Our Nation's Leaders are Taking us Down the Road to Energy Suicide
by Rense Johnson, Chairman
Citizens for Term Limits
At a time when rogue leaders in Iran are holding the threat of oil availability over our heads as we struggle to come to grips with Iran’s nuclear threat, we learn that natural resources available to the U. S. have been choked off, and we have been committing energy suicide.
Perhaps there were earlier examples, but the most idiotic that comes to mind was back in the 1970s, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a Washington State Democrat presidential wannabe, talked big about penalizing the oil companies. For what? For finding and producing oil and gas at a profit.
Later, Bill O’Reilly, the Foolhardy Fearless Feckless Factor Fellow wrote “You are being gouged by the American oil companies.” O’Reilly rushes in where angels fear to tread.
In 1990, the senior President Bush issued an executive order imposing a 10-year ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling leases. In 1998, President Clinton extended that ban until 2012. Language has also been inserted into each year’s Interior Department appropriation enforcing the moratorium. Meaning that George W. Bush supports this folly. Monumental stupidity by leaders demonstrating a huge leadership deficit among those who should know better.
According to Ben Lieberman, Senior Policy Analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation:
“The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently published its Scientific Inventory of Onshore Federal Lands’ Oil and Gas Resources and the Extent and Nature of Restrictions or Impediments to their Development. The report concludes that onshore federal lands are estimated to contain 187 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 21 billion barrels of oil, which represents 76 percent of onshore Federal oil and gas resources. That 187 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is enough to supply all of America’s households for 39 years, and 21 billion barrels of oil represents over 30 years’ worth of current imports from Saudi Arabia.” [Rense’s caution: these are estimates. It will take the drillbit to prove up actual reserves.]
“Just 3 percent of onshore Federal oil and 13 percent of onshore Federal gas are accessible under standard lease terms,” according to the BLM report. In other words, only this tiny percentage of energy can be accessed without serious legal or regulatory impediments. In addition, “46 percent of onshore Federal oil and 60 percent of onshore Federal gas may be developed subject to additional restrictions, including no surface occupancy.”
“Most disturbing of all, ‘51 percent of the oil and 27 percent of the gas are presently closed to leasing.’ This energy is completely off-limits.”
To recover from our suicide attempts three areas of effort present themselves, two of promise, one with small hope:
- The Athabasca Oil Sands, mined instead of drilled for, mainly in Alberta, Canada. Still on the learning curve, but reserves are huge.
- Oil Shale, situated in Colorado and Utah, with companies like Shell, Chevron and Exxon-Mobile attacking various techniques for extracting the oil contained in the shale. U.S. oil shale deposits likely hold 1.5 trillion barrels of oil, according to Jack Dyni, a geologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey. How much of that is recoverable? I have no idea, but even a small percentage would be of tremendous help.
- Breaking through government-imposed restrictions to free up that 51 percent and 21 percent.
Reversing our government-inflicted national impediments will require more common sense by our Congress than the present Congress (or those before it) have shown. So what else is new. That is why Citizens for Term Limits was formed.
Another prime example is the government-protected lobbying and dishonest attempts to preserve “endangered species.” The real endangered species is the American citizen, a pawn who can lose his life in the political maneuvering by inept leaders to frustrate Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
See the Professor Walter Williams article which appears nearby.