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Having created their "drill more" catchphrase, dictating that the only solution is to continue beating our heads against the same wall that's already given us an economic and national security concussion, Republicans used a technical maneuver to defeat the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Democrats had a plan to release 10% of the reserve's light sweet crude over a six month period, helping moderate prices on the market.  Republicans moved quickly to protect their talking point, and got what they wanted -- higher prices.

Oil prices reversed course and moved higher Thursday in U.S. trading after a move in Congress to tap into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was defeated. ... At a press conference before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, pointed out that previous releases from the oil reserve had knocked down prices, sometimes significantly: 33 percent in 1991, 19 percent in 2000 and nine percent in 2005.

Is releasing oil from the strategic reserve a long term solution?  No, but unlike anything the Republicans have suggested, it actually would help relieve prices at the pump today and give the market a chance to moderate.  And there's a record amount of oil in the SPR, so a minor adjustment in the reserve's composition (the plan required that this oil be replaced by heavier crude) would represent no problem for US security.

Of course, selling that 10% would both reduce ExxonMobil's bottom line and damage the GOP talking point.  And their leverage was already being eroded by the damage they've done to the economy, which was putting demand in doubt.  That had to be stopped!

Republican plan from now until November?  Continue talking about drilling that won't help prices so they can avoid talking about anything that will.  Oil prices were edging down on more economic worries on Friday.  That has to have them worried.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:10 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If I put out your house-fire (20+ / 0-)

    you won't sell me your house so cheaply.  


    Will "gooks" vote for John McCain? Will "c-nts" vote for John McCain?

    by Grand Moff Texan on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:12:46 PM PDT

  •  The Republicans love Saudi Arabia (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    groggy, CCSDem, jds1978, luckylizard

    That's the only excuse for their actions. They hate our freedoms and love Saudi Arabia.

    •  Nah, they just love money (4+ / 0-)

      They own the oil companies that are profitting off of all of this. They don't care that they're getting it from people less fortunate than them.

      •  Bush/Cheny love Saudis, Rethugs love BIG OIL..and (0+ / 0-)

        ...they hate Americans who don't have $1 million or more.

        Can someone tell me why the House can't act on this?  They have a fucking majority, no?  Where's the roll call vote?  

        Headz must roll.


        by maxschell on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:51:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Both parties are dead wrong on "Pain at the pump" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Let's drill more here"
        For what oil?  Where? We've hardly got any, it's really expensive, slow to develop, and the cost of a single oil spill on the US coastline would outweigh the entire effort.  We wouldn't even see a measurable bump in our production for at least a decade, regardless.  More than setting back renewable energy via competition, it directly sucks money out of budgets that would be going towards renewable energy.
        "Let's attack speculators / nationalize the market / cap the price"
        Speculators are how we ensure that oil gets where it needs to go at a relatively constant price.  The market prices in the chances of this week's tankers being thrown off by a freak storm (rewarding those who handily stored a week's supply of oil), or other various and sundry occurrences.  Eliminating arbitrage and enforcing price controls are the only means available to us to guarantee outright shortages at your local gas station.  Furthermore, oil is a global market.  You really think the hedge funds aren't going to simply dial London and trade oil there?  Or that if the US decides to put conditions on its vast imports ("Sell me your heroin, but I want it under $3/g this time, Or Else"), the rest of the world won't simply refuse to sell it to us?
        "Let's tap the SPR"
        That would be an excellent idea, in a temporary emergency local price spike.  Which this isn't.  It's global, it's sustained, and it's not going anywhere.  We are at the peak of world oil production - the 'easiest half' to harvest is already harvested, and we're going to throw ever-escalating amounts of effort to try and get the rest out of the ground, amidst rapidly mounting price increases.  $4/gallon has been just enough to flatten growth in our consumption to match flat production - imagine what the price will do as production drops, year after year.

        The goal of any progressive should be figuring out how to preserve the standard of living of the working and middle class in the face of high gas prices which force them to change their behavior - for oil usage that is more efficient without being a major drop in quality of life.

    •  And you do not??? (0+ / 0-)

      Come on, are you driving a car? if so, aren't you using the same Saudi oil as the Republics?

      But if you do not drive a car, then more power to your feet..

      But if you are? how do you know what oil are you using?? How do you know where your gas is being produced from? US Crude, or Saudi mud..

      Something to think about.. At least before you say the Republicans love Saudi Arabia.. so when you using your car or other gas running device. than think.. Your gas is saudi oil.. so maybe you do love them as well...  {8^)

  •  Sounds to me like... (20+ / 0-)

    They'd rather win an election than ease the economic suffering of the average American.

    •  Which, hopefully, will backfire. (4+ / 0-)


      An agnostic not because I don't know if there's a God, but because I don't care.

      by filmgeek83 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:13:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can Dems repeat this phrase ad-nauseum please?!? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Actually, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, jds1978

      keeping the oil in the SPR isn't actually that bad of a political move NOR that bad of a rhetorical move. Take a look at commodity prices today and you'll see that oil has edged downward a couple bucks once again. Releasing a large amount of oil into the market all at once will not encourage further decreases in pump price over time, because people won't be as willing to conserve their gas consumption.

      The market corrects itself by raising prices on scarce commodities. If the price remains high for long enough, people will start to demand less of the commodity and the price will fall - and in large part, that's why the price of a barrel of oil has fallen over the last couple weeks. Global demand is decreasing on account of the steep increase in price. That's real 'market moderation.'

      That's why the Republican's plan to increase drilling is a more long-term solution to the problem which provides for market stability in the short term. Chances are, people will get more upset if gas prices dip by a dollar tomorrow only to rise by two dollars next week. That's what releasing oil from the SPR would have done. . . .caused an artificial increase in the amount of oil available in the market which would stop after a period of time. Cue the speculation (which happens in order to control the instability in the market) - releasing oil from the SPR would be a political blunder for anyone who undertakes to act upon it.

      Incidentally, I don't think we should be putting more oil INTO the SPR - but releasing it would simply inflate the market availability of oil in the short term without enabling any sort of long term correction. Unless Pelosi, Reid and Co. really believe that sustainable energy is going to make a breakthrough in the next 6 months (and I'm not willing to take that bet). . . .

      •  The big reason is to cut the legs under the (0+ / 0-)

        speculators.  Release even the amount they are talking about and the price will tank.

        •  Short term, maybe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but you have to supplement it with a more long term solution. All you're doing in this case is delaying the inevitable - and to be quite honest, there is no reason to believe that releasing more oil will actually cause the cost to go down.

          Look, the market is correcting itself now by driving down demand with higher prices. As demand dries up, prices will fall as well, until a balance is met.

          •  In a speculative environment, (0+ / 0-)

            even a little change in the wind can cause the card house to topple.
            Having said that, over 3 buck a gallon is here to stay. I bought my first Prius in 04, sold it for more than I paid for it a month ago and have a new one now.  It wasn't hard to see this coming.

