Pummeling Saxby

Investors Business Daily names Isakson and Chambliss as being two of the “Gang of Stooges.”

Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Thune of South Dakota — remember their names if things go badly for the GOP this November.

Chambliss, on the ballot this year, is getting beaten up from both sides. He just can’t seem to pick a compromise issue. The Democrats will offer him no credit for this compromise (the DSCC is running ads accusing him of being a tool for Big Oil) and the Republicans will blame him for taking away a key part of election year strategy.

Frankly too, the compromise deal sucks. Doing nothing will open the OCS to drilling in 50 days. The Chambliss backed plan would only open Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. And though championing Georgia, a lot of experts say there really is not a significant pool of oil there.

The long term push for alternative energy is okay, but there is no short term anything in the legislation.

Saxby deserves what he gets. It was a dumb move on his part. But, as I’m sure his campaign is calculating, Martin will not run to his right on this issue.

Martin could, however, play this up as a half-hearted face saving maneuver that does nothing.


  1. John Konop says:

    Anyone who thinks we can drill our way out of the mess is a fool.

    1) Consumption
    a) Energy saving technology
    b) Public transportation
    c) Personal use ie tires, heat of your house…..
    2) Alternative Energy
    A) nuclear
    B) Wind and solar
    C) Fuel enhancement products…….
    3) Balance Budget
    A) Stronger dollar cheaper prices
    B) Frees up investment capital for private sector ie jobs
    C) Secures the next generations future
    As I have said in the past if you think giveaways to oil companies will lower prices you are chasing fools gold. Capitalism is based on competition. This is why the father of free economics (Adam Smith) was a major supporter of anti-trust laws.

  2. GOPGrassroots says:

    From the Chambliss Camp…

    Saxby’s Position on the Issue:

    1. Saxby’s number one priority is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to bring down the cost of fuel by increasing our domestic supply.

    2. Saxby supports all offshore drilling, drilling in ANWR and capturing the oil shale in the Midwest. This limited offshore drilling agreement is an important first step in that direction.

    3. Saxby is negotiating with Democrats (who are in the majority) so that we can start drilling NOW. This agreement represents a major breakthrough in that it is the first time a group of Democrats have agreed to increase offshore drilling.

    4. Saxby’s supports research and development of alternative fuels, including increased nuclear production.

    5. Saxby does not support “windfall taxes” on oil companies or any tax increases that will be passed along to consumers.

    6. Saxby is for a solution to this issue facing all Georgians, not political brinksmanship. That is why he is engaged in this process.

    Sax Facts on the Gang of 10

    1. There is nothing in this agreement that impacts the moratorium on offshore drilling set to expire at the end of this year.

    2. PETA and/or the ACLU are not included in this agreement, and statements to the contrary are simply not factual.

    3. There is no windfall profits tax provision in this bill, but we do close a tax loophole for the big 5 oil companies and for Citgo which is owned by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

    4. This agreement does not “let Democrats off the hook”. It actually increases the pressure on the Democrat leadership to stop their stonewalling on increasing domestic supply and to allow Congress to address the energy crisis.

    Oh yeah, and by the way, Co-Sponsors of the House version…

    Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [D-GA-2] – 7/31/2008 *
    Rep Barrow, John [D-GA-12] – 7/31/2008 *
    Rep Broun, Paul C. [R-GA-10] – 7/31/2008 *
    Rep Deal, Nathan [R-GA-9] – 8/1/2008
    Rep Gingrey, Phil [R-GA-11] – 8/1/2008
    Rep Kingston, Jack [R-GA-1] – 7/31/2008 *
    Rep Marshall, Jim [D-GA-8] – 7/31/2008 *

    H.R.6709 [110th]
    Title:National Conservation, Environment, and Energy Independence Act
    Sponsor: Rep Peterson, John E. [R-PA-5] (introduced 7/31/2008) Cosponsors: 119
    Committees: House Natural Resources; House Energy and Commerce; House Ways and Means; House Science and Technology; House Education and Labor; House Budget; House Rules

  3. johnmartinforafreegeorgia says:

    It’s funny that most of the criticism of Saxby is from the far right, from the same folks that were pissed about him endorsing McCain back in February.

