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Obama and Clinton Vote Against Oil Independence

May 18, 2008
Domestic Exploration in Desolate Areas Would Reduce Dependence upon Foreign Oil, but Liberals Once Again Prohibit It
Liberal political leaders, including two who happen to be running for President, constantly claim to seek American oil independence. Invariably, however, they turn around and thwart measures to achieve precisely that.

This week, a bill introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) once again illustrated liberals’ duplicity on this subject.

Senator McConnell, along with twenty other Republican Senators, had introduced the Domestic Energy Production Act, which sought to allow domestic oil exploration and production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the deepwater Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

    (Right Side News added map, from Alaska's Dept of Natural Resources) alaska.gif

This would result in production of more barrels of oil here at home, creating well-paying American jobs in the process, as opposed to further increasing dependence upon oft-hostile foreign sources.

Unfortunately, the liberals who now dominate the Senate defeated this prudent measure, and once again said “no” to greater American oil independence.

For those still unfamiliar with ANWR, it is an isolated, frigid wilderness area at the far northeastern tip of Alaska. This barren area has almost no trees or mountains, and is completely blanketed by snow and ice for nine months out of the year. For three months out of the year, in fact, it is covered in 24-hour darkness. And even during summer months, its coastal plain is pocked with bogs, runoff ponds and permanently-frozen tundra.

Beneath its barren, inhospitable surface, however, ANWR presents an invaluable new source of domestic oil. According to geologists, ANWR constitutes America’s greatest prospect for oil discoveries, with billions of barrels of recoverable reserves. A 1987 survey determined that 500 million barrels likely existed below its coastal plain alone, an estimate that was increased in 1998 following a United States Geological Survey.

In other words, ANWR is precisely the type of deserted, inhospitable area from which we should be recovering the critical oil resources upon which our nation’s economy and livelihood depend. Moreover, merely 8% of the entire ANWR area would be open to environmentally-safe exploration and recovery, preserving 92% to its current desolate, untouched state.

But you’ll obviously never hear that admission from liberal politicians who favor environmental special interest groups over everyday American consumers paying excruciatingly high prices at the pump.

As for the deepwater OCS, geologists estimate that it holds approximately 85 billion barrels of oil. By way of comparison, Americans use approximately 5.5 billion barrels of oil per year, meaning that ANWR and the OCS constitute untapped pools that would boost American oil independence immeasurably.eastpa2.jpg (image below shows general map of Gulf area)

Despite this fact, the United States remains the only industrialized nation that prohibits offshore resource recovery.

Opponents contend that exploring ANWR and the OCS would provide no short-term benefit to American consumers, but they are incorrect. In addition to adding billions of barrels of oil over the long-term, ANWR and the OCS would provide a stable, reliable, domestic source of oil production upon which markets could depend. As a consequence, the cost of oil in commodities markets would immediately begin to drop because the current price of oil partially reflects potential instability and production disruptions in such places as Nigeria, the Persian Gulf and Nigeria.

Thus, Senator McConnell’s bill would increase America’s domestic oil supply and immediately begin to reduce gas prices, while simultaneously creating new American jobs. By blocking this proposal, Senate liberals instead voted in favor of begging foreign suppliers to increase production, and merely increased OPEC’s power over America’s economy and consumers.

Both Senators Obama and Clinton voted against Senator McConnell’s effort toward oil independence, which voters should remember whenever they hear either candidate claim an interest in relieving dependence upon foreign sources.
Founded in 1998, the Center for Individual Freedom is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with the mission to protect and defend individual freedoms and individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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