      •  Why the Strategic Oil Reserve exists (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Second World War was probably the reason for the reserve.  It was very clear that one of the major reasons the Germans lost was the lack of petroleum product.  So the reserve was created.

        It is there to provide a safety net for the military.  Not to manipulate gasoline prices.  Clinton used it, others probably have also.  But, that is a misuse of the resource.

        Think of it:  Humvees, planes, tanks, supply trucks, most ships, helicopters, all need petro products to function.  We are very vulnerable if our fuel is scarce.

        So, the question becomes, are we willing to sacrifice our security for a reduction in gas prices, or are we preferring a reduction in gas prices so we can drive more?

        I realize that was a straw man question, but that is pretty much what we are faced with.  As someone who worked on classified projects for the military in the '60s, I would hope, and expect, that there is a consecrated effort on the part of the military establishment to wean ourselves from petroleum.  If they are as smart as they claim, they are close to a solution.

        "If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve; if impeached, I will not leave" -Anon

        by Graebeard on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 07:21:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes and some think McCain's poll numbers (0+ / 0-)

      improving in key battleground states is because he talks about more drilling.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King Jr.

      by wishingwell on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:27:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice (0+ / 0-)

      I think I'll make a commercial that says this. I'm not really up too much on this but do you think this will still be getting discussed in a month? Two months?

      Give Em Hell!! OBAMA 08

      by mdmslle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:37:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And if you catch Bin Laden... (7+ / 0-)

    you can't talk about catching bin Laden anymore.

    An agnostic not because I don't know if there's a God, but because I don't care.

    by filmgeek83 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:13:13 PM PDT

  •  There's Obama's ready made answer... (16+ / 0-) any McCain whining about not drilling.

    "Drilling won't help a damn thing now and will only feed our oil addiction, we should release the reserves, you wrinkled jackass.  That way the prices can drop and help people right now while long-term solutions are being developed.  Jesus!  You're such fucking asshole."

    Though he probably should phrase it differently.

    "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

    by Raybin on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:13:14 PM PDT

  •  See America? Republicans *do* care... (5+ / 0-)

    ...about their own self-serving spin.

    "A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding."- Marshall McLuhan.

    by J R Hand on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:14:21 PM PDT

  •  Good move (0+ / 0-)

    We can now check off the SPR for any relief. Got my eye on those kanuckistanis. They got oil coming out of the gazoo!!

  •  they don't want to release strategic reserves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because it would mean less oil after they invade iran.

    with fear of being tin foil hatted, they also want to crash the economy to bring about the amero.

    --plays well with otters

    by jeepndesert on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:15:18 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like blackmail to me (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

    But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

    by banjolele on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:15:21 PM PDT

  •  Sherman's March to the Sea ... (4+ / 0-)

    Was more deftly handled than how Republicans go about the art of governing.

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:16:22 PM PDT

  •  huge mistake, opening the reserve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    look, it would have all the effect of more drilling, and burning more oil. Force the CO2/Global Warming issue now.

    Pandering, is what it is

    •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, nanobubble, jck, teklanika

      Back in the 70's, the "hippie tree-hugging environmental whackos" told everyone that global oil production would begin to run out in 30-40 years.  Everyone laughed at them.

      Nobody's laughing now.

      The era of cheap oil is over.  It's time we understand that.  Oil prices will NEVER EVER go down to what they were.  Ever.  No matter what we do.  Production has peaked, the oil is almost gone, and it takes 250 million years to make more of it. We can drill everywhere on the entire goddamn planet, and it won't help us -- there simply ain't that much oil left.

      It's long past the time when the American public should realize that.

      Either we adapt, quickly, to a post-oil economy, or we go under.

      The choice really is that stark.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:51:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PopeFlick, nanobubble

      The SPR (created by Jimmy Carter, interesting how the goplets forget to mention that) is a hedge against major disruptions in the oil supply. It's not there to moderate price bumps.

      Conservation would open up supply and move prices much faster than draining the entire SPR. If Bush-league was interested in lowering prices, they'd be flooding the radio waves conservation-minded PSAs.

      Hatred is murder (1 John 3:15)
      Read FAR Future, a serial peak-oil novel, at my blog.

      by dirtroad on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:58:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Will Democrats now finally pull a republican... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikedallas23, Joe B, wishingwell, Wharton

    by repeating ad-nauseum that Republicans voted to increase gas prices?

    That would make a lot of hay.

  •  Distraction time (0+ / 0-)

    Be prepared for them to throw lots of crap on the road to November.  It's our job to maneuver around it and keep going forward rather than saying "Look at how shiny it is."

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:17:49 PM PDT

  •  Actually this is a good move... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    d to the f, jds1978

    ...sure the price sucks. But if there's ever been a clearer need for the SPR it is now with everything  threatening to go out of control.

    I'm fine with my extra dollar fifty a week being spent. Really, how much price relief would it provide? .15 cents/gallon? If that?

    Not having enough if things got even worse would not be good at all.

    Like off-shore drilling this is something (releasing oil from the SPR) that is NOT going to solve the problem.

    •  Unlike drilling it will actually lower gas prices (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:21:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, jds1978

        But it's not there to drop gas prices. It's there for a true blue emergency that cripples our ability to supply ourselves.

        The prices suck, but you don't throw away your insurance policy if the car starts to fall apart.

      •  at least until after the election . . . (0+ / 0-)

        What's the plan once the entire oil reserve is gone . . . . . . ?

        The era of cheap oil is over.  Gas will never, ever, be three bucks a gallon again.  No matter what we do, no matter where we drill, even if we release the entire petroleum reserve tomorrow. The price of gas will not go down, and by next year or the year after, it will cost twice as much as it does now -- and it will keep going up.

        There is no more cheap gas.  Period.

        It's time we got used to that, and planned accordingly.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:54:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I believe historically the smallest effect is 40c (0+ / 0-)

      ...  In original post the smallest decrease in prices was 9%. At the rate I'm paying that would be $4.50/gallon * 0.09 = $0.40/gallon.  That's a reasonable amount.

      And if it is 33% lower, well that's $1.50 PER gallon.  That's a considerable chunk of change. I can buy my kids a nice toy for the price I save on filling up.

  •  Let them keep the SPR boosted. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It just means that Obama will have that much more ability to help out working Americans come January.  The more excess oil he can release, the better for him - especially as the Republicans and their media buddies will be attacking him tooth and nail.

    John McCain will end Roe v. Wade if he's president.

    by Phoenix Woman on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:18:06 PM PDT

  •  Wasn't McIdiotic going around saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the great king Bush was the reason prices went down recently, because he reversed an executive order prohibiting off shore drilling?  

    These guys talk out of both sides of their asses.  

    And the press dutifully writes it down.  Yes, yes, whatever you say, McStupid, whatever you say.