    These folks have conveniently forgotten that McCain had always been against increased off-shore drilling (http://www.ourfuture.org/progressive-opinion/aug2008/mccain-bets-shore-drilling), and drilling in ANWR (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/mccain-reiterates-opposition-to-drilling-in-wildlife-refuge/).

    Maybe we should all switch to wind generated power…

  4. Palmetto Peach says:

    Just read the House version bill that GOPGrassroots referred to: it would do away with the offshore drilling moratorium nationwide, not just for Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. And the House bill includes no “loophole closing” on the oil and gas industry (what right-thinking folks might consider a “tax”). That two ways right off the bat that it’s better than this Senate bill.

  5. jsm says:


    From 2003-2007, government in the US made around $64billion from Exxon’s oil, while Exxon made about $19billion. This line about “giveaways to oil companies” is really tired and old. Your capitalism argument doesn’t even make sense. Exxon builds a refinery overseas about every three years. When was the last time anybody built one in the US? 1976. Why? Capitalism? Nope.

    Moving on… the EIA estimates that there are 75 billion barrels of oil in US reserves that are off-limits–enough to replace non-North American imports for about 22 years. Capitalism? Nope.

    Government control has destroyed capitalism in the US, and the oil industry is a prime example of that.

    We had better use the resources we’re sitting on to get us out of this crisis in the short term, while we’re working on long-term solutions. Remember that solar, wind, clean coal, and nuclear technologies are not driving planes, trains & automobiles. All-electric cars do not decrease oil usage because of increased demand on the power grid and energy losses in batteries. Mass produced hydrogen-powered cars are several years away, and a national network for filling them will have to be developed.

    We can decrease worldwide pressure now with environmentally sensitive drilling here. Instead, we’re playing roulette with energy imports.

    Saxby & co. should be fighting for doing whatever it takes to start drilling here ASAP. No other action on this issue is acceptable.

    Try building an argument on facts and principle rather than repeating the emotional liberal argument du jour.

  6. Icarus says:

    I spoke with Saxby’s office today about this issue. The conversation was a bit longer, but here are two major takeaway points:

    1) They’ve logged literally thousands of calls asking for any government help possible to lower gas prices.

    2) The Senate requires 60 votes to do anything, and without a substantial number of Dem votes, it doesn’t matter what else the Republicans want.

    It’s also important to note that not even the most optimistic Republicans (save maybe Debbie) are predicting us to gain seats in the Senate. In fact, we’ll be lucky not to lose the power of the fillabuster.

    For those that would rather retain the issue and the ability to whine, doing nothing is always an alternative.

    If you actually want some form of domestic drilling, this could be your last best chance for a long, long time.

  7. GeorgiaValues says:


    Saxby is right on the money with this issue. We sent him to the U.S. Senate to serve this State and this Nation, not to play politics with the number one issue facing hard working citizens.

    The misinformation and media hype surrounding his efforts will die down and he will be recognized as someone willing to roll up his sleeves and get to work to deal with a problem facing all of us.

  8. John Konop says:


    The job of the CEO is to maximize shareholder value bottom line. The reason must of oil is capped in the U.S. is because the oil company is seeking the highest ROI. No company would expand supply to lower ROI! If you think an oil companies goal is to lower yield you need real help!

    And finally if any of you really cared about the price of oil you would demand a balance budget which would lower the price by 70 to 80% via a stranger dollar. As I said some of you would rather debate mindless emotional talking points than understand the issue or solve it.

  9. odinseye2k says:

    “Remember that solar, wind, clean coal, and nuclear technologies are not driving planes, trains & automobiles.”

    As an aero-engineer, I can assure you that aircraft will be the last to adapt to any new type of energy due to the energy density / specific energy requirements. We need the lightest, densest fuel you can get your hands on. For the moment, that’s some kind of hydrocarbon. However, jet turbines have been run with biofuels in demonstration before.

