“Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” Drill the hole deeper!

Now it is quite clear why the We campaign so enthusiastically embraced Newt Gingrich for an advertisement sitting next to Nancy Pelosi.  Yes, that Newt Gingrich who is working so are for “American Solutions for Winning the Future”. We would think that might actually include thinking seriously about moving forward on Global Warming legislation.  Yet, Newt’s misleading and deceptive calls on people to support efforts to “Drill Here” and “Drill Now” also includes a broadside against the Lieberman-Warner Climate (in)Security Act that could have come straight out of the mouth of a polluting industry spokesman.  (On reflection, perhaps it did).  Gingrich’s truthiness about solutions to gas prices is potentially inticing but misleading, at best, and, fundamentally, false.

Advertised as “tri-partisan”, Gingrich is seeking to wrap himself in some form of post-partisan sainthood, a repackaging enabled by the We Campaign’s embrace. 

Gingrich’s DRILL! DRILL! DRILL! mantra argues that by blocking action on Global Warming and opening up all of America for drilling, gasoline prices would be magically reduced. Hmmm … let’s consider some facts, Newt:

  • It would take roughly 10 years for any opened areas to contribute to US production in a serious way.. Gasoline prices in the United States have quadrupled since the Clinton Administration. How much might they increase in the intervening time period between decisions to open up reserves and pumped oil? DRILL! DRILL! DRILL! has nothing to do with today’s gasoline prices.
  • Newt is asserting false information about the state of international oil supplies. Ignore Peak Oil, according to Newt, supply is where we should focus. If we believe George W Bush’s statement that the United States is addicted to oil, Newt’s approach to dealing with addiction is to feed that addiction, not solve it.
  • In this discussion, of course, is nothing about real solutions, about things that might actually have an impact in the near terms. These include efficiency measures (properly inflated tires, more efficient driving style, to buying more efficient tires to a more efficient car) to changed behavior (such as riding public transport, driving less aggressively) to policy programs (such as supporting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, increased/improved rail, electrification of rail). These forms of measures would have a far greater impact on the suppply of liquid fuel over the coming decade than Gringrich’s siren’s call of DRILL! DRILL! DRILL!

    Of course, Newt doesn’t get into a discussion of the catastrophic climate change implications of a path that focuses on feeding the addication rather than curing it.

    As per David Roberts, Grist,

    the We campaign people and all the other earnest politicians and enviros out there trying to convince us that climate and energy are bipartisan issues should wait until they are actually bipartisan before celebrating. Gingrich is using a green fig leaf to push the same corporate-friendly policies the GOP has been pushing for decades, and rather than getting smacked down, he’s being helped by greens. It’s stupid.

    It is not enough for someone to mouth words admitting to reality. Wow, Newt Gingrich acknowledges that there is such a thing as Global Warming and human action is contributing to it. Time for a standing ovation? Absolutely not. Unless he is willing to come to the table with serious paths for solving the problem, Gingrich remains part of the problem.

    Hat tip David Roberts, Grist; and, just after I posted, Joe Romm posted an excellent piece on “eco-Gingrich’s new energy strategy for America”.

    the Administration’s own Energy Information Administration explained in 2004 how ineffectual this strategy is. In a 2004 Congressional-requested “Analysis of Oil and Gas Production in ANWR”:

    It is expected that the price impact of ANWR coastal plain production might reduce world oilprices by as much as 30 to 50 cents per barrel [in 2025].

    As Joe reminded Gingrich: “There are 42 gallons in a barrel.” Yup. Newt’s strategy might (MIGHT) lead to up to a 1.2 cent per gallon reduction in the price of gasoline. McSUV drivers: don’t spend your savings all at once.

    19 responses to ““Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” Drill the hole deeper!

    1. Paul Hambrick

      Our only immediate solution to the oil crisis is to drill here and begin to build refineries here. Our most logical alternative fuel is atomic energy.

    2. Paul,

      How is it an “immediate solution” if it might take a decade plus to get this oil online?

      What about energy efficient measures, such as electrifying transport (including rail)?

      And, how does nuclear power help in anyway with “the oil crisis” unless we are electrifying transport?

      There is no Silver Bullet solution as you are suggesting.

      And, I would guess, by the focus on feeding the addiction, you are totally ignoring that minor little issue of Global Warming.

    3. How about searching for alternative energy sources. We have had such wonderful advances in the past from technology and science but there seems little appetite for at the moment.

      This will take time, and we are already severly disadvantaged by starting late, but if we keep on saying that we will do nothing (because it can’t make a difference) then there will never be a solution.

      I put my money on Science and Technology.

    4. Rob,

      Personally, I am a big believer in Silver BB approach (not “a Silver Bullet”).

      We should be aggressively doing what we can do today in terms of moving forward on energy, with energy efficiency and alternative energy sources. (And, this includes building practices such as smart growth, agricultural practices to enrich the soil while capturing carbon (such as biochard), etc …)

      We should be working hard to deploy from the shelf (from R&D) already developed options.