  •  The SPR is insurance (8+ / 0-)

     Political fiddling over the seven hundred million barrels in the SPR (33 days supply) is as silly as the "hot gas" lawsuits. That is there for emergencies - think something happening with the Persian Gulf and then we've got no oil.

      As a simple metric if there isn't rationing put in place we ought to not be getting into the SPR.

    •  Agree! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jds1978, Stranded Wind

      We're in a major inconvenience, which is well short of an emergency.

    •  Releasing the SOR worked in the past (0+ / 0-)

      This is a common sense measure against futures speculators who have been driving the price higher.  It works.  Sadly, the GOP want high prices and instead propose bullsh*t like more drilling.

      •  speculation = nonsense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The whole speculation thing is a political meme with no connection to objective reality.


        •  He's blunt... (0+ / 0-)

          ...but he's got a point.

          Speculators help the market by reducing bid/ask spreads and creating a more liquid and less volatile market environment. They are probably lowering prices for you by removing market inefficiencies.

          •  it's being pushed by Republicans (0+ / 0-)

            The speculation meme comes from the Republican side of the aisle. We will not be OK if the (highly theoretical) speculators get whacked, we'll just delay things slightly. We need to change. Think national electrified rail and no more cars change ...

        •  SemGroup?????? (0+ / 0-)

          Oh yeah speculation has NO effect on prices
          Susheel Kirpalani, an attorney representing bondholders, said trading oil futures for profit wasn't supposed to be in the ordinary course of the firm's business -- a distinction that he said could affect his clients' right to recover. "I don't think the company was supposed to be doing trades for financial profits...and just betting on where the market price was going to go."

          A spokesman for SemGroup declined to comment Thursday.

          News of the company's woes sparked a debate this week over what impact its positions in oil futures had on the recent drop in oil prices in recent weeks. The firm's collapse also highlights the challenges facing many energy companies in today's volatile markets.

    •  when will this happens? (0+ / 0-)

      think something happening with the Persian Gulf and then we've got no oil.

      And when it happens, do the SPR really mean a thing because how long will it last?

      •  Republican crap! (0+ / 0-)

        The Republicans always use these scare tactics.  The truth is they like the high prices.  Assholes.

      •  It's there so that the Military can operate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, Stranded Wind case the oil gets shut off (First stop, the Persian Gulf)....not so you can fill your  cars tank

        You Sacrifice the Thing You Love the Most. I Love My Guitar - Jimi Hendrix

        by jds1978 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:43:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  continuity reserve (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That is right - I stored fifty gallons of gas last summer (relax, brick outbuilding far from the house) and it ticks me off that it got burned up this summer in my mother's lawn mowing fetish. It was there for the time when the station up the street was out for the third day in a row ...

        •  agree (0+ / 0-)

          but then why the SPR reserve double from 400M barrel to 700B barrel over the last five years?

          Is that true that the military consumption double in the same time?

          In this global world market, completely oil shut off is quite hypothetical. It is not gonna happens. We effectively cut off oil from Iraq in 2003-2004 and then what?

          I agree that we do need SPR. But build up in SPR in face of $100 oil like Bush is not justifiable. Think about it like this: Bush use tax money to get oil out of the market to put in SPR in the name of security. Compare that to his other action.

          We do need SPR and now it is time to release some.
          Federal Reserve/Oil Reserve, similarity?

    •  the SPR isn't for *us* (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, jck

      The Pentagon doesn't care if we can drive our cars or heat our homes in the winter.  That's not what the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is there for.

      It's there for the MILITARY.  The name is entirely accurate, and is no mistake.  The US military, like everyone else's in the world, is entirely utterly absolutely completely dependent on oil.  Every jet that flies, every naval task force that leaves harbor, every tank that rolls, every Hummer that speeds along, is utterly dependent on gas.  No gas, no military.

      The SPR is there for one purpose -- it is to give the US military enough in reserve so that "if the supply of oil is interrupted" (i.e., if the Arabs refuse to sell us gas again), we have a sufficient supply on hand here to supply the military long enough to invade some oil-producing country and let us TAKE their gas.

      And given the situation in the Middle East with Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, if you think the military is gonna let us use their gas reserve to drive to work, you are deluded.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:00:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Making sense (0+ / 0-)

      Someone here making sense..

    •  something like... (0+ / 0-)

      a desperation move to get "Insane" McCain votes by starting a war on Iran?

      At that point, we'll need some of that SPR oil and rationing, since oil will NOT be coming through the Strait of Hormuz.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:24:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This will be the most important issue in 2008 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, cartwrightdale, iBlue

    Democrats and team Obama need to improve their game and explain that drilling is a scam non-solution that WILL NOT lead to lower gas prices and is designed solely to win over ignorant voters and to give away land to oil corporations.

    If we don't tackle this issue head on we deserve to lose, frankly.

    Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

    by Joe B on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:20:16 PM PDT

    •  No kidding (0+ / 0-)

      I cannot believe Obama's website doesn't mention a single thing -- not a theory, nothing -- for helping gas prices in the short term.  All the long-term 2030/2050 stuff he talks about is great, but we ARE going to lose in November on this issue if we don't get our act together.  McCain's drill-now plan is, of course, a scam, BUT it sounds a hell of a lot better than "well, lets improve emissions standards so in 2050 cars cost less."  What!?!?  And how many more old people have to die because they can't afford heat?  Or people starve because food prices have doubled?  As an Obama volunteer, I hear "Obama's alright, but I can't afford this gas" ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME.  Fix this, now.

      •  me too (0+ / 0-)

        I hear it every day when out in the community. Every single person says it.

        Give Em Hell!! OBAMA 08

        by mdmslle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:50:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a Senator, what would you propose Obama do? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sparhawk, alizard

        He can't propose the "gas holiday" plan because it would a) be a bad idea b) be a flip-flop.  Releasing oil from the SPR is a short term gimmick and is part of the BS politics of the past that Obama is trying to move past.

        If Obama is what he claims to be he needs to be "the grown up" and speak the truth.  We are in this mess because we (american citizens, american drivers, american politicians) have done nothing about having a comprehensive energy plan that allows us to use energy more efficiently and in a cleaner fashion.  He should perhaps also indicate that unless we get serious about energy (and energy price increases) then we can only expect future price shocks in the future.

        If you have a better idea than to speak the truth to the American people I would love to hear it.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:55:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  there is NOTHING we can do (0+ / 0-)

        Oil production has peaked.  The gas is gone.  Period.

        It takes 250 million years to make more.

        Gas will never be cheap again.  Never ever.

        It's time we got used to it.  Indeed, it's jsut started -- by next year gas will cost even more, and it will only continue to go up.  And up.  And up.

