Monday, April 5, 2010

On The Left Podcast Episode 7

Welcome to On The Left, This week Mike gives us headlines and Matthew talks about energy policy. Please enjoy the show.

This week president Obama announced a number of programs that have to do with our energy problems. First there was the press conference where he came out and announced that he will be opening up some new coastal areas for off shore drilling. Next on April first of all dates, he announced that the EPA will be starting a new national program to reduce greenhouse gases and improve fuel economy for cars and trucks.
First, off shore drilling, let’s listen to the announcement:
Issue 1: In the first part of his speech he has once again made the assumption that there is only two ways to look at this issue the left side No drilling and the right wing side drill baby drill, no this is false he does this just so he can say see I found the middle, and then he makes the mistake of using the straw man that those that fail to recognize his reality are making a mistake.
Well I don’t buy his reality, because it’s not a true reality it is his political reality, he once again is compromising to the center position before we even start the debate, so the bill or program can only go farther to the right from here, just like keeping single payer off the table at the start of the health care debate, made the weak public option as far left as they would go. What this tells me is he has sold out already to big oil and gas, made a deal and is now going to cave.
Why do we want to open up more areas of leasing when the Oil and gas companies are already warehousing land leases already? Do you remember House Bill 6251, it never made it out of the house but this is what is said:
The responsible federal oil and gas lease act of 2008 would bar companies from obtaining any more leases for drilling onshore or on the outer continental shelf, unless they can demonstrate that they are producing oil and gas from the leases they already hold or are in the process of diligently developing the leases they already hold.
The 68 million acres of leased but inactive land- equal to the size of Colorado- could produce an addition 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day, which could nearly double U.S. oil production and cut imports by one-third.
What this means is that there are already 68 million acres of lands that the oil and gas companies are already sitting on and not developing. And why are they not developing this asset that’s easy, to drive costs up, supply and demand, if they were to extract all the oil and gas from those leases that would cause the price of oil and gas to go down. So they sit on the leases to make sure that no one else can extract the resource, H.R. 6251 would have made it so that if they wanted to bid on more leases they had to show that they were extracting from the leases they had and not just warehousing the lease.
Makes sense right. I think they could get it passed now right?
Let’s go to an interview from Democracy Now with Brendan Cummings who is Public lands Director at the Center for Biological Diversity. This first part is a question on our growing dependence on foreign oil.
As Brendan points out this is the Drill baby drill policy from the 2008 presidential election, this is something that Obama said he was against, and he even mocked it.
The next clip is on the false debate between what Obama says is the old tired debate between the left and the right.

This last clip from Brendan Cummings is perfect; he talks about who he thinks is the biggest beneficiary of this new policy is.
That is what I have been saying now for months you push Obama from the right and he caves and says “oh, please don’t hurt me, I will do what you want” that is if you push him from the right, he has no trouble saying piss off to the left. I will bet you right now that once the bill gets out of the Congress it will be so watered down and so far to the right it will make me sick to my stomach, but the press and the Obama cheerleaders will say at least it is a good first step.
Next we move onto his next press conference of the week on National Fuel Standards
The EPA announced this week that they are actually going to do their jobs and came out with a new set of MPG targets for cars. To be fair it was called EPA and NHTSA Finalize Historic National program to reduce Greenhouse gases and improve Fuel economy for cars and truck.
The last part should be Light trucks after reading the plan it will exempt most of the larger trucks from the regulations.
The new standards apply to new passenger cars, light duty trucks and medium duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012 thru 2016. The EPA is finalizing the first ever national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards under the clean air act, and NHTSA is finalizing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards under the energy policy and conservation act.

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