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Front Page: Baghdad Blast Kills 51, Operation Launched Against Taliban, Bush and Offshore Drilling

  • Baghdad Blast Kills 51: An enormous car bombing shattered part of a busy marketplace and set a crowded apartment building alