Connecticut's First District Congressman John Larson, a 10-year veteran of failed Congressional policies, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's personal valet, appeared on national media Monday afternoon demanding that President Bush tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves for additional oil supplies.
This he said, while claiming to be the only man in America who knew the long-term answer to our energy needs, would create an immediate drop in gas prices for the consumer.
He was, as usual, parroting Pelosi who has been making the same claim for some time now, and as usual these two "geniuses" couldn't mount a double digit IQ if they stood on each other's shoulders.
For those who may have been Larson's students when he was teaching revisionist history before becoming a politician and thus wouldn't know this, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in the mid-1970s in response to the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, which I see as the first shot in the War on Terror.
The oil exporting countries of the Middle East, sensing spinelessness in the US Congress after it voted to sell South Vietnam down the river, suddenly shut down oil exports to the US. As a result there were domestic shortages, our gas prices spiked, rationing went into effect, lines were everywhere, people were duking it out at the corner gas stations, and something had to be done.
"Something" turned out to be a series of hollowed out salt caverns on the Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts, which are intended to hold up to 1 billion barrels of petroleum. The thinking at that time was that if all other sources of petroleum were suddenly shut off, we would have a 90-day supply to keep our military functioning and keep vital industries operating.
Since shutting down all of our oil producing capabilities would obviously be an act of war, the thinking was that our military could wipe up any potential enemy within the 90 days and still have time left over to get the pipeline flowing again.
For decades the actual amount of petroleum stored in the reserve caverns has ebbed and flowed, so to speak, depending on world conditions and the beliefs of the administration in power. But after September 11, 2001 President Bush ordered a renewed emphasis on keeping the reserves topped off or as close to full as possible.
There is, however, a fly in the ointment. The capacity and longevity of the reserves were calculated back in the 70s when both our domestic consumption and our percentage of imported petroleum were far less than they are now.
Today the United States consumes approximately 21 millions barrels of oil per day, and if all of that suddenly had to come from a topped off Strategic Reserve we would have only a 50-day supply - do the math Congressman.
This comes, must I remind you, only a few days after the leaders of Iran, one of the biggest oil exporters in the world, fired off a bunch of missiles to show everyone that they still are crazy after all these decades, and threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a huge percentage - up to 40 percent by some estimates - of the world's oil flows every day.
Earlier this month Iranian officials stated that Israel is pressuring America to attack Iran. "If they commit such a stupidity, Tel Aviv and U.S. shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran's first targets and they will be burned," an Iranian official said in news reports.
Some analysts estimate that Iran could control the Strait for a month before our troops hand them their rear ends on a silver platter. I think it is far less time, but that's just me.
Simply put, with all that is going on in the world, this is not a good time to be tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves in an attempt to get a very limited political bounce. John Larson parroting ideas of this nature, ladies and gentlemen, is the prime reason that Congress has only a 9 percent approval rating!
Connecticut Congressman John Larson, right, looks on in support as Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha attempts to convince Connecticut residents he really supports the military. Photo Credit: Richard Messina, Hartford Courant
When asked why Congress doesn't just lift its ban on drilling, Larson, who has been solidly opposed to any new drilling, and chants the Democratic mantra "We can't drill our way out of this. OOOOOHHHMMMM," while meditating on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, suddenly said that now he isn't opposed to new drilling!
He just wants the oil companies to drill in places where they have government leases and already have determined that there is no oil, or very little oil, or it would be so difficult to extract that it would take forever and not be worth the investment.
He even had a cute little chart showing something fuzzy that supposedly made his point but didn't come across on television - even with digital and big screen.
Then he got even cuter and tried to act sage and wise by stroking his chin and muttering something about "Oil companies making money? Hmmmmmm." Are you aware this guy makes more than $160,000 per year as a Congressman for coming up with this inane drivel?
Here's where things get really infuriating. The oil companies, as has been shown repeatedly after the Democrats started blaming them for the shortage of domestic production, make about 9 cents per gallon profit. That's it. Why? Because they have to pay for equipment, maintenance, research, development and upkeep on the oil drilling and refining infrastructure.
They pay salaries and benefits, not just for a handful of corporate CEOs but for tens of thousands of oil industry workers doing the jobs that keep America mobile.
Do you know who really gets a huge WINDFALL profit from gasoline sales? Try the US CONGRESS!! That's right! The federal government charges 18.4 cents tax on each gallon of gas sold in this country.
That is DOUBLE what the oil companies make and it is nearly all profit because Congress doesn't have to invest anything to get that money, nothing, nada - except the tax collectors who already were on site screwing us on every other thing that moves, breathes and takes up space in this country.
As of July 1, 2008, the average amount of tax, state and federal combined, imposed on a gallon of gasoline sold in the United States was 49.4 cents per gallon, up 2.4 cents from January 2008. Five hundred percent more than the oil companies make!
But wait, there's more! Larson is one of four Democratic congressmen from Connecticut, the state with the second highest level of gasoline taxes in the country. Connecticut motorists pay just under 70 CENTS PER GALLON on every gallon they pump!
And get this. The Connecticut Legislature, the one where Larson learned remedial "How to Shaft the Taxpayer" before he graduated to the US Congress, doesn't charge a flat tax per gallon, it charges a percentage based on the wholesale price of gasoline!
So every time the price of gasoline goes up, the amount of tax levied and collected increases right along with it!
John Larson. Connecticut's gift to the American taxpayer. Why would we want to keep a guy like him all to ourselves?
Americans are dealing with a slacking economy that in many cases is directly related to the unending increases in gasoline which affect the price of virtually everything else in the country. But while our state and federal legislative branches have a remedy right at hand through tax reductions, they continue to shaft us all, and blow billions of tax dollars right out the old wazoo without a care in the world.
Hey Congressman, how about you show us a graph with those little statistics drawn in?
The hypocrisy and arrogance of our elected persons is enough to put hair where you don't have it and curl it where you do.
I suppose we shouldn't be surprised at anything Larson says or does. He basically is Pelosi's shadow, except for when she lends him to John Murtha or Harry Reid, and pretty much all we see out of him is his head nodding in agreement whenever she makes an utterance.
He stood alongside Pelosi nodding sagely when they went to Iraq together and she insulted the American military by saying The Surge didn't really work, and our troops didn't really defeat the terrorists ... we won because the Iranians "let us."
Now she tries to divert attention away from high gas prices that are a direct result of Congressional refusal to open up drilling, refining and nuclear construction, by calling for tapping into the Strategic Reserves at the worst possible time, and he bobs his head and repeats the party talking points.
How does it go now? Oh yes. "We don't want to drill because it will destroy the environment .... But we do want to drill ... but we want the oil companies to drill where there may not be oil instead of where they know oil really is located ... and "We can't drill our way out of this!"
John Larson. Reinforces your faith in Congress and pride in being an American doesn't he?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008