Although the comedy act called CPAC has ended, the stupidity continues to run forward at break-neck speed. I find it hard to take the CPAC conference very seriously when all they trot out are nuts whose view of the world is ‘other-worldly”. I am not talking about ET either. I am talking their fantasies and not looking at reality.
As the Ukraine, Europe, and the world nervously watch what the Russian equivalent to Ted Cruz will do next, yes I mean Mr. Putin, the right-wing has come off the rails again over oil. It seems that oil and natural gas is the answer to everything going on in the Ukraine. Russia supplies 30 percent of the natural gas Europe needs. It runs through the Ukraine. It is not inconceivable that the Russian Mr. Cruz would cut off this supply over the Ukraine crisis. That would put Europe in some difficult straits.
So, the first thing the right-wing proposed was making sure the Keystone pipeline was built to “ensure America’s oil independence” . The problem with that argument is that none of the oil that will be transported through the Keystone pipeline is earmarked for the U.S. market. It is earmarked for export to China. When directly questioned by a Nebraska Representative as to if “any of the oil in the pipeline could be guaranteed to the U.S.” TransCanada refused to answer or make any guaranties.
So, it would appear that building the Keystone Pipeline will not ”assure America’s oil independence” as several of the speakers at CPAC would have you believe. But, what the hell, it sounds good to the fantasy world inhabitants.
Then that esteemed Libertarian and rational thinker Rand Paul said on Fox News the other day that if he were President today the first thing he would do is “ immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas, and I would begin drilling in every possible conceivable place within our territories in order to have production we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”
In an op-ed for Time, he again emphasized what he sees as the role of oil and gas in addressing the crisis: “I would immediately remove every obstacle or current ban blocking the export of American oil and gas to Europe, and I would lift restrictions on new oil and gas development in order to ensure a steady energy supply at home and so we can supply Europe with oil if it is interrupted from Ukraine.
Because of so many of our current needless laws and regulations, President Obama has left Europe completely vulnerable because of its dependence on Russian oil and gas.
I would support immediate construction of the Keystone Pipeline.”
Once again this sounds good. But, Mr. Paul seems to fail to realize or even know that the refining plants in the U.S. are at full capacity. Furthermore, there hasn’t been a new Oil Refinery built in the U.S. for over 30 years. On top of that, in order to properly export natural gas to Europe, it would need to be liquefied first. The country does not have the capacity for that amount of liquefying natural gas at this time.
In order to match the needed capacity to supply Europe with refined oil and natural gas, it will take years to build these new facilities and billions of dollars. Where does Mr. Paul plan to get the money for these facilities? He doesn’t say. Does he expect the oil companies to pay for it all? How can you force an oil company to spend billions of dollars in the name of “national security” which Mr. Paul is arguing for? The oil companies already get billions of dollars in government subsidies they don’t need. Is he suggesting we give them more? It would be nice to see the jobs that building new facilities would create. But, Mr. Paul is not interested in that aspect of it. He seems to think it isn’t necessary.
It is always easy to shout from the mountain top about any issue. It is much more difficult to look at the realities and then try to figure out a doable plan to confront those realities. But, no one has ever accused the right-wing of looking at problems rationally. We have already come to the conclusion that they are only interested in shouting from the mountain top. Maybe that is why Rand Paul is so loved by these fantasy dwellers.