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This is good news for John McCain (and the Republican Party in general):

The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show.

The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.


Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, met the US consul general in Riyadh in November 2007 and told the US diplomat that Aramco's 12.5m barrel-a-day capacity needed to keep a lid on prices could not be reached.

According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 – global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as "peak oil".

Husseini said that at that point Aramco would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the time needed to bring new oil on tap.

This means President Bush knew that Saudi Arabia didn't have as much oil as they claimed and therefore the Republicans and their allies in Big Oil knew.  But that was just fine for an oil man like Bush.  He knew it would actually be an opportunity for his buddies, and ultimately for his party, too.

No wonder the GOP wants to "drill, baby, drill" rather than develop renewable alternative energy.

A Republican minority in the Senate today used procedural tricks to kill the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 -- a measure that had overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives on May 21 by a vote of 263 to 160.

The law, among things, would have extended tax incentives crucial to existing green energy businesses, and secured 100,000 jobs now at risk. Sierra Club's Carl Pope called it

   .....kicking the economy while it's down.

No wonder Joe Barton apologized to BP.  No wonder they want to strip the EPA of its power to regulate greenhouse gases.  No wonder the Republicans don't want to invest in infrastructure such as upgrading our electrical grid so we stop wasting half the electricity utilities create because of an outdated infrastructure (Texans should know something about a failure to reinvest in their electrical grid after the last few weeks)...

Asked about investment on the television talk shows Sunday, House Republican leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) each declared it was just another Democratic ploy to spend more money. Instead of Obama's "invest-and-grow," Republicans now offer "cut-and-grow," which will take its place beside "government ownership of the means of production" and "tax cuts that pay for themselves" in the Pantheon of Economic Nonsense.

Republicans, it turns out, have no public investment strategy, just as they have no health-care strategy and no agreed-upon blueprint for reducing federal spending. What they have are poll-tested talking points, economic delusions and an overwhelming partisan instinct to say "no" to anything Barack Obama proposes. In their response to the president's State of the Union message, they remind us once again that they are not serious about economic policy and not ready to govern.

... and eliminate federal investments in energy efficient automobiles:

ouse Republicans outlined $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade — including killing the government's auto research program.

The plan would cut $200 million from FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership — an Energy Department program that was begun by President George W. Bush in 2002, along with Detroit's Big Three automakers. [...]

The move would be a shift from recent years when the government has been boosting auto research spending. Congress approved $2.4 billion in cash grants for advanced batteries and other vehicle programs in the stimulus, and has set aside up to $25 billion in low-cost loans for more fuel efficient vehicles.

The Obama administration won $300 million in the stimulus to buy more fuel efficient vehicles — a proposal that some Republicans criticized.

From The Detroit News:

I guess this Superbowl commercial didn't make them all weepy-eyed with old-timey patriotic feelings for their fellow Americans in Detroit:

You see, now is the time for all good Republicans (and Blue Dog Dems, too) to rise to the aid of their lords and masters the oil and gas industry companies who stand to make a killing as oil prices rise by keeping us ever more dependent on ever more expensive petroleum products.  Conservation?  Hooey, they say.  Invest in green technologies such as solar power?  They're more than happy to let them go to China.  But eliminate subsidies and tax loopholes that benefit Big Oil?  Heresy! they scream.

Republicans argued a repeal of the subsides would amount to a tax hike on the oil companies.

"So Sen. Schumer is suggesting that the Republican House should pass job-destroying tax hikes that even the Democrat-controlled Senate doesn't support?" Steel asked.

Yeah, because with oil and gas prices at an all time high and with the obscene levels of profits major oil companies have been racking up over the last decade, God forbid we eliminate subsidies to Big Oil.  After all, with Saudi reserves overstated and declining rapidly, now is the time for Big Oil to make a killing.  And guess who they have targeted as theior primary victim?  Your pocketbook.  The more gas prices rise, the more expensive everything that relies on gasoline dependent delivery systems (i.e., food, consumer goods, etc.) becomes.  The fewer fuel efficient vehicles, the less we invest in our electrical infrastructure and the less we invest in alternative sources of renewable clean energy technologies, the more we spend on oil and gas and coal.

And, of course, this means more Republicans will benefit from Big Oil and Big Coal "investing" in GOP Political Action Committees and other Post-Citizens United election year spending to defeat Democrats.  Now tell me again, dear Tea Partiers: how exactly will more tax cuts save America's economy and create jobs?  How is our over reliance on fossil fuels and failing to invest in clean energy technologies going to create more jobs?  Last time I checked, the Bush tax cuts led to the first jobless recovery in -- well, I don't know how long.

