The Anti-Oil Politics of Congress

One of the very few positive things to come out of the Jimmy Carter presidency was the 1980 setting aside of a portion of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge for oil production.  Perhaps I should clarify and say that the 1980 Congress enacted on the measure as I hesitate to give Carter credit for anything positive.

However, in his typical tree hugger policy, Bill Clinton vetoed further development of the ANWR, effectively cutting off access to millions of barrels of oil that would have helped reduce America’s independence on foreign oil.  Clinton killed many measures that would have helped the American people, but did so because of his personal environmental beliefs.

In 2005, under the presidency of George W Bush, Congress once again took up the issue of the vast oil reserves in the ANWR.  The House and Senate each passed their own versions, but as usual, they differed from each other and the two sides never did come to any agreement and the issue of Alaskan oil was eventually dropped.

So here we are in 2012, some 32 years since Congress first approved of ANWR oil drilling and once again we are hearing of $4 and $5 a gallon gasoline prices at the pumps.  In today’s struggling economy, $5 per gallon of gas would be devastating to many small businesses, forcing many of them to either lay off more workers or close their doors to business.  It would also lead to drastic increases in the cost of consumer products and food supplies as everything in the US is transported from one place to another.

The House of Representatives has decided to tackle the ANWR oil reserve once again.  Earlier this month, they took action on four measures, some of which have been sent to the Senate for approval.  Among the House bills is a measure to force the Department of Interior to allow access to a small section of the ANWR for oil drilling.  According to one expert, the area is about the size of Dulles International Airport in Washington DC.  Other provisions in the House bills include opening up oil and natural gas drilling on other federal lands and the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Environmentalists are all up in a snit over the House measures.  It seems they would rather see more Americans lose their jobs, homes and dignity over a ‘what if’ hypothetical environmental disaster that may or may not ever happen.

The question now lies with whether or not the Democratic controlled Senate will pass the House measures or will they remain true to form and play their political games regardless of the negative impact it could have on the American people.


  • screeminmeeme

    Well...you can count on Harry Reid to once again abuse his Senatorial power by tabling any legislation that comes from the House concerning oil production. Without a blush, the man acts with impunity, boldly doing the bidding of his environmental activist cronies while acting against the will of the American people. Unfortunately he's one in a long list of elected officials who prove the old adage that power corrupts.

    • John

      Plain & simple, harry reid sucks big time & the whole country would be better off if he were gone from the senate at least as leader of the majority

      • christin

        we'd be better off if he were 6 feet under.

  • Carol

    Ill feel allot better about their "oil pipeline" when they commit to using the fuel in the US and not selling it overseas or in Mexico for a profit. Dont tell us this is for us , then sell it to make yourself rich. Enough! I hate liberalism, but I hate lies and greed just as much. They refused to commit to this in congressional hearings.

    • christin

      you are right on.

    • Paul

      Who made you dictator of where companies can sell their products? The pipeline seems to me to be foolish. Why don't they build a refinery in the North part of Washington State instead. But, if it is more economical to build a pipeline, what business is it of mine or of Congress? Let those who are paying for it alone to produce products as they see fit. And let them sell it where they want to. Government needs to get out of the way and let the economy work. I think Ron Paul is the only candidate for president that would agree with me.

  • AlleyOops75

    The oil industry has taken more hits than Ted Williams ever made when he was the American League batting champion. One thing I've found out to be true in my close to 83 years on this planet; Liberals don't like success nor do they like successful people. The oil industry has had lots of ups and downs during its history...Just a few years ago, early 1980s, independent oil producers & independent drilling contractors were dropping like flies at a baptist revival meeting. We've known for years what we'd eventually be facing and that's high gasoline prices..we've failed to do anything about it.

    • SANDY JONES ELTRING

      You are right on. My husband owns a small business and when ever he thinks he is doing good pow something comes and knocks it right down. He is holding his own right now, however I fear when he walks in the door he tells me that some regulation shut him down . the oil companys have been hit lots of times and when they are we suffer. I keep asking why the heck the tree hugers get the say when we are the ones who are sweating and trying to keep our homes warm and cmfortable for our familys. do they feel the same or are they payed off. We have well water I bet you we will be taxed for that soon. I hear water bills are going up 30%. what is next? I fear more is coming. Someone is going to be accountable for this and it will be soon.

  • 1599

    The technology exists to allow drilling for oil without damaging the environment. The environmentalists should be allowed to monitor drilling operations to insure that oil companies adhere to proper drilling methods. It is a good thing that we hve groups concerned with maintaining a clean environment but opposing all exploration is not the answer. With the high price of oil drillers can afford to insure safe and clean drilling practices.

