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UPDATE: December 3, 2009

The Wall Street Journal is reporting, what the other media, other than Fox News Channel, will not: “Furor Over Climate Triggers U.K. Probe.”

An exposure of the scientific community’s clandestine approach to driving climate change awareness and warnings broke in some media, not all of the “lame” stream media, this weekend.   It appears that emails were hacked and what was found seems to indicate that a real force within the scientific community to silence climate change dissent among equally qualified scientists has been ongoing for some time. The Washington Post has an article, “In the trenches on climate change, hostility among foes”, which looks at the hacking and what corrupt forces have been occurring to shut out those scientists who simply do not concur with the climate change supposedly proven postulation.

As a non-scientist, I am under the understanding that science is not supposed to be based upon a vote or a consensus. It is supposed to be based upon proven tested fact. When some in the scientific community attempt to silence other scientists who have a different view or postulation, then we no longer have science – we now have politics and politics is not science. It appears that scientific rules have not been followed on this climate change postulation.  Ask any scientist of quality and you will find that postulation or theorem must be proven to be taken as scientific fact.

These arrogant “only their opinion counts” people will have us turn this world upside down to fight what may or may not be man made or occurring at all. (Note that the carbon levels keep climbing, but the temperature has not for 11 years.) The self important arrogance of these people appears to be overwhelming, or maybe their opinions are being driven by my the multiple of millions to be made by touting climate change – ask Al Gore.  These folks need to study the history of the planet to see the multitude of radical climate and atmosphere changes that have occurred since the planet was born.

Man’s time on this planet, supported by a climate and atmosphere suitable for man’s existence, is but a single tick on the clock of earth’s history. Why do these arrogant self-important people believe that the earth would and should remain hospitable to man forever?  It is man who needs to adapt, by moving and migrating as man has done for centuries, to more suitable climates and ocean tides and levels, if climate change is real.   We must adapt to any changes to the planet’s atmosphere and not the planet adapting to man.  Man cannot and never will in the near term be able to change the climate, the ocean currents, nor the atmosphere of planet earth – we simply are not that advanced.

What will be next?  Will be be warned against continental shift and attempt to stop it by forcing everyone to move to the center of the continents?  Keep in mind that if one very large asteroid collided with earth, climate change would be immediate and the longterm effects of climate change would be of no concern.  Mankind on earth would probably disappear in a relatively short time frame.

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Iran, Russia, and The Peoples Republic of China are fermenting unrest throughout the world.  In actuality, Iran is the point of this troubling spear and Russia and China are the enablers.  Both Russia and China have important trade arrangements with Iran.  Oil, again, is the root of the unresolved Iranian nuclear problem.  China obtains most of its oil from Iran and this oil is critically necessary to fuel China’s growing economy and military—China will protect this oil life line fiercely.  Russia has a lucrative trade export arrangement with Iran.  This trade includes conventional arms, among other manufactured goods, making Iran one of its key export partners.

Neither China nor Russia is interested in an embargo of Iran because they depend heavily on Iranian trade.  Thus Iran has been able to buy time and hold off the international community in its effort to develop a nuclear weapon.  Without the strongest support of China and Russia, the international community including the United States is neutralized.   Take note of today’s announcement at the international G20 meeting by the leaders of the U.S., the U.K., and France about sanctions, in that neither Russia nor China was present.

The Europeans are afraid of pushing Iran hard and are more interested in appeasement due to the Strait of Hormuz and Iran’s grip on the world’s oil supply.  Back in March of 2008, I wrote:  Oil, It will destroy us!

“Have you noticed that there is a direct correlation between worldwide tensions and oil?  If you might be wondering why Russia’s Vladimir Putin [now Medvedev and Putin] has started to flex his muscles and become obstinate in the fight against global terror…you should be. If you are wondering why Iran has become so independent and belligerent of late…you should be. Have you looked at our own hemisphere lately? Take a good look at Venezuela and how Chavez is as bold as can be in creating an anti-U.S. socialist state more powerful than Cuba ever was….Well! It is all about oil!