Maybe St. Ronald of Reagan knows the answer, but last I heard he wasn't telling anyone, or at least not anyone who isn't crazier than Glenn Beck.  Then again, Reagan raised taxes when he realized cutting taxes was ballooning the deficit and hurting the economy.  

No matter.  Big Oil will win big.  The Republicans will grow fat from all the money thrown at them by lobbyists.  And Democrats who refuse to fight for policies that promote new jobs, clean the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil (a national security issue according to the Pentagon) will continue to lose elections.

Oh, and our country will continue to spiral down toward a third world economy.  Anyone remember the Soviet Union's disintegration as a superpower when their attempt to maintain their empire became unsustainable?  Guess what.  That's where we are headed, and it isn't a good place to be.  Just ask anyone who isn't part of the new super rich elites in Russia.

Originally posted to Steven D on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 05:48 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, there you go (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, buckstop, kafkananda, skillet

    Of course, there are solutions to not enough oil, electricity, food, water: far, far fewer people on the planet. And we're going to get there, one way or the other. But they'll lie about this report. Prices at the pump won't lie. The silver lining? If GOP continues to get more power, there is NOTHING they can do to hide this. I don't have much expectation that the American people will be able to rationally realize that this is going to happen no matter who is in office, and see-sawing back and forth between Democrats and Republicans every 2 years is pointless.

    If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people. Dr. House

    by Uosdwis on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 06:00:49 AM PST

    •  It's not Dem V Rep, it's Conservative V sanity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steven D, Dude1701

      If we had a progressive Congress, we could actually do something about population and resources.  But progressives only make up about 70% of the Dem party, we need more.  Stop thinking Dem V Rep., think Conservative greedy irrational nuts, (Repubs, and some Dems) V, rational thinking sane progressives.

      Time is running out and it's our only chance.

      •  its simpler than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D

        its rich vs poor. and some of the poor are paid or tricked into fighting the other poor by the rich. the rich buy congress (citizens united just made it official), congress makes laws that favor the rich and rob the rest of society blind; the rich own the media and direct it to distract us from that so they can get away with our money. now they're after peoples social security, better defined as, now they're trying to take away peoples resources necessary for continued survival for the sake of trying to have more money than the next rich guy.

        they control every lever of power in our country and are actively trying to kill us all as indirectly as possible.

        are we going to sit here and just take it?

        The Republic has fallen.

        by Dude1701 on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 08:02:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  'engine room to bridge......anybody awake up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, Steven D


  •  Long LIVE Wikileaks... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, dark daze, Crider


  •  U.S. has used up its resources. Russia hasn't. (4+ / 0-)

    Russia will make money off of high oil prices. The U.S. will be held hostage by big oil.

    The Republican strategy will destroy the U.S. economy if we let them implement it.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 06:21:56 AM PST

  •  On this subject (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tacet, RFK Lives, Steven D, buckstop, Crider

    the difference between Democrats and Republicans is one of degree, not of kind.  Nobody in DC is going to do what needs to be done.

    •  Well their are Democrats (0+ / 0-)

      who are socialists (like the Blue dogs), there are Democrats that are Communist fascists (like Nancy Pelosi) and there are Democrats that are Muslim Caliphate promoters (like Obama).

      But Republicans -- they are all God fearing True Red white and blue real Americans who learned everything they know from Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

      John of Orange though is in a class by himself. < snark >

      But seriously, the Democrats and the Republicans are both deeply divided, except the GOP is afraid of their base and the Democrats are not.  I agree that both feed at the trough of lobbyists, Wall Street, Big Whatever, and the Military/War Industrial Complex.  However, we all know where the money power would prefer to place their bets.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 06:32:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is just another reason why the people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, Steven D, skillet

    should wake up and demand an Article V Convention to address the problem of corruption in our system of government.  It's clear that the current situation is at an impasse.  Boiling frog, anyone?

    No one is outside the circle of the heart

    by kafkananda on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 06:28:19 AM PST

  •  People don't know how important this is. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Dauphin, kafkananda

    Those of us who have been preaching the impact of Peak Cheap oil for decades, are about to see our worst fears come true.

    Jimmy Carter saw it coming and did what he could do, then we wasted 3 decades on "drill baby drill".

