After Obama's speech in Nashua I have to wonder if he really believes what he's pushing or not. I'm leaning toward believing that he actually does believe what he's saying.
Obama criticized republicans for pushing new drilling. You can read more about his NH visit in a Telegraph article found HERE.
“Now, if there’s one thing I know about New Hampshire, it’s that your political bull detector is pretty keen. It’s pretty sharp,” Obama said. “You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. You know there aren’t any quick fixes or silver bullets. If somebody tells you there are, they’re not telling you the truth.”
Unfortunately what Obama is stating here is true, the reason being is that oil directly from the ground needs to be refined into gas. Thanks to Obama's over reaching regulatory policies we're seeing refineries shutting down in the US such as the ones Sunoco and ConocoPhilips shut down in 2011. With fewer refinaries it doesn't matter how much oil is drilled since it wont be turned into gas any faster.
Obama stressed that every year as president of the United States, he has cut the country’s use of foreign oil, and in 2010 it was at the lowest level in 13 years.
Close to 10% unemployment and nearing $5 a gallon gas prices has a tendency to do that. People can't afford it so they cut back. Not to mention we're artificially increasing the demand for alternative fuels by subsidizing the market with our tax dollars, which I'll address further down.
Obama mocked the GOP’s fascination with domestic oil production as the only solution to our energy price problems.
“And you know what the essence of their plan is going to be, which is: Step one, drill. Step two, drill. Step three, keep drilling. And by the way, we’ll drill in your backyard,’’ Obama quipped. “Wherever it is, we’re just going to put up more rigs.”
This comment was one I personally got a chuckle out of. He prefaced by stating:
“Now, if there’s one thing I know about New Hampshire, it’s that your political bull detector is pretty keen. It’s pretty sharp,”
Then he follows up essentially claiming Republicans have no plan other then "drill, drill, drill". Anyone else's political bull detector go off with that one? Mine sure did!
Before getting more into the Republican plan let's continue looking at Obama's plan.
“And no matter what you hear from some folks in an election year, the key part of this strategy over the last three years has been to increase safe, responsible oil production here at home while also pursuing clean energy for the future,” Obama said.
Obama said he’s calling on Congress to eliminate the $4 billion in annual subsidies to the oil and gas industry.
“It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. And I am asking Congress: eliminate this oil industry giveaway right away. I want them to vote on this in the next few weeks,” Obama said.
Before his speech, Obama toured the school’s automotive technology lab and saw how students were learning to work with flex vehicles and those powered by natural gas.
“Anything we can do to use alternatives is going to save us money in the long run,” Obama told one student near the end of the tour.
During his speech, Obama gave credit to the city of Nashua and Mayor Donnalee Lozeau for purchasing a new fleet of trash trucks that run on natural gas. Obama said the trucks are cleaner, are going to last longer and are going to be cheaper to fill.
Nice talking points. Saying you want safer and more responsible drilling sure sounds good. And ending oil subsidies and "giveaways" makes people feel good when they first hear things like that. Add in trucks that run on natural gas instead of diesel. Wow!
At first that sounds like the perfect plan. Problem is it doesn't hold water when you start diving into actual facts.
Let's start with the natural gas trucks. In a small town use fueling can be provided by a town facility, outside of that unless you can find stops along your route you can only gas as far as a filled tank will take you. Then you have to account for the fact that natural gas trucks are far more expensive then their diesel counter parts. UPS recently purchased 48 of them at $195,000 where they typically spend $95,000 for an average tractor trailer. At the increased cost it takes years to make up the additional up front costs through the fuel cost savings.
Those who have switched over have done so largely because of tax subsidies ("giveaways" - I'll address this more in a bit). One company, Republic Services, which uses natual gas trash trucks flat out said that their choice to buy more depends "on whether the federal government hands out more tax breaks".
Next is the claim of safe and responsible drilling. Based on such a claim you would think Obama's actions and regulations are making drilling safer but what we see in reality is that while the regulations are making people feel good, it is actually creating more dangerous conditions. Instead of safer drilling "in your backyard" as Obama put it, regulations are pushing more and more oil companies to explore deep water drilling which as we saw in the gulf is not that easy to stop if there are problems. Where as an oil rig on land "in our backyards" doesn't run the same level of risks.
This brings us to those evil oil company "giveaways" that need to come to a stop. The fact Obama uses the term giveaway implies money is being given to them that isn't theirs to begin with, and with all the discussions of out of control government spending and higher and higher taxes that is something that people pay attention to. Truth is though the only ones getting someone else's money are the natural gas truck companies getting money take from yours and my pockets. In the case of the oil companies on the other hand, they are being allowed to keep a portion of their own earnings.
The other fact Obama and his fellow Democrats ignore is that when a company has it's taxes increased, it doesn't magically produce money to pay those higher taxes. No, they have to increase the costs of those products on the consumer. That would be you and I.
And one key fact that Democrats like Obama often forget is that oil isn't just about cars, our entire society is based on oil consumption. We use it for cars, we also use it for heating our homes and most importantly, oil is the key product in the production of plastics which make everything from your toothbrush and comb to the bags your food gets put in from the supermarket. Higher costing oil increases costs on all of these products using plastics.
What Obama's plan actually comes down to is higher taxes on oil resulting in higher costs on those of us who can't afford to spend even more for alternative fuel heating systems, home energy systems, cars etc. It means higher costs on any consumer goods made from plastics. It means higher taxes on all of us to help subsidize the cost of those who can afford the alternative fuel choices. And it means higher risks to the environment by regulations placed on drilling domestic oil.
The Republican alternative is lower taxes and allowing companies to keep their own profits keeping costs down on oil and everything that uses it. Allowing the free market to work so when true alternative fuel choices do appear the free market will assure that those choices are cheap enough for everyone to afford and don't require higher taxes on all of us to create the artificial bubble in the market. And it involves lowering regulations so that safer drilling can occur "in our backyards" and gas prices can be kept low by allowing refineries to refine the oil drilled and turn it into gas, which is an exportable product from this country so by doing so we're also giving a boost to the economy. A win win.
So ask yourself which you support.