Energy smokescreen

Energy independence is a word that is being rolled out and it’s going to be heard more often. It’s a smokescreen. They are using this and other catch phrases to make us feel good and distract us from what’s going on.

We export 500,000 barrels of gasoline and about 1 million of diesel fuel, mostly to Europe. These products are made with imported crude and create jobs at U.S. refineries. U.S. crude can’t be exported. Sen. Lisa Murkawski, of Alaska, is pushing to lift the ban. Is there oil in Alaska?

It was about six years ago when we were told we were running out of oil and the oil companies ran the price of gasoline to almost $4.50 per gallon.

Oil prices have gone from $10 a barrel to $150 a barrel. But that’s not the real cost. Billions of dollars have been spent to protect Middle East oil. Add in all the ill will and terrorism caused by the U.S. being where we are hated and unwanted, you are talking trillions. Now they want to put our oil on sale at the current world market prices!

They are doing the same thing with natural gas. They are building a huge gas liquification plant in Louisiana. Natural gas is three times our price in Europe and five times in Japan. Where do you think that gas is going to go? The CEO of the company building the plant says it won’t effect the price of gas for the U.S. Look at what prices have done the past couple weeks because of the cold weather.

I went to several town halls when the gas companies came to town. They talked about all the jobs they would create, lower natural gas prices, and said it was our patriotic duty to allow them to drill. Nobody said anything about exporting natural gas.

My definition of energy independence is to produce our own energy, keep it here and let supply and demand here dictate prices. If oil companies want to drill more then they should expect to get a lower price. That’s the way supply and demand is supposed to work. Right now, the only reason for the Keystone Pipeline is to get Canadian oil to the Gulf for export, mainly to China. It’s not going to benefit us, why build it?

It’s been a long time since our leadership has listened to the people and do the right thing for everyone and not just a few. Here is an easy way to save a lot of problems. Everyone should pay attention and say no to lifting the ban.

Robert Belz