    At most you've got 3 years to prepare.  Anyone who thinks this economy won't be crushed by the rapid rise in oil prices, didn't see this coming.  You better be living in a super insulated house with solar if you live in a cold climate, and you better be saving for that electric car.

    •  Hitting rock bottom is the only way people change (0+ / 0-)

      Bring on peak oil, it's time.  I'm tired of listening to global warming hysteria - there isn't enough oil left to worry about, and nature will rebalance in one hundred years.

      I'm also sick of listening to people whine about nuclear power.  When millions are freezing, maybe we'll finally start building new plants and pouring serious R&D dollars into Thorium reactors.

      All sorts of solar power products will also become cost competitive when oil prices soar.  Fuel costs for freighters will even mean it will be cost effective to build them in America.

      And maybe after peak oil I won't have to read articles like the one in this morning's paper, about how rich Lake County, IL is banning wind turbines because "they're ugly".

      Bring on the rock bottom of peak oil. So that we finally realize the need for efficient mass transit and that building the next 8 lane freeway hurts our national security.

      The US will act as it always has.  It will change energy sources when it's cost effective to do so.  So don't complain about higher oil prices.  It's what needs to happen.  My next car will be the Chevy Volt.

      •  Along with rock bottom, billions will die (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D, dark daze, LaughingPlanet

        Wars will be fought over the last barrels of oil.  Food production will drop or prices will skyrocket to the point where 3rd world nations will starve.  Every single barrel of oil on the planet will be extracted as we desperately deny that we must transition and then try to find enough energy to make a transition possible.

        Don't think just in dollars, think about how much fossil fuel it will take to create entirely new technologies and economies that don't use fossil fuels.  This is the ultimate tipping point.  

        •  Which is why green energy needs to be CHEAPER (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D

          My fundamental problem with the global warming crowd, and what I complain about over and over, is that focusing just on climate change is a waste of energy.  If alternative energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, then everyone will convert naturally.  No one needs be force to do anything they don't want to.

          And a few die hards can keep burning oil, it won't matter.  But instead of investing in nuclear research or solar, what do we get?  Cap and Trade.  Which won't do jack shit because the globalists will just hop countries and ship every job out of America.  They will cheat, lie and steal to stay on oil if all we do is make oil more expensive.

          Leave oil alone, it's going away fast enough.  Did we fight wars over the last trees?  No, because we developed a better alternative (oil at the time).

          And we won't fight wars over the last barrel of oil either if we're making fertilizer from cheap nuclear power and using electric cars.  Nuclear also gets us out of the "need fossil fuels to get off fossil fuels" trap.

  •  In Pierce County Washington (Tacoma) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    The voters rejected a sales tax increase that would keep the local transit system a current levels with an eye to increase service. I suspect in a year if fit hits the shan, a lot of those Beckistanis and Limpball listeners will be squaking as gas hits $$5 or maybe $6 a gallon. Wheres mah bus?

    America, They were yours, Honor Them, Do Not forget them-IGTNT.

    by Mr Stagger Lee on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 08:00:01 AM PST

  •  the only sign that was needed... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    to know Saudi's were running low was when they started to invest heavily in off shore drilling.  That should have been a wake up moment.  Their reserves have never changed... its eron accounting with much graver consequences.

  •  Peak Oil Happened in 2006 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Steven D

    From International Energy Agency's World Outlook of November, 2010

    Will peak oil be a guest or the spectre at the feast?

    The oil price needed to balance oil markets is set to rise, reflecting the growing insensitivity of both demand and supply to price. The growing concentration of oil use in transport and a shift of demand towards subsidised markets are limiting the scope for higher prices to choke off demand through switching to alternative fuels. And constraints on investment mean that higher prices lead to only modest increases in production. In the New Policies Scenario, the average IEA crude oil price reaches $113 per barrel (in year‑2009 dollars) in 2035 — up from just over $60 in 2009. In practice, short‑term price volatility is likely to remain high. Oil demand (excluding biofuels) continues to grow steadily, reaching about 99 million barrels per day (mb/d) by 2035 — 15 mb/d higher than in 2009. All of the net growth comes from non‑OECD countries, almost half from China alone, mainly driven by rising use of transport fuels; demand in the OECD falls by over 6 mb/d. Global oil production reaches 96 mb/d, the balance of 3 mb/d coming from processing gains. Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68‑69 mb/d by 2020, but never regains its all‑time peak of 70 mb/d reached in 2006, while production of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and unconventional oil grows strongly.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 08:53:58 AM PST

  •  Nice ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 09:27:01 AM PST

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