Lee P Butler

*We Should Soon Be Hearing About President Bush's 'Milk Buddies'.
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Calvin's Snowmen

We should soon start hearing about President Bush's 'milk buddies'.

May 30, 2004

"The Bush administration is in the pocket of big oil," spouted Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe in a recent statement to the press. It's the same tired, bombastic maxim democrats have, quite frankly, worn out during President Bush's tenure in office. Vice President Dick Cheney's name can't be mentioned in the media without them adding something about, 'his former company Halliburton'.

According to the intellectual pundits of the mainstream media, the cowboys in the White House are in the pocket of big oil. They illegally invaded a country to help their 'oil buddies' Halliburton and Saudi Arabia so they can fill the coffers of the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign with that 'black gold, Texas tea', yet they give people like Senator John Kerry a pass when they make specious accusations. "Those aren't Exxon prices we see, ladies and gentlemen," Kerry tells his audiences on the campaign trial. "Those are Halliburton prices."

Halliburton is not an oil company. It is a company that services oil companies and cannot effect change in oil production or oil pricing even if they wanted to. Saudi Arabia is but one of a multitude of countries that constitutes OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and cannot alter the world market simply to benefit President Bush. They have, though, told the other oil producing nations that they intend to raise their oil production by 8 million gallons per day and are asking the rest to follow suit.

That will be the main topic on the agenda when the leaders of the G-7 countries plus Russia convene their summit in the state of Georgia from June 8 to 10. Low oil prices will help the burgeoning world economy continue the positive progression that saw global economic forces grow at a pace of 4.25 percent in 2003-2004, which was reported to be the best growth rate in the past 15 years.

Therein lies part of the problem of rising oil prices and spiking gas prices, supply and demand. The American economic recovery has created an increased daily demand of 300,000 barrels since 2001, yet many other formerly oppressed countries; such as India, have come into the picture and increased greatly their oil usage. China alone has added an increased daily demand of 1.2 million barrels during that same time span pushing the global demand to around 80 million barrels a day.

Kerry's latest utterance of the intellectually morose has him calling for the President to stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, something Kerry was against in 2000 when the subject was broached. "It would take months for the oil to get to the market," he argued. The SPR was created in 1973 to protect America from disruptions in our supplies in case of catastrophe. By today's standard that could come in the form of a calculated terrorist attack or another Al Gore rant. In 2000 the price of oil rose to above $35 a barrel, so the Clinton administration went against Kerry and released 30 million barrels from the SPR. The price of oil dropped to $30 for only a few days and the price of gas at the pump in America only dropped one cent per gallon.

On his new gas guzzling campaign plane headed for Oregon to visit a school bus garage he attacked the high price of fuel. "Let's make sure our schools are focused on teaching our children, not heating the classrooms and paying for school bus diesel fuel," he charged. Yet in 1994 when he was challenged on his lack of effort to reduce the deficit he lamented about his, "...$43 billion package of cuts or my support for a 50-cent increase in the gas tax." Well, gasoline is at $2 a gallon nationally, so you'd think Kerry would be happier than a pig in slop.

Another major problem comes in the form of what's termed 'a bottleneck' at the refineries. This backup of fuel production has been created through overwhelming, anti-capitalist environmental policies. Many refineries have simply shut down due to escalating operational costs and increasing impediments for obtaining expansion permits. There hasnt been a new refinery built in over 25 years and you can't even whisper the idea of drilling in the US without being attacked for 'wanting to destroy the environment'.

It's estimated that more than a million gallons of oil has seeped naturally into the ocean off the coast of California, but offshore drilling to alleviate this environmental disaster is more reviled than the idea of drilling in the frozen tundra of ANWAR. The benefits of doing this would be twofold. First we would be able to add our own oil to the supply side easing our demand from foreign oil producers. Second, those nations would realize our decreased need for their oil as a lessening of their importance to our market forcing them to drop their prices in an attempt to regain our reliance.

Our need for oil runs the table from gasoline to electricity to plastic and despite what environmental extremists or liberals who want to scare a vote out of you say, we're years and billions of dollars away from economical, environmentally friendly renewable resources that can sustain our economic viability. The one thing we do have access to that fills all those needs is nuclear energy and we all know what the environmentalists have done to that industry.

There are no more dinosaurs left to die and replenish our fossil fuel supply, so even though it may be hard to adjust to escalating fuel costs and as important to the global economy as oil is, we're still in pretty good shape. We can always get more cows to make more milk, but it probably wont be long before we start hearing about President Bush's 'milk buddies'.

Lee P Butler

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