      And, we should be investing heavily in R&D for tomorrow’s technologies.

      And, we should be developing societal practices / approaches that also assist in ending our fossil fuel addictions and turning the tide on the rising seas of Global Warming.

      I put a lot of my money on Science and Technology … but not just on S&T.

    5. Drill now. Build refineries.
      Nuclear energy produces radioactive waste that
      will last forever.

    6. Jeanne

      Does not fossil fuel also “produce … waste that will last (essentially) forever”?

      Again, you are focused solely on supply, as if we can produce our way out of the problem, and your few words suggest that you reject Global Warming.

    7. Global Warming as commonly pushed, shoved, and rammed down our throats needs to be rejected.

    8. Michael … ignorance is bliss?

      Do you actually look at the world around you with open eyes or is everything looked at through ideological blinders?

      “Rammed down throats …” Poetic …

    9. Pingback: Igniting a Clean Energy Economy and Winning the Frame Game: Tackling Costs Head-on « It’s Getting Hot In Here

    10. Pingback: Igniting a Clean Energy Economy and Winning the Frame Game: Tackling Costs Head-on «

    11. 10 years to bring new oil to market. 50 – 100 years
      to wean America off of oil. duh!

    12. Lloyd Johnson

      ACT NOW

    13. Michael Louridas

      drill now, and drill deep.

    14. Right…….Let’s keep putting drilling off and buy those squiggly flouresent light bulbs. and see how much gas is in two years.

    15. Jim

      1. Your web site continues and extends the misleading nature of arguing that drilling will solve the problem. It is deceptive.

      2. Two years? You stating that drilling will do anything to add to supply within the next two years? You are kidding me. Aren’t you?

      3. Elsewhere discussed at this site are paths toward ‘negagallons’ in the short, mid, and long-term. Short term we can fill our tires to good pressure etc & gain 10% fuel efficiency. We can drive better and gain 20% fuel efficiency. Across society, that would be equivalent of $1+ of reduced cost per gallon. Mid term moving toward electrification of rail and PHEVs. Long term full electrification of land transport and, perhaps, hydrogen or something else.

      4. So you don’t believe T Boone Pickens when he says that we can’t drill our way out of the problem?

    16. Yep “It would take roughly 10 years for any opened areas to contribute to US production in a serious way” So lets keep our heads firmly planted in the sand and wish our way out of this, then we can say the same thing 10 years from now, only we will be in far worse shape. Alternative energy is a good thing, but it will take time. BTW getting around in cars isn’t the only thing oil helps us with, and it isn’t the only area suffering by high oil prices. Almost everything we come in contact with involves oil in some way, thats why we are a long way from having a world in which we can do with out it.

    17. Tracy

      That is an entirely separate discussion as to whether to drill or not.

      What this post is about is the total disingenousness of the Gingrich campaign. (A) It is solely supply focused, when negagallons would be far more fruitful a path in the coming ten years. (B) It basically is lying in suggeting that adopting this approach would have any serious impact on gasoline prices in the near term. The campaign is a lie — let us acknowledge that to start with.

      If we were serious about efficiency and alternatives, where they could apply, the price of oil would like drop tremendously and the areas where substitutes are difficult/impossible would have access to relatively low-cost oil for much longer.

    18. T Boone Liar/Thief

      If you ever believe something a republican says you deserve whatever you lose as a result.

    19. Where is the public outrage about the scam that T. Boone Pickens is perpetrating on the public with his wind power scheme?

      Whether this idea is a legitimate way to ease the dependence on oil or not is not relevant to my point here. His real motive is pure greed.

      He is using the State of Texas legislators to let him run his real project, which is water transportation to the large metropolitan areas. Having the state enforce eminent domain, he is able to force private property owners to accept his water pipeline through their land under this wind power scam.

      The wind power deal is just a guise so that the government does his dirty work for him. Of course he has a massive public relations campaign as well and since the politicians are in his pocket, this scheme will quietly go through.

      That he cares anything about this country or wants to offer solutions is a joke. Anyone who takes the time to research the history of this predator will easily identify why this man can not be trusted. This is not a left, right or middle of the road political issue either.

      This is the guy who lived the life that was portrayed by Michael Douglas character on “Wall Street”, raiding companies and then chopping them into little pieces while building himself a huge fortune. All the people that he put into the unemployment line and the families that he has destroyed are evidence of his character.

      It’s funny that no one on either side of the political spectrum is making a fuss over this. He wants wind energy like I want to date Rosanne Barr.

      And to your possible question that I am one of those families that he screwing in this deal, no, I have no real property and am just a poor guy working my butt off in the big city. I am so tired of us, the public, being shafted by the rich and their political lackeys who are supposed to work for us American taxpayers.

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