Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) was correct, though arguably premature, when he shouted that accusation during the State of the Union message months ago, for your president looked you in the eye last night and told you an untruth of enormous proportions.
“We consume more than 20% of the world’s oil, but have less than 2% of the world’s oil reserves. And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean – because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.”
Not true, in so many ways. We are not running out of places to drill; places where there are enormous known reserves. We are just running out of places that the federal government and its ideological, environmentally extreme base will allow us to drill. We actually have enough oil in domestic reserve to meet a 300 year need at the present rate of consumption! Quoting Chad Stafko at American Thinker,
…our own government has acknowledged the vast oil resources available to us. In an April 2008 study conducted by the United States Geological Survey, the group began its press release with the following: “North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.”
The report acknowledges that the available oil reserves could be much larger, but the 3.0 to 4.3 billion figure represents oil recoverable right now with today’s technology. In fact, there may more than 100 billion barrels eventually recoverable with continued developments in the technology necessary to extract the oil.
Fact is, we have more oil in reserve than OPEC, an organization characterized by nations that despise us, and from whom we buy a great deal of oil, and to whom we send a great deal of money with which they wage war on us.
A June 2008 article in Kiplinger Magazine reports that we have reserves estimated at 2.3 trillion barrels, including federally protected lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, where there is enough oil shale to provide about 200 years worth alone. There are other known reserves in Montana, Texas, California and Kentucky. But these lands are protected from drilling.
And we mustn’t forget ANWR, the forbidden Arctic National Wildlife Refuges which sit on top of another 10 billion barrels we could harvest with today’s technology.
There are jobs in those fields as well, were they to be tapped. Imagine our government providing opportunities for job growth rather that job killing moratoriums.
Lastly, we are not opposed to protecting wildlife and the environment, but the current technology is minimally invasive, thus has minimal negative impact on the environment.
Conversely, what has been the impact on the environment because of deepwater drilling in the Gulf? We see that impact every time we read a news report or watch television. The Gulf oil spill we are currently suffering through is a direct result of the federal government’s denying access to more accessible sources on land and shallow water, and as we’ve all seen, the technology at use in the deep is cutting edge, while the accident response technology is inadequate, and is being developed “on the fly” at the blowout, which is why so many attempts to seal the well have ended in disappointing failure.
One can blame BP all one wants to for the disaster in the Gulf, with little or no argument here, but the ultimate cause of the leak is that they, along with other exploration companies, are drilling in 5000 feet of water because the environmental movement has succeeded in preventing them from drilling in less risky locales. For despite the desires of some to end our dependence on oil entirely, it isn’t going to happen any time soon.
What else has the environmental movement and its desire to wean us off oil done to harm the environment?
There is a 6600 square mile area in the Gulf where there is little or no life. No, it’s not the oil slick; it’s that area at the mouths of the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers that dies every year because of oxygen deprivation resulting from algae plumes that themselves are a result of excess fertilizers from the Midwest being discharged there. Again, this is an annual occurrence, and it has gotten worse because of the escalation in the size of the corn crop since ethanol from corn became a rallying cry of the petroleum opposition movement.
World wide, forests are being clear cut to make additional land available for the planting of corn from which to make methanol. As Jonah Goldberg stated today at National Review Online,
Ethanol production steals precious land to produce inefficient fuel inefficiently (making food more scarce and expensive for the poor). If all of our transport fuel came from biofuel, we would need 30 percent more land than all of the existing food-growing farmland we have today.
It would appear that the environmental movement is lying to itself about achieving its desired goals, and there is no doubt the President of the United States is lying to the people of the United States.
Joe Wilson was right.