    Electric cars, on the other hand, are a good way to plug into solar and wind power. It’s not really worth spending the infrastructure investments on hydrogen, natural gas, or whatever you guess is going to be the super-duper portable fuel (because none has yet to get their killer enabling technology).

    I would be very interested to see a straight-up comparison between the efficiency loss of battery conversion and the losses we have in distribution by trucking and such.

    However, with electricity, we can kill two birds with one stone … upgrade a grid that seriously needs some repair work and get it able to move power over much higher distance with modern technology.

    Also, the promise of alternate energy sources is going to be diversification, which will make us much more robust to nature’s changes.

    Saxby has to be careful about getting hung up on this issue. He’s got to navigate between giving in to the Democrats (bow down), and being a day late and a dollar short with an energy infrastructure that *will* be shifting away from oil and gas due to simple laws of nature and the roll of the dice that is our natural allotment of fossil resources.

    Offshore drilling is the heroin addict’s toe veins. It’s just a show of final desperation before checking into the clinic.

  10. John Konop says:


    You might find this interesting.

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    Roof tiles and roof membranes with integrated PV cells can now be purchased. With the exception of Japan, where a combination of government incentives for PV and a high proportion of new houses being prefabricated allowed BIPV to be a part of a substantial number of new homes, substantial progress of BIPV has been restricted by the relatively high cost or limited availability of BIPV modules. The French government put in place a large subsidy for BIPV modules vs. standard modules in 2006. This is expected to stimulate BIPV installations in preference to standard modules.


  11. odinseye2k says:

    I’ll raise you one. Check these guys:


    Amorphous silicon trades efficiency for being able to be in any form. I remember a Scientific American Perspectives (I think that’s the show with Alan Alda) where a plant was spooling off solar shingles as if they were fake grass strips. It at least looked far easier to manufacture than the crystalline stuff.

    I’m guessing you’ll see a segmentation between the high-performance (but high-maintenance and high capital cost) stuff and the slightly more robust but lower performing that you and your friendly neighbor can install in a weekend project.

    Also see:


  12. Bill Simon says:


    “I spoke with Saxby’s office today about this issue. The conversation was a bit longer, but here are two major takeaway points:”

    The conversation will ALWAYS be longer if you are talking to Saxby. He has to hunt for his “3 bullet points of the month” to answer you.

  13. Icarus says:

    I didn’t claim that I spoke with Saxby, it was one of his (better) staffers, who knew the issue very well. Our conversation wasn’t about talking points, I reduced it to that for the blog comment.

  14. rightofcenter says:

    Okay, please tell us what is “spin” and what are “the facts” in Saxby’s response? Really, it shocks (and disappoints) me that so many “conservatives” merely ape whatever Rush blathers about. It also disappoints me that so many “conservatives” would rather have an issue than actually get something done.

  15. The h*ll with Saxby, and every elected GOP RINO that pretends to “represent” us in DC (or Altanta, or wherever).

    No, Republicans won’t gain any seats in the Senate, OR in the House. We’ll LOSE seats, thanks to fake “conservatives” like these, and the GOP “leadership” who drink the kool-aid and support them.

    But maybe, just maybe, this election could be the catalyst to revive the true conservative base of the GOP, and to provoke them into taking the party BACK.

    We can only hope and dream.

  16. rightofcenter says:

    And who gets to designate who is a “true conservative” in your base? You? You’ll take us back, all right. Back to the days when we were a small, permanent minority.

  17. Romegaguy says:

    If only someone was running against James Mills. That would solve all of the world’s problems, except for Congressman Broun’s inability to be sworn in

  18. jsm says:

    “The reason must of oil is capped in the U.S. is because the oil company is seeking the highest ROI.”

    Yea, Konop, that fits right in with Exxon’s whopping 8% profit margin last quarter–down from last year’s 10%. I think we need to review any tax breaks Google got, since their profit margin is well above 20%. Way to dodge the issue.

    You’re right about the dollar, and I believe accessing our own resources will help strengthen it quickly.

  19. John Konop says:


    Let me help you with math.

