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30 December 2011

Repudiation: Republicans on Energy Production

We all remember the chant from 2008, Drill, Baby, Drill.  This year the Republican contenders are of the same opinion, if not using the same words.
The first step will be a rational and streamlined approach to regulation, which would facilitate rapid progress in the development of our domestic reserves of oil and natural gas and allow for further investment in nuclear power. -- Mitt Romney.
As long as we allow federal regulations and bureaucratic red tape to get in the way of energy exploration, our country will never solve its energy crisis, and Americans will continue to pay the price in high costs. -- Ron Paul.
Today's high gas and energy prices are entirely a function of bad government policies. -- Newt Gingrich.
We believe that U.S. transportation energy should be addressed through increased domestic oil exploration and production, incorporating other energy sources as they become more economically competitive. The level of delay in the current leasing and permitting system is unacceptable, and prevents American companies from developing American resources. -- Rick Perry.
[W]e must start by eliminating the Obama Administration's roadblocks to oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, along the Outer Continental Shelf, and onshore - including in ANWR.  Furthermore, no new natural gas regulations, such as those being debated by Congress, should be enacted. -- Rick Santorum.
Those are today's top five according to recent polling.  Effectively, we are not producing enough domestic energy, so drill baby drill.

The problem with this fervor, aside from the devastating impact on our environment, is that we are producing domestic oil.  In fact, according to an article at today's Stars and Stripes, petroleum is the biggest 2011 export from the United States.
Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S. Census data going back to 1990. It will also be the first year in more than 60 that America has been a net exporter of these fuels.
To be clear, we are also still importing vast amounts of fuel.  But the global energy markets are complex and petroleum is a fungible commodity.  And there is a price to pay for such exports.
There's at least one domestic downside to America's growing role as a fuel exporter. Experts say the trend helps explain why U.S. motorists are paying more for gasoline. The more fuel that's sent overseas, the less of a supply cushion there is at home.
Gasoline supplies are being exported to the highest bidder, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. "It's a world market," he says.
Refining companies won't say how much they make by selling fuel overseas. But analysts say those sales are likely generating higher profits per gallon than the fuel sold in the U.S. Otherwise, they wouldn't occur.
The price is a price that we, American consumers, pay while oil companies rake in the profits.
The five Big Oil companies earned over $32 billion in profits in the third-quarter of 2011, bring their overall profits for 2011 to a staggering $101 billion.
All of the Republican contenders are opposed to additional regulations for oil companies.  They want fewer regulations, more environmental degradation, and we pay at the gas pump.  Drill baby drill.  Enough!

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