How U.S. Policies Put Most U.S. Oil Off-Limits And A 21 Part Series On What We Can Do About High Priced Gasoline

The high price of gasoline has become a huge topic in today’s political discussions. But unfortunately, the talk is about a) the high prices and b) why certain common sense solutions are, at present, not viable options. there is rarely ever any talk about the common sense solutions themselves.

Pete Winn of Cybercast News Service takes a look at this issue through a report that was requested by Congress and recently released by the Bureau of Land Managament. From his column:

Huge basins of untapped oil can be found on federal lands throughout the United States, according to a new report from the federal government. But much of it cannot — and may never be — recovered, because it lies under national parks and national monuments, or it is subject to environmental laws and restrictions that make drilling prohibitive.

The report, which was produced at the request of Congress by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), said there are 279 million acres under federal management where oil and gas could potentially could be extracted.

“The total onshore resource is 31 billion barrels,” said BLM’s lead scientist Richard Watson, who authored the report. “Of that, 19 billion barrels are currently inaccessible or 62 percent. A little over 2 billion barrels, or 8 percent, is accessible under what we call standard lease terms.”

If you add in the 85.9 billion barrels of oil that lie offshore, as determined by the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, there are 117 billion barrels of oil on lands owned or managed by the U.S. government.

117 billion barrels of oil. That’s what we are sitting on and yet Congress still continues to force Americans into paying higher prices by keeping us dependent on foreign oil.

More:

Adding in what’s available on privately held land, the figure rises to 139 billion barrels of oil, according to the government – more than the known oil reserves of Iran, Iraq, Russia, Nigeria or Venezuela, respectively.

The biggest untapped land-based oil deposit in the United States lies within ANWR, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge, which is currently off-limits.

“We estimate there is something on the order of 7.7 billion barrels in that one area alone,” Watson told Cybercast News Service.

How much more energy independent could we be if we were able to implement a common sense solution and begin drilling where the oil is? How quickly could we cut off the funding for terrorist organizations if we began drilling where the oil is? Why not let India and China pay $200 a barrel while we charge ourselves a more modest fee per barrel?

Part of the solution to finding alternative energy is to have enough money to do the research and come up with viable solutions. Every dollar we send overseas to purchase oil is one less dollar that we will have to do such research.

Our current economic infrastructure is based on petroleum products. It will cost money to convert it over to some other medium of energy. Every dollar we send overseas to purchase oil will be one less dollar available to manage a change-over.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

U.S. Policies Put Most U.S. Oil Off-Limits To Drilling
Pete Winn
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
June 06, 2008


And here is a series of articles by Investor’s Business Daily that deal with what we can do about the skyrocketing cost of gasoline.

Part 1:

Drilling The Future

Energy: America’s energy crunch is sadly self-inflicted. While others around the world engage in a mad dash to find more oil reserves, the U.S. seems to think $111-a-barrel oil won’t be affected by more supply.

Part 2:

Energy Relief Now

Energy: As Democrats bicker over campaign-trail trivia, GOP standard-bearer John McCain has come up with a couple of good ideas to ease the pain of the energy crisis. Let’s hope they have legs.

Part 3:

Scrap The Gas Guzzlers

Energy: One way to bring down the soaring price of gasoline is to decrease demand. We can do that fairly painlessly by taking older, less fuel-efficient cars off the road.

Part 4:

Back To The ’70s?

Oil Shock: When it comes to energy policy, Democrats always talk a good game. But look at their actual record while in control of Congress in the last year and a half. It’s been nothing short of disastrous.

Part 5:

Democrats Fumble Ball On Energy

Energy Policy: After weeks of dithering and fearing for her party’s political life, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally said something about energy. We listened. As the old Peggy Lee song asks, “Is that all there is?”

Part 6:

Congress Vs. You

Energy: President Bush let the Democrat-led Congress have it with both barrels Tuesday, lambasting lawmakers for fiddling while the energy crisis burns. It was a well-deserved takedown of do-nothing lawmakers.

Part 7:

Amber Waves Of Pain

Energy: Senate Republicans want to freeze ethanol mandates that don’t cut the price of fuel or help the environment. Even farm-state Democrats worry about the unintended consequences of putting corn in our cars.

Part 8:

Profits Of Doom?

Profits: Exxon Mobil’s first-quarter earnings of $10.9 billion, up 17% from a year earlier, are stirring outrage in Washington. Some are calling such profits “obscene.” What a sad lack of understanding of economics.

Part 9:

The Ship Turns

Energy: Call it the paranoid theory of petroleum. Somehow, dark forces behind the scenes keep us from doing anything about soaring oil prices. In fact, something is being done to bring down oil prices. And you’re doing it.

Part 10:

Going After OPEC

Energy: Hillary Clinton says she wants to dismantle OPEC if she becomes president. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. And we have just the way for her to do it.

Part 11:

Barack Obama’s Fuzzy Gas-Tax Math

Energy Policy: Barack Obama thinks a federal gas-tax holiday is a political ploy. But when he was in the Illinois Senate, he voted for a state holiday three times. These days, he prefers a holiday on gasoline production.

Part 12:

Democrats’ Windfall Tax — On You

Energy: In their ongoing war against U.S. oil producers, Senate Democrats say they’ll slap Big Oil with a windfall profits tax and take away $17 billion in tax breaks, among other punishments. This is an energy plan?

Part 13:

Who Is Really Responsible For The High Prices You Pay For Gasoline?

For the last 28 years, Democrats in Congress and a few Republicans have again and again opposed our drilling for oil in Alaska’s ANWR area when we knew it contained at least 10 billion barrels of oil we could be using now.

Part 14:

To The Junk Heap

Energy Policy: With pump prices still climbing — Wednesday’s national average was $3.76 a gallon — many Americans are trying to get rid of their gas guzzlers. Those who drive old clunkers should be accommodated.

Part 15:

Crude Mistake

Energy: With the price of oil spiking above $127 a barrel, the search for scapegoats has begun. Some point to the Saudis, OPEC’s No. 1 producer. Others blame the oil companies. We have a better candidate: Congress.

Part 16:

Crude Scapegoats

Energy: It’s now a cliche: fat-cat oilmen control our destiny by holding back supplies, letting prices soar, then pocketing the profits. But if any fat cats are to blame for the energy crisis, it’s those on Capitol Hill.

Part 17:

Blame Washington, Not Oil Companies

Energy: Senate Democrats, dragging executives from five major U.S. oil companies before them for a second day, say they’re alarmed by our “failed” oil markets. What they should be is ashamed.

Part 18:

House Of Oil Repute

Congress: Democrats oppose extracting 10 billion barrels of oil from ANWR because it won’t affect prices, but want to tap our strategic reserve of 700 million because it will. Come again?

Part 19:

Peak Oil: An Idea Whose Time Is Up

Congress: Analysts have found that investors spooked by the peak oil theory — the belief that crude production has topped out and is in decline — are partly behind the soaring oil prices. Someone should set them straight.

Part 20:

Getting Oil From A Stone

Congress: Exxon Mobil’s CEO says his energy company’s “corporate social responsibility” is to produce more energy. While Congress wants to tax oil profits, he wants to spend them to find more oil. What a concept.

Part 21:

Dakota Gas House

Energy Policy: Thirty-two long years have passed since the U.S. had a new oil refinery. But a small South Dakota community wants to change that. Finally, some rational thinking.

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