    If a gallon of gas sells at 2 dollars a gallon at a 10% margin you made 20 cents per gallon

    If a gallon of gas sells at 4 dollars a gallon at a 8% margin you made 32 cents per gallon

    For 10 points do you get how price drives margin?

    If you were a CEO would you rather make 32 cents a gallon or 20 cents a gallon?

    If you went to your board and said your idea is to drive down the margin per gallon by drilling more would you have a job for long?

  20. dewberry says:


    There are quite a number of folks who see this as a cave and sharing a bed with the enemy.

    I first heard about this from the WSJ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121815293390922431.html?mod=Potomac+Watch

    and author KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL said “The Sierra Club couldn’t have penned it better” and how and why would anyone disagree?

    Certainly this is not set in stone but surely it shows you exactly what these candidates are really made of.

    “If this is what Mr. McCain’s good friend Lindsey Graham considers “helping,” somebody might want to ask him to stop.” The same can be said about our buddies Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.

    This is not leadership. These are nothing more than reactionary measures forced by the current political climate. These R Georgia boys are fishing for as many liberal democratic voters as they are conservatives with this thing.

    Back in early June, South Korea acted in response to the rising energy prices. No matter if their moves were good or bad it simply demonstrates that we have a difficult time of doing anything at all here in the US. Pain in ass Pelosi really showed us what leadership is all about and the circus continues.

    Look for this on WSJ.com
    “South Korea Finalizes Plan To Relieve Impact of Oil Prices
    By SHIN JUNG-WON June 8, 2008 12:52 a.m.

    With oil bringing in the kind of tax dollars it has been for many years now, it is easy to see why we have such mixed messages coming out of the so called leaders.

  21. odinseye2k says:

    “These R Georgia boys are fishing for as many liberal democratic voters as they are conservatives with this thing. ”

    Actually, I think they are after independents. Those people that we both like to gloat and pat ourselves on the back for winning over with our stellar command of the issues and fine reading of the electorate.

  22. Game Fan says:

    As a frequent poster on control congress John Konop knows where I stand on the whole “oil” thing. I’ve been a proponent of the Russian Ukranian theory of deep abiotic oil genesis for quite a while now. Translation: peak oil is a scam. There’s plenty of oil. We’re talking about artificial scarcity big oil in bed with the politicians.

  23. IndyInjun says:

    Right of Center (and other apologists for the lethally corrupt GOPers like Chambliss) y’all don’t even know the definition of conservative or ‘Republican’ for Saxby is neither.

    Saxby Chambliss has done more damage to us all than any US Senator in Georgis’ history.

    He voted right along with Bush’s agenda that doubled the debt in 8 years.

    He voted for a ruinous social spending program that will cost between $8 and $17 trillion – all unfunded – in Medicare D.

    He supported a disastrous war that conservatives are callig the most grevious strategic error in US history, for it squandered US force and Treasure while leaving the REAL terrorist nation, Pakistan, to grow even more dangerous. Saxby even gave ’em $12 billion!!!!!

    He voted against states rights with No Child Left Behind.

    His earlier apostasy was lining up with Ted Kennedy on the AMNESTY plan. (Beat a retreat under furious fire….GOP county meeting attendees at the time were LIVID.)

    NOW, old Saxby is lining up behind a deal that BANS drilling within 50 miles of the coast, some of the most promising areas for oil discovery.

    Y’all do great damage to the GOP, America, and the rest of us by supporting this $#%^#$^#$, who deserves a swift boot from the Senate.

  24. Three Jack says:

    “If you went to your board and said your idea is to drive down the margin per gallon by drilling more would you have a job for long?”

    Tillerson (Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson) also explained that Exxon’s more than $5-billion annual investment in exploration would be bigger if the company has more access to exploration opportunities. “We have very, very robust exploration programs that span the globe. We would do more if we could gain access to more areas to apply our technology, let our geoscientists go to work,” he said. “Certainly we have the financial capacity to do more. Much of what’s driving the pace of what we’re doing is access to those opportunities.”

    in the world according to konop, tillerson better get his resume in order.

