Friday, June 24, 2011

Dent Slams Obama Over Depletion of Strategic Oil Reserve

"The spice must flow."

Anybody who has read the Dune novel series is familiar with that mantra, a mysterious yet intoxicating substance needed by the Spacing Guild that could only be found on the desert planet Arrakis.

President Obama has decreed that he oil must flow, and is releasing 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The President claims that military maneuvers in Libya have disrupted supply, but oil prices have been going down at the pump.

So what's the emergency?

Simple. Summer hours. It's vacation time and Obama is hesitant to piss off voters.

LV Congressman Charlie Dent blasts away at this obvious political stunt, in a statement issued late yesterday.

“President Obama’s decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an ill-advised maneuver designed to convince the American people his administration has a plan to address today’s high energy costs, which are undoubtedly hindering our economic recovery. Time and time again the Obama Administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to divert public attention away from its persistent opposition to the production of American energy resources.

“Rather than supporting the development of vast North American resources as a means to achieve greater price stability and get thousands of Americans back to work, this administration has pleaded with OPEC nations like Saudi Arabia to increase output, proposed punitive and counter-productive tax increases on American energy producers, blocked the importation of oil from Canada, committed $2 billion in financial backing for Brazil to enhance its production, and is now tapping into reserves created to supply the country with oil during national emergencies.

“While the President is using supply disruptions in the Middle East to justify the release of our emergency reserves, he remains responsible for prolonged supply disruptions here at home. Surely, today’s announcement is a tacit admission that boosting domestic supplies will help stabilize prices. The time has come for President Obama to realize the United States has the ability to exert even greater control over prices by simply enhancing the development of abundant North American resources. Not only will expanded production provide relief at the pump for American consumers, it will create innumerable jobs for American workers.”

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dent is sure drink inking the tea. So why doesn't he make it easy. Issue a statement saying anything the President does and or says, I disagree with.

It is the current party line and Charlie is marching to the party tune.

Anonymous said...

what measures has charlie supported to help break our national addiction to oil?

Anonymous said...

For that matter what has Charlie done at all in his lifetime of career in politics. He follows the crowd, votes along party lines then comes back here and tells everyone he is a different person. He flip flopped on healthcare and voted to end medacaire, wants to throw the elderly out of their homes, and thats just the last month or so

c said...

Anon 6:12: At least one large scale solar project for a school district.

Jon Geeting said...

Obama doesn't have a plan? What's Dent's plan? Domestic drilling would lower gas prices about 3 cents between now and 2030. Bernie, I can't believe even you would publish this gibberish.

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

Dent's statement says it all. Obama is against more drilling because it won't make a difference, yet Obama is trying to make a difference with a mere 30 million barrels.

Part of the reason that gas prices are so high is a concerted effort by the President and his administration to limit supply.

Patrick McHenry said...

Geeting -

Then why would Obama even bother to release the oil?

Anonymous said...

I think this country should start to limit the number of cars per household. Like in China's over-population crisis, they limit their offspring . Breaking the offspring law is a crime.

There are too many cars on the roads, period. And even now, people are still buying gas guzzlers. My gas guzzler was purchased when gas was $1.40 per gallon.
I would like to see the state do away with annual inspections, and limit each household to 2 vehicles. Make it impossible to register more than one personal vehicle per person.

Pain at the pump will never end unless people start changing their habits...and maybe there will be fewer road repairs if there are fewer vehicles driving on them.

trish

Susie from Philly said...

The point of the reserve release was to break the speculation bubble. It's working. Would Dent rather it didn't?

Patrick McHenry said...

Trish -

We live in a country where (most) people value freedom. I find it scary that you advocate emulating the repugnant policies of the Peoples Republic of China

There is plenty of oil. What you have is a President who is artificially restricting supply by limiting production in this country.

Susie -

You want to break the speculation bubble? Elect a President who will allow development of the ample supplies of oil that we have. That will break the speculation bubble for years, not a few weeks.