Ask any military strategist and they will tell you that one of the reasons we cannot leave Iraq as we want to, is that we are afraid Iran will…make Iraq a satellite country in its attempt to create a worldwide caliphate (A caliphate is a fundamentalist theocratic form of tyrannical government, that unites all Muslims covering a wide swath of geography in the world, under one rule). This is not a good thing for the west. This could place Iran in a position to directly control 10% of the world’s oil (includes oil equivalent products in the production) and to indirectly control 44% of the world’s oil exports which are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, by shutting down the Strait or creating the caliphate. In addition, today the group of thugs known as Russia, Iran, Venezuela could conceivably directly control 29% (with Iraq, 32%) of the world’s oil production, and indirectly control exports, when the Strait is included, to bring the overall control to 66% of world oil exports. An Iran controlling Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz would be one very powerful entity–an entity that has a culture and a philosophy directly opposite ours. Iran is a country that does not do well with negotiation, especially when we are in a position to lose and they are in a position to gain. Is it possible to successfully negotiate from weakness? NO! Are we in a position of weakness in such a negotiation? YES!

Considering that since our oil import consumption is at 31% of the world’s oil exports, and the control of 66% of the world’s oil exports by Iran and its new very cash rich friends can be a quick reality, we should be worried and reactive. Yet we are not!…

What do we do?  In the short term we are powerless and our national oil policy has been the problem.  Had we had a robust domestic drilling program for oil and natural gas, we would be in a position to sell China its much needed oil and natural gas.  Instead we allowed China to become dependent on Iran for its economic lifeblood, crude oil, and Iran knows this.

Selling China that oil and natural gas that we have under our land and off shore, and did not go after, would have had far reaching effects internationally:

First it would have made China less dependent on Iran, allowing China to support intense pressure on Iran and have avoided the thwarting of the international community’s efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  In addition, China could also have put pressure on North Korea to keep that rogue power from selling missile technology and parts to Iran.  These missiles are the delivery vehicle for the nuclear weapons.

Second, by selling China oil, we would have had an opportunity to balance our trade deficit with China.  China would have been an equal trade partner and not our banker/lender.

Instead we chose to be flat out dumb on the use of our abundant untapped offshore and arctic natural resources, oil and natural gas.  It is not too late to work toward making China an equal trade partner, rather than the one sided arrangement we currently have.  It may be too late to solve the Iranian matter, but there will be other international troubles, including North Korea.  China can be instrumental in providing support to manage those matters.  They are a pragmatic country when it comes to protecting their self interests and this can work in our favor.

Our country continues to eschew the leverage oil would bring us as an international policy driver.  Why do we continue to do this?  I know, we want to save the planet, but if we don’t obtain the leverage necessary to control the spread of nuclear weapons we may not have a planet to save.  Right now oil and natural gas are the best tools God has given this nation to keep world peace and we are blind to it.  As a peacemaker, oil and natural gas in the right hands are the keys to world stability.  In the wrong hands they are a flash point.

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The funeral for the main stream cable broadcast media is occurring today.  At this writing, note this post’s date and time of 2:05 PM EDT, the Mall in Washington, D.C. is filled with Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents.  TV pictures reveal that the Mall is tightly packed from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, with overflow, as  a CBS affiliate reports, onto Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

The Fourth Estate, aptly brought to life by Edmund Burke in the House of Commons on a particular session during the 19th century, is the press.  The clergy, nobles, and commoners being the other three.  These estates were essentially the makeup of the British government at that time.  He referred to the Fourth Estate as the most powerful of the estates present that day in the House of Commons—they were in the gallery.  Closer to home, our Founding Fathers believed the Fourth Estate was similarly powerful and sufficiently independent to keep the three branches of our new government in check.  This is why freedom of the press is clearly written into our Constitution.  They were depending on the press to keep government honest.  In no way did they ever believe that the press would become complicit with the government and withhold key pieces of news, slant the news coverage, and become the house organ of two of the three branches of government.

Incredibly, at this writing CNN is broadcasting a Barack Obama speech on reform before a large  partisan audience.  It is yet another speech by him in three or so days on healthcare reform—are they expecting him to say something new?  The President is stumping in relatively Democratic conclaves trying to repair the breach in his Party over health insurance reform—this breach has gone mostly unreported by CNN.  At this writing, MSNBC had planned a televised mystery / crime documentary which must be quite good and must serve the public interest to allow them to skip reporting about a long time planned event at the Mall in the nation’s capitol, now mostly filled with grass roots demonstrators made up of every day citizen protestors.  It now appears that MSNBC did manage to do some reporting of the event after all.  These protesters are mostly against big government and big spending, regardless of political party.  If this were an anti-war rally, MSNBC would be reporting.  If this was a Obama campaign rally, they would be reporting with flourishes.

