Saturday, May 10, 2008

Setting the Record Straight

It seems that the Democrats are now trying to pin our exorbitant gas prices on President Bush. Well, let's just take a look at a couple of inconvenient facts.

On February 27, 2007, shortly after the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate took power, the average price for regular grade here in Lebanon, Tennessee was $2.269 per gallon.

As of two days ago, on May 8, 2008, the average price had increased to $3.539 per gallon.

I'm not much of a mathematician, but I didn't need to be to figure out that in the 15 months since the Democrats took over both houses of Congress, gas prices have increased by 56%, with no end in sight.

If I remember correctly, back in 2006, when the Dems were persuading us to put them back in power, one of their big selling points was the plan they supposedly had to lower gas prices. I don't remember ever hearing any specifics about that plan, though. Apparently, we were just supposed to trust them.

Democrats don't believe they should ever be held to account for the inevitable failure of their grandiose plans to accomplish their stated objectives. Recently, a group of Republican congressmen wrote to Speaker Pelosi's office asking for the particulars of the gas price-lowering plan her party ran on back in 2006. Speaker Pelosi did not even grant them the courtesy of a reply.

No, while they insist on holding Republicans in general, and George W. Bush in particular, to performance standards so strict that only God Himself could meet them, they believe that they should be judged not upon the results of their actions, but upon the purity of their intentions.

Not only do the Democrats expect to be judged by different standards than Republicans, but they also see no conflict between expressing certain goals, then taking actions with results diametrically opposed to those they claimed to favor. Thus, even though the Democrats say that they desire lower gas prices and energy independence, they have managed for decades to prevent us from drilling more oil wells, building refineries, and constructing nuclear power plants. Despite their stated intentions, as a direct result of the Congressional Democrats' actions, we now have higher gas prices, increasing dependence on both foreign oil sources and foreign refining capacity, and a looming shortage of electricity.

The United States has plenty of oil. According to the most informed estimates, our known reserves contain enough petroleum to keep us supplied for the next 200 years. It's located in such places as the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), off the coasts of California and Florida, in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and in the upper midwest. Why don't we go get it and tell our "friends" the Saudis to stick their oil where the sun don't shine? Good question. Ask your friendly local Democrat politician – and if you can get his attention, ask why the views of the radical environmentalists carry so much more weight with the Democrats than those of their constituents.

Just in case you didn't know, the last oil refinery built anywhere in the United States was Marathon Oil's facility in Garyville, Louisiana. It was built in 1976 – 32 years ago. Every bit of the additional refining capacity added since that time has been the result of modernization and expansion of existing refineries. The Democrats and their allies in the radical environmental movement and the mainstream media have successfully squelched all attempts to build new refineries during the past three decades.

How about nuclear power? An objective look at this alternative shows that it is a proven technology which is safe, reliable, economical, and non-polluting. Not only do we have the example of France, which generates 78% of its electric power from nuclear plants, but we can look at our own Navy. Our fleet of nuclear carriers, cruisers, and submarines is the envy of the world. Our first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, went into service in 1955. According to the World Nuclear Association's "Nuclear-Powered Ships" article,

The US Navy has accumulated over 5500 reactor years of accident-free experience, and operates more than 80 nuclear-powered ships (with 103 reactors as of early 2005).
Is that safe enough for you?

Well, what about Three-Mile Island? Yes, what ABOUT Three-Mile Island? It was a serious incident caused by an avoidable sequence of human errors, but the important lesson to learn from it is that the safety systems worked exactly as they were supposed to! Not only did no one die, no one was even injured, and no damage was done outside the plant. Yet, our friends the Democrats and their enviro and media allies have used Three-Mile Island to scare us all into a state of helpless hysteria over nonexistent hobgoblins, and thus set our country's energy policies back decades.

OK, what about Chernobyl? Wasn't that a true catastrophe caused by a malfunctioning nuclear reactor? Yes, indeed it was, but Chernobyl was a graphite-mediated reactor of a type not used in any Western nation since Enrico Fermi built the world's first reactor under the University of Chicago football stadium 66 years ago. Western reactors are of the Pressurized Water type, and can no more go out of control à la Chernobyl than your car could sprout wings and fly non-stop from New York to San Francisco. Both are physical impossibilities.

In short, if not for the neo-Luddite anti-nuclear mass hysteria ginned up by the Democrats and the extremist environmentalists working hand in glove with their willing allies in the media, we'd now have a network of safe, reliable, economical, non-polluting nuclear power plants, along with nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities to recycle their nuclear waste back into additional fuel. With such an infrastructure in place, we'd have the groundwork to support the mass use of rechargeable electric vehicles, then later, as the technology develops, hydrogen-powered vehicles using fuel cells. As more and more nuclear plants came on line, we could retire some of our older coal-fired plants, thus reducing air pollution and saving countless coal miners who would no longer have to risk their lives in order to supply those plants with fuel.

In addition, if not for the Democrat-environmentalist axis of hysteria, we'd have more than enough oil to meet our needs, along with refineries with which to turn it into fuel.

Does that help put things into perspective?

1 comment:

  1. If western nuclear power stations can't technically get out of control, then what's the point of having security systems? Don't you notice that these two arguments are mutually exclusive?

    ReplyDelete