        Either we build a post-oil economy (and do it quick), or we go under.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:02:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Peak Oil (0+ / 0-)

          There is indeed a healthy debate as to whether or not we've reached peak oil.  But then again, those estimates do not include oil shale, which other countries process, and we do not.  An ambitious plan can be put in place which weans our reliance on oil altogether, but does not collapse our country in the meantime.  A drastic increase in off-shore drilling and oil shale recovery can, according to estimates, make the U.S. independent of foreign oil in around 10-15 years.  Prices will begin to wane in 5, so we at first need to use the oil reserves to keep prices at 2004-2005 levels until new efforts bear fruit.  But do this all under strict orders that this is a band-aid only.  Create a date in which all new cars sold in the U.S. must be completely free of non-renewable traditional gasoline, say by 2025.  Convert older homes to electric heat and forbid gas-delivery to newly constructed homes by as soon as 2012.  As far as major energy concerns, the only viable choice right now is Nuclear (as most Western countries have already figured out), but with the rapid progress in ultra-efficient solar generation, even that will hopefully be a "temporary" solution (at least in terms of the next century.)  None of this is "easy", just varying degrees of "really really hard".  But I trust Obama more than McCain to make these choices, and if Obama doesn't have some real answers to lowering the cost of gas in the next five years, McCain will win handily.

          •  nuclear power companies have made the same (0+ / 0-)

            promises for 50 years now.  They've never delivered.  They won't now, either.

            European countries, like Germany and Denmark, are moving towards wind-generated power.

            So should we.

            And if we REALLY want Florida to help us with our energy problem, we could mandate that every new house built in Florida MUST have solar panels on the roof.  The cost would be less than 2% of the average new home, and it would produce far more energy than the entire offshore oil supply will.

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:21:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  no more than there is a "debate" over evolution (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The total oil supply in Florida and ANWR (assuming we can efficiently drill EVERY DROP of it) is less than 5 years of current demand.  We already know that the world would require a source of oil equal to Saudi Arabai EVERY YEAR just to meet CURRENT demand . . . . and no hope whatever of meeting the increased demand once India, China and other "undeveloped" nations begin to reach for the lifestyle that we have in the US and Europe.

            The oil era is over.  The sooner we bluntly ackowledge that, and all it means, the sooner we can begin to find a way out of it.

            Editor, Red and Black Publishers

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:28:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Gasoline prices would benefit... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cartwrightdale, TheWesternSun

    ...from more, clean refineries.  We need more refineries and they don't have to be cancerous smokestacks.  Conoco/Phillips new cokers in their Borger, TX plant are some of the cleanest in the nation.  Other refiners and EPA-vamps should take note.

    •  Who do you suggest pay for the refineries? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is likely that we have recently passed peak oil consumption in the US and hence refinery demand should actually be flat or fall in the future.  So who would invest money in refineries that will be dramatically under utilized due to poor demand?  I for one could find a whole lot of better uses for our resources than to build more refineries.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:57:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  where did you plan on getting the OIL for (0+ / 0-)

      all these new refineries?  Global production has already peaked.  The rate of new oil-field discovery isn't anywhere near what would be required to meet CURRENT demands, much less to meet the greatly increased demand that will soon be coming from India and China.

      The oil is gone.  Period.  

      Time for an alternative.  NOW.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:04:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I probably mostly agree with you Lenny (0+ / 0-)

        but I'm not so sure that using the "oil is gone" meme is a productive approach because people become susceptible to the false illusion that proven reserves offer.  I believe that most people understand that oil is finite and that one day it will not be available in large quantities, however, what I think most people don't understand is that the remaining reserves are harder (more expensive) to get at and that even if we have 50 more years of oil it is 50 years of increasingly and dramatically higher oil.

        Anyway, my two cents is to sound the alarm bells loud and clear but don't use "oil is gone" because too many people will not understand what you mean and, more importantly, may therefore disregard your larger point of...Time for an alternative. NOW.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:44:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's TRUE (0+ / 0-)

          Reality is a stubborn thing -- it doesn't go away just because it's not politically expedient.

          If we tell people that "drilling will bring gas prices down", we will be lying to them.  NOTHING will bring gas prices down.  Ever.  The gas is gone.

          It's time we faced up to that reality and dealt with it.

          And if we choose to ignore it and give people a false "feel-good" palliative instead, for political expediency, we are no better than the Repugs.

          Editor, Red and Black Publishers

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:23:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  only one new refinery has been built (0+ / 0-)

      in the last decade, a small one from an independent. They had no problems getting permits.

      The reason why the big oil companies are not building refineries is because they don't want to.

      They don't figure that there's going to be enough oil to keep a new refinery running through its service life.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that is also why BP is making all sorts of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        self-congratulatory noise about how it's developing alternative fuels to move away from oil.

        They realize that the oil-based gravy train is over.

        And they don't want to be caught flat-footed without a workable replacement that they can, uh, sell to us.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 08:40:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  opening the SPR is pandering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    typical Pelosi move

    •  And drilling ANWR isn't? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:24:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong! It will work. (0+ / 0-)

      You can see it will work because just the rumor they were going to pass this bill drove the price way down. People need to get their heads out of the sand. I am as for green technology as anyone. But in the meantime we need to do something about these speculators.

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

        I am as for green technology as anyone. But in the meantime we need to do something about these speculators.

        If you were "as for green tech as anyone" you would welcome increases in energy prices, since they force innovation into green tech and force people to get used to not pissing away valuable natural resources.

        Or are you "for green tech" but are willing to make no sacrifices for it? I'm confused.

        (Not picking on you in particular, just pointing out what I think are the flaws in your argument)

        •  problem is... (0+ / 0-)

          There are a lot of people who don't have options. They don't live "downtown" where there public transportation. They live 30-40 miles from work. Its costing them 100/week to get to work and back. They are raising kids and they've already cut back about a sfar as they can go.

          This is a real crisis for a lot of families.

          While I do understand your point about high prices forcing the lifestyle changes we ultimately want, from a practical standpoint, where are these families going to get the money from?

          I'm tell you this is REALITY. Not theory.

          (and BTW I'm not one of those people. I work from home and $50 worth of gas in my car lasts 3 weeks. But I'm lucky).

          Give Em Hell!! OBAMA 08

          by mdmslle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:54:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

            There are a lot of people who don't have options. They don't live "downtown" where there public transportation.

            Move then.

            They live 30-40 miles from work. Its costing them 100/week to get to work and back. They are raising kids and they've already cut back about a sfar as they can go.

            Then move, or change jobs.

            This is a real crisis for a lot of families.

            It's only going to get worse. Living 30-40 miles from work is going to be impossible soon, so they'd better get used to the idea now.

            Callous? Maybe, but this is reality here.

            There are also public-policy things that can be done to help these people, but lowering gas prices is not one of these things.

          •  Let say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            by some trick we get some short term relief in oil prices. It could be a gas tax holiday or the SPR release. What would you do with the breathing room in your budget? Would you look for housing closer to work? Find housing smaller or better insulated to save on heating and cooling? Buy a more efficient car? Or would you keep doing everything exactly the same as before and resume going broke when your borrowed time of cheap gas prices ran out?