The estimate for the attendance by the Park Police is 60,000.  Recently, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, issued a memo claiming that 2 Million will show.  She was setting ultra high expectations, so she could later minimize any protest significance.  Well if the Mall is filled, depending on how tightly packed it is, it can hold anywhere between 1.7 Million to 2.1 Million people.  TV pictures indicate that the Mall is filled.  Remember CBS reported that crowd overflow filled Pennsylvania Avenue.  Of course, government estimates, the Speaker’s estimates, and the news media’s estimates will be substantially minimized to accommodate their agenda.  The Washington Post had an article written at the inauguration of President Obama about how many people the Mall can hold—Mall information found at the Washington Post click here.

Based on the broadbased main stream media failed reporting on the just broken high impact ACORN story and the failed or minimal reporting on the Tea Party protests around the country today, I can only state, if you are depending on this dead media for information, you are uninformed.  The exceptions are those of you who are getting your news from Fox or by searching the internet for real news, not a blog like mine, otherwise you are seriously in the dark and cannot make informed decisions about our nation’s future.  If you meet this uninformed criteria, then careful, you are being manipulated with all the news these “news” operations deem you should have, with the slant they want you to have.

This ideological conspiracy is an attempt at censorship plain and simple.  MSNBC and now apparently CNN among other complicit news organizations are attempting to feed the populace with what they want us to know and are withholding selected news.   If it weren’t for Fox News Channel and the internet—call it the Fifth Estate, they would be successful in using censorship to manage government propaganda.  Are we living in a free nation or are we in a government and media controlled society, like Venezuela and Iran?   

I for one will not be steered and will not comply.  Want more? Read The Acorn Story Truly Exposes Main Stream Media.

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Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, does not want to drill for oil off our coasts and will reverse the Bush Administration’s position on off shore drilling.  He prefers wind and solar.  I also prefer wind and solar, but I understand that effectively creating a new national energy infrastructure with additional and rebuilt power grids is tentative at best in the next ten years.  Why do we need to gamble on getting it right with a massive shift on source energy and delivery, when we can have that domestic off shore oil as a security blanket?  If we were to displace off shore oil with domestic wind and solar, we could become an oil exporter and actually change the balance of trade deficit to a trade surplus. 

Watch Salazar’s statement on Bloomberg.   Read Bloomberg’s article here.

Regardless of what he says, no matter the excuses he makes, the public interest calls for domestic offshore drilling now – it is clearly in our national security interest.

If we drilled for and sold our off shore oil on the open market, we could blunt the sale of oil by nations like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela.  We could actually use oil as a foreign policy tool.  We need all the edge we can get.  Yes, right now the price of oil is down, but where will it be in five years?  The Democrats put us in a bind over the recent oil price hike, with decisions that made it difficult for us to have more domestic oil on hand when we needed it.  It has been the war against off shore drilling by democrats that has left us defenseless against foreign oil.  The balance of power in the world will be in our favor if we have our own oil to use and possibly sell.  If we are successful in switching to renewable power generation, other nations may not switch as successfully.  Other nations will still need oil – it is better that they get it from us than from nations hostile to us.  In any event, wind and solar source energy will be a fifty year national change over. 

The Obama administration is so intent on shifting to green energy to save the world, that they are gambling our near term ten year future on an untried and unproven massive change on source energy and source energy delivery to power our entire nation.  Why not drill just in case?  Keep in mind that both wind and solar are harvested where the energy grid is not.  We need to build out our energy grid to deliver the wind and solar source energy through the existing grid for delivery to businesses and homes.  This necessary grid project alone is massive and wrought with a not in my backyard mentality (NIMBY).  Shutting out the mining for and drilling for domestic oil resources located off shore is foolish and myopic.  Gambling on adequately replacing our foreign oil with solar and wind in the next ten years is not only foolish, but arrogantly foolhardy.  It is national security negligence.

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Contributed by F. M. Verbits

 

Sometimes you just “gotta” clean out the “pipes” and our country is fast approaching the time to do just that.  The “Detroit Three” are staring into the abyss and they are moving closer to it every day. Previous posts have addressed some of the issues and concerns and past sins of management and the unions; and no matter what congress does efforts at this point will most likely treat the symptoms and not really address any of the problems.  That’s the way congress works, they continue to address our nation’s symptoms and not really focus on the problems.   Rather than fix the tax code and remove discrimination from it, we give taxpayers a check for $500.   I don’t know about you but for many families in this country $500 will not buy a month’s supply of groceries. I would prefer an extra $500 in my paycheck each and every month from a fairer tax code.  Back to the auto issue.

