Jim –

    Your method of putting the numbers in “context” is highly mis-leading. The 10 billion number might not be a large multiple of some consumption figure, but the effect of freeing it up would be to dramatically lower price. The price of a high volume fungible commodity (that requires very large capital investment) will change dramatically with supply increases.

    This is a well-known principle, explained in common economics textbooks. Also explained in said books is the concept of “known reserves” which has almost nothing to do with “how much is left”. This misunderstanding, a staple of left-wing thought, leads to disasterous policy choices.

    Finally, what does the weight of the hummer occupant have to do with anything? and why is it irresponsible to buy a hummer but not irresponsible to take weekend hiking vacations across state?

  15. Michael,

    I don’t believe that individual liberty is safe when we have anarchy.

    I believe we need a social compact that is designed to protect the rights of citizens while maximizing individual choice and liberty.

    “That means that any law that has ramifications for controling human behavior and ‘choices’ is invalid.”

    You are wrong to suggest that your right to force your values on your neighbor is the the only viable source of legitimacy for a social compact.

    I don’t believe we need an ‘activist state’ in which one segment of the population – either on the Left or Right – is able to use government power to force its own values on the rest of us.

    A society based on shared values is the foundation of constitutional liberalism; a society based on forced values is the foundation of fascism.

    Protecting citizens from murder, theft, fraud, terrorism is not about forcing values on anyone; it is about protecting the rights of people.

    While I find the hypothetical lady taking the hummer down to the grocery store to buy groceries to be ridiculous in my own personal system of values, she is not violating my rights in any way. I would prefer to let her have her freedom of choice and then leave it to the market – the ultimate system of economic democracy – to correct her behavior.

    Using the government to constantly intervene in society and try to fix every social problem ends up becoming very much like a crack addiction.

  16. Jim,

    Let me put this into a different sort of context.

    According to the US Geological Survey, these are estimates for potential resources in the following areas that are currently under moratorium:

    Offshore California: 10.3 billion
    Offshore south Florida: 9 billion
    ANWR: 15 billion
    Offshore US east coast: 5 billion, it is thought to be mainly a natural gas province

    I make a distinction here between resources – the total amount in the ground – and reserves, that part of the resource base which is recoverable under current technological, economic, and political conditions. The above are resources. As a practicing petroleum geologist in the oil industry, I can tell you that a typical recovery factor is 30%, at least for the fields that I have worked on.

    The U.S. currently has proven reserves of 20 billion barrels according to the IEA.

    I would like to offer three points:

    1. If 30% of the 39.3 billion barrels of resources cited above could be economically recovered, they would double U.S. reserves. I never suggested that this would solve all our problems and everyone could rest easy. However, it would help very much to alleviate the current supply problem that we are facing during the transition to alternatives and would also enhance our energy security. I didn’t say ‘guarantee’; I said ‘enhance’.

    2. The resource estimates from the US Geological Survey are somewhat misleading because they don’t take into account the natural gas that could be present. Natural gas is a highly efficient, clean-burning fuel that is often, but not always, found with oil. We need more gas in this country, particularly for our electrical generation system which is rapidly becoming obsolete. Along with the oil, we would probably find very significant gas resources, particularly offshore the US east coast. The gas alone is reason enough to drill these areas.

    3. We do not have a geologically imposed energy crisis in this country. We have an artificial, government-created energy shortage. If the industry was able to develop all of our resources – under strict environmental monitoring and controls – we would have no problem meeting demand during the transition to a future based on alternative energy.

  17. Don, values shared by whom. At best you will only get a substantial majority, usually only a strong plurality. Since all law is reliant upon force for its viability, the majority is ‘forcing’ its values on everybody else. There is simply no way around such force in the fallen world in which we live. The only difference is in the number of people who don’t have to be forced.

    To argue as you did is a key ingrediant in the destruction of a common morality and an impediment to establishing a coherent society that allows for the protection of what is really valuable. It is an agurment that the left in this country has used since at least the 60’s to break down common moral standards and the right has used to justify a rapacious approach to economics which is mistakenly called capitalism.

    To put it bluntly, it is relativistic, individualistic crap that is an essentially amoral way of avoiding any substantial debate over what is valuable, what is worth protecting with force and what is not as well as the degree of force that is appropriate to apply.

