Environment: China Drilling Off The Coast
If we have to listen to this bullshit one more time, we're going to scream.
Hello, people? You know the Republicans lie about everything, right? They lied about the war, they lied about WMD, they lied about 9/11, they lied about the Clintons, they lied about their own compassion, they lied about military casualties. So why do you believe them when they tell you that China is drilling off the coast of Cuba?
Because that is NOT HAPPENING, people. No, no, a thousand times no. Dick Cheney, the father of all lies (in his other incarnation as Satan) started this particular lie. Think about all the times over the past five years this moronic monster has told you that the Iraqi "insurgents are in the last throes" of their insurgency. How many times was it true? Once? Even once?
Nope. Not even once.
Now, it's true that China has signed some deals with Cuba allowing it to explore Cuban LAND for evidence of oil that might, ultimately, be worth drilling for. But for Dick "DICK" Vampiris to use the Yellow Peril Red Menace Energy Scare to rally the troops is the usual substitution of sound bite and immediate return that will make him and his minions rich while you (the whole nation) pay the cost and continue to bleed dry. Dickie and his minions are hoping to scare us into saying, "Yes! Let's drill the whole country for oil!"
Incidentally, Florida's Republican Senator Mel Martinez refuted Dick on the alleged Chinese offshore drilling.
So let's look at the idea that drilling for oil in the U.S. will help the American consumer, shall we?
First off, who profits from higher oil prices? Oh, let's see, Halliburton maybe? Remember Halliburton? Unca Dick's former bosses? Who have been mysteriously winning no-bid contracts by the fistful ever since Unca Dick became President, er Vice?
From citizen x's fine blog, hitherto undiscovered
That's OK, you say. America is a capitalist nation, not socialist. We want our businessmen to make profits. Good, good. So consider this. If we open up our coastlands and shorelines for the oil companies to drill in &mdash where is the guarantee that oil will be sold to the U.S. consumer? After all, these companies must make a profit. Japan and China and India have money. Lots of money. They can afford to pay more for the oil than we can. Now put yourself in the businessman's position. You just drilled up a whole bunch of oil, and that cost you money in equipment, wages, taxes, leases, whatever. Along come the Chinese and say, "Hey, we'll pay you $150 a barrel for some of that sweet light crude."
American consumers are screaming about having to pay $140. You gotta make a profit, right? Are you gonna sell that oil to those goddamned screaming Americans? Or to the nice Chinese who will put cash on the nail? Do you really need to think about that for more than two seconds? Because if you do, please don't quit your job and go into business.
Now, let's pretend there are no Chinese wanting the oil more than Americans. Let's pretend we have all the money we used to have and we're the richest and we can somehow force those businessmen to sell whatever they manage to get out of our coastal waters. How long will it take before the first barrel appears? You're screaming about the price of oil, better get yourself some throat lozenges, because you'll be screaming for at least another FOUR YEARS before the oil companies can even begin to explore, says the Seattle Times.
See, drilling for oil is not like buying stuff from the store. When you want something &mdash throat lozenges, say &mdash you climb into the car and drive to the store, or get on your bicycle and bike to the store, or walk to the store. And you look for the thing you want on the shelf. You whip out your wallet, hand the money and the product to the clerk at the register, and whammo, scalammo, you're done. Right away, you got an ample supply of lozenges to soothe your screaming throat with.
Drilling for oil, that's a bit harder. See, you need specialized equipment. Like these deep-sea drill rigs. And, guess what? Every single goddamned fucking drill rig in the whole wide world is booked solid for the next five years. They can't even START drilling for your oil till they finish all those other booked contracts.
No probs, you say, let's build some more! Well, the U.S. isn't in the business of shipbuilding and shiprepair any more. All those jobs got outsourced (remember Bethlehem Shipbuilding?) to Asia and Europe in the 1970s. It requires specialized technology and equipment and skillsets to build ships. Little Johnny who just finished high school would need a couple years' worth of training before he could even start to work on one of those monsters.
A single deep-sea rig costs approximately half a billion (that's BILLION) dollars to build. They used to cost less, but hey, yaknow, shipbuilders are businessmen too, when they saw that the oil companies were making record profits, they decided they needed to make more too, so they raised their prices. A single day's worth of drill rig operations costs a little over half a million. Those businessmen need to make their money back too, yaknow.
Shipbuilders are working overtime to build more vessels, but even those vessels have already been booked, for up to four years. And they're not even completed yet. So don't let these filthy crooks rip you off yet again, America. We're in the shit here, y'all better grab yourselves a paddle and start paddling like crazy. The shore's a long ways off.
Nope, we're all gonna have to learn to make do with less. Use public transportation more, cut down on driving, move back to the city from the suburbs, buy bicycles. Because even after all those years, even if we start drilling in 2012 when we finally get our mitts on some drill rigs, guess what? The U.S. government estimates that there are 30 billion barrels of oil in the ANWR and off the coast of the U.S. All told. Total.
The U.S. government also shows that Americans use 20 million barrels of oil PER DAY. So after all that waiting and suffering, we're gonna use it up in three years. Assuming, of course, that the oilmen bother to sell it to us at all.
Don't even ask about Brazil. Yeah, they found the oil, but they don't have the equipment to retrieve it either.
And another thing: Thanks to the Bush Misadministration's disastrous mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, refinery capacity dropped precipitously (from 111% to 103%, says the Asia Times). It takes a little over three years to get a refinery built and operational. Since the RubberStamp Republican Congress of Tom Delay and Denny Hastert were busy colluding with lobbyists to bleed the Treasury dry, it wasn't until after the Democrats won the elections of 2006 that Congress passed laws to assist in building refinery capacity. So the first increases in refinery capacity should occur sometime between 2010 and 2011.
With refinery capacity running at 103 or 104% in the meantime, any combination of unfortuitous circumstances &mdash natural disasters, wars, maintenance downtime, blockage of shipping channels &mdash could cause the price of oil to spiral higher.
Not that Dick "Dick" is complaining, since every dollar increase in the price of oil represents a few more pennies in his bank account.
Meanwhile, idiots like Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois continue to lie about the Chinese drilling off the coast of Florida and offer to shoot Obama on sight. Stumble It!