  25. Progressive Dem says:

    The US consumes 25% of the world’s oil and has 4% of the reserves. We are going to drill our way to energy independence or lower prices.

  26. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    Some more free education on how investment capital works.

    If you spend or raise investment capital via the risk a return of north of 30% is required. If you fail to meet this standard your stock will take a hit if you are public or if private your investors will not be happy.

    ROI stands for return on investment. If a company uses risk capital and does not gain a proper ROI this is considered a poor use of capital. Wall Street frowns on poor use of capital.

    As I said I am sure the Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson would not knowingly invest risk capital without a target return north of 30%. That is why we run sensitivity curves weighing price, margin and market share.

    Also this should not be confused with leverage capital. But that lesson is for another day.

  27. jsm says:

    “If you were a CEO would you rather make 32 cents a gallon or 20 cents a gallon?”

    You’re all over the place, Konop. You mentioned ROI, which is expressed as a percentange, not a dollar value. So keep your math lessons to yourself.

    As far as the dollars go, government is making 2 to 3 times the profit from oil that the companies drilling it, refining it, and selling it are making. Pretty good ROI, huh?

    We can scream all we want to about the number three benefactor of our gas prices, and things will only get worse. We need to deal with benefactor number one first – oil rich states that are drilling for and pumping their oil. When we access our own supply (way more than 4% of the world’s reserves, ProDem), we loosen their grip on our wallets. Then we go to benefactor number two – federal, state, and local governments. They’re taxing the shirts off our backs for gasoline, and blaming the next guy down the list for the crisis.

    If oil companies made zero profit on gasoline, we’d still be paying way over $3/gal.

    When automakers start mass producing cars that run on something other than gasoline, then we can talk about limiting our drilling.

  28. John Konop says:


    You are confused with margin and contribution.

    I will help you again.

    If a person buys 10 gallons at 2 dollars a gallon with a 10% margin you made 2 dollar a purchase.

    If a person buys 10 gallons at 4 dollars a gallon with a 8% margin you made 3 dollars and 20 cents a purchase.

    This concept is referred to as contribution. Do you understand the concept? I am sorry if you did not get it but I assumed you knew the concept of contribution.

    We have an old saying percentages do not pay bills contribution does.

  29. Three Jack says:

    thanks konop, but if i or anybody else wants your diversionary economics lesson after you make an asinine assertion such as that about the exxon ceo, we will read paul krugman who is a master at being wrong.

    jsm should be advising senator saxby who rivals krugman in being wrong.

  30. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    What I have explained was a few basic concepts that anyone who knows anything about business deals would know. If you think I am wrong please tell me why. The personal insults and talking points only further demonstrate that you are a partisan hack who will not think for yourself.

    You look foolish trying to describe what I taught you in political terms like liberal or conservative. This is like if you were debating math formulas with the above terms.

    I do not want to be mean but your pants are showing the more you debate.

  31. jsm says:

    “You are confused with margin and contribution.”

    You’re a joke, Konop. I’m not confused about anything. Any way you look at it, oil companies are third on the list of those profiting from oil and gasoline. Instead of trying to throw out freshman year business terms, why don’t you admit that you’re wrong about these “giveaways to oil companies” that you mentioned? It’s a lame argument that demonstrates how little you know about the issue.

  32. John Konop says:


    The job of a CEO is to make the highest return for shareholders. The concept is simple if you give a grant or tax break to a corporation on the hope of lowering prices than you are a FOOL! If you think by giving a tax break I may expand my business that is a valid argument. And by expanding I will hire more people and help the economy that is a logical argument.

    In all seriousness your attacks only further demonstrates your lack of basic understanding of business. I am sorry but anyone at my level would laugh at your lack of understanding the basics.

  33. jsm says:

    What “level” are you at, O great Konop? You have yet to disprove even one of my arguments. You’ve yet to deal with other entities who make way more from oil than those evil oil companies and their CEOs who demand higher ROI, or “contribution,” or whatever else you want to call it.

    How about some ECON 101 – “If you tax something you get less of it.”