            Let's look at your example family. At $4.40 a gallon, 100 bucks is 22.7 gallons. Assume a 35 mi commute each way, 5 days a week, add a fudge factor for short weekend trips, and you're up to 400 miles a week. 400 mi / 22.7 gal is 17.6 miles per gallon. I'm sorry, but it's not exactly easy to sympathize with someone driving 35 mi to work alone in a full size truck.

  •  On CNN now: Obama interview (0+ / 0-)

    One Question: Why didn't you go to a mosque during ME visit?

    -Sorry for the off topic post.

    Rabindranath Tagore-"Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it."

    by joy sinha on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:23:09 PM PDT

  •  GOP Drive Prices Higher (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What pieces of crap the Republican Party is.  

  •  We should be in "all hands on deck" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, wishingwell, jds1978

    crisis mode, with the climate collapsing unpredictably and these damn fools want to drill and burn more oil.

    I'm glad that I'm "middle-aged" and not going to be around in 40 years. Humanity is terminally stupid occasionally. This could be the big one.

    Why melt the planet with nukes when you can turn it into an oven by driving your SUV?

    How much is enough, Gordon?

    by SecondComing on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:24:34 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are waiting to do this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, iBlue

    They're waiting until close to the general election to vote to release some of the reserves -- or whatever else they do that lowers gas prices momentarily and helps them look like they did it, at least in the eyes of non-thinking folks.

    •  absolutely! tip for first to point out (0+ / 0-)

      I bet that Bush will release some oil in Oct to momentarily reduce gas price. They will pump up econ number in October.

      What the GOP are master at is psychology. No matter how bad things are right now, any improvement will give them talking point, even though it is not really an improvement. So they will wait till close to election.

      •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

        And if they can get offshore / ANWAR leases inked in the interim, it's a double win.

        Methinks the people aren't quite that stupid 7+ years in.

        But still, never underestimate the greed, corruption and venality of Bushco.

        Corporate Values in governance, media, popular culture and politics = fascism.

        •  Didn't they do something like this two yrs. ago? (0+ / 0-)

          For the 2006 elections... I think I read something right here at DKos about it, but it was a few weeks ago... someone might know what I'm talking about -- that's where I got the idea that Republicans might possibly have a strategy about this.

    •  I doubt it (0+ / 0-)

      They'd do 20 times better if gas spiked to 6.00/gallon right before the election.

  •  With Dems in the majority, how did the bill go (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...down in defeat?

  •  They're squeezing us and hoping we'll buckle. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They figure if it becomes painful enough, we'll holler to our elected representatives to allow drilling in places the oil companies have no business being. It's a callous move and I don't think it will work.

    "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." MLKing

    by TheWesternSun on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:27:22 PM PDT

    •  Won't work because drilling won't help (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So even if people started to yell for more drilling, there will no price relief.  So what will they do then?

      Maybe people need to get their heads out of their butts and realize that measures such as releasing the SOR do work.  Also, putting the clamps on speculation will work.

      I would betcha that the price can be driven down 50% just through policy decisions.  This crap that it's all supply and demand don't come even close to passing the smell test.  That's not to say that the oil era is over ... it is ... but in the meantime we can get quick relief without opening any new areas to drilling (that won't provide quick relieve).

      What can I say except that the GOP suck.

      •  Right. They're so used to Democrats (0+ / 0-)

        folding on this stuff that they don't seem to understand that facts prove them wrong and the New Sheriff In Town isn't reluctant to use them. It's my hope that Obama will begin hitting on facts about gasoline prices the same way his campaign hit McCain on his blathering about the Surge. Like how the Iraq Occupation alone has jacked up prices by as much as 50% according to some estimates, and is breaking the military's budget and our economy to boot.

        I agree that this isn't all supply and demand. Not with this quick a run-up.

        "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." MLKing

        by TheWesternSun on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:42:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to disagree with releasing SPR oil. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    10% over 6 months is approximately 0.4 million bbls per day.  The US consumes approximately 20 million bbls per day.  Adding 2% for six months is really not much help in my opinion.

    (-8.00,-7.85) "Jesus Christ was the first nonviolent revolutionary." --S. Stills

    by bubbanomics on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:31:45 PM PDT

  •  That's OK, I'm sure we can depend on the MSM ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... to cover up for the Rethugs and feed their false talking point about how it's Dems who are responsible for high gas prices.

    How do you fight a lie when the people spreading it are the ones with the biggest megaphones? What was it Mark Twain once said? A falsehood travels halfway around the world by the time the truth is just pulling on its pants.

    I hope the voters are smart enough to see through the BS this time.

  •  We should never touch the SPR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PopeFlick, bubbanomics

    In fact, I'm pissed that they stopped adding to it. High oil prices are the only thing that truly encourages conservation. You can start 10,000 "save the Earth" clubs and no one will care, but when gas is $4 people will start to moderate their behavior.

    That oil is there for emergencies, i.e. disaster in the Middle East, perhaps hurricanes, some event like that.

    It kills me that the Dems (like Larry Kissell, but he's not the only one I'd pick on) are harping on high energy prices as a problem. The problem is our reliance on nonrenewable energy sources: something that high energy prices help to solve!

    •  hes probably doing that because (0+ / 0-)

      his constituents are telling him so.

      I am a volunteer for Obama in Florida. Whenever i Canvass or talk to people about what issues are most important, they immediately say GAS IS SO HIGH I can hardly afford to get to work.

      I have developed a national carpool website to be launched next week (maybe) but seriously, right now, people are seriously strapped and they don't make much money in my community. Most paying jobs are at least 25 miles away. Unless you work at Walgreens or Walmart or the mall.

      I'm serious.

      No solutions, really for this. Families are seriously strapped.

      Give Em Hell!! OBAMA 08

      by mdmslle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:02:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)

        I am a volunteer for Obama in Florida. Whenever i Canvass or talk to people about what issues are most important, they immediately say GAS IS SO HIGH I can hardly afford to get to work.

        They should move, carpool, or take public transport.

        I have developed a national carpool website to be launched next week (maybe) but seriously, right now, people are seriously strapped and they don't make much money in my community. Most paying jobs are at least 25 miles away. Unless you work at Walgreens or Walmart or the mall.

        This carpool website is a very good idea.

        Gas prices will never fall again. No force on earth can do anything about this. Better get used to it.

    •  Right on Sparhawk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PopeFlick, Sparhawk

      Sometimes I wonder if progressives don't understand the implications of their own policy positions.  I'm a moderate libertarian and even I favor drastic increases in fuel taxes (offset with FICA reductions, of course).  It used to be that mostly conservative commentators (Sullivan, Mankiw, Krauthammer) were supporters of this but I'm glad that Gore is on board.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:11:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have libertarian leanings also... (0+ / 0-)

        ...which is why I support high fuel taxes.

