Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obama Touts Energy Plan in Las Vegas

Obama's new energy site. Be informed!

Obama spoke about his energy plan in Las Vegas yesterday and this blog captures Obama's plan in depth. So Obama reiterated the facts that are now so familiar to people who pay attention, which is to say the facts that are completely and totally lost on the American electorate generally and people who watch Fox News specifically:

New drilling, whether in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge or offshore, though a trendy notion, isn't going to produce oil for a decade or so and does nothing for gas prices today.

Even when the production comes online, and even under the conclusions reached by Bush's own Energy Department, such new drilling isn't going to produce enough oil to have a significant impact on the price of gas.

There are 68 million acres of available federal oil and gas leases on and offshore already controlled by the oil industry and available for drilling, but the industry isn't drilling on it.

The industry's only interest in opening up ANWR or new offshore areas for drilling, Obama said, is to bank the leases while the public is softened up to the idea, and then the companies can dribble out any production on them at some point in the future.

And yet, people are freaking out about the price of gas, so when Republicans (whose previous energy policy -- invading Iraq -- failed to work out as planned) yammer on about more drilling, it's understandable that a lot of folks might think it's a good idea.

"If I thought it was a meaningful way to solve the problem, I would consider it," Obama said, even given the environmental risks of opening up areas for drilling that have been closed off in large part due to environmental concerns.


Obama is touting:

Tax the oil industry's obscene profits.
Another stimulus package to give people more cash money.
A $1,000 tax cut for 95 percent of the workforce.
Close the Enron loophole (crafted by John McCain economic guru Phil Gramm, a point Obama neglected to mention) that has allowed hedge fund managers and speculators to artificially explode the price of oil in completely unregulated markets (Obama also neglected to use the word "bubble" though it seems an increasingly apt description of a dysfunctional global oil market).
Obama also said oil companies should be charged a fee for every acre where they are already allowed to drill but aren't doing it. Good one.