    How about you apply some supply and demand principles to the issue of gas prices?

    I mean, at your “level,” surely you can help my understanding of the basics on these critical items.

  34. IndyInjun says:

    Someone is blowing a LOT of smoke about Exxon’s U.S. Tax burden.

    SEC Form 10-K is authorotative, as the execs sign off on it under penalty of prison if it is materially misstated. $23 billion of the reported $29 billion of income tax was NON US tax!

    There was $14 billion out of a total of $106 billion of tax expenses, which includes state/provincial income taxes, VAT, sales, and property tax globally, attributed to the US. Therefore about $76 billion of the $105 billion taxes reported were non-income taxes, meaning that most were directly transferred to the consumer.

    On top of all this there is a deferred $19 billion income tax liability (globally) that reduces the actual cash outlay for income taxes. This balance increased by $1.4 billion in 2007.

    Since we are talking oil exploration, Exxon’s income tax expense was 24% of US revenies, but 33% of global revenues.

    The US tax burden on major integrated oil companies is not a crushing one, all things considered.

    One thing that is definite……..the oil majors like to throw every tax under the sun into their claims of what they are paying…….

  35. IndyInjun says:

    The authoritative source is found by going to yahoo finance, looking up the quote for XOM, then clicking on SEC Filings…then picking the 10-K from EDGAR.

  36. John Konop says:

    I have been an executive in the financial service industry for a long time. As far as profits a CEO Job is to drive the highest returns to my shareholder’s bottom line. I am not for a windfall profit tax on any business. I have faith in the market as long as anti-trust laws are being enforced.

    You are confusing concepts I guess you learned in college. If Oil companies wanted to lower prices they would uncapped their current supplies and sell it. The CEO Job is to maximize RIO. The capital used for exploration they have to offset the risk capital by managing to high yields.

    You should read Adam Smith Wealth of Nation to understand all the principals behind supply and demand. You cannot pick out one concept and think it applies to the whole concept.


    The biggest reason oil prices are dropping is consumer behavior which by the way I made some money on already. Consumers are using less oil via public transportation, less driving……. This is why the price fell a little bit. Also China has cut back on the use of oil.

    That is why an oil company market enemy is alternatives energy (nuclear, solar, wind….) and strategies (public transportation, hybrid cars…) that use less fuel. Why would you think an oil company would support products that hurt profits?

    As I said a tax break may help the economy via expansion but it is not a cure for lowering gas prices. We have passed multiple bi-partisan giveaway energy bills for years and what is the result?

    I happen to support SBA style loans forcing real investment from the business owner on a valid concept. This demonstrates a real commitment.

  37. Doug Deal says:

    odinseye2k is right about energy density. I used to be a chemical engineer, and I am appalled at the lack of understanding about the importance of energy density by so called experts hocking their “alternative” fuel plans.

    We have huge reservoirs of coal in this country and huge reservoirs of fissile material for nuclear power. If we were smart, we would encourage more nuclear power and convert our coal use from electric power generation to liquid fuel production. I have read that the break even price for coal liquefaction is $40 a barrel. You would think that with oil at $100 more above that amount, it would be the way to go.

  38. Three Jack says:

    no konop, what you did was make a false statement saying, “If you went to your board and said your idea is to drive down the margin per gallon by drilling more would you have a job for long?” the exxon ceo did exactly that on numerous occasions.

    maybe someone at “your level” has risen so far into the clouds, his head is now so bloated with an over valued self worth that you are unable to recognize reality…just a thought from down here with the little people.

  39. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    The reason I got ahead in life is I listen to people who know more than me. I also surround myself with smart people. You first have to learn the rules of the game before you debate it. If you read comments from people like Indy, Icarus and DK who I have never met you can tell they understand economics/business. It does not mean we all do not have room for debate but we are all on the same page on the basics.

    Advise is cheap but hey it might help you someday.

  40. IndyInjun says:

    Doug Deal NAILED the single most important concept to grasp in the energy debate.

    NOTHING has the energy density of oil – this side of nuclear – for anything like the price.