        Then, you're not using the government to order or "encourage" people to use any particular solution to decrease their energy use or be more efficient, you're simply increasing prices and letting the free market come up with its own Darwinian solutions to the problem that may or may not be expected responses, but may be superior.

        But also, of course, the gov't should always be involved in basic long-term scientific research in this and other areas.

        •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

          Based on your understanding of the situation I would imagine you have checked out theoildrum, right?

          And with libertarian leanings what do you make of the cap and dividend plan?  I don't want the government (lobbyists) to decide what technologies are going to help alleviate the pain of the switchover and getting the cap money in the hands of all americans will help make the plan more palatable, therefore, I think, at this point, I favor it over other alternatives.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:32:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do visit the oil drum... (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not terribly familiar with the cap and dividend plan, will have to look it up. I'm generally in favor of forcing prices up (or allowing them to rise) to artificially suppress fossil fuel usage and phase in alternatives.

            The government is useful for a few reasons IMO:

            - To do basic research on technologies that are too risky or speculative for private industry

            - To encourage competition and regulate the marketplace to ensure this occurs

            - To regulate and manage risk and infrastructure (in some cases gov't-owned power plants are OK I think)

            - To generally be more "forward thinking" than the free market and set proper market incentives for private sustainable behavior

            - To step in if things start to go grossly off the rails and massively negative consequences start happening due to free market events (e.g. mass starvation)

            But other than that, yeah, free market and private industry all the way, baby. Let the government set the environmental parameters, and let business thrive man!

            •  A quick google and you will get the info you need (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              But the basic idea is that the proceeds from the cap and trade auction go directly to each american on a proportional basis.  Thus, if you assume that the cap and trade will raise $50 billion in a year you will divide that amount by the 300+ million and then send a check to each american for their portion.  Thus, a family of four could receive a check for perhaps six or seven thousand dollars.  Ideally, they would use this money to help themselves reduce their carbon footprint.

              Regardless of what we actually do with the money, it would cause a net loss for high consumption americans and a net gain for those that use less carbon.  

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:09:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see (0+ / 0-)

                It's similar to the idea I had, which was to pass a tax credit for whatever the median gasoline consumption is, then drastically raise the gas price via tax.

                It would be revenue neutral and also would not disproportionately affect the poor since the median consumer would be totally unaffected, just people who consume more than the median amount of gasoline.

                •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

                  Thanks for the education on this.

                  I am a fan of you now on this site, for what that's worth :)

                  •  Thanks and no problem (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I have firmly held beliefs but I fully understand that trashing each other and holding on to dogmatic political beliefs will not help solve the serious issues that we all face.

                    As far as the tax credit idea goes, I favored that one as well, however, the benefit of the dividend plan is that even if you don't pay federal taxes you will still get the benefit of carbon tax increases.  In fact, since low income people SHOULD consume less they SHOULD receive a net increase in income.  I got a feeling that my conservative brethren will bitch about it being re-distribution of wealth but IMO it merely includes some externalities in the price of carbon that are currently lacking in the price, which, is, a very libertarian or conservative idea if you ask me.

                    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                    by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:27:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone believe the govt's numbers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have assumed that the announced numbers for oil reserves are probably as faked as most of the other "statistics" the Bushies put out. I mean, who goes and measures to check up on them? Do we really think that the political appointees in whatever office it is actually just asks the minimum-wage guy with the hose to read the actual number, and then just writes it down?

    So if they're manipulating the numbers all over the place to manipulate prices, it doesn't matter much what the Dems in Congress order or don't.

    I notice gas prices have dropped (under $4 here the past week) -- I predict they will magically stay somewhat lower especially from Oct. 1 through the election, just as they did (as I recall) in 2006. Then the announced reserve number will somehow drop precipitously, there will be some more saber-rattling toward Iran, and prices and profits will magically rebound. All untouched by human hands, of course.

  •  Release the freakin SPR already (0+ / 0-)

    This is all a bunch of crap.  10% won't hurt us for an "emergency".

  •  Republicans worry? (0+ / 0-)

    Buffoons never worry. It's the only upside to being a blithering idiot, I gather.

    I wish we could move on without Republicans and ExxonMobile.

    Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

    by Kimberley on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:35:14 PM PDT

  •  McCain said on the 'shit-room' that he won't (0+ / 0-)

    honor Maliki's timelines...well, not those words exactly, but he said in no uncertain terms that Maliki will not ask the US to leave Iraq (I guess no matter what he's said already).

    He went on to say he 'knows' Maliki, and he's visited him eight times, and he repeated that Maliki would not ask the US to leave(because he knows him).

    Obama needs to hammer McCain on this one, too.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:35:52 PM PDT

    •  Maliki DID ask the US to leave (0+ / 0-)

      What the hell don't these nightmare Republicans understand?  You got beat them over the head with a baseball bat to penetrate their idiot heads?

      Maliki has asked us for a time table
      The Iraqi people want a time table
      The American people want a time table

      Nothing that the F-ing piece of crap McCain says changes that.

  •  Ban the purchase of oil futures on margin. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:37:00 PM PDT

  •  We need gas prices to keep falling (0+ / 0-)

    The issue is killing Democrats.  

  •  Gas price was their best hope (0+ / 0-)

    drilling implies more oil which implies cheaper oil so vote Republican and get cheaper oil. But now they've bungled even that.

    •  Has drilling ever dropped the price? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think there is even one case they can point to.  If drilling is the fix, why were prices dropping? There was no evidence it's a change in demand.  The reason is that the speculators feared a release of SPR.

      •  Well, that's a little disingenous (0+ / 0-)

        Of course drilling drops the price of oil, because the supply has increased.  It's just a matter of how long it takes, and what the amount it drops will be.

      •  A huge find would drop price but Tupi hasn't (0+ / 0-)

        Tupi is the biggest known new oil field a few hundred miles off the beaches of Ipanema Brazil but even that hasn't had an effect on price. We have zero credible estimates of how much oil is in protected areas off the US coast. Non OPEC oil countries have peaked. The only increase from these countries is coming from biofuels.

      •  Has drilling ever dropped the price? (0+ / 0-)

        Exactly what part of supply and demand do you not get?  If you seriously don't know it's ok and I (and others) will try to help you understand but, geez, saying that increasing supply doesn't help lower prices is a bit crazy.

        By the way, Sparhawk is right about the fact that we have seen the end of cheap oil.  We shouldn't try out any cheap political gimmicks to even hint that low gas prices are coming back or are even desirable.  People need to understand the ramifications of Peak Oil and prepare accordingly.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:21:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Supply can be withheld or (0+ / 0-)

          manipulated to insure ever increasing price.  This isn't even considering the manipulation of demand.   The relationship between supply / demand and price is tenuous and subject to much gaming.

