My last post hasn't been up long yet, but I received a comment that I wanted to address now. The comment concerned what we all hear the liberal news media touting as the answer to our oil problem. I will respond to each part of a comment left by Ryan, THATBOYAINTRIGHT.
"No, the drop in crude prices had nothing to do with the report about untapped oil in the US."
That was just something to wonder about. Since the formation of OPEC, ANYTIME they raised their prices and we responded with news of more exploration, developing new technology, or whatever, OPEC ALWAYS dropped their prices, and of course, we ALWAYS stopped the exploration, development of new technology, etc.
"We can't drill our way out of the mess we're in."
This is the main line that we hear just about daily on the news. The fact is, even if we don't go after the shale oil in the West, getting our own oil offshore and ANWAR alone will buy us time. Those are the most viable sources right now. The reality is, that we should never have stopped. We should never have regulated ourselves out of the oil business. What is really going on is that the left, which includes the environmentalists, have been wanting us to pay the same for gasoline as Europeans. To achieve this, taxes on gasoline would have to be raised drastically. (The price of gas wholesale in Europe is about the same as in the U.S., but the taxes on it throughout Europe are much higher. Seventy per cent of the price at the pumps in France, for example, goes down the drain in tax.) This has been going on for years now and there's no "reading between the lines" necessary. These groups have come right out and said it many times in the media.
"There has to be a significant =increase= in the price of gas before the type of changes we need will come. . . . a shift in population toward cities . . . "
A shift in population toward cities? If gas went to European levels, which is about nine dollars a gallon right now, who could afford to drive even across town to work? And what about those people who want a better environment in which to raise their families? And shifting the population towards cities would have what effect on family farming operations? It would shut them down. Farmers wouldn't be able to afford to drive 50, 75, 100, or 150 miles just to get fuel for their farm equipment and supplies for their farms. Such a shift would also completely destroy rural states economies. When local small-town businesses shut down, and people leave rural areas, not only are local economies damaged, but the state's and nation's economy as well. Recent statistics show that 98% of all businesses in the U.S. employ less than 100 people. That shows what we already know - small business is the backbone and foundation of the entire business world and our nation's economy. Force a population shift towards the big cities, and many of these businesses would close from lack of business. This idea isn't practical any way you look at it.
"Like it or not, we need less travel to places of employment; smaller vehicles . . . " "Energy conservation can no longer be an option."
There are many industries that cannot be located just anywhere such as power plants and paper mills. Sources of large amounts of water are needed and therefore location isn't a choice. Where the resources are dictates where they locate. And if the "shift in population" is towards the cities? Who's going to run the plants? All the workers will be in the cities.
"Smaller vehicles?" We're overrun with small vehicles now. Fuel mileage is double and in some cases triple what it was in the 1960's. The Federal government passed a law in 1975 known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE). These are government regulations intended to require an overall increase of gas mileage in cars, light trucks, vans, and SUV's. This law has been in effect since 1975. Back then, we had a forty percent dependence on foreign oil. After thirty-three years of fuel economy in cars steadily rising to the highest fuel economy in vehicles we've had since before about 1958 or so, and look where we are now. Our dependence hasn't gone down as the government promised with the CAFE standards, instead it has steadily gone up. This is a prime example that you can't conserve your way out of a problem. Period. California is another good example of this. I'm sure we all remember the problems just a few years ago with having enough power to go around. And conservation-wise, California has the lowest energy consumption rate per capita than anywhere else due to the massive conservation practices there over the years. Trying to conserve your way out of a situation has never worked and never will. Production has to be increased, and over time, as our technology advances, alternative energy sources will be discovered.
" . . . real public transportation; & tax hits for driving land yachts . . ."
Why is it that the answer from the left's point of view for everything is ALWAYS higher taxes????? Public transportation never pays for itself. A high enough fare for riders can never be charged to make it self-supporting. So what happens? Higher taxes to pay for it. Tax hits for driving land yachts? I absolutely don't trust government's definition of anything. Their definition and mine would be two different things. Since we drive an antique car (that's not a show car, an everyday driver) and a 1994 Ford Explorer, you know I would be slammed under this idea. SUV's have been demonized by the liberal left for some years now. A side note, it was kind of funny, they later had to include pickup trucks in this because at first, they apparently didn't know that most SUV's were built on pickup truck frames and used pickup motors. Even though our truck gets thirty miles per gallon at fifty-five miles per hour and twenty-three to twenty-four miles per gallon in the city consistently, I'm sure my little two-door Explorer would cause my taxes to go way up. To reduce my taxes, I could always buy a smaller vehicle that actually gets less mileage than our truck. Since my 1968 Ford Galaxie is larger than a mini-Cooper, you can only imagine.