    What that means is that any nation who cedes the energy field in favor of non hydrocarbons becomes immediately utterly noncompetitive in a global economy.

    You are correct in posting that the best option is coal liquifaction.

    All the other talk is BS short of $200 a barrel oil.

  41. Bill Simon says:

    Indy, Indy, Indy…

    You just don’t git it, do you? Saxby (and, you have to just say this with all the gushing of an elementary school class) just looks SO “senatorial.”

    Georgians don’t need no things like eckonomic reasons to re-elect Saxby. He looks like a senator should look like, so he WILL BE RE-ELECTED.

    Now, iffin Jim Martin were to dye his hair silver-like…then HE might look like a “senator” too.

  42. John Konop says:

    jsm and three jakes

    Icarus made this point that the price point of oil forces solutions. One can see competition with oil companies will affect the price not giving them money to lower prices. Consumer will buy cheaper solutions and that will force the price down. But unless the dollar comes back we will all feel the pain.

    Drop In U.S. Oil Consumption A Two-Edged Sword

    NPR-The Energy Department has reported the steepest drop in oil consumption in more than a quarter-century. The slowdown in U.S. energy use is one of the major factors pulling crude oil prices down from their historic highs of a month ago.

    Oil prices have fallen more than 20 percent since early July, closing Tuesday just above $113 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The average price of gasoline nationwide has fallen well below $4 a gallon.

    But for many people, that’s still too high.

    “I drive a 10- to 12-hour shift and usually spend $45 to $50 on gas,” says taxi driver David Khoshal, as he waited for a fare outside the San Diego airport. “Sometimes it’s slow when the conventions are not here. And [with] the gas prices, it’s really difficult for taxi drivers.”

    There’s the rub: The drop in oil and gasoline prices is largely the result of a slowing economy.


  43. jsm says:

    “The US tax burden on major integrated oil companies is not a crushing one, all things considered.”

    Indy, I did make a mistake, but I’m not blowing smoke. I read a little too quickly through an article and misread some numbers.

    Actually, from 2003-2007, government in the US made around $64billion from Exxon’s oil, while Exxon made about $19 billion *less than that in the US.* My mistake. So Exxon made about $45 billion to domestic government’s $64 billion. Still, our government takes almost 1.5 times the earnings of the producer.


    So, based on this information and considering other global taxes, the oil companies are actually number 4 on the list of benefactors from oil production. The updated order:

    1- foreign oil producers
    2- foreign governments via taxes
    3- governments in the US
    4- oil companies

    Remember, the top two would wipe us off the map if they had the chance, which only provides more incentive for drilling here. Domestic oil production has fallen 40% in the last 25 years, and the EIA’s conservative estimate of 75 billion barrels of off-limits domestic oil reserves would replace non-North American imports for 22 years.

    Even wiping out the oil companies’ profits, gas would stay above $3/gal today. So along with strengthening the dollar, we have got to drill our own reserves. Otherwise we put more and more of our security into the hands of the Saudis and Chavez.

  44. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    You cannot back up anything you posted on this thread bottom line. All you do is attack and spin talking points in a mindless circle.

  45. Icarus says:

    “We can’t drill our way out of this problem, just like we can’t conserve our way out of this problem, just like we can’t alternative fuels our way out of this problem,” he said. “There is no one solution to this; there’s an integrative set of solutions. And you have to undertake them all. So when the whole debate focuses around we have to choose this one solution or that, people are missing the point.”

    ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson

  46. odinseye2k says:

    Icarus / Tillerson:

    Conservation buys us time with some temporary relief. Yes, energy needs will continue to increase over the long haul, but we mostly just need the foot off our neck for some time while everything else kicks in.

    We most certainly *can* alternative fuels our way out of the problem … I’ve run the numbers myself and the combination of rooftop solar, small-scale solar farming, geothermal, and wind power across the nation gets us back up to our national energy budget with between a 25-50 percent excess. If my numbers are off, biofuels, nuclear, and larger solar farms are still in reserve for deployment (I tried to minimize the solar farm size to stay away from blanketing Arizona, although they may welcome the money).