  • Tank

    Hmm... 2012 = election year. Drilling in Alaska = jobs+lower gas prices+not funding terrorists by buying oil from the middle east. Keystone Pipeline = jobs+lower gas prices+not funding terrorists by buying oil from the middle east. All of the above = more people working and paying income taxes = people who can afford to live again without unemployment/welfare = better funded government with less handouts = better overall budget. These are all FACTS. Now, liberal tree hugger types have hypothetical and fear driven outcomes = NOT facts. I'm no rocket scientist, but it all seems pretty simple to me... Setup some rigs and few new refineries with a networked pipeline and we'll have steady $1.50/gal. gas again and a half million people back in the job market. You'd think it would have already happened since it is a no-brainer, and 99% of the Dems in charge right now don't have a brain to speak of between them...

    • David

      Good God Man!, you make so much sense. To paraphrase the Marine Memorial at Arlington: "Common Sense was an Uncommon Virtue."

    • christin

      sad but true about them Dems.

      You are right on,

  • Nileslishness

    Absolutely astounds me, why we would buy oil from the towelheads who want to bury us, refine it and sell it to the Chinese, who also want to bury us. Why not let the Chinese buy it from the towelheads and then we can use our own oil and Canadian oil (our friends who don't want to bury us) and stop funding terrorism. Obama and the rest of his progressive minions (liberal Democrats) are truly doing everything they can to surrender this country to the Muslims. And the scariest thing of all is that the RINOS aren't saying hardly a word for fear of offending the dem voters and others on the government teat. Guaranteed those who voted for Obama will again and bring along the growing welfare and food stamp recipients and illegals.

  • samtman

    Everybody should be anti oil. so we can replace it with a rfewnuable source, Oil burining cars, trucks and electric plants are killing us and our children. Not to mention our dependence on the middle east oil.

    • AkRonin

      Here's a good article at The Register via Ace of Spades debunking the idea of 'Peak Oil'. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/326990.php

      There may also be some wisdom in holding off on the development of our resources while we soak up the mid-east's and develop better technology to more efficiently extract what we have.

      • John

        With 500 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken preserve we have more than enough oil

    • christin

      Mo Ron. Oil is what brings life to everything. besides it fueling our economy (even what is left of it under obama and his followers), without it, one thing we would not have is plastic. It is not killing us...how can you say something SO absurd? If the clowns in washington would get the heck out of the way and stop denying our right as americans to the fruits of this great land...we would be doing better than anyone because of all of our resources.....Forget about the mid east turds.....we would need no one to further our greatness, power, and ability to be the most benevolent country this world has ever seen or ever will see, For you to be blind to that is totally screwed up.

  • AkRonin

    We Alaskans have a pretty good Congressman in Don Young. He's pushed ANWR through the House about a dozen times.
    Unfortunately, the question you pose at the end of your post is really no question at all as we all know the inevitable answer.

  • AkRonin

    There's no real need for environmentalists to monitor anything that goes on the oil patch. They don't have the first clue what goes into getting that stuff out of the ground. We have agencies for this purpose; EPA, Corp of Engineers, Dep't of Natural Resources, etc.
    The Producers (Conoco, BP, Exxon, et al) use the safest and cleanest practices in the world when drilling here.

  • floyd

    Obama's giveaway: Oil-rich islands to Russia
    Exclusive: Joe Miller sounds alarm over deal to put land in hands of Putin's Kremlin
    Published: 02/16/2012 at 7:55 PM http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/obamas-giveaway-oil-ri...

  • carguy427

    Harry Reid will do his best to avoid a vote on any of these as if the Dems vote against it, they know they probably won't be re elected.

    • Jody LaLande

      which reminds me, i really need to send MORE money to harry reid's opponent next election.

  • Villa Merkle

    Dyou want to see right through your Government, Congress, Senate and the nominees you have to choose from?

    Then follow the news via internet radio, TV and Nightly News Reports at http://www.infowars.com

  • higley7

    It is time to stop listening to environmentalists. Almost without exceptions, their requests and agendas do damage to the environment as well as the people. Their day is done. The average American is indeed an environmentalist, but just not so stupid that they assume that the world is going to hell as we speak. It is only the radical exaggerations of the enviers that fuels their power. It's PC to listen to them but, as with everything PC, it is hiding a really bad idea—we should put the environment above everything including people. That's a really bad idea, because at that point there would indeed be a good reason to make war on the enviros and the environment. As our world gains wealth we gain the time and resources to clean up past mistakes and avoid new ones. The worst pollution is in the undeveloped countries—we need to help them develop their way out of poverty, not give them money.

    We need to spread around the tools for developing wealth not redistribute wealth. Teach a man how to grow food and he will feed himself for life. Give a man food and he will set up a protest demanding more food.

  • TOO INFORMED

    Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains, lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world; more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. In six and a half years of high oil prices none has been extracted. With this mother load of oil why are we dependant of imported oil?

    We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates:

    - 8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia,
    - 18-times as much oil as Iraq,
    - 21-times as much oil as Kuwait,
    - 22-times as much oil as Iran,
    - 500-times as much oil as Yemen - and it's all right here in the Western United States.

  • daniel buckley

    Freezing in Ma.Home heating oil is $ 3.75 a gallon.between that and gas,there's not much left,Markey and McGovern are 2 of the biggest lying liberals in congress when it comes to energy.Who keeps voting for these morons?