Ayn Rand said...

Trish
Given that the average commuter looks at a 29 mile trip one way every day what would you suggest, horses? How about we do this. Start drilling in our own territory. Then we do away with the refining of 20+ varieties of gas twice every year. On top of that let's lower or eliminate the gas tax at the state and federal level. As to passing a law to curtail the number of cars we have--I believe that wouuld be found to be unconstitutional much like the effort to tell us that we must buy health care during the age of the idiot called Obama

Ayn Rand said...

Susui
Gas prices are going down because consumption due to high prices over $4 is the reason that prices are going down. Wake up and smell the gas fumes.

Anonymous said...

This is similar to Dent's healtcare stance. Both malpractice reform (to fix our healthcare crisis) and drilling in the US (for gas prices) are each a drop in the bucket and won't really do much. But I think he's counting on his constituents that aren't smart enough to realize that and will think that he is proposing something of value.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anonymous 9:53 said...

"...Both malpractice reform (to fix our healthcare crisis) and drilling in the US (for gas prices) are each a drop in the bucket and won't really do much. But I think he's counting on his constituents that aren't smart enough to realize that and will think that he is proposing something of value."

----------------------------------

But Obama's release of 30 MILLION barrels of oil (in a country that uses 19 to 21 million barrels A DAY!) is somehow meaningful? Instead of tapping into the BILLIONS of gallons of US oil reserves?

I think it's pretty obvious that it's Obama that thinks his voters are the idiots.

Anonymous said...

I had a feeling I would be heavily criticized on that point. Though my suggestion is extremely far out of the box, I still think the people of this country must participate in some kind of restraint if we expect to lower our gas costs.

Americans tend to be spoiled in our lifestyles here. We can continue on our path of sucking the world supply of oil dry, by doing what we do now. Then there wont be any gas left, and we will be back to horses and wagons anyway.

The electric car seems like a nice alternative, until that concept catches on, and electric becomes as unaffordable as gas.

Trish

Anonymous said...

I will also mention that NJ tried to institute driver restraint back in 1993 with the construction of a new lane on interstate 287, that was restricted to carpool only. Any driver found driving in that lane without a passenger was fined $250.00.

But as the courts became clogged with angry drivers, and an overabundance of blow-up dolls started appearing in passenger seats, NJ did away with the lane restriction. Clearly americans love their freedoms. But not so in PA whose prison population and recidivism rate is on a frightening trajectory.

Trish

Patrick McHenry said...

Trish -

Americans enjoy the lifestyle they do because we have an economic system that allows people to pursue their dreams as they wish and keep the fruits of their labor. Despite our nation being relatively young, we have surpassed the rest of the world. Not because we are better, smarter, etc. but because our economic system allows it.

But we have elected a person to the highest office in the country that doesn't believe in that system. Instead, he and a large number of elected representatives in BOTH parties have pursued and promoted variations of centrally-planned, big-government socialism, which has failed miserably throughout history and around the globe. This ALWAYS results in greater poverty and a lower standard of living for EVERYONE.

As to oil, we have ample supplies to last well beyond our lifetimes. We need the will and the leadership to pursue those reserves. I too hope that one day technology eliminates the need for oil and we replace it with something cleaner and cheaper. But you can't force that to happen by government mandate.

In time, that technology and innovation will develop naturally in the private sector. Until then, government should get out of the way and we should tap every barrel we responsibly can.

Anonymous said...

Obama's releasing reserves will do nothing in reality, but will bolster the markets and make people feel better. I'm a huge supporter, but this is a ploy and I for one hope it works.

Trish, you really need to think out your views before you state them. I have four cars, but my wife and I can only drive one at a time each. I could have 20, but guess what I can still only drive one at a time. The number of cars has no value in a fuel consumption argument. The newer regulations on cars MPG is what would be a better stance to take. Cash for clunkers took many old inefficient cars off the road and sold many more new ones with better mileage, but was flawed in that the American car makers did not have good enough models to chose from.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Patrick, I agree with most of your comments. I am really a strong opponent to big government and more tax.