          "We have given them the precious gift of freedom"  Sen. Hillary Clinton, speaking on the 5th anniversary of Bushco's Iraq smash-n-grab rollout.

  •  Cheesecake Out to Lunch (0+ / 0-)

    Candy Crowley, another of the publicized 'senior' correspondents, made much of the CNN afternoon irrelevant with an extended and pointless interview with a patient but bored Obama, another exclusive in that long, continuing series.

    In many ways, Crowley's another Maureen Dowd, though with certainly more allure.

  •  Republicans Run the Hedge Funds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I would not be surprised if George Soros with his Quantum Fund has been hedging oil prices up to help the democratic party win the White House. He broke the Bank of England, why Oil Prices? Also there are no spending or campaign contribution limits for this activity. Just profit.The King Maker continues his work in the back room.

  •  The "reality based" community is deceiving itself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, dwcal, bubbanomics

    If honesty and smart policy were truly goals of my progressive friends then there wouldn't be any support for releasing any oil from the SPR.  If we want alternatives to an oil economy, if we want a healthier environment, if we want to reduce oil usage then we need to be honest with ourselves and to others and let them understand that high gas prices are necessary.

    Yes, people are going to be hurt from the pain at the pump but if Gore is right, if the Peak Oilers are right then the pain that we feel right now is nothing.  As Gore said, "Don't tax what we earn but what we burn."  In that light, we should not only NOT release oil from the SPR but we should actually raise taxes on fuel (and all other carbon based fuels).  We should take countermeasures to help the poor and those on fixed income but it needs to be done.

    Finally, drilling should also be allowed but it should take the form of a grand compromise with the Republicans.  Allow them their "win" by allowing their backers access to more and better deposits along the OCS but in return get the most comprehensive energy legislation that dramatically moves us away from fossil fuel based energy.  In short, in return for a more realistic version of Gore's proposal we allow drilling.  With the revenue generated from the drilling and from the increased jobs we put that money to help pay for the massive move toward alternative fuels.

    If Obama is going to bring us together and accomplish some real change, brokering this compromise this year would be a big feather in his cap and would call the Republicans bluff on this drilling issue.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:45:26 PM PDT

    •  I say INCREASE the price of gas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, dwcal

      Drive it up to six or seven bucks a gallon.

      It's the ONLY way we'll stop using it and begin producing alternative energy sources (instead of constantly TALKING about it).

      But then, there's really no need for anyone to increase the prices -- they'll go up just fine all by themselves.

      By next year, we'll be BEGGING for gas prices to go DOWN to four bucks a gallon.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:07:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There should be a sliding (0+ / 0-)

      gas tax, based directly on waste.  People who are happy wasting gas in their outsize vehicles as if there is no tomorrow should pay more, considerably more per gallon, than those meeting their needs in an economical fashion.  Call it a pig tax.

      Along the same lines, putting any more oil into the hands of Bushco seems like a huge mistake for the future.  Bushco values and ideology are way too geared towards immediate liquidation of assets for shorterm economic gain to trust them with any important resource.

      The best hope for Republicans in 2008 is a Security State Dem administration.

      •  I hear what you are saying but don't know if it (0+ / 0-)

        is practical.  In order to do what you are suggesting we would need to be issued some sort of mechanism (a gasoline card) that tracked how much each of us used and have the government monitor it and adjust rates accordingly.  I'm not entirely against the idea but there are many obvious administrative hurdles to overcome in order to achieve the results we desire.  This idea would be much more practical with electricity and home gas usage and I would support this legislation that had an increasing rate as usage increased.

        Use a more mundane carbon tax for gasoline and you would largely achieve what we want without the increased bureaucratic oversight that would be necessary with a sliding scale.

        We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 06:33:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Make it so cheap it's not profitable. Then the (0+ / 0-)

      lobbys obstructing alternative energy will back off.

      "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

      by java4every1 on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:24:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why not do both? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Release reserves AND authorize new drilling?  Republicans claim releasing the reserves will only offer a short term relief in prices, and Democrats claim it will take years for drilling to have any effect at all.  Seems to me that if we combined the two of these solutions, Americans would have the short term relief we desperately need, as well as a long term solution to hopefully avoid having this same debate in 2012.

  •  Interestingly enough (0+ / 0-)

    yesterday I saw an SUV driving thru town with a bumper sticker that said, "Drill here, Drill Now, Lower prices".

    They are taking this campaign to the GOP grassroots.

    "I'm not a member of any organized political party, ... I'm a Democrat." Will Rodgers

    by CCSDem on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:51:38 PM PDT



    "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

    by DrFrankLives on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 02:55:02 PM PDT

  •  Just read this Reuters news post from 3July...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about how we are exporting about 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products. (Gas, diesel, etc.)

    If the rebumpkins are serious about more oil here, just put a moratorium on oil exports.

    You can support the troops at

    by rickeagle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:01:22 PM PDT

    •  Rickeagle (0+ / 0-)

      Did you hear where they are exporting the oil to?  My understanding is that nearly 100 percent of the export total is the oil we send to Puerto Rico.  I only heard it from one source and so I don't necessarily trust its accuracy but stopping the export of oil to one of our territories is not a serious response to our energy consumption.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:48:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Looks to me that P.R. is not the importer.... (0+ / 0-)

        Also, while U.S. gasoline demand is down due to high prices and a weak American economy, there is "strong economic growth outside the United States" where fuel is often subsidized and demand is high, said John Cook, director of EIA's Petroleum Division.

        However, both the EIA and API admitted they did not know why daily U.S. gasoline exports to Canada skyrocketed to 41,000 barrels in January-April this year from 9,000 barrels in 2007.

        The EIA said more U.S. diesel is going to Latin American to fuel power plants because of a shortage of natural gas in the region, and China has switched to diesel from coal to run some of its generating facilities in order to reduce smog ahead of the summer Olympics next month in Beijing.

        Do you have that link for PR being 100%?

        You can support the troops at

        by rickeagle on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:55:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey Rickeagle (0+ / 0-)

          Unfortunately, I heard the comment on a radio show.  I don't really trust it because it doesn't make sense that PR consumption would be even 5 percent of US consumption.

          I'll dig around and see what I can come up with.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:52:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a bit dated but PR was importing (0+ / 0-)

          170,000 bpd back in 1994.  Give them a 40 percent increase since then and we have around 240,000 bpd and so if your figure of exporting 1.6 million bpd is accurate then they are only a small fraction of total exports.  Isn't the internet great?

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:04:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting Story (0+ / 0-)

      There's some interesting stuff on the EIA website buried in all those numbers, but 1.6 million exported is half of the 3.2 million that we imported so we're still a net importer of refined petroleum products.

      The exports were also equal to half the 3.2 million barrels of gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products the United States imported each day over the 4-month period.