Automakers say they want billions to retool and make more fuel efficient vehicles.  A writer in the Wall Street Journal said that is like giving money to the cigarette companies to do research to find a cure for cancer.   Passing stronger regulation and mandating fuel economy targets for vehicle manufacturers hasn’t worked in the past and will not work in the future.  We need to change our way of thinking (again not easy for big corporations or politicians). If we give auto makers our billions, let’s tie it to abandoning last century’s energy technology.

If the goal is to be more fuel efficient and lower our carbon footprint, then let’s not pussy-foot around the issue.   Congress should find some big brass kahones and really address the issue head-on.  My suggestion for a solution simply pass a law that effectively says, “By the year 2020 no new motor vehicle sold in the United States for passenger use will run on petroleum based fuels or derivatives thereof.”

What will this accomplish?  After the initial “shock and awe” wears off all available resources, corporations and entrepreneurs will work on developing and perfecting alternative power sources.   All vehicle manufacturers will have a clean piece of paper to start fresh and perfect current alternative fuel vehicles.  As you read this Honda has about 500+ hydrogen powered vehicles leased to consumers in Southern California,  thousands of fleet vehicles are powered by natural gas, hundred more are powered by waste cooking oil or other bio fuels and companies are currently selling electric vehicles too.

With a finite end to the sale of petroleum based internal combustion engines, we can say goodbye to our dependency on Middle East oil.  I believe most efforts will go into developing a hydrogen solution. Hydrogen is the most plentiful substance in the universe and throws off only water when burned, it has been hailed as the answer to earth’s dual fossil-fuel problems: dwindling supply and the ballooning greenhouse effect.  Our politicians have been paying lip service to energy independence for decades now they can do something about it.

Can it be done in ten years?  Absolutely.  The Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb was accomplished in six years. With all of our incredible resources in this country and around the world we most certainly can accomplish this task.

Over the next ten years the major oil companies, ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell will start developing their hydrogen refilling stations of the future.  They can take some of their billions in oil profits from the last few years and put it into the new hydrogen pumps and infrastructure.  Shell has had a hydrogen refilling station in Iceland for the last five years and working with other companies and governments has shown that hydrogen is safer than oil or gasoline, people are willing to use hydrogen to fuel their vehicles and that governments are able to educate consumers about alternative fuels.

I think it’s time we demand that our politicians address this issue and force a paradigm shift in the personal transportation arena that will take us into a cleaner future. 

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We have heard so much misinformation about oil, drilling, and renewable energy, all designed to mislead and confuse the American people. Sadly this misinformation and disinformation is coming from our elected leaders and the news media, to serve their political and ideological agendas. What is best for the nation seems to have fallen out of the equation.

To help sift through disinformation, I have put together a primer on the oil / renewable energy debate. I hope it helps clear things up.

What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

“The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It also allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve.” Source: U.S. Department of Energy website

How Much is in it?**

706,400,000 barrels

How much oil does the U.S. consume in a day?**

20,000,000 barrels

How much oil does the world consume in a day?**

79,000,000 barrels

How many days supply does our reserve mean to us?**

35 days, U.S. consumption – 9 days, world consumption

Have we stopped filling the SPR?**

Yes, for now

** Statistics and answers either taken from or derived from the information at the Energy Information Administration.

Do those politicians who point to releasing the SPR as a means of lowering gas prices know anything?

Yes and no. Releasing a 9 day supply of crude into the world oil supply will lower prices for one to two weeks and then the SPR would be gone.

Just how much oil is in that 68 million acres of leased land for exploration?

No one really knows, however the land is leased for a ten year period. The lease holders do geological surveys and sink test wells. If oil is not found in commercially large enough quantities, the oil drilling exploration companies look elsewhere – no sense in drilling.

Who is Big Oil?

Generally “Big Oil” is considered to be Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, and Total S.A. Only Exxon, Chevron, and Conoco Phillips are headquartered in the USA and are considered to be American Oil Companies. Shell is actually Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands with offices in London, and BP is British Petroleum. Total S.A. is a French company, headquartered in Paris. All are heavily multi-national.