    Alternative energy sources won’t be ready tomorrow, but they are currently growing in double-digit percentages in deployed capacity. Far faster than we could even hope to grow our oil production if we tapped *everything* today.

    Also, even the drilling proponents are talking about using technology to enhance returns. In my business, if someone talks about adding technology to anything “ready to go” now, you need to take them very, very suspiciously.

    I also wouldn’t exactly call the Washington Post a bastion of progressive thought. There are a few NYT columnists that would fit the bill, but not as many as you would think.

    Now, the $64,000 question is:

    How many barrels of oil per day are needed to expand supply to the point that prices will drop appreciably? If your number is much further north of 500,000, we’re in trouble ‘cuz offshore won’t be bringing a lot more than that.

  47. John Konop says:

    Interesting OP-ED

    Published: August 12, 2008
    John McCain recently tried to underscore his seriousness about pushing through a new energy policy, with a strong focus on more drilling for oil, by telling a motorcycle convention that Congress needed to come back from vacation immediately and do something about America’s energy crisis. “Tell them to come back and get to work!” McCain bellowed.

    Sorry, but I can’t let that one go by. McCain knows why.

    It was only five days earlier, on July 30, that the Senate was voting for the eighth time in the past year on a broad, vitally important bill — S. 3335 — that would have extended the investment tax credits for installing solar energy and the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficiency systems.

    Both the wind and solar industries depend on these credits — which expire in December — to scale their businesses and become competitive with coal, oil and natural gas. Unlike offshore drilling, these credits could have an immediate impact on America’s energy profile.


  48. Three Jack says:

    Tillerson also is quoted as saying the following Icarus in the article you linked:

    “And that does get to the question of are we doing everything here at home that we could be doing. And I think most people have come to the realization that, for many, many years, the United States has not fully developed its own natural resources.”

    Drill here, Drill now, make Nancy Pelosi puke!

  49. John Konop says:


    Op-Ed Columnist
    Eight Strikes and You’re Out
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    Published: August 12, 2008

    John McCain recently tried to underscore his seriousness about pushing through a new energy policy, with a strong focus on more drilling for oil, by telling a motorcycle convention that Congress needed to come back from vacation immediately and do something about America’s energy crisis. “Tell them to come back and get to work!” McCain bellowed.

    Sorry, but I can’t let that one go by. McCain knows why.

    It was only five days earlier, on July 30, that the Senate was voting for the eighth time in the past year on a broad, vitally important bill — S. 3335 — that would have extended the investment tax credits for installing solar energy and the production tax credits for building wind turbines and other energy-efficiency systems.

    Both the wind and solar industries depend on these credits — which expire in December — to scale their businesses and become competitive with coal, oil and natural gas. Unlike offshore drilling, these credits could have an immediate impact on America’s energy profile.

    Senator McCain did not show up for the crucial vote on July 30, and the renewable energy bill was defeated for the eighth time. In fact, John McCain has a perfect record on this renewable energy legislation. He has missed all eight votes over the last year — which effectively counts as a no vote each time. Once, he was even in the Senate and wouldn’t leave his office to vote.

    “McCain did not show up on any votes,” said Scott Sklar, president of The Stella Group, which tracks clean-technology legislation. Despite that, McCain’s campaign commercial running during the Olympics shows a bunch of spinning wind turbines — the very wind turbines that he would not cast a vote to subsidize, even though he supports big subsidies for nuclear power.

    Barack Obama did not vote on July 30 either — which is equally inexcusable in my book — but he did vote on three previous occasions in favor of the solar and wind credits.

    The fact that Congress has failed eight times to renew them is largely because of a hard core of Republican senators who either don’t want to give Democrats such a victory in an election year or simply don’t believe in renewable energy.


  50. IndyInjun says:

    What it all will come down to is that there are an estimated 1.5 TRILLION barrels of oil in the Orinoco River Basin in the USA’s back yard.


    One day the need will become overriding and a pretext to take it will be found.

    It ain’t pretty, but that is how the world has always worked.

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