For a small state, New Jersey continues to send a large delegation of mental midgets to Washington, DC to represent it.
In the last election, Senator Robert Torricelli, the man famed for leaking
the name of a CIA agent, was yanked off the ticket at the last minute as
the result of some serious ethical lapses. He was replaced with the blessing
of the New Jersey Supreme Court by a former Senator, Frank Lautenberg, who
had previously quit from the exhaustion of standing in the way of any legislation
that might benefit the nation in any way. And, of course, he was elected!
So now the New Jersey delegation is up in arms over a provision to the energy
bill making its way through Congress that would permit oil exploration off
its coast. That means oil and gas companies could determine if it was financially
feasible to tap what may represent significant reserves. The criticism leveled
here is applicable to every East and West Coast delegation, so this is a
national issue of importance.
Mind you, this nation desperately needs to achieve some level of energy independence.
The huge oil reserves in a tiny, barren area of Alaska are still off-limits.
Florida’s governor fought the development of oil reserves off that state’s
coast. California imposed limits. And everyone complains every time the cost
of gasoline goes up.
What’s more, this winter, people across this nation who depend on natural
gas to heat their homes and run their businesses are going to be hit with
huge increases. Why? Because we are not encouraging the steps necessary to
move gas from the tap to the consumer.
Leading the fight against offshore exploration in New Jersey is its largest daily newspaper, the Star-Ledger.
“What was a very bad idea 25 years ago -- drilling for oil and natural gas
off the New Jersey coast -- is gaining currency in Washington again. It remains
a bad idea.” Why? What is wrong with tapping our own reserves of oil and
natural gas instead of being dependent on, oh say, Saudi Arabia?
“But now industry people say that new technology makes it more economical
to recover supplies that were once considered beyond reach.” Well, that happens
to be true. “If we’re going to make choices for the future energy needs of
this country, we should at least know what we have,” points out a spokesperson
for the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Well, that happens
to be true.
The Star-Ledger noted that “Environmentalists, with good reason, are
not about to trust any word on the environment coming out of the Bush White
House, which has never found a location where it would rule out oil drilling.”
And we all know how trustworthy environmentalists are, right? These are the
people still trying to foist a discredited “Global Warming” theory on us,
along with the notion that the oceans are rising so fast both coasts will
be under water.
The genius who wrote the October 4 editorial ends saying, “As we noted before,
instead of draining every natural energy resource available, the administration
should first concentrate on reducing consumption, the benefits of which are
far greater than tapping ever-smaller pools of oil.” Wrong on both counts.
Worldwide, vast new reserves of oil and natural gas are being found all the
time. This argument says we should not look for any here in the US, thus
insuring we would be hostage to any other nation that taps its reserves.
Meanwhile, here in the US, huge known reserves of coal, natural gas, and
oil are effectively inaccessible because of environmental laws and endless
new “Heritage Areas,” newly designated reserves and other efforts to put
and keep them off-limits.
More importantly, you cannot “conserve” your way to less energy use. It cannot
be done. For an industrialized, advanced economy to grow, it must use more
energy. Energy resources that are not tapped simply drive up the overall
cost of energy.
Finally, the argument is advanced that the New Jersey shore would be devastated
if a few oil and natural gas rigs popped up on the horizon. This is not going
to happen and everyone knows it. Someone needs to sit this delegation of
dunces down and explain the rule of supply and demand.
Alan Caruba is the author of Warning Signs, published by Merril Press. His weekly commentaries are posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.