  •  If I were the Dems I'd bring up this vote (0+ / 0-)

    day after day after day, putting the Reps on record as opposing releasing oil TODAY into the market.  Love to get a McCain vote on this.  Come on, this screams for beating the Reps on!

  •  Doubling the SPR (0+ / 0-)

    Wow, it's amazing what everyone seems to forget and no one notices.  When the SPR had finally been filled a little while ago and oil prices started falling to below $40/barrel, Bush went and doubled the size of the SPR and started adding oil to it again.  He slipped the increase into a SOTU address.  NO ONE in the press or punditry seemed to even notice it.

    •  This Test Should Appear in Top Thread (0+ / 0-)

      and not underneath any comment.

      I'm testing to see if I can locate it before hitting post.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:25:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It Works. If You're Commenting in One Place (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but before posting, click "reply" under another comment, your comment gets repositioned under the second one.

        (Sorry to disrupt your chain of thought bspath!)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 03:26:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oil price drop (0+ / 0-)

    If the ocean going rigs existed and were not booked up over the horizon then it would be eight years or more before the first of the crude would be available. The prospect of this off-shore petroleum coming on line has nothing to do with the recent drift down of daily oil spot prices. The prospect of a Democratic president backed by a Democratic congress looking into the jiggery pokery sleight of hand practiced by the majors and speculators has these crooks changing their underwear twice daily. The Strategic reserve could be used, in conjunction with lesser demand, to break the backs of the speculators. This prospect of Democratic Party lead hearings also has the Saudis tossing in their tents at night. Mark my word, these guys are going to have regular gas selling below $2.50 by the end of October.

    By the way By law the Strategic reserve gives its oil to refiners, and then recovers it after the panic has settled. This is done by statute. The way to do it is to sell high and buy back when the bubble has burst, but it isn't allowed.

  •  Think about this (0+ / 0-)

    Think about this, the party has made a big mistake.. By pushing the SPR's to be released, what would it really do? Hopefully lower gas prices down what 10 to 20 cents. That is the short term fix, what do the party have on the books on long term fix the US needs to keep the monkey off their back?  Anyone?? Anyone??

    Wind, solar, more SPR releases, fuel from our food sources, electric and mix fuels?

    Hmmm.. Ok the Democrats and Republics want all of the above, the GOP also wants drilling in the Gulf, north Atlantic, Anwar so on and so on...

    Did you folks know that there are foreign countries currently drilling just outside our shores, getting the oil you don't want America to have.  Does that makes sense.??

    What would the drilling accomplish in the short run, well the speculators are selling futures and the price of oil is down. Down about 15 dollars in the past two weeks. But wait, is this just a trick by the Big bad oil companies?

    Hmmm... Ok The Republicans want the speculators to sell more of the futures, because they want the drilling to start now... Of course you do not believe that the GOP wants what every American wants, oil prices to go down more...

    Now, what is wrong with Drilling now to be prepare for the future, now just your future, but the future of all Americans. Now I know, you might get angry at my points here..

    why can't we all just take a deep breath and think more as AMERICANS, not Right, left, or middle.
    there is no doubt our America is in trouble, but I do not understand why everyone here has to be so full of hate for fellow Americans. I say grow up and smell the real dangers of not doing nothing now.  Fighting and not willing to come to some agreement now is putting our nation on a more dangerous path.  Both parties have to stop and take this situation on the real.

    I know how much this page and the hard left hates the GOP and the present administration.  but does hate make it right... NO it doesn't.. Will HATE give you cheap gas prices.. NO it won't.  

    Now I know you all will properly go after me and develop responses and call me names and be ill manner in spite of what the rules say.. Go for it... But I will say this much.. It takes a real American to roll up their sleeves and first discuss what is the NOW we need to do and what is the NOW we all need to do for the Future.  If you think Senator Obama is going to save the day, more power to you. if you are going to write nothing but hateful comments towards any AMERICAN, than that is your right to hate. But remember, Hate shows you why you just really hate yourselves.

    And than noting is still being done..

  •  WE NEED TO WIN (0+ / 0-)

    We progressives need to stop being so damn high minded sometimes. NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF OBAMA LOSES IN NOVEMBER. N O T H I N G. Look the foundation of politics is the knowledge that masses of people are stupid and easily misled. Thats the bottom line. Repukeicans know this well and that is why they win. Gas in America is a HUGE DEAL, especially in middle america where there is no transit infrastructure. We in the blogosphere can make fun of McCain's campaign (okay it is bordering on pathetic), but the reason he's not so far behind is because the Repukes have seized on a meme thats working. DRILL TODAY LESS GAS TOMORROW.

    We cant counter that with a long detailed explanation about wind and solar energy by 2030. People need relief TODAY. Budgets are shrinking because of gas TODAY. They hear "BUSH LIFTS BAN ON DRILLING" followed by "GAS PRICES DROP". McCAIN BACKS DRILLING.  You tell me whats more attractive to the average voter?

    We lose election after election by not breaking our ideas into simple memes for the masses to consume. Clinton was a MASTER of this and this is why he was successful. Make fun of "Joe Sixpack" all you want to, but he has to put gas in that stereotypical truck and thats killing his pockets RIGHT NOW. We haven't won anything yet so lets not be so heavenly minded we're no earthly good.

    •  given our Dem "leadership", (0+ / 0-)

      I have my doubts that anything will happen EVEN IF Obama wins.

      Sadly, he'll be fighting against his own party every bit as much as he will be fighting against the Repugs.

      And what does Joe Sixpack plan on doing next year when gas is eight or nine bucks a gallon . . . . ?

      If we tell people that drilling will reduce gas prices, (1) we willbe lying to them, and (2) they will kill us at the polls when our promise blows up in our faces.

      I've always thought THE TRUTH was the best political campaign strategy.  And the truth is that we will never have cheap gas again.  Ever.

      Time to get used to it.

      Editor, Red and Black Publishers

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 04:33:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Local gas prices just plummeted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yesterday, a gallon of regular unleaded cost $4.259 per gallon in my town.

    Today, on my way home from work, I was astonished to find it had fallen all the way to $3.999 per gallon. (For some people, that's $6 a tank in one day; for my typical fill-up, it's a $2-$3 difference.)

    However, what I'm wondering is why the sudden drop--and whether the oil companies are going to try to manipulate the prices in time for the election.

  •  Tapping the SPR (0+ / 0-)

    Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick,Gimmick. Hate that the Dems are resorting to this Repugnant crap!!!

    A legacy of death, debt and deceit. He's a real hero.

    by billtmore on Fri Jul 25, 2008 at 05:42:02 PM PDT

  •  release the oil (0+ / 0-)

    I beleive Obama should take the position of releasing the oil in the reserve.

    He needs an easy answer on the oil matter.

    McCain has one , but Obama doesnt.

    Obasma's answer for the price of oil  is just to say we cant drill because he'll take too long.

    I he a quick fix answer.

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