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U.S. should tap its own oil resources

GOP resurrects offshore drilling plan | June 12, story

U.S. should tap its own oil resources There's a lack of intellectual curiosity and a similar lack of balance in this article on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the curiosity side, let's just follow through on the reported facts. The story reports that there are approximately 86-billion barrels of oil in the near-shore waters. This is not all available today but can be substantially recovered over time with improved technology. The story also states correctly that the United States uses approximately 20-million barrels of oil per day. Simple math — 86-billion divided by 20-million — means that just the oil in the offshore waters can completely supply the entire United States' needs for 4,300 days. For the next 12 years, we would be so self-sufficient that we wouldn't have to buy a single barrel of oil from another country. And the rest of the world would have an extra 20-million barrels per day on the supply side.

This single step would so dramatically alter the supply-and-demand equation that the price of world oil would drop dramatically. The world economy would experience a growth boom unlike anything that has ever happened before.

But that oil runs out in 12 years, so we have to do more. We have more oil trapped in oil shale deposits right here in the United States than the entire Middle East has in the ground. I have seen estimates that the shale alone could supply our entire energy needs in a span measured in hundreds of years. And again, we do not have to buy a single barrel of oil from anyone. All we have to do is mine what we already have.

We have the natural resources and the technology to become completely independent of foreign oil suppliers. And if we choose this path, it will immediately and permanently drive the cost of energy down while sparking a huge world-wide economic boom.

So where are these thoughts and options in your article telling us that Congress continues to vote against national security, independence and prosperity?

Andrew Demartini, Trinity GOP resurrects offshore drilling plan June 12, story

Florida misses out

on oil revenues

Republican Rep. Adam Putnam of Bartow is reported as noting that "energy companies have yet to start drilling in the area opened in 2006 so there is no reason to open more of the gulf."

There is a large difference between opening an area and having a lease sale. You can't drill until you win a lease. That area was part of a lease sale conducted in March 2008, only three months ago.

Why can't our politicians learn something about offshore leasing and the petroleum industry in general before making a misleading pronouncement like that? I might add that the lease sale in March, (including other areas in the northern gulf) garnered $3.7-billion for the federal coffers. The states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas will share in 37.5 percent of the high bids. They will also share in 37.5 percent of all future revenues generated from the acreage leased.

Do our politicians not realize that if Florida had a different attitude they might solve our present educational crisis? Instead they pander to environmental groups by spreading the myth that tourists will not come to Florida if we allow offshore drilling.

Wake up, Florida.

Eugene A. Shinn, Ph.D., St. Petersburg

Market manipulation

Eight years ago, California was facing skyrocketing electricity prices causing brownouts across the state. We were told it was supply and demand, but it was later shown to be manipulation by greedy traders including Enron.

Now our country faces skyrocketing oil prices, and we are again told it is supply and demand. But the purveyors of this theory cannot explain what in that past three months has increased demand so radically.

Supply has been stable, so have China and India tripled their consumption in three months? They have not. Our deflated dollar has certainly contributed, but this still does not account for the increased demand.

The only clear thing is that energy trading is unregulated and huge investments in futures speculation could have such an impact. Where are the huge investments coming from? Could it be in part from huge oil profits? We do not know because once again our government has failed in its responsibility of oversight. Blind faith in the virtue of free markets does not take into account the manipulation of free markets.

G.R. Tennant, Tampa

Drill and conserve

We are rapidly approaching (if we haven't already) the peak of world oil production. We should be exploiting every method of increasing energy production that we can while simultaneously reducing demand to the extent possible. We should be drilling everywhere we can in America. We should be increasing the use of nuclear and coal technologies, exploring alternative energy, and creating a well-funded "Manhattan project" on energy.

We should also be embarking on a massive conservation program, increasing auto mileage standards, reducing the speed limit, and implementing mass transit on a large scale.

I and most other Americans do not understand the sheer idiocy of our elected leaders. Why is there such a reluctance to recognize our looming energy problems and work together to solve them? Is it really so hard to put a bill together that satisfies constituencies of both parties? That's how things get done, by compromising and working together.

I ask our leaders to do what they were elected to do: Represent the people, not special interests and their agendas.

Jason McIntyre, Tampa

Disaster insurance

Make a national effort

The original purpose of government is to provide insurance against aggression, foreign and domestic. So why not insurance against disasters?

The coastal states are not the only ones with disasters. How about mud slides, wildfires, tornadoes and blizzards. We come to the aid of other countries when they have disasters and we bicker over taking care of our own. End the international socialism. Charity begins at home.

The landlocked states depend on the coastal states for much importing and exporting. What would happen if no one wanted to live in a coastal state? We are in this together. Shame on those Americans who want the benefits provided by coastal residents but don't want to know us when something goes wrong.

Grace Payton, Sun City Center

Garrison Keillor

Agree to disagree

I don't share many of Garrison Keillor's politics. So what? The guy can write. His composition is artful and his themes thought-provoking.

He entertains and enriches my day. In a recent column, he said, "It's true, nobody gets over anything." Well, nobody agrees on everything either. What is so hard about that for us to understand?

John Kozlowski, New Port Richey

U.S. should tap its own oil resources 06/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:04pm]
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