Oil Spill Hysteria

After 9 days, the amount of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico by the sunken BP rig was reported to have been one million gallons, while the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 was 11 million. Thus the media were comparing the two accidents already. ABC even had a special radio report on the first oil-soaked bird found. They’ll surely name it “Bush”.


So now we have the media and the Democrats and environmentalists on another jihad against oil production – as usual. Every enviro demagogue from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on down will be crawling out from under his rock to get face time on TV. And if we conservatives say that the Gulf accident suggests that we should drill more oil wells on dry land – like in ANWR – those same enviros will object.


Meanwhile Fox News finance reporter Eric Bolling said recently that chicken, pork, beef and milk prices are rising steeply because large amounts of corn are being diverted to ethanol production, which is being promoted by environmentalist as the alternative to oil. Demand for corn to distill into ethanol (alcohol fuel) is pushing up the price of feed corn for meat and milk animals through supply and demand. Meanwhile, ethanol blends in gasoline are pushing up fuel prices and reducing mileage.


Thus as the media are having fits about the oil rig disaster, they are refusing to address the vastly more significant, long-term economy-wide disaster of ethanol, which is affecting every single American through higher food and fuel prices. This is a classic media template to shift the spotlight from the policies of environmentalists.


Now consider the tone of the media treatment of the oil spill story. It is part of their ongoing hysteria over any and all productive endeavors that are outside the media/Democrat/academia bubble like the TOYOTA ACCELERATOR CRISIS! and the ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW CATASTROPHE! and the WEST VRIGINIA MINING TRAGEDY! and now the LOUISIANA OIL RIG DISASTER!


Yet those same media are silent on the huge crisis of unchecked crime by illegal aliens in Arizona (another deputy shot April 30) or the food-price debacle being caused by ethanol production. Because those disasters can be laid squarely at the feet of Democrat and enviro policies.


And here are three other questions to consider:


*Could the disaster have been eco-sabotage, to stop offshore drilling? After all, it came shortly after Obama called for more drilling. These radical eco groups have been torching car dealerships and subdivisions, destroying logging equipment, spiking trees and burning down ski-area buildings for decades now.


*Could the oil rig disaster have been the result of corrupt government inspectors taking bribes, which is now suspected in the West Virginia mine explosion? And will the media look into those government officials?


*And what about Obama’s slow response to the oil spill? Ten days later, he shows up! Is this Obama’s Katrina?


It sure looks that way.


What the media do not want you to know, however, is that there are more than 3,500 oil rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico today, that they’ve been there for decades, and that a large percentage of worldwide oil production comes from offshore, while there have been relatively few spills around the globe. In other words, the record is overwhelmingly good.


No, environmentalists ignore the ‘big picture’ when they are pursuing their emotional agenda. They only focus on the headline-grabbing disasters which are few in relation to the infinite value that oil has given us. And when we conservatives have offered clear, viable solutions to our energy supply problems like nuclear power and oil drilling on land in a place like ANWR, enviros will have none of it.


Meanwhile the United States is reported to have up to 3 trillion barrels of oil in shale formations in northwestern Colorado – that’s very dry, desert land for those who are geographically challenged – which is three times as much oil as the whole world has used total in the last 150 years. But no, that doesn’t pass enviro muster either.


We really need to be honest about how we use energy in order to make rational decisions about the future. For instance, many wealthy people, including many retirees in Florida, oppose offshore oil drilling, nuclear power and drilling in ANWR. At the same time, these retirees live a very energy-intensive lifestyle. They own multiple homes; they drive 3,000 miles a year just to get to Florida and back; they often travel widely; and their homes up north are burning up to 1,000 gallons of heating oil every winter to maintain minimum warmth even though nobody is there. This all requires lots of energy. Yet they are opposed to new energy production and give money to enviro groups.


What about energy hog Al Gore living in his giant mansion while he fights energy production everywhere?


But are ‘environmentalists’ really who they say they are?


Answer: No. When Saddam Hussein lit 700 oil wells on fire after his defeat in the 1991 Desert Storm conflict, and opened up the spigots to intentionally dump millions of gallons of crude oil into the pristine Persian Gulf, there was nary a peep out of environmentalists, no worldwide crusade or “indictment in absentia” for that planet wrecker. Because many of these enviros are merely anti-capitalists who are only seeking to slander Western oil companies and our American standard of living, and are not really interested in ‘the environment’ at all.


How should we proceed in light of the Gulf of Mexico spill?


We Americans need to look at how we produce and use energy.


First, the earth is not running out of oil. We have plenty of oil for centuries of use, and are discovering new oil all the time.


Second, the Gulf of Mexico spill will be capped and cleaned up and the story will fade.


Third, we live in an energy-consuming world and had better admit it. In fact it appears that environmentalists themselves use more discretionary energy than anyone else, flying off to go backpacking in Alaska or bird watching in Ecuador. Yet these same people are enraged about a few scattered incidents around the globe. By the way, the Exxon Valdez tanker spill happened because environmentalists blocked the construction of a pipeline to carry the oil from Alaska to the state of Washington. So the oil has to be transported on ships.


Indeed it is time for us Americans to make up our minds based on facts and not emotion. Are we going to continue to rely heavily on oil? Are we willing to produce even more oil, even with its risks? Are we willing to accept occasional accidents for the overall good that oil gives us? Or should we shift to only land-based drilling and oil shale? Or on the other hand are we willing to see our basic fuel and food prices jump in order to produce an inefficient alternative source like ethanol?  


Until we answer these questions seriously, there is going to be hysterical news coverage about incidents like the Gulf of Mexico spill. And as a result, few people will understand the real ramifications of decisions that we may make as a result, and we may end up in very big trouble down the road when the wrong people end up making our energy production policies, and for all the wrong reasons.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.