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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #1
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Exclamation Bush looks offshore for remedy to high oil prices

2008-06-18 10:12:01
By H. JOSEF HEBERT Associated Press Writer



WASHINGTON (AP) A House panel put off a vote Wednesday on extending Congress' ban on offshore drilling, even as President Bush was poised to publicly renew his call for lawmakers to open U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas development.

Drilling for oil and gas off nearly all the American coastline has been banned over the past quarter-century, in part to protect tourism and to lessen the chances of beach-blackening spills. Now, $4-a-gallon gasoline prices are a part of people's daily lives and motorists are clamoring for something to be done about the record price of oil, much of it produced in foreign countries.

In response, Bush was to call again Wednesday for exploration, arguing that it's high time to battle high prices with increased domestic production. He planned to ask Congress to lift the drilling moratoria that have been in effect since 1981 in more than 80 percent of the country's Outer Continental Shelf and to let states help to decide where to allow drilling.

"The president believes Congress shouldn't waste any more time," White House press secretary Dana Perino told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "He will explicitly call on Congress to ... pass legislation lifting the congressional ban on safe, environmentally friendly offshore oil drilling."

Keith Hennessey, the director of the president's economic council, said that Bush will lift a parallel executive order banning offshore drilling if Congress does likewise with the law. Asked why Bush doesn't act first and lift the ban, Hennessey said: "He thinks that probably the most productive way to work with this Congress is to try to do it tandem."

Bush, in a Rose Garden statement, will also call on Congress to make it easier for oil refineries to be expanded.

Even a quick change in law is expected to have no immediate effect on oil supply. The impact, Hennessey said, "is definitely measured in years." But he said that allowing a greater oil supply in future years could trigger the market to use more supply now and reduce the price of oil.

For their part, some lawmakers had their own plan: Legislation that would continue the ban into late 2009, and which had been scheduled to be considered Wednesday by the House Appropriations Committee. But the session was postponed because the committee was focusing on disaster relief measures involving the Midwest flooding.

Congressional Democrats, joined by some GOP lawmakers from coastal states, have opposed lifting the prohibition that has barred energy companies from waters along both the East and West coasts and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico for 27 years.

On Monday, GOP presidential candidate John McCain made lifting the federal ban on offshore oil and gas development a key part of his energy plan. McCain said states should be allowed to pursue energy exploration in waters near their coasts and get some of the royalty revenue.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for president, opposes lifting the ban on offshore drilling and says that allowing exploration now wouldn't affect gasoline prices for at least five years.

McCain called for reform of the laws governing the oil futures trading market, and drew a standing ovation from his audience Wednesday when he repeated his day-old support for an end to the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling. He favors allowing states to decide whether to explore offshore waters.

That drew a rebuttal from Obama, who said his opponent had switched positions from when he first ran for president in 2000. "I think he continues to find himself being pushed further and further to the right in ways that in my mind don't show a lot of leadership," he said.

Obama also said there is "no way that allowing offshore drilling would lower gas prices right now. At best you are looking at five years or more down the road."

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, energy secretary during the Clinton administration, called it "another bad idea."

"It's going to take 10 years to fully get that oil out of the ocean. It's a fragile ecosystem," he said on CBS's "The Early Show."

"You know this president, all he wants to do is drill, drill, drill. There is very little on conservation, on fuel efficiency for vehicles. Just last week the Congress failed to pass a solar tax credit give more incentives to renewable energy, solar and wind. A one track mind drill drill drill that's not going to work," Richardson said.

The 574 million acres of federal coastal water that are off-limits are believed to hold nearly 18 billion barrels of undiscovered, recoverable oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the Interior Department. The country each year uses about 7.6 billion barrels of oil and 21 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In another development, Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida has dropped his long-standing support for the federal government's moratorium on offshore drilling and endorsed McCain's proposal to let states decide for themselves.

When Republicans held the majority, the House twice voted to lift the ban, only to have the legislation die in the Senate. The Senate last month by a 56-42 vote rejected a GOP energy plan that would have allowed states to avoid the federal ban if they wanted energy development off their coast.

Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, issued a parallel executive drilling ban in 1990, which was extended by President Clinton and then by the current president until 2012.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #2
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While not having an actual immediate effect on the true market, it would have an effect on the mentality of the investors and the general public. I think it would bring down the prices as people look for another solid commodity to invest in.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #3
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Even a quick change in law is expected to have no immediate effect on oil supply. The impact, Hennessey said, "is definitely measured in years." But he said that allowing a greater oil supply in future years could trigger the market to use more supply now and reduce the price of oil.
So first we didn't have enough oil and the prices went up, and now we are not using enough, so the prices are up. Interesting....
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #4
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footnotes please. And from what i read sounds like another reason for them to jack up gas prices.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #5
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footnotes please. And from what i read sounds like another reason for them to jack up gas prices.
how about read it and dont be lazy?
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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It doesn't make sense, but I agree with the President.....prices will drop not because of actual availability or production, but because of the initiative to make it change.

How many times has the price of gas gone up the same day some event has happened even though true prices shouldn't be affected for weeks or months (or not at all)?
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #7
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It doesnt matter how much oil is out there, someone will find a way or an excuse to keep the prices high, I dont think the offshore drilling will make any difference. Its not like the people drilling are going to sell us the oil for half price, they will sell it for market value to who ever wants it. The only people that will gain anything from this will be the oil companies and their share holders. They will be able to double their volume of oil sold and they will get the ban lifted, its a win win situation for them. If the president gets congress to help him with this and they start drilling, then all we will have is high fuel costs and bunch of floating oil rigs everywhere.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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It doesnt matter how much oil is out there, someone will find a way or an excuse to keep the prices high, I dont think the offshore drilling will make any difference.
I don't understand how you can think that. Do you realize how ridiculously low the price of the barrel got in the late 90's after the "gas crunch" of the 70's and 80's?
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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I don't understand how you can think that. Do you realize how ridiculously low the price of the barrel got in the late 90's after the "gas crunch" of the 70's and 80's?
man 1993-ish

i was 16 and gas was 95 cents a gallon....

i miss that shit
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #10
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I don't understand how you can think that. Do you realize how ridiculously low the price of the barrel got in the late 90's after the "gas crunch" of the 70's and 80's?
We humans have very short memories and dont often remember the lessons taught by history
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #11
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how low the price of the barrel got in the late 90's after the "gas crunch" of the 70's and 80's i think thats what we need to do here to help us
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #12
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I paid 77 cents in October of 1998.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #13
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I paid 77 cents in October of 1998.
Yeah, looks like the barrel was down close to $15 about that time.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #14
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I started with the company in May of 2000. About 6 months after I started the railroads started doing fuel surcharges because the price of crude stayed above $18/barrel.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #15
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I don't understand how you can think that. Do you realize how ridiculously low the price of the barrel got in the late 90's after the "gas crunch" of the 70's and 80's?
The current global economy throws a monkeywrench into previous historical cyclical trends. We have never had to factor in massive growth/industrialization in China and India before.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #16
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The current global economy throws a monkeywrench into previous historical cyclical trends. We have never had to factor in massive growth/industrialization in China and India before.
That is part of it, but not all of it. It is still a game of supply and demand. As long as they are able to meet demand, there isn't any reason the prices should be as high as they are. All it took in the past was the US threatening to open up it's reserves and OPEC reacted and prices started to drop. So yes, us putting some resources into helping the world supply of oil should help the prices come down some.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #17
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how low the price of the barrel got in the late 90's after the "gas crunch" of the 70's and 80's i think thats what we need to do here to help us
don't plan on it.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #18
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Be ready for a steady stream of disinformation before the election. There are thousands of wells now capped and millions of acres already leased to big oil with nothing being done til they are satisfied that the price is high enough to exploit it. The record profits being made now will pale.

Public opinion being dissuaded on "false intelligence" is nothing new to this cabal.
Cheney's "secret" energy meetings agenda could not be much in doubt when greed is involved.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #19
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Be ready for a steady stream of disinformation before the election. There are thousands of wells now capped and millions of acres already leased to big oil with nothing being done til they are satisfied that the price is high enough to exploit it. The record profits being made now will pale.

Public opinion being dissuaded on "false intelligence" is nothing new to this cabal.
Cheney's "secret" energy meetings agenda could not be much in doubt when greed is involved.
Thanks for the update
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Old June 19th, 2008, 06:11 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by upchuck View Post
Be ready for a steady stream of disinformation before the election. There are thousands of wells now capped and millions of acres already leased to big oil with nothing being done til they are satisfied that the price is high enough to exploit it. The record profits being made now will pale.

Public opinion being dissuaded on "false intelligence" is nothing new to this cabal.
Cheney's "secret" energy meetings agenda could not be much in doubt when greed is involved.
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