Letter: Why ignore bounty in time of crisis?

Editor:

How can we have an honest discussion about energy when many "leaders" believe their agenda is more important than our "right to know?"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says "America has just 3 percent of the world's oil reserves..."

The United States currently may be tapping just 3 percent of the world's reserves, but the senator and his left wing cohorts choose to ignore the vast untapped resources available for reasons that people of their ideology would rather not discuss.

We, America, are facing an energy and food crisis that has been self-inflicted by allowing ourselves to be duped. The real goal of those who would deny us oil independence is to force us into their ideal "one world government" -- oil being just one of the pieces of the puzzle, gift-wrapped in the man-made global warming debate.

Of course, the United Nations, with the vast majority of its members being anti-U.S., is their choice to lead their ideal government.

Had we not been fed so much disinformation concerning oil, nuclear power and hydroelectric production, we would not be consuming as much oil as we are at the present. In fact, we could be an oil exporter, the economic benefits of which would be astounding.

The favorite mantra-of-the-moment, as the left sees the danger to their agenda caused by American anger over energy prices, is that "drilling offers no short term relief." Let's set the record straight. There is no short-term relief! We have gotten ourselves into a hole that will take time to rectify. They say it will take 10 years to offset today's energy problems. That may be true. But those 10 years are going to pass whether we work to help ourselves or not. If we had started drilling in ANWR at the time Bill Clinton vetoed the bill that would have allowed it, we would have an extra million barrels of oil a day helping keep prices stable. In Arizona, cumbersome restrictions and licensing rules, as well as political opposition, has slowed the building of an oil refinery near Yuma that would produce enough gasoline for the entire Phoenix metro area.

The anti-oil activists use visions of gushing oil wells from the 1920s and 1930s to convince us of the environmental damage that drilling will cost. The truth is that oil drilling technology has advanced so far that there can be little noticeable change in environment at the point of extraction.

In fact, during hurricanes Katrina and Rita, more than 1,000 offshore wells were destroyed without any leakage. I might also point out that sea life is abundant around offshore platforms. And we do not have to drill in national parks. There is plenty of oil outside those areas.

The critics of drilling say that it is a crap shoot, that geologists don't know for sure that any given hole will produce oil. True to a certain extent. In the North Sea oil fields they drilled 75 dry holes before hitting one of the largest deposits in the world. But it wasn't by chance. The science said the oil was there, they just had to find the exact spot to penetrate the field.

Geologists tell us that there are, in the Colorado Rockies, shale oil deposits equal to three times the Saudi Arabian reserves. They tell us that off our continental shelf there are at least 68 billion barrels to be tapped.

Enhanced oil technology (plus the high price of oil) can now make previously unprofitable wells that have been capped, profitable again. New fields are now going into operation in the Dakotas as well. Geologists also say that, along with the offshore oil there are an additional 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to be extracted, this in addition to huge deposits recently found in Texas.

Natural gas is not as efficient as oil but burns cleaner. Auto manufacturers would surely put cars on their dealership lots that would use it if natural gas were readily available at stations.

If, at the same time we decided to become oil independent, we started building nuclear power plants in abundance (France currently gets 85 percent of its power from nuclear) we would make an astounding economic turnabout.

We would become a net oil exporter, our balance of trade would go from negative to positive and the dollar would regain its reputation in world markets. The critics howl about the huge cost of storing nuclear waste. Why are we doing that? Spent nuclear fuel can be recycled into new nuclear fuel. The following quotes are from a report titled "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" out of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

"This stagnation (of domestic energy production) has been caused by United States government taxation, regulation, and sponsorship of litigation, which has made the U.S. a very unfavorable place to produce energy."

"At present, 43 percent of U.S. energy consumption is used for electricity production."

"Moreover, if heat from additional nuclear reactors were used for coal liquification and gasification, the U.S. would not even need to use its oil resources. The U.S. has about 25 percent of the world's coal reserves."

It is estimated that, at it's present rate of increase in energy needs, within the next 30 years China would require the entire present production of the world. They are already building one new coal fired power plant a week.

China does not have a reputation for non-belligerence nor patience and is currently building its military capabilities at an alarming rate.

Our country has banned drilling off the Gulf Coast. China, in cooperation with Cuba is actively working to exploit those oil resources that are within our grasp. They intend to drill whether the Gulf states like it or not and cannot be held accountable to worry about environmental concerns.

It seems rather silly that our own country would exclude itself from this bounty at this time of crisis.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

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