The Tea Party May Save Us Yet
November 17, 2010 by John Myers
There has been a huge sigh of relief in the corridors of Calgary's oil towers following the Republican victory in the mid-term election. The GOP win assures much-needed changes in the Federal government's energy policy; changes that will benefit American consumers as well as Canadian petroleum producers.
It seems certain that climate change legislation in the United States is dead for at least the next two years, and hopefully forever. That is good news for Alberta's oil sands industry, which has been facing an uphill battle against Greens inside the old Democrat-controlled Congress.
"I think the playing field for Canadian energy will be a lot more level now," said Republican David Wilkins, the Bush administration's last ambassador to Ottawa.
Former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson agrees and says that while special interest groups will still keep up their lobbying efforts against oil sands, climate change legislation is DOA. That closes the casket on what could have become a border levy on Alberta's oil sands.
A Fresh Look For Oil Sands
While Canadians may hate guns and embrace universal healthcare, many are happy about the Tea Party's influence. This is true of Canadian petroleum executives who understood the threat of ousted Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). They realize that the 112th Congress will have a far more balanced approach to petroleum. Incited by President BarackObama, Democrats had been making "clean energy" their mantra.
Finally, some sanity is restored. There is a growing realization that wind and solar power are incredibly expensive and are without significant infrastructure, and an understanding that neither will make a noticable dent in America's energy appetite before the end of this decade.
This truth didn't seem to faze House Democrats who wanted a national renewable-electricity standard. They were blissfully ignorant of a fundamental truth — that Green energy is more pie in the sky than it is juice on the grid.
Democrats also misunderstood America's growing dependence on Arab oil. Consider the Obama drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Neither he nor House Democrats seem to comprehend that oil from the Gulf of Mexico was helping the U.S. reduce oil imports. And while the largely untested Bakken formation of the Dakotas and Montana is promising, it was Gulf Coast production that was making the difference.
Stopping The Greens Before It's Too Late
A more conservative Congress can take immediate steps to re-establish offshore oil drilling and open up oil exploration in Alaska. This cannot happen too soon, as America faces an immense energy crisis — one that the Obama administration has recklessly ignored.
The GOP gets it, especially the conservative wing of the Party, which understands that fossil fuels are and will remain essential to America's national security. Oil will account for more than 90 percent of U.S. transportation energy and more than two-thirds of U.S. electricity through the end of this decade. The newly elected conservatives promise to be an enormous improvement over the previous Congress, which was focused on strengthening the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; an act which Obama reinforced last year with stimulus money.
What most Americans don't realize is what folly taxpayer's money was being spent on. There is a hidden clause in the Energy Independence and Security Act which was signed into law in 2007. It is found within Section 526.
According to that section, all Federal agencies — with the exception of NASA — are prohibited from purchasing carbon-intensive unconventional fuels:
"No Federal agency shall enter into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel, including a fuel produced from non-conventional petroleum sources, for any mobility-related use, other than for research or testing, unless the contract specifies that the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel supplied under the contract must, on an ongoing basis, be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel produced from conventional petroleum sources."
The U.S. military could not get its fuel from Alberta's oil sands and instead had to rely on oil from nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, two countries renowned for their grassroots hatred of the U.S.
Last month, Energy & Capital pointed out what an obstacle this is, because America's military is the world's single largest purchaser of crude oil. Most anyone outside the Democratic Party will take Alberta over Arabia.
That is because most people have some common sense. They understand that having a strategic supply of oil next door in a democratic nation that shares a common language and core values is a good thing. But "most people" does not include Pelosi or Obama.
An Early Thanksgiving
Thank Heaven for the GOP's victory. Without it, Obama would have been free to sign a climate bill that would have targeted Canada's oil sands industry. Instead, Obama has been forced to admit that his hopes to put a price on the cost of carbon dioxide emissions — which he and the Greens blame for global warming — will be put on hold for at least the next two years. If you drive a car or heat your home you have to say: Hallelujah and pass the petroleum!
As you know, most Republicans campaigned against a so-called Cap-and-Trade bill that would have put a ceiling on U.S. climate pollution. We have a President that made "Going Green" a priority right after socialized medicine. Obama's Cap-and-Trade bill was in fact passed by the House, but stalled in the Senate because it was rightfully branded harmful to the U.S. economy by conservatives and others who were not corrupt or feebleminded.
Energy Injustice Derailed
Obama has not given up on saving the environment. The President said he will push for more piecemeal incentives for developing alternative energies that could help the U.S. reduce its "carbon footprint."
The Greens may get their way if Obama continues forward with his economic policies. A recession turned depression would certainly reduce America's carbon footprint. It might even make the most radical of the Greens happy.
If you think I exaggerate, consider KAIROS, a coalition of half a dozen large liberal church groups in Canada that includes the United Church, some Catholics, Mennonites and Quakers. They have a staff of more than 20 and an annual budget that exceeds $4 million. Their largest project is called Energy Justice.
According to their Web site: "KAIROS is in the midst of Re-Energize: Time For A Carbon Sabbath, a three-year campaign for personal, community, and political change."
You might think that Canadian Christian groups might be worried about the lack of democracy or even women's rights in big Arab oil-exporting countries, some of which are known to finance terror groups like al-Qaida. Instead KAIROS, which unbelievably gets $1.5 million per year from the Canadian Federal government, has set its sights on something it considers far more evil: Alberta's oil sands.
What is most frightening is that environmental groups like KAIROS have plenty of allies, including Obama, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Liberty For All
And while many Canadians decry American conservative policies, Canada, too, is reaping the rewards of the conservative revolution spreading within the U.S. Canada is like American liberals who oppose handguns yet sleep better at night knowing that criminals are wary of breaking into their homes because at least a few of the neighbors are packing pistols.
Both Canada and the U.S. need Alberta's oil sands. Canada has roughly 180 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia. More than 95 percent of these reserves are oil sands deposits in Alberta. In the past decade, Canada's oil production has steadily risen as new oil sands have come on-stream to replace aging, mature fields. This has been fortuitous to the United States, whose own aging fields have been in drastic decline. That the previous Congress thwarted this marriage of necessity borders on treason.
Next week I will be giving thanks with my family that there is new hope with the new Congress; hope sparked by the conservative ideals of the Tea Party, which are arresting the energy idiocy that is Obama and his Democrats.
Yours for real wealth and good health,
Myers' Energy and Gold Report