    The process of governement is all about forcing one set of values on as many people as possible, to argue otherwise is lunacy. Jim certainly can and should attempt to force his values on others. If I disagree with the values he wants to force me to accept, I have to fight back. Hopefully such fights will be left in the venue’s of politics and rhetoric and not fall into actual physical confrontation, but that is not guaranteed.

  18. Michael,

    I agree that all law rests upon force. I can tell you now that we will continue to disagree on the extent to which force should be used to dictate lifestyle. We’re not going to solve this. I believe that force should be used to defend basic rights, liberty, and property. If I understand your argument, you seem to go beyond this and say that government should also be able to tell its citizens how they should live.

    You put forward a great argument for fascism, but I prefer to stick to the Western notion of individualism that you label as ‘crap’. It has worked very well for us. However, I submit that your ideas on individual liberty would be shared by some ‘great thinkers’ of history, notably Stalin, Mao, and Hitler. They were all men who believed that the nature of the world is conflict and that might gives them some legitimacy to dictate to other people how to live, in order to avoid ‘relativistic, individualistic crap that is an essentially amoral way of avoiding any substantial debate over what is valuable’. After all, nothing like government thuggery to give us a ‘coherent’ society, whatever that means.

    You seem to suggest that America’s moral decline is somehow related to a lack of government intervention. At least that is the natural destination of your way of thinking. Perhaps we need a cabinet level department for moral enforcement to give us a disciplined society with no individualistic ‘crap’. After all, thanks to original sin, we really need the nanny state to make sure us evil commoners are all nice to each other, don’t drive hummers to the grocery store, and pay our taxes. That would be the ultimate rock bottom in the government-crack addiction. I’m not sure there is a 12-step plan to get out of that mess.

    You accuse me of adhering to a relativistic morality. I would suggest that to say that something is moral because the state decides it should be so is about as relativistic as you can possibly get.

    The process of government should be about protecting rights and property, not forcing anything on anyone. I’ll borrow your words and say that to argue otherwise is lunacy.

    Jim has a right to try to convince me of the correctness of his beliefs. Neither Jim or you or anyone else has the right to use the powers of government to force those values into my lifestyle. The fact is that some Americans likes to drive big, gas-guzzling cars. Foolish as this may be, I will continue to fight for their right to choose their own way of life and let the market correct their behavior. The market does not require corrupt politicians, jack-booted police, or prying, pin-head bureaucrats to do its job, which is just fine with me.


  19. Don, I said nothing about government intervention. I was merely making an existential observation that your statement that no one can force their values on others (and by extension should even try) is false. In fact, I’ll take it a step further. Your statement itself is an attempt to force your values on Jim. It is both dissmissive and contemptuous of his philosophy and point of view. That’s a lot of force being applied.

    There are two ways to create order: love and force. Of the two I prefer the former and it is, in fact, one of the prime reasons we were created: to order the visible creation by love, just as God does. However, we messed it up and pretty early on decided we preferred force. Governments are there to supply it when needed. The question is, when is it needed, how much is needed and who gets to apply it. Societies and culture also apply force all the time, and they should. Historically cultural and societal force have been generally more effective and more benign than the crude force of government. Obviously, there is a point of overlap, but they are not identical. Governments usually overdo it and create less order rather than more.

    All “isms” are bad and individual”ism” one of the worst. We are created as persons. We are meant to live in community sharing our gifts with one another. Individuals are isolated and truncated people. As individuals, we are left more open to the manipulation of ideology and the tempations of our passions than we otherwise would be. However, we are also created to be free and commune with God in a unique fellowship that no one else can fully share. So it is that collectivism also truncates and destroys the human person.

    If I have to pick between individualism and collectivism, I’d take the individualism because it allows more fully for the possibility of moving beyond and past it into something authentic, but in and of itself it is insufficient and harmful. However, such a choice is really a false dicotomy. IMO, there is no such thing as a “collective” and there is no such thing as an “individual” either. Those concepts are nihilist imitations of 1. the unique person created in the image and likeness of God and 2. the community of persons in which we are meant to live, ordering and giving life in all that we do.

