In the Pipeline: 3/22/11

Must be something in the water…President Obama encourages Brazil to develop their offshore oil fields but continues permitorium at home The Hill (3/21/11) reports: Republicans and the oil industry are working to translate President Obama’s weekend comments in support of Brazilian oil development into political ammunition in their battle against the White House’s U.S. drilling policies…The American Petroleum Institute, the country’s most powerful oil and gas trade association, and Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said Monday that the administration should be doing more to develop U.S. oil-and-gas reserves…Here’s Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who is among the lawmakers pushing for wider U.S. offshore drilling: “It’s ridiculous to ignore our own resources and continue going hat-in-hand to countries like Saudi Arabia and Brazil to beg them to produce more oil,” Vitter said in a statement. “We need to get serious about developing our resources here at home and working toward lower gas prices and long-term energy independence.”

A San Fran Superior Court Judge is the voice of reason in CA?! Translation of his opinion: “Really? You want to put a tax on carbon? Have you thought this out?” Reuters (3/21/11) reports: California did not adequately consider alternatives to its plan to create a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions, a judge ruled on Monday, throwing a wrench into the most aggressive U.S. effort to combat climate change…The state’s regulator on climate change matters, the Air Resources Board (ARB), will need to consider other possibilities to meet state environmental law, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith wrote in an opinion…In particular he said that the state had not made a thorough examination of putting a tax on carbon….”ARB seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap and trade program before alternatives can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by ARB itself,” he ruled…California has forged ahead with its climate change plan, arguing it will attract new “green” business as it improves the environment, and environmentalists see its success as key to any future U.S. federal effort. Key to California’s plan is to establish a limit on total greenhouse gas emissions and let companies and power plants trade for the right to pollute.

Western Energy Alliance comes out with a “Top Ten” that highlights how bureaucrats are slowly destroying American energy Washington Examiner (3/20/11) reports: America’s 13 original colonies revolted against King George III because among other things, according to our Declaration of Independence, the British sovereign “erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”…One might easily conclude that George’s descendants are now in charge in Washington, based on an examination by the Western Energy Alliance of how the federal government today is suffocating the U.S. energy industry with a flood of red tape and swarms of officious bureaucratic regulators…In a new report on the “Top Ten Ways the Federal Government is Preventing Onshore Oil and Natural Gas Production,” the WEA lays out in excruciating details why it takes years just to get the bureaucrats in Washington to give the go-ahead to drill a well that may or may not result in the production of oil or natural gas.

Salazar may have big plans for coal in Wyoming, but I heard a rumor he is heading up to cowboy country in order to get a new hat that fits his ego Business Week (3/21/11) reports: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to make a “major energy announcement” with Gov. Matt Mead on Tuesday, prompting speculation of some kind of development involving the state’s vast coal industry…Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff declined to say Monday what the announcement will be about. Mead spokesman Renny MacKay also declined to comment…But environmentalist Jeremy Nichols with WildEarth Guardians said he’s concerned that the talk he’s been hearing is true — that the announcement will involve “a fair amount of cheerleading for the coal industry.”…Wyoming produces about 40 percent of the nation’s coal, far more than any other state. Nearly all is mined from the Powder River Basin in northeast Wyoming…Wyoming also is a major source of oil, natural gas, uranium and wind power, all of which the Interior Department regulates in one way or another.

Relive your childhood comic reading by going to this link — it has to do with windmills, Al Gore and Don Quixote

What does the Obama Administration have against poor people? Increased energy costs means less disposable income for other goods or services Reuters (3/21/11) reports: Shoppers plan to wait until next year and beyond to spend generously again, a survey on Monday showed, in an early sign that rising gasoline prices could make the spring selling season tough for retailers…About three-quarters of Americans surveyed by America’s Research Group said they were shopping less due to rising gas prices, with more than 62 percent of the participants planning to spend generously only next year or beyond…Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy…”The American shopper was extremely cautious before. And now I’d say they are extremely worried,” said Britt Beemer, president of America’s Research Group…”What we are going to see happen is that consumers will try and cut back on all discretionary purchases, until finally they are going to have to make a decision at some point what do I really have to give up?” Beemer said.

Rep. Markey, is that a challenge? It will not be easy, but Americans could produce an additional 5 million barrels of oil a day The Hill (3/21/11) reports: The United States military action against Libya is motivated by a desire for affordable and accessible oil, a top Democrat on environmental issues said Monday…Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said he agreed with President Obama’s decision to launch, along with allies, attacks against Libya and its leader, Moammar Gadhafi. But Markey said the attacks were primarily motivated by oil…”We are in Libya because of oil,” Markey said on MSNBC. “It all goes back to the 5 million barrels of oil we import from OPEC on a daily basis.”…”I think all Americans know why the president made this strike,” he said. “As long as no American soldiers are on the ground … then I think it’s a good decision for the president.”…Political unrest in Libya and other Middle Eastern nations with high oil production contributed to higher prices per barrel of crude oil, which translates to higher energy costs — particularly in gasoline. (Oil was up to above $102/barrel as of midday trading on Monday.

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