Speaking of definitions, the last time the left defined "rich" people,my income taxes went through the roof. This, of course, was under the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton handed out an income tax increase that was supposed to only tax the rich. Well, guess what? I found out that if you were earning as much as $20,000 a year, YOU WERE RICH! I was rich and didn't even know it. I was sure to thank Mr. Clinton for that information. So, do you REALLY want to trust the government's definition of a "land yacht"? I don't think so. I think many of you would find out that your Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Taurus, or Chevy Impala were "land yachts". Tax increases always seem to get expanded over time, and taxing us more is never the answer.
I just had another thought on this: what about low-income people? That's right, many low-income people drive older model Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Buicks because they can purchase them relatively cheaply. They're not restored or in great condition, but many low-income people cannot afford even a small car. So who would take yet another hit on the "land yacht" tax? The people who can least afford it, as always.
"Alternative energy resources is a must. Now. "
This won't happen overnight. Under the Jimmy Carter administration, this was supposedly a huge part of his energy plan. The government's been at this one for over thirty years. It hasn't happened on a large scale basis. Alternative energy technology happens over a period of many years. Technology has to be discovered, ways of using it, and so on. It's a slow process. We need a better plan than the failed energy policies already in place since the 1970's.
"If we drill more, all we do is keep the current mindset we have now. We've known that was coming since 1973 & did we develop public transportation?"
Like it or not, the entire world economy is oil-based. There's no getting around that until technology for some other type of energy source is developed where it will filter down to the poorer nations of the world, the world's economy will remain oil-based. This won't happen anytime in our lifetime. Public transportation isn't the cure-all. Many cities did develop public transportation systems, even those that couldn't really afford to. Again, higher taxes to pay for it, and higher taxes always hit those at the lower end of the income spectrum the hardest.
"Did we utilize a European-style zoning? "
I really don't know what Ryan meant here, but I frankly don't want European-style anything here. Their taxes are through the roof there and poverty is a huge problem because of the exorbitant taxes. We complain about the 18.4 cents per gallon the Federal government gets from each gallon of gas in the U. S., what if it were THREE-FOURTHS of the total price like it is in France and other European countries where the price is around nine dollars per gallon? I know this doesn't have anything to do with whatever zoning Ryan is referring to, but my point is that living conditions in Europe as a whole are not that great and freedom is greatly restricted. That's why Europeans try to immigrate TO the U.S., and Americans aren't exactly trying to immigrate there in droves. I'm just skeptical of anything that mimics the European lifestyle because it means giving up even more of our freedom. We give up enough of that every time Congress convenes as it is.
"Did we all start driving smaller cars & conserving more energy?"
The answer is yes. There is really no such thing as a family size car anymore. What is considered a standard size car now is actually a midsize. At work, I used to drive a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria with a Police Interceptor high performance engine. I checked the gas mileage from time to time, and it came out to 26 miles per gallon combined city and highway (which by the way would be hit by a “land yacht” tax I’m sure, even though it got better fuel mileage than many smaller cars). That's much better than the 1985 Ford Police Interceptor that got ten miles per gallon. More than double. Technologies such as solar power and windmills have been developed. Solar power is everywhere now. I even see solar powered flashing roadside warning signs out in rural areas. There are many energy saving devices in our homes such as the sleep mode on computers that is idle for a certain period of time, better insulated homes than in the past, and more efficient heating and cooling systems.
"Drilling more will only keep the American appetite growing."
I disagree. The "American appetite" is going to continue to grow. People are going to keep on having children and immigrants from other countries are going to continue to come here. Unless we want to put population controls in place like Red China did. Do you REALLY want to live like that with even your freedom to have children limited and regulated by – THE GOVERNMENT???
Drilling more will enable the normal technological evolution towards other energy sources to take place. It would also lower prices, and insure our national security. National security? Glad you asked! Since we're so dependent on foreign oil, primarily from enemy nations, if we went to war with any of their allies, do you think for one second they would continue to supply us with their oil to do battle with them? The answer there is obvious. We MUST do whatever we need to do to become independent of these enemy oil producing nations as soon as possible. We should have already been producing enough here to be independent today.
"We need to bite the bullet like the rest of the world . . . "
This goes back to the conservation idea. While there's nothing wrong with conserving where you can, it's not going to solve the problem. I think a thirty-three year track record of total failure has shown that.
As always, Ryan, thank you for reading and your comments. Differing points of view are always welcome here.