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Every time oil prices go up again, Congress does its best imitation of Claude Rains in Casablanca, you know, “Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.”

In Congress’s case, the usual suspects are the heads of the major Oil companies. Today for the second time in a month executives were called in front of congress to be yelled at by our “representatives.” Tomorrow the Executives go back to their jobs and the Senators go back to yelling at President Bush and each other while the Oil prices will continue to go up. All the while the solution is in their hands, not the hands of the Oil Executives, Let the Oil companies DRILL in the US, open up Alaska, drill on the continental Shelf. Take the Power away from OPEC by adding to the supply. But the Do-nothing Congress will continue to prevent drilling and every time the price of crude rises they will call in the execs and make a show of it. What a bunch of losers:

Crude Scapegoats
By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DIALY | Posted Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:20 PM PT Energy: It’s now a cliche: fat-cat oilmen control our destiny by holding back supplies, letting prices soar, then pocketing the profits. But if any fat cats are to blame for the energy crisis, it’s those on Capitol HillFunny how so few, especially our friends in the mainstream media, seem to notice Congress is the culprit. When it’s not stopping the development of the energy resources we need, it’s busy demonizing the very entities — such as the oil companies — that can go get them. We raise this issue because, once again, Congress has dragged oil company chiefs to Washington for Star Chamber hearings where the innocent are presumed guilty before they even take a seat. Democrats like Sens. Patrick Leahy, Herb Kohl and Dick Durbin are very skilled at the blame game. On Wednesday, they called on oil bosses to account for high oil prices and ripped them for their profits and pay packages. Everything, in other words, but propose real solutions to our problems. “Do market forces alone explain the skyrocketing price of oil and gas?” Kohl wondered. We’ll take that one: No, senator, market forces alone don’t explain it; congressional incompetence does. Of the “solutions” Congress has pushed — including limits on CO2 output, windfall profit taxes, restrictions on drilling on public lands and, most recently and absurdly, suing OPEC — all lead to less oil and higher prices. We agree our economy could do more to save energy. And with oil prices over $130 a barrel, it will. (Indeed, U.S. oil use this year is down 2.2% from 2006.) That said, the main solution should be to drill for more oil and gas on our own territory. Billions of barrels and trillions of cubic feet await. “When energy prices are high, the urge to point fingers at oil companies is strong,” said J. Stephen Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp. “But undercutting the ability of American companies like Exxon Mobil to compete in a huge global marketplace only makes it harder for Americans to secure the energy they need at competitive prices.” Bingo! That oil has surged to $130 a barrel is no surprise: The supply is shrinking. Yet, Congress refuses to let our oil companies tap the massive assets that lie offshore and under our mountains — reserves that dwarf what we have today. Our Outer Continental Shelf contains as much as 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. That’s more than 10 times the oil and 20 times the natural gas we use each year. Then there’s oil shale. At least 1 trillion barrels of crude — possibly as many as 2 trillion — lie in formations across the Rocky Mountains and into Canada. “This,” the Institute for Energy Research said recently, “is more than seven times the amount of crude oil reserves found in Saudi Arabia, and enough to meet current U.S. demand for over 250 years.” Yet we don’t want to disturb it. And then, of course, there’s the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Since 2000, U.S. oil consumption has increased roughly 750,000 barrels a day. If we had started drilling in ANWR back in 1995 — when President Clinton and congressional Democrats joined to kill it — we’d have an extra 1 million barrels of oil a day now. The problem is clear: We now pump about 5 million barrels on our own and import 12 million, making us vulnerable to market blackmail by foreign producers. As recently as 1985, we pumped 9 million on our own and imported just 4.3 million. This is our energy deficit, created by congressional incompetence and inaction. It’s time to stop the blame and start the drilling.

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