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Drill Baby Drill


Decimating the American environment in order to challenge Putin by drilling for fossil fuels is now a Republican thing. Lover of freedom and the only progressive candidate in 2016, Rand Paul:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the situation in Ukraine should be an impetus to ramp up oil and gas drilling in the United States and clear the path for exports.

“I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas,” said Paul in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “And I would begin drilling in every possible, conceivable place within our territories in order to have production that we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.”

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  • “And I would begin drilling in every possible, conceivable place within our territories…

    Not that he is, in the absence of a Democratic self-immolation, a viable general election candidate, but if he were, he just lost Florida.

    • catclub

      Well, if he explicitly said, including the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts for Florida.

      I wonder when they will also mention that a much better export infrastructure for Liquified natural gas will mean higher prices for it in the US.
      So much for the low price.

      • Smart candidates don’t make blanket statements like that. If they aren’t careful, they spend half of the campaign saying “well, that’s not exactly what I meant.” And that’s deadly.

        Right now he’s advocating drilling off the coast of Florida. Let him explain that’s not what he meant.

        • Davis X. Machina

          I think the GOP is sufficiently self-destructive to militate for drilling off both Florida coasts. It’s only for the Presidential election.

          And it might not be all that self-destructive.

          So you go from a veto-proof majority in Tallahassee in both houses to a mere majority in one, and veto-proof in the other.

        • ThrottleJockey

          I’d like to plant an oil derrick in his backyard and see what he says…

          • Lee Rudolph

            Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

        • herr doktor bimler

          If they aren’t careful, they spend half of the campaign saying “well, that’s not exactly what I meant.”

          Shirley the freakshow nature of CPAC is sufficiently well understood that he can just say “Hey, that was for the CPAC audience!”, and the journalists will nod sympathetically and move on.

        • Tom Stickler

          “Smart candidates”

          That exempts Rand Paul, who just demonstrated his ignorance of the timeline of fossil fuel infrastructure development.

  • The Republican Party supposedly believes that “Development of local energy options is crucial to reduce their dependence on imported fuel and promote economic stability.” Paul’s proposal would diminish U.S. reserves.

    • Quit lying about the idiocies lurking underneath almost everything Rand Paul does, because, you know, drones, and weed, and shut up.

      • Ghoul

        Quit not lying, surely.

  • Intransigent

    Would not fossil fuel exports, especially liquid natural gas, reduce Russia’s leverage over Eastern and Central Europe? To the extent that Putin has those nations over a barrel (pun intended), it’s because of their dependence on Russian energy exports; even Gerhard Schröder has since become a senior Gazprom executive.

    • It would and increasing the available world supply should also reduce the price and hence Russia’s revenue. That is the theory behind the strategy. Certainly the decline in oil prices in the first half of the 1980s compared to the 1970s contributed to Soviet economic problems.

    • catclub

      Does anyone know how much gas the Soviet Union was exporting to Western Europe before 1991? I wonder if they were a more reliable supplier than now. Also, what did Europe do for fuel if Soviet exports were small?

      • panda

        Major Soviet exports of gas to Western Europe started in the 1970s, and really took off in 1983. At that point however, gas was a rather secondary fuel: coal was much more important than it is now.

      • Intransigent

        Russia (in one political configuration or another) has been exporting petroleum to Europe since the late 1800s, and natural gas since the early 1980s; there hasn’t been a time since when Russia wasn’t Europe’s primary energy supplier.

      • Tom Stickler

        Has no one here noticed where all the pipelines needed for Russian natural gas export to Europe run?

        Hint: Ukraine.

    • DrDick

      There is also the small matter of environmental cost. This is not a low coast alternative.

    • Adam

      I think the theory and strategy are legitimate, since the Russian government does need a fairly high gas/oil price in order to finance the state as well as giving it leverage over the Europeans. However, what Paul is proposing isn’t a very effective means of pursuing it. Not only is there a significant time lapse before any of this production comes on line, even when it does, it will not be very cheap nor very plentiful. As such, the impact will not be very dramatic.

      However, if the U.S. and Europeans cut a nuclear deal with the Iranians and lifted the sanctions on that country, I think that would a different story and have a huge effect on energy prices.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Well there you go again being all logical and rational and shit. Damn you, Spock, damn you!!

      • Intransigent

        Considering that Ukraine relinquished its nuclear arsenal under the terms of the Budapest Memorandum and that the sanctions regime against Iran is already collapsing in the absence of any meaningful agreement, what’s the likelihood Iran will agree to mothball its own weapons program?

        • herr doktor bimler

          [Iran’s] own weapons program

          Citation needed.

      • xoighu

        All right, but all this will take time and meanwhile Russia’s economy is changing. Income tax is becoming a bigger part of the budget.

        Also, while Gas will reduce the political leverage of Russia over Europe to make a real economic impact you would have to target Oil. Good luck with that.

  • Low oil prices would hurt Russia considerably as would high food prices since they export the first and import the second. Even though Africa currently imports a lot of food, high food prices would actually help the continent in the medium to long term. So perhaps returning to ICA (International Commodity Agreements) that set higher prices for agricultural goods on the international market would be the way to go.

  • Harry Harrison

    A transatlantic pipeline, hurrah!

    • FlipYrWhig

      Just pump it through Morse’s cable.

  • Let’s drill in Rand himself, because he’s full of gas!

    And the rest of him can be used as fertilizer.

