David Vitter has a new fetish. It is also the favorite lubricant of Republicans - oil.
"Yesterday, the president offered some vague platitudes, but no concrete plans to rein in rising gas prices, even as they climb toward $4 per gallon," Senator Vitter said at a press conference.
Vitter announced he and fellow Republicans will introduce a bill to force the administration to open drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska and the Arctic ocean, stop legal challenges to federal mineral leases, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline to import tar sands oil from Canada.
The ANWR drilling plan is embedded in energy legislation that also would restrict legal challenges to federal lease decisions, force the government to approve a pipeline that would bring Canadian oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast and clear the path for Shell to drill in Arctic waters near Alaska.
Houston Chronicle, March 31, article by Jennifer Dlouhy
The legislation will provide billions of new revenues to BP, Shell, and Koch Industries, while covering for fiscally irresponsible Republican governors in Alaska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Pushing polar bears closer to extinction and drastically increasing greenhouse gas emissions are just amusing side benefits.
Some fun facts to help you translate Republican word salad into reality
3. The North Slope oil fields are playing out and estimated reserves in the adjacent National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska have been downgraded by 90%.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 896 million barrels of conventional, undiscovered oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of conventional, undiscovered non-associated gas within NPRA and adjacent state waters. The estimated volume of undiscovered oil is significantly lower than in 2002, when the USGS estimated there was 10.6 billion barrels of oil. The new result, roughly 10% of the 2002 estimate, is due primarily to recent exploration drilling indicating gas occurrence rather than oil in much of NPRA.
4. Despite a growing budget deficit, Republican governor Sean Parnell of Alaska wants to cut taxes on oil revenue, a move that will cost the state up to $2 billion over the next 3 years. In order to break even under Parnell's plan, flow through the pipeline has to increase by 150,000 barrels per day for the next twenty years.
6. Republicans want to stop legal challenges to leases to help Shell drill in the Arctic Ocean.
7. The economic benefits from drilling in the Arctic Ocean touted by Vitter come from a study commissioned by Shell.
8. Koch Industries controls 25% of the distribution of tar sands oil from Canada. That share will increase dramatically with approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
9. The Keystone XL pipeline will serve refineries in Oklahoma and Texas.
10. Vitter is as faithful to the truth as he is to his wife when he makes claims like this:
Vitter said his bill would create more than 2 million jobs, $10 trillion in economic activity and $2 trillion in federal tax receipts over 30 years.
Most of the jobs created by the bill will be in Canada. It will only serve to protect existing jobs in Alaska threatened by declining North Slope production. The $6.7 billion in federal tax receipts per year will not cover the subsidies and tax breaks Vitter and friends have already approved and protected from budget cuts.
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Republicans think we are fools. Judging from the crap that they gotten away with over the past 30 years, they might be right. They are still selling the idea that tax cuts create jobs rather than deficits, so who can blame them.
Now they want you to believe that rising gas prices in America reflect shortages of oil coming into the country.
Republicans cast the measure as an immediate balm for rising oil prices, which have been pushed up by unrest in the Middle East.
Oh really? None of the measures will have much impact on oil commodity prices and no immediate impact. As for the current prices in U.S., one factor pushing up prices is
refinery bottlenecks. And the long-term outlook for prices for importing tar sands oil from Canada is not good. Production costs from tar sands and other unconventional sources are high.
The production cost of extra heavy oil and oil from sand ranges from $6.6 to $13.1/GJ. Oil from oil shale is more costly and ranges from $8.2 to $19.7/GJ. As a comparison, the cost of conventional oil ranges typically between $1.6 to $6.6/GJ, with some exceptions.
Diaper Dave wants us to wait and watch.
But Sen. David Vitter, R-La., the lead sponsor of the new drilling bill, said he thinks the political pressure from rising gasoline prices could change the dynamic.
"Wait and watch," he said. "As the price at the pump goes to $4 … attitudes can change pretty quickly. We saw that in the summer of 2008, and I think we're about to see that again."
Here's looking at you, Diaper Dave.