    No, Don, I don’t fit into your preconceived box. I am not a statist. I reject all forms of tyranny even the tyranny of individualism. It says something about the dualistic mode of thought that is so prevalent that you immediately jump to that conclusion though–just because I say that force is an unavoidable part of our daily lives certainly our political lives. (Dualism, another one of those nasty little buggers floating around and causing us such confusion).

    Forgive me if I have offended you. I just feel you need to use your intelligence and learning to think a little more deeply. Get beyond the facile catch phrases and ideological sink holes the permeate so much public and private discourse.

  20. Michael,

    Let me clarify two points about my characterization of force as immoral.

    1. I never meant to imply that all forms of force are illegitimate. We all deal with societal, cultural, and economic forces, and I agree that this is a necessary thing. Force is an unavoidable dimension of human interaction, and I haven’t meant to characterize that as entirely bad. I have not taken a dualistic approach to this issue.

    2. I agree that individualism can be an extremely bad thing and even a form of tyranny, though it is often self-imposed rather than forced on someone. I agree that we were created as persons designed to live in a community and share with others. Force is a natural part of this set up, as my children discover when they misbehave in public. My definition of individualism in this context is being able to make your own decisions about your lifestyle.

    3. My comments are specifically with regard to the use of force by the state.

    Of course, I understand the need for the government to use force in the defense of life, liberty, and property. For example, I find the use of military force to defend the nation or police force to protect citizens from crime are totally acceptable. I generally agree with you that the question is “when is it needed, how much is needed and who gets to apply it”. However, I think this is somewhat dangerous because without moral absolutes where you might limit state power is very different from where Saddam Hussein would limit the use of force by the state. You suggest that I adhere to moral relativism, but my position is more absolutist than you seem willing to acknowledge.

    I have a great deal of skepticism about the government’s use of force to solve societal problems or control the lifestyles that people choose to live. I think it generally makes problems worse. I would prefer to rely on non-governmental forces, particularly the market and individual interaction, to influence behavior and patterns of consumption. The use of the state to address every ill is a lazy man’s way of solving problems.

    I do get a bit charged up about the oil issue because of frustration with the current situation. I work in an industry that is daily being demonized for problems that were created mainly by the state and that we are actually working to fix. Government is constantly getting in the way and tying our hands, and then criticizing us for the problems that they have created. I get pretty frustrated when anyone suggests that the government try to fix this because that institution has lost virtually all credibility with me, regardless of which party has the upper hand at the moment. Jim did not openly suggest this, but I interpreted his statement as implying it and reacted accordingly.

    I apologize if I offended you in any way with any of my comments.

  21. Don, thanks for the statistics. I’ve never thought that drilling within our own boundaries should necessarily be off limits, and I’ve even wondered why we should expect the rest of the world to supply our incredible demand (and we consume more than anyone else). However, some of us want a little more than vague promises that doing so will make any sort of impact.

    I’m hoping the clean diesel technology becomes more widely accepted, and it hasn’t required the ethanol subsidies.

    It’s also unfortunate that it took such a price spike for us to decide to learn how to be more efficient in the way we use the resources of this earth. Why should our pocketbook be the only consideration?

  22. James,

    My personal belief is that we’ll never know until we actually shoot seismic and drill. Reserves can only be proven by the drill bit. Maybe offshore California holds 10.3 billion barrels, as the US Geological Survey has suggested, maybe it holds 50 (or maybe 5). The point is that if the US Federal Government won’t let us develop our resources, they don’t have the slightest justification to haul industry executives in front of them and demand to know why we have such supply problems in this country. It is a circus, a laughing stock, and an outrage.

    I agree that it is hypocritical of us to demand that OPEC countries run at full capacity while we place moratoriums on developing our own domestic resources. I’ve run into so many Americans who are so quick to point the finger of blame at OPEC, when our own Congress and several state legislatures have placed vast resources off limits to the American consumer.

    I agree with you that it shouldn’t require such pressure on the pocketbooks of American families for us to take action. It should not have arrived at this point. I can assure you that the American petroleum industry is ready to take action…we just need access. We have the capital, technology, and talent, and we are extremely good at developing petroleum resources in an environmentally responsible manner.

    Again, in my personal opinion, you can thank the members of the US Congress for the current situation.


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