Does Big Oil own the leases for the 68 Million Acres of Government land?

Some but not all. The “don’t drill lobby” and the “don’t drill politicians” keep referring to 68 million acres that “Big Oil” will not drill on – that they should drill there first. It is often said by these folks, that “Big Oil” is hoarding the land waiting for oil to go up further in price. “Big Oil” does not own the bulk of the leases.

Who holds the leases on that 68 million acres?

According to the American Petroleum Institute, it is estimated that 300-400 entities hold leases in the Rocky Mountain states. These entities include large and small companies, investment groups, etc. Each entity is bound by the same “use it or lose it” provision that exists in current law.

There are 121 lease holders in US offshore areas. They consist of large and small companies, partnerships, consortia, etc. which purchased leases and are bound by the same leasing law as mentioned above.

Just how much oil is there for us to tap, if we were to drill everywhere?

A Bureau of Land Management study, incorporating data from the, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Minerals Management Service (MMS), The Study , indicates that this country has undiscovered oil resources of 139 billion barrels of which 86 billion barrels are offshore under the outer continental shelf.

Where does natural gas come from?

We have to drill for that too. Often it is found in the same fields as crude oil.

How much natural gas are we sitting on, if we drill?

A Bureau of Land Management study in cooperation with the U.S. Geological survey, and the Energy Information Administration, indicates that we are sitting on a 49 year supply of this clean energy.

How is electricity produced and what fuel is used? – How much electricity comes from renewable energy?

This country’s electricity generating capacity is different in the winter and the summer, due to weather related needs for certain generation fuels to heat homes, etc. The most current information from the EIA is 2006 data, with the next report on 2007 due in October 2008.

This report reveals that the source of energy for the maximum capacity period, the winter, is broken down as follows:

Energy Source

by Fuel

Net Winter

Megawatt

Capacity

Percent

of Mix

Planned Mix

Through 2011

Coal 315,163 30.8% 31.2%
Petroleum 62,565 6.1% 6.0%
Natural Gas 416,745 40.8% 40.7%
Other Gases 2,197 0.2% 0.7%
Nuclear 101,718 9.9% 9.8%
Hydroelectric Conventional 77,393 7.6% 7.5%
Other Renewables* 24,285 2.4% 2.3%
Pumped Storage 21,374 2.1% 3.0%
Other 908 0.1% 0.1%
Total 1,022,347 Rounding–1.3%

*Other Renewables = wood, black liquor, wood waste, solid waste, landfill gas, sludge waste, agriculture byproducts, biomass, geothermal, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind.

Source: Energy Information Administration / Electric Power Annual 2006

Note that while the report only goes out five years to 2011 much has happened to the energy debate in 2008, yet the new realities may not be reflected until the report of 2008, produced in October 2009. However, we can derive from this report that we are not ready to drive this nation’s power needs with renewable energy, and will not be ready for many years to come. This source of energy will have to move from 2.3% of our electricity capacity to 39% to replace the 37% of our energy capacity from coal and petroleum, in order to be the dominant provider of energy for electricity generation.

What about ANWR?

Check out this blog with a fine analysis of drilling in ANWR.

What does this all mean?

  • It means that we have politicians blowing smoke up our collective butts for the sake of their own agendas.
  • It means that the nation is playing second fiddle to special interests.
  • It means that we need to drill now and everywhere to maximize our energy capability in the world.
  • It means that we need to plow the royalties from drilling into a fast tracked renewable energy program along with growth of nuclear, natural gas, and especially clean coal.
  • It means that if we are to regain our status as the stand alone most powerful nation in the world, economically, militarily, and politically, then we had better maximize every bit of energy available to us.

Energy drives economies and the world political order. The nation that has plentiful and low priced energy will lead the world for the 21st century in standard of living, trade, and security. We need to be that nation.

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Added 8/3/08

– also read The Truth About The Oil Debate

– a primer on Oil and Renewable Energy

68 Million Acres and Oil Companies Do Not Drill

If you listen to Harry Reed, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Democratic strategists on talk shows, or read opinion pieces written in the far left newspapers, like the New York Times, you have heard/read that we do not need to open up new areas for drilling, because the oil companies are sitting on 68 million acres and they have not bothered to drill on those acres.

