Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gasbags, Windbags and Democrats

Bush is an oil man! Cheney is an oil man! The price of gas is above $3 a gallon. Do the math, its cause and effect, proclaimed Nancy “The Brain” Pelosi, House minority leader (Democrat, CA).

Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled! charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. They are too cozy with the oil industry. She then hopped in a waiting 18 mpg Chrysler LHS, even though her Senate office was only a block away.

Other Democraticos have stepped up to the plate. Numero Uno Gasbag Senator Chuck Schumer posed at the gas station said, I feel your pain. Congress needs to have hearings to belittle the oil executives so all the Senators can grandstand.

Senator “Turban” Durbin went on the Neil Cavuto show to expose the price gouging by the oil companies. My son John had this to say:

Mr. Cavuto, Thanks for not going soft and exposing Senator Durban and the Democrats for their BS finger-pointing and lack of willingness to do anything constructive. I am amazed when I hear politicians talk about a windfall profits tax. Are they serious? Have these people taken Econ 101? By the way, when Senator Durban refers to "enviromentally responsible exploration", I assume he means no exploration. Next time, can you ask him where in the US he would support new oil drilling, specifically?

So what of that $3.00 per gallon price? How does it split up? The oil company’s average profit on a gallon of gas is about $ 0.15 per gallon. That’s 15 cents or 5 percent. At $75.00 per barrel the cost of the oil accounts for $1.64 per gallon (or 55%) at the pump. The cost of refining per gallon of gas is $0.65 (21.7%), the cost of distribution, storage and marketing is $0.13 (4.5%) and the government takes $0.57 (18.9%), except in states like New York where the tax rip off is over 80 cents.

I wonder if Nancy Pelosi could do the math and tell us why the Bush/Cheney cabal could not do better than a 5% profit for their oil buddies.

If the gas bags in Congress really wanted to help the American people they could forego the gas tax, reducing the price to $2.43 per gallon, just like that! They could put a moratorium on the two dozen different blends of gas mandated by the EPA which raises cost and reduces availability of gas at the pump. They could reduce the 800 to 900 permits required to build a refinery, not taking into account the lawsuits from the environmental groups. They could pass legislation to open up ANWR (the legislation that was vetoed by Bill Clinton) and off-shore drilling to increase supplies. But, don’t hold your breath.

Back at the gas station, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stepped into an eight-cylinder Ford Explorer (14mpg); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) disappeared into a Lincoln Town Car (17); Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met up with an idling Chrysler minivan (18). Next came Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), greeted by a Ford Explorer XLT (14) and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who was met by a Dodge Durango V8 (14). Also waiting were three Suburbans, a Nissan Armada V8, two Cadillacs and a Lexus.

Of course the Republican senators were also driving gas guzzlers, but our guys don’t pretend; they love big and fast cars as much as I do.

And speaking of windbags,… momentum is building in Congress to buck the bid by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to block the proposed Cape Cod wind energy project, potentially reviving efforts to construct the windmill farm in Nantucket Sound. Environmental groups have launched an aggressive advertising and lobbying campaign to persuade Democrats to abandon Kennedy and back a promising source of renewable energy. If the wind farm becomes a reality, advocates say, it could provide three-fourths of the Cape and Islands' energy needs and could set an example for the nation.

It's odd that the people who are against it are the people (Kennedys) who have scenic views, said Representative Charles Bass (R-NH). I'm sorry about that, but the project ought to rise or fall on its merits.

I’ll close with another car related headline: Kerry's Tire-Slashers Sentenced.
A Democratic congresswoman's son and three Democratic campaign workers were sentenced yesterday to four to six months in jail for slashing the tires of 25 vans rented by Republicans to take voters to polls on Election Day 2004. Michael Pratt, 33, and Lewis Caldwell, 29, were each sentenced to six months in jail while Lavelle Mohammad, 36, got five months and Sowande Omokunde, 26, got four months. Pratt is the son of former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt and Omokunde is the son of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.).

This case had to be a public example of what can happen when you interfere with voters' rights, said Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Brennan, who rejected prosecutors' recommendation of probation for the four men.

Gasbags, windbags and slashers… Democrats all.


Blogger JasonSpalding said...

Have you ever looked at a map of gas prices in the United Stated based on county? Have you compared it to the results of a presidential election based on a precinct map?

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Ray said...


When I read the title of this post my first thought was "What's the difference?" That was immediately followed by "Bill's gonna tell me." The funny part is, you didn't!


3:32 PM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

Comparing the red state/blue state and county map with the color coded gas prices map, I see the left coasts the highest gas prices, Middle America and Texas, the lowest.

Isn't Jason the same person who appreciates Zacharias Moussaouis' honesty? Yikes.

Great post John, Bill's son.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The usual one sided stuff from you. I agree that some of the Democratic proposals are crazy, but the Republicans are equally guilty. Bush is playing politics with the petroleum reserve, flip-flopping on mileage standards (actually it's a good idea), and has called for yet another investigation of the oil companies. Frist wants federal gasoline gift vouchers and others want to look at the oil company tax returns (as though you need to do that to see how much money the oil companies are making). And then there's the annual call to open ANWR (maybe some oil production in 8-10 years), which is frankly a complete red herring.

With Bush's ratings at record low levels, the Congressional Republicans are looking desperately to avoid unemployment in November. The desperation is probably justified.


9:05 AM  
Blogger Armand said...

Tex, are you sure ANWR is "a complete red herring?" I understand that we wouldn't see production for a long time, but exploration there is still justified. And other domestic regions need to be explored also, if for no other reason than that we'll eventually need their production one way or another. We are going to need petroleum for many decades to come for a variety of purposes not necessarily linked to transportation.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how drilling in ANWR is so easily dismissed by some. Why? Even if we don't get much out of it so what? We'd be drilling in a tiny area of the frozen tundra where no one will ever go.

What you're really saying is that we can't drill in ANWR AND we can't drill anywhere else, either. Because conditions couldn't be more perfect for drilling than they are there: tiny, remote, uninhabited, unvisited area with limited flora and fauna, which the locals are PLEADING to drill in.

BANANAism (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody) will ruin us. We have to make sacrifices, that's a fact. Why not start in ANWR?

10:17 PM  
Anonymous smith said...

"Why not start in ANWR?" I agree--this a great place to start to work on some good, comprehensive energy policy. I think we should allow tapping into the ANWR, let go of some of the restrictions oil companies have on expansion, and allow for exploration of alternatives. (Also keep in mind that if we increase taxes on oil companies, we are taking money away from their exploration and expansion.)

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A majority of the population oppose drilling on ANWR on environmental grounds. As its name conveys, it's a wildlife refuge and a truly amazing wilderness area.

We can agree to differ on whether this unique environment is worth preserving. However, we should also agree that ANWR is not a long term answer to our energy needs (and is hence a red herring). Estimates of oil reserves which can be recovered from ANWR vary widely, but 5 billion barrels is reasonable. This is about 8 months of the US's oil consumption.

We greedily consume 25% of the world's oil production, and if we want to go on doing so, these are the people we have to deal with:
Country Proved reserves
(billion barrels)
1. Saudi Arabia 261.9
2. Canada 178.81
3. Iran 125.8
4. Iraq 115.0
5. Kuwait 101.5
6. UAE 97.8
7. Venezuela 77.2
8. Russia 60.0
9. Libya 39.0
10. Nigeria 35.3

A truly scary list. Of the top 4, Canada's oil is almost all buried in tar-sands, we've invaded Iraq (and insurgents have crippled much of the industry there), and we're threatening Iran with Bill's bunker busting nukes!

Still want to drive an SUV?

The good news is that while our politicians are unable to fashion a sensible energy policy, the price mechanism will do it for us. Conservation and technological innovation will all accelerate. Painfull but effective.


12:29 PM  
Anonymous opa said...

Tex posted a few up "And then there's the annual call to open ANWR (maybe some oil production in 8-10 years)." All the more reason to go at it now. If we'd have done so 8-10 years ago, we'd be seeing some relief. The fact that it takes years to see production means we can no longer wait!

8:31 PM  

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