However, seeing not only an oil crisis, but also a lack of transportation funding to properly maintain roads, I start to wonder.

I have seen certain things called luxury taxes in the past, and sin taxes in the present. I would see nothing wrong with new legislation creating a $500 fee for registering all vehicles outside of 1 per person. Or maybe a gas guzzler tax would be more appropriate.

It would probably go over as well as the Philadelphia soda tax, but we need some restraint somewhere if we are going to combat these problems.

Trish

Anonymous said...

It's been resolved, Geeting has spoken. After all, a 26yr old blogger and policy wonk by definition has all the answers.

Anonymous said...

Seamus,
I see your logic, and if you keep your 4 vehicles on your own private property at all times, then it may not be an issue.

But in my experience, at least where I live, it seems that people would rather rent a house and park 4 cars on the street that we pay for, creating an overabundance of wear and tear on the streets, not to mention all of the parking problems, and the safety dilemma that arises when these cars sit idle in snow storms , and streets are then plowed half-assed.

Also, I think those persons who own multiple vehicles, are prone to use more gas, simply because the more you have, the more you drive. As a former resident of NYC, I have seen the traffic congestion in PA grow at an outrageous pace. Since our state is broker than broke, I do not see infrastructure projects to combat this problem happening soon enough. We just have too many cars and not enough roads.

Trish

Trish

Anonymous said...

I guess Patrick McHenry and Ayn Rand just don't understand markets or economics. Susie is correct, the point was to break the speculation that has been going on in the markets. The release was globally coordinated by 27 countries. It is not the amount that is important, but the idea that the reserves can and will be used. The commodities exchanges have also over the past few months changed margin requirements to do the exact same thing in a number of commodities, including oil, gas, and silver.

But as freedom-loving Americans you also have to take some personal responsibility. If you drive a 15mpg SUV you get what you deserve. You have made the choice to unnecessarily consume energy resources. Seems to me the free market has spoken, but you don't like it when it says $4.00/gal instead of $2.00/gal.

And there is not plenty of oil on a global basis. Right now the world consumes approx. 85 million barrels per day (MBPD) with a supply of 88 MBPD, if all producers are producing at full capacity. With just 2% global growth there will be a problem by 2015. That is not a political statement, just a fact.

Also, it takes 6-10 years for new production to come online. Don't believe me, then just pick up ExxonMobile's yearly report to shareholders and read it. They have new production coming online for projects that were started in 2004.

What we need is a national comprehensive energy plan. This has to include solar, nuclear, development of the smart grid (electric), and natural gas as a gateway to a more sustainable energy future. But politicians and politics get in the way. The last President to try this was Carter and Reagan bagged it soon after taking office.

The problem is we can't even get rid of incandescent light bulbs without some people complaining about their "freedom," how do you expect us to have a comprehensive energy program? Until that issue is solved and we all get on the same page and put politics aside, nothing is going to change.

Publius

Anonymous said...

"Americans enjoy the lifestyle they do because we have an economic system that allows people to pursue their dreams as they wish and keep the fruits of their labor."

Not so sure about this Patrick. At one time, yes, but a great number of US jobs have been shipped overseas due to our outrageous corporate tax rate that beats all countries hands down.

Not to mention a disappointing trend of poverty jobs, causing Americans to work 3 jobs to make the same amount of money that they made 20 years ago, college educated or not.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 1:02 -

If you mean one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, you are correct.

In addition, the continued call by Obama and the Democrats for higher personal tax rates is a disincentive to invest capital in the US. Less capital to invest = less business growth = less jobs.