This is propaganda against drilling. This is a bogus argument based on talking points by the far left to prevent drilling. These people want to eliminate fossil fuels from our energy diet at all cost and they will do this without regard to who is hurt and what it does to our national security and our economy. Renewable energy is simply not ready to fully power this nation, and it will not be ready for 15 years or more. That is why Barack Obama wants to invest $150 Billion in renewable research over the next ten years.

The following is information from the American Petroleum Institute that refutes the Democratic talking points that the oil companies have 68 million leased acres to drill on and that they should drill on these leases first. Update July 31, 2008: 400 companies and not only big oil hold and pay for these leases on shore and 121 companies hold and pay for the leases off shore and again it is not only big oil. Most of these companies are only in the business of exploration, discovery, drilling, and pumping. Their only business is to drill, thus to be accused of intentionally NOT drilling is ludicrous.

Here are questions and answers to why drilling takes place or not on the 68 million acres. The API makes a lot more sense then these reckless individuals who will spout just about anything to prevent drilling.

The facts about non-producing federal leases:

CLAIM: Oil and natural gas companies are given leases by the government and purposely don’t produce from them to increase prices.

FACT: Companies pay billions of dollars for the right to explore on federal lands. If the company does not produce within the lease term, it must give the lease back to the government, and the company does not recover the billions of dollars it may have invested.

CLAIM: Companies let many of their leases sit idle and don’t produce them

FACT: Companies actively develop their leases – but not every lease contains oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. In many cases, the so-called “idle leases” are not idle at all; they are under geologic evaluation or in development and could be an important source of domestic supply. However, this does not mean all leases have the potential to produce. Companies can evaluate leases for several years only to determine that they do not contain oil or natural gas in commercial quantities. The road to bring the oil and natural gas to market — obtaining the lease, evaluation, exploration and production — is a long and complicated one.

CLAIM: If the lease doesn’t contain oil or natural gas, then the company shouldn’t have bought it.

FACT: There are tremendous risks and challenges involved in finding and producing oil and natural gas. There is no guarantee that a lease will even contain hydrocarbons. It is not unusual for a company to spend in excess of $100 million only to drill a dry hole. A company usually has only has limited knowledge of resource potential when it buys a lease. Only after the lease is acquired, will the company be in the position to evaluate it, usually with a very costly seismic survey followed by an exploration well.

CLAIM: There’s absolutely no reason for a company not to produce if it finds oil or gas on the lease.

FACT: If the company finds resources in commercial quantities, it will produce the lease. But there can sometimes be delays – often as long as seven to 10 years – for environmental and engineering studies, to acquire permits, install production facilities (or platforms for offshore leases) and build the necessary infrastructure to bring the resources to market. Litigation, landowner disputes and regulatory hurdles can also delay the process.

CLAIM: The vast majority of federal and gas resources are already available for development.

FACT: In the Lower 48 states, about 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and 67 percent of onshore federal lands are off-limits or facing significant restrictions to development. There is no way, at this stage, to determine exactly the extent of the resources off-limits because many of these areas have not been subject to inventory studies in decades.

CLAIM: Non-producing leases could provide a major source of new supplies.

FACT: Many of these leases will provide a major source of new domestic supply once they are developed. Companies are actively developing the leases, and in addition to paying for the lease, they must also pay rent to the government while they conduct development and exploration efforts. But this process takes time. Reducing the time companies have to develop a lease or increasing the costs imposed by government will not increase supply for American consumers. Nor will denying access to areas of oil and natural gas potential like the Atlantic and Pacific OCS.

CLAIM: Increased domestic drilling activity has not led to lower gasoline prices, and more leases and drilling won’t help either.

FACT: Our nation needs more supplies of all forms of energy, including domestic oil and natural gas, to meet its growing energy demand. Increased drilling has helped the United States offset the natural declines in domestic oil and natural gas production from older fields. Greater drilling activity tends to produce more supply. Fundamental economics suggest that additional supplies put downward pressure on prices.

CLAIM: Companies should be penalized for not producing from their leases.

FACT: Oil and gas companies take all the risk with federal leases. Not only do they pay billions to obtain leases, they pay to hold them while they are spending even more capital to determine if these leases contain resources. Penalties on leaseholders on top of those fees would only discourage U.S. exploration and production, at a time when the United States needs all the energy it can get.

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A commenter pointed out a relevant Business Week article, I suggest it for additional reading. Keep in mind that the article does not address the Return on Investment and the Profit Margins of the Exxon in any depth. Those commenting to that article add some important information. Business Week Article

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