    • ThrottleJockey

      He’s so full of shit we wouldn’t need to build another fertilizer plant again, ever.

      • He’s so full of shit his teeth are floating.

  • Robert S Morgan

    Rand Paul is the cats meow that fellow and with Sarah, Cruz, the lying Cuban, Rick the great, scold Santorum, randian Ryan, Carson, Reagans ghost, Ann Coulter, Newt, the ever creepy x Gov. Huckabee .. could prove to the World that our culture has died and these are the remains of very bad breeding. Romney was the closest they had to a zombie-human cross and they could not install him. Still, with people like this we’ll have people coming over the borders in all directions just to vote so they don’t have to live next to a nation ruled by any combination ot the above. The GOP deserves the Grammn, McCain, McConnell, Boehner, Cantors, .. I can’t go on, so many worthless citizens and my fingers are going dead. Will those who can’t think vote against their self interest again? Now I’ve got a headache and fallen and can’t get up.

    Seriously this is their last chance before the demographics change and the Oligarchs take us over.

  • Bruce Vail

    Removing legal impediments to large-scale export of US-produced oil and gas is indeed Republican policy now, and there are Dem supporters too (see Landreiu, Begich, etc.).

    • ThrottleJockey

      There’s a lot of $$$ in it, that’s why. And I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. I wonder how much of a competitive advantage our manufacturing sector would have, though, if we banned export of LNG. I’d like to see which policy would result in the most jobs.

      • catclub

        Or put another way. he wants to kill those manufacturing jobs that have sprung up due to cheap gas in the US.

      • Bruce Vail

        Yes, I’d like to see the export of LNG banned. Flooding the domestic market with cheap natural gas would be a real boon for consumers, and would also spur the closing of coal-fired power plants.

  • Fine Sen. rebRand, let’s start with your oily self.

    • This cannot be posted often enough. The 70s were awful, but had a few bright moments.

  • herr doktor bimler

    I would begin drilling in every possible, conceivable place within our territories

    I know Paul is lazy and not particularly smart (e.g. the serial plagiarism stories), but presumably he’s not a complete moron. I don’t know which is more depressing… the spectacle of a grown man putting on a show of childish foot-stamping petulance, or his expectation of thereby ingratiating himself with the CPAC audience.

    • Ghoul

      His probable accuracy in that expectation?

    • I would begin drilling in every possible, conceivable place within our territories

      I find drilling directly above my neighbor’s storage tank to be a good bet.

      • Warren Terra

        Drilling below it may be even more effective.

        • I was assuming the drill is aimed down.

        • Hogan

          NEW PLAN: extreme slant drilling from Turkey and Alaska.


  • Oil is traded and priced on the world market.

    Unless you have enough production capacity to be the “swing producer” it’s not going to change the price at the pump noticeably.

    • Warren Terra

      To be slightly kind to these drilling enthusiasts, you aren’t quite right there. The implication here is that the policy goal is to let Europe impose an oil/gas embargo on their supplier Russia (who would not easily be able to sell it elsewhere, Europe is where the pipelines go). Europe could only do this if alternative supply were available, enough to make Russia moot. This, this isn’t about becoming the dominant supplier in a functioning market, it’s a demand that for geopolitical reasons we should become the dominant supplier in a badly over-supplied market.

      Also note that natural gas has odd shipping problems, and I doubt there’s the existing capacity to replace Russia as Europe’s supplier even if the gas were already being produced here.

      • And there’s nothing that the east coast needs more than enough gas-ship port capacity to supply Europe. Black Tom updated, anyone?

        • Warren Terra

          I wasn’t familiar with Black Tom. I knew about the Halifax Explosion, but not Black Tom.

          • herr doktor bimler

            I believe you will find that Black Tom is an oily and only slightly flammable drink consumed in large quantities by the Badfort Crowd, except when they are drinking Leper Gin.

          • I know a man who is middle class because his grandfather was a glazier on good terms with serval lower-Manhattan landlords after Black Tom. Capital accumulation at its finest: you replace a few thousand windows in a month.

            I also worked on the train shed of the old Central Railroad of NJ terminal in Jersey City, where every cast-iron column has some degree of cracking in the same direction, away from Black Tom.

  • wengler

    This has been another episode of Republican Arguments That Appeal To Dumb People. Just remember kids, you don’t have to be a Republican to be dumb, but it helps!

  • Anonymous

    We have a massive lake of oil under north Dakota. A fucking massive lake. The faster we get it out of the ground, the better. That will see America rolling in cheap oil until electric cars can match the range and power of internal combustion. Thanks to smart phones, batteries are ever improving. Already, many models of hybrids are available. What would kick ass is if someone produced a natural gas/electric hybrid. Methane isn’t 100% clean burning, but its hellofa lot better than gasoline. Of course, the oil companies would never let that happen, because then we wouldn’t need them anymore, natural gas aka methane is produced in cow barns naturally, as well as naturally occurring in the ground and in caves. The tech to convert gas vehicles to run on methane exists already. With hybrid tech, a natural gas vehicle would be extremely cheap to run.

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  • joe from Lowell

    That ridiculous. The man is just using the situation in Ukraine as a pretext for his agenda.

    Obviously, the best way to deal with Putin is with a combination of high speed rail spending and suburban zoning reform.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Remember when Ronald Reagan was running around saying Alaska had more untapped oil than the Middle East? It was one of the many, many lies he got away with because his brogans looked so good, or something. What is it with these people and energy innumerancy?

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