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A Story of Oil and a "Do Nothing" Congress

Written by Tom Segel

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June 10, 2008
by Tom Segel

tomsegel_b1.jpgHarlingen, Texas, June 9, 2008,:  Back in 1972 when we had the first Arab Oil Embargo.  Gasoline was 36 cents a gallon and the United States was importing almost one-third of its oil from abroad.  We had gas rationing, long lines at the pumps and a public that demanded governmental action.  Congress did nothing to solve the problem.

By the year 2000, gasoline had jumped in price to $1.44 per gallon.  America was angry but the Democrat obstructionists in Congress along with a few left of center Republicans managed to keep any meaningful energy bill stalled and oil exploration almost at a standstill.

Throughout the administration of President George W. Bush, until the “no confidence” vote that took his Republican Party back to minority status, gasoline took a bumpy ride up and down to a national average of $2.10 a gallon, or a 66 cent a gallon increase over eight years.  During all of those years Congress did nothing to give us an increased oil supply or an energy policy that would lead toward independence from foreign oil.

On January 4, 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assumed office.  The Democrats were in control of Congress.  That $2.10 a gallon gasoline started climbing to $3.00, $3.50 and now a national average above the $4.00 a gallon mark, in just 18 months.  But, Congress did nothing about the problem except blame “Big Oil”.

Now more than 80% of the population is demanding that we drill now and drill at home to obtain more oil and reduce our dependence on foreign imports. The Democratic Party has become so dependent upon the environmentalists and the far left that it refuses to go against these groups and respond to the demands of the public.  Again, Congress has done nothing.

If we accept those political buzzwords as fact, the world has become addicted to oil.  It is the fuel that makes most worthwhile things in our lives happen.  We are at record highs in consumption and the demand for more oil grows daily.  It has been estimated that within the next eight years our world will be consuming about 50,000 gallons of oil a second.

This means real trouble.  Right now for every nine barrels of oil we utilize, we are discovering only one barrel to replace the amount already used.  This massive utilization of oil has placed us in a position where we can no longer expect to meet our projected demand.

The Democrat position is we will have a major push to develop renewable energy sources.  These alternative supplies are desperately needed right now.  But, even the energy that could be supplied by nuclear, solar, wind, hydro or other power alternatives are so heavily encumbered by governmental regulations that they can only advance at a snail’s pace. Even if all these alternative sources of energy were available at this very minute, we would still need more oil.

The only positive answer most logical people can bring to the table is for the men and women of Congress to act now…in all energy areas…or we should make sure they get chased out of town.  As my old First Sergeant used to say, “When you have a tough situation, you have only three choices.  You can lead, you can follow, or you can get the hell out of the way.”
Semper Fidelis
Tom Segel
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