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Jane Dyer, US Congressional candidate counters Drill Now campaign


web posted August 18, 2008
Dear Editor,
Many politicians call of “Drill now! Drill everywhere! is being heard loud and clear.  In the background you also hear that they are also committed to using all available alternative energies. Could it be possible that their main interest is once again supporting the oil companies at the expense of working Americans?   Where will we be ten years from now if we are convinced that just drilling everywhere now will solve our energy problems? 

Drilling rigs must be built, hauled out into the ocean, put into place. We know if they start immediately it will be five to ten years before any oil is harvested.  But more importantly, do we trust Big Oil?  They are not charities working to help our household budgets.  Their goal is to make the biggest profit possible for their executives and shareholders so they are hardly motivated to lower the price of fuel.  The problem, as we have seen in the past few months, is that high gas prices cripple the budgets of most Americans.  The Greenville News reported on August 17, 2008, that the high costs of gasoline has caused 21% of Americans to eliminate their vacations, 27% spend less on groceries, 31% spend less on entertainment and 35% have dined out less.

These powerful companies are not even obliged to sell their oil in the United States. On Wednesday, August 13, Reuters reported, “American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries.  A record 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products were exported during the first four months of this year, up 33 percent from 1.2 million barrels a day over the same period in 2007. Shipments this February topped 1.8 million barrels a day for the first time during any month, according to final numbers from the Energy Department.” 

They make more money selling product overseas.  Gasoline in the Netherlands, for example, sells for the equivalent of $10 a gallon.  It is shocking that Big Oil ships petroleum product from the USA at the rate of 54 million gallons a month while we are giving them billions in tax funded subsidies!  I can only understand Mr. Barrett’s support when I find on OpenSecrets.org that oil and gas interests supported his current campaign cycle with $12,150. 

He demonstrated his Big Oil loyalties when he voted against HR615, designed to move the United States “toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure.”  I understand why he voted “Nay”.  There is not a word in the Bill supporting Big Oil.

He voted against HR2776, the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007 extending renewable energy credit, solar energy property credits, and fuel cell credits; all of which could assist South Carolinians.  So it is no surprise he also voted against HR6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which would increase average fuel economy in vehicles to 35 miles a gallon.  Barrett even voted against requiring an increase in the production of renewable fuels from 4 billion to 36 billion gallons.  He voted against increasing energy efficiency standards for household appliances. He voted against HR5351 and production of electricity from renewable resources, against HR6049 which would extend tax credits for producing electricity from wind facilities, biomass, geothermal, solar, small irrigation, municipal waste, burning trash.

My concern is that we listen only to the call to “Drill now!  Drill everywhere!” and ignore the real long term solution to our energy crisis, which is alternative energies.  This position will once again leave us completely beholden to the oil industry and one can only imagine the price they will demand ten years from now.  When our politicians say they support alternative energies and conservation but have repeatedly voted against these issues, what do you believe?

We are smarter than this.  This November you have the opportunity to vote for a candidate that will not only stand up to Big Oil only policies, but will work hard to make all forms of alternative energy available and affordable.  Alternative energies and conservation are the solutions to our energy problems.

Editor's note: Jane Dyer is running for US Congress in the 3rd Congressional District.  She can be reached at jane@janedyerforcongress.com.






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