INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
For the last 28 years, Democrats in Congress and a few Republicans have again and again opposed our drilling for oil in Alaska's ANWR area when we knew it contained at least 10 billion barrels of oil we could be using now.
• For the past 31 years, Congress repeatedly prevented us from building any new oil refineries that we now badly need.
• More recently, congressional Democrats defeated and discouraged any bill that would let us drill in the deep sea 100 miles out. However, it's somehow OK for China to drill there.
• As a further indictment of our Congress, since the 1980s it has continually stopped all building of nuclear power plants while France, Germany and, yes, Japan, plus 12 other major nations, did build plants and now get 20% to 80% of their energy from their wise and safe nuclear plant investments.
• From 1990 to 2000, U.S. crude oil demand rapidly accelerated by 7.41 quadrillion BTUs, according to Department of Energy data. And our rate of foreign oil dependency dramatically increased while our domestic oil production steadily declined.
Under the eight Clinton years alone, U.S. oil production declined 1,349,000 barrels per day, or 19%, while our foreign imports increased 3,574,000 barrels per day, or 45%.
During this time, President Clinton vetoed ANWR drilling bills that would have clearly made Alaska our No. 1 state in the production of our own vitally needed oil supply, not only for all Americans but also for national defense emergencies.
So were Democrats and members of Congress together merely short-sighted, with only a few having any real business experience?
Or were they just ignorant about economics — the fact that the law of supply and demand determines the price of all commodities such as oil, steel, copper and lumber?
Or were they simply and utterly irresponsible and incompetent in their actions that led us to become dangerously dependent on increasing oil imports from foreign countries?
We think it was "all of the above."
The unintended consequence of the Congress members' poor judgment and meddling micromanagement of U.S. energy policy is that they actually hurt most the very people they always profess to be able to help — the average American consumer, lower-income workers and those in the inner city who can't afford an extra $100 a month to drive to and from their jobs.
Democrats kowtowed to the wishes of their environmental supporters over the basic needs of 300 million American citizens.
It is a national disgrace that all they now know how to do is relentlessly criticize, complain and condemn. They always attempt to blame, investigate and scapegoat someone else, in this case U.S. oil companies, when Congress is the true villain of ineptness for constantly blocking and obstructing every effort for us to become more productive and less dependent on foreign oil.
Do those now in Congress really think Middle America's voters are so gullible that they will believe that its latest best and brightest answer to increasing our supply of oil and gas is to slap a 25% windfall penalty tax on oil companies and remove all other incentives for oil companies to drill and explore for oil?
The right time to release oil from, or stop adding to, our Strategic Petroleum Reserve is not now. That will do nothing to increase our ongoing oil supply needs and will have limited affect on oil prices while increasing our national security risks.
Only after we first announce to the world a bold new change in our policy by proclaiming that we intend to begin drilling in ANWR and selected outer sea areas, plus adopt new conservation programs, will the release of oil from our reserves have a major impact on breaking the price of oil.
If our congressional leadership can't muster the courage to begin reversing past mistakes now and allow our companies to drill in ANWR and off-limits offshore areas, and build essential refineries and safe nuclear power plants, what will an even-more-discredited Congress do in 2009, 2010 and 2011, when millions of new city dwellers in China and India will be driving the cars their countries are now producing, thereby materially increasing their already huge demand for oil and gas?
It's wake-up time for America. Maybe we should investigate the blame-throwing investigators in Congress.