Basic Economics 101

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons that infrastructure costs in this state and many states in the US are so out of control is because there are no limits to how much a person is allowed to drive. We Americans sure do love our freedoms, but check out the link below, and you will see that we are in the minority. Foreign countries do not have near the cost of road maintenance that we have in the US because there are far fewer roads, and guess what else?


http://www.transportsfriend.org/int/bans.html

If you check it out you will see that rigs dont have free run of the roads 24/7. Now if someone dared to bring this up in Harrisburg, a rig would no doubt run them right over.

Trish

Anonymous said...

Patrick, I am by no means an Obama fan, but he did give middle income americans a tax cut, and extended the bush tax cuts for everyone.

Not sure what you mean. Personal income taxes have not been raised.

Anonymous said...

Actually we have the second highest cooperate tax rate (behind Japan), but the personal tax rate is in the bottom ten (22 out of 30 industrialized nations) . Allowing the top 1% of your country to own 42.7% of the wealth is just plain crazy. I work for a large company and am doing quite well so I don’t say this out of greed. An increased tax rate on those making over 250k just makes good sense. If you think 1% of consumers are going to affect the overall economy your nuts. How about raising the minimum wage, that would put more money back in the economy by a long shot.

Trish I do have my vehicles on private property and still argue using one car at a time does not cause any more wear and tear on the roads as another. My 3rd and 4th are collectables. I do agree that having a vehicle on the road that is not inspected or drivable is a problem and that is why it's illegal. As to the snow, snow emergency rules are in place for a reason, but it would be great if all cars could get off the road for plowing.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Hey McHenry, the republicans are now seeing in the polls that people like their socialized healthcare. I hope they like facing the argument this year that they are taking away peoples Medicare, and eliminating the retirement communities for the hard working Americans who built this great nation.

Seamus

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 1:47 -

Many Americans got a tax REBATE under Obama, which is the same gimmick they got from George Bush late in his second term. It is by no means a cut in the marginal tax rates, which did occur early in Bush's first term (after 9/11).

There is a huge difference between the two, and Obama only grudgingly agreed to a BRIEF extension of the Bush tax cuts - not a permanent extension. This has caused great uncertainty among small business owners (who pay their taxes on their individual tax returns) and investors.

Add to that the continued call by Obama and congressional Democrats for increasing the tax rate on the upper wage earners; the attacks by Democrats on companies that make a profit (imagine any company wanting to make a profit); the government takeover of companies and industries; and it doesn't exactly create the environment that promotes additional investment and job creation.

Anonymous said...

Thee is no oil crisis , or natural gas crisis or coal crisis. Obama told us when he ran that he wanted to kill fossil fuel production. He just did not think about the ramifications to the citizens. He said that energy prices MUST go through te roof o get people to use the alternatives. Well they are not viable yet and he is up for re election so he released days worth of oil.

Anonymous said...

Henry, How many small business make over 250k and don't incorporate. That argument is a red herring used to scare people. Standard republican tactic, make everyone afraid of the boogeyman that doesn't exist then stand up as the peoples protector. It’s funny people vote against their best interests sometimes because we all believe in the American dream, that we all will someday be in that tax bracket and need to secure it. What a joke.

The government “takeover of companies” You mean like GM where we made a profit for the money lent. Had we let them shutdown imagine the unemployment rate increase and payments that would have had to be made. I see that move as a works program that worked out well.

Seamus

Patrick McHenry said...

Seamus -

Keep believing those polls from MSNBC.

Hard-working Americans realize that runaway government spending, entitlement programs, and bloated government payrolls are what's taking away their money. While everyone else is cutting back, the government keeps taking (and spending more).

Patrick McHenry said...

Seamus -

You're obviously not very informed about the tax system or you would realize that you can incorporate and elect small business 'S' status to have your company income reported (and taxed) at the individual rate.

It's quite popular for small business owners to use this form of organization (or set up an LLC which also flows back to their personal return).

So an increase in individual rates has a very large impact on small business in this country which of course then impacts job creation.

I realize that you're probably not aware of this because your position is so obviously uninformed.

Anonymous said...

Actually McHenry I first said how many small business make over 250K?

And as you correctly pointed out they would be taxed at the individual rate which is as I mentioned 22nd out of 30 and not your original statement of the highest tax rate.

But you are correct I'm no accountant though I do employ them...

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Here is something for the electric car sdvocates:

http://didyouknowonline.com/gm_volt.php

Also windmills have a 37 year payback and kill hundreds of birds
They are also lightning magnets and catch fire in their huge oil lube tanks which causes smoke for hours and miles,

Solar panels are highly inefficient and need constant maintenence which is costly (the are very suseptible to bad weather)

So we are going broke on fossil fuel and the alternative is not ready yet. Nice! we can't afford the research to get it done either.

Anonymous said...

This is why we need a driving ban

Trish

Anonymous said...

Patrick McHenry,

You do an excellent job of regurgitating talking points from the right. Congratulations. Too bad your reality is not based on actual reality. Here are some facts for you:

1. We are in a balance sheet recession, much different than anything we have seen since the 1930s. As a result, tax cuts for the wealthy do not work to stimulate the economy.

2. We are nowhere near a "high" tax rate. Currently the Federal Government collects 14.8% of GDP (2009 & 2010), well below the average of 18.9% and well below where it was under either Bush or Reagan.

3. The wealth gap between to top and bottom is as wide as it has ever been, and at the levels it was at before the Great Depression. Until this gap closes there is no way there will be enough demand to grow the economy enough to dig us out of this economic hole.

4. Most "small business owners" make less than $250k/year, but almost every large corporation executive makes in excess of this number. Raising the taxes on Jamie Diamond (CEO of JP Morgan) doesn't effect "small business." Nor does raising the taxes on professional athletes, Paris Hilton, etc. There are better ways to incentivise small business owners.

5. Government R&D has been a huge creator of wealth. Semiconductors, GPS and the internet were developed in US Government labs or from grants to universities from the Government. Without those investments there would be no Intel, no Google, no Cisco, no Apple, to name a few. FYI, those 4 companies are $661B in private wealth. And you wouldn't have a Garmin to help you find your destination.

Government is not bad. Spending money attacking countries for no reason (Iraq) and deficit spending in good times is (see 2003-2007).

Publius

Anonymous said...

Regarding the release of the strategic oil reserve, Obama et. al. did the right thing. Yes, oil prices have "come down" to $90pb for Brent Crude. Light sweet crude, however, has been $15+ more per barrel for an extended time due to sub-par North Sea production and the Middle East. This is the preferred crude oil by the refiners, and the spread showed the stress on the refining system.

This is a global issue, not just a USA issue. Our allies in Europe have real issues and it has just recently started to effect US supplies. And European refineries cannot refine the sour (heavy) crude.

All of the oil to be released is light sweet crude. This will help both our allies (Europe) and our supply. For the US it is being done just as supplies are getting tight, before we see a possible real spike in gas and oil prices.

Publius

Anonymous said...

Publius/Seamus,
Not sure if you are the same person, but I have been patiently waiting to see who bashes me for suggesting a rig driving ban that exists in 25+ foreign countries.

Seeing that domestic drilling will take years to have an effect on gas prices, and the electric technology, such as the volt, has been an embarassing bondoogle, and releasing emergency supply is temporary and minor, what then?

I really hate govt mandates, but forced conservation may be needed. I was 6 yrs old when we had the odd/even license plate restrictions in place for buying gas. It was annoying, and I finally forgave my mom for not taking me to gymnastics lessons. If we cant solve the supply problem before we have another financial collapse, then we must limit the demand.


Trish

Anonymous said...

No we are not the same person, but I find the name Publius to be pretty cool (authors of the federalist papers) and much more original than mine.

I would simply ask how goods are supposed to get to market. We should utilize trains much more for long distances no doubt, but still need rigs or trucks for local deliveries. We would kill many industries if we banned rigs in any manor.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Well, I was referring to the same types of bans that the foreign countries have...a partial ban, mostly on weekends only with exceptions for perishable foods. It seems Germany has an atrocious ban, while some European countries have rig bans on holidays and at certain hours of the day, for certain highways.

I think its a great idea. If it means giving up some of our liberal selections that we see on store shelves, or having to wait a little longer for other things, I am game. Imagine the luxury of being able to drive on the roads without rigs, even if its only on weekends?

Trish

Anonymous said...

You know, America is a wonderful place, filled with a truly wonderful populace. Whenever we've been asked, on the basis of some critical situation - whether it was war or economics or a combination of both - we've responded (or at least a majority of us have responded) affirmatively and in some instances enthusiastically to sacrifice or to give of our time or treasure.

As I see it, the problem in modern times, is that no one is being honest about our situation or about how we could recover from this recession or the 'energy crisis.' Our leaders in recent decades have been interested in nothing other than power and control (via re-election to powerful positions) and that is the way they have acted and reached decisions. This current one (Obama) is the most transparently politically natured of the lot. Everything that he does, is for votes.

As a result of these machinations and disingenuous actions, we, as an intelligent population, simply do not believe what our leadership is doing or saying. Therefore, our inclination to change or lower our standard of living or to sacrifice anything is minimal.

Frankly I just don't trust the bastards in the White House or Congress and I'm not all too sure about the Courts as these are appointed by the other two. And there appear to be no leaders currently with the courage to lead and earn our trust in order to inspire us to follow and do, what I know this country is fully capable of: rise to the occasion as patriotic and practical people and do what is necessary to solve the issues that confront us at this time in history. I thought this current President was that kind of leader - but the DAY he was elected, he acted to destroy his credibilty (need I say anymore than lobbiests appointed to positions of power?)

We'd better stop arguing amongst ourselves and ignoring realities. That is precisely what our current leaders want: class warfare, disputes over whom is more politically correct, making issues such as weather political, blaming talk show hosts and news organizations for our own problems. All of this allows them to do whatever they want and take our money and destroy our will.

Bernie O'Hare said...

A few quick points.

1) Seamus, Publius, Patricl McHenry are ALL cool names. I am occasionally accused of inventing all the comments posted here, and I wish I could be that creative.

2) If oil supply is a matter of national emergency, as the President has claimed, then why not do some of the things Trish has suggested? During WWII, there was fuel rationing and meatless Tuesdays to support the war effort. I see no reason why we, as a nation, should not make sacrifices for what has amounted to three different military efforts in recent years. i actually like the idea.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Publius, I appreciate your explanation about what is going on internationally and that prices are going up for lighter grades of oil. I did not know these things, and will read up on it. Obama may have done the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, If anybody can think Obama's main goal is not trying to ruin the American economy they are living under a rock. I have not seen any gas lines here in S.C. It is a shame that we have given our government so much power that one man can deplete emergency reserves of oil so people can save a few cents a gallon to drive to Wildwood.

Anonymous said...

Obama's main goal is to destroy the American economy. Really!!! I mean you folks are great comedy relief but main goal. He may unwittingly stumble into a bad place but "main goal". Really???

You know, old George W, really screwed the pooch for the US in the Middle East. Having said that I do not believe he intentionally wanted to ruin our economy or our foreign policy. He made some big mistakes but I never felt he was an intentionally evil man.

You baggers are just way out there. It would be too obvious to ask how in God's name Obama would benefit from the ruination of our economy but you really need to lay off the Coulter and Hannity, that shit is like meth. It will rot your teeth and or your brain.

The fifth gunman in the building

Zorn said...

Who is the biggest whore - dent or obama?

Anonymous said...

The empty speaks ...and says something stupid again ... I bet he was dumb enoughto vote for the repeal of Medicare