The thing that drives me mad is the insistence that more drilling in or around the US will somehow benefit Americans directly. Ever.
What the oil companies are looking for are more leases on areas to drill in. They already have hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of acres of leases in the US that they are not drilling; haven’t really even explored.
So the insistence that they get access to more drilling leases off-shore or in ANWR really amount to an attempt to horde supply for the future.
The Republicans are doing the handiwork of Big Oil too. They recently blocked a bill that the Democrats put forward to require that the oil companies explore and drill the leases they already have before they are granted more by Congress. It seems reasonable that they should use what they have before asking for more, no?
If you really don’t believe that this is the case, ask yourself these questions.
Who drills for oil? The oil companies; private, shareholder-owned corporations do the exploration and drilling.
Where does the oil go that’s pumped up? Does the oil go directly from the ground to the refinery? No. It’s offered for sale on the world market where it is bought by refiners.
The key here is that those refiners are now more often foreign refineries who are willing to pay more for the barrels they need to fuel their amazing growth. Most often, these are nationalized oils companies.
Who gets the profits from drilling in and around the US on leases granted by Congress? Obviously, the American people right? I mean, it’s our national resource that we grant to the oil companies. Nope.
Sure there are some royalties, but you’re not hearing anyone, on either side crowing about how this energy market is benefiting the nation’s bottom line.
On the other hand, notice what is happening in the middle eastern oil kingdoms, Venezuela, heck even Canada. These countries have oil resources and balanced or surplus budgets. They also have national oil companies.
Now notice the quarterly earnings of the American oil companies; record after record. Look at the budget projections for the US government’s budget; record after record, in the red.
The structure of the way we manage our oil resources in the US guarantees that any oil here goes to the highest bidder.
No way does more drilling on-shore, off-shore, or in ANWR mean that we will have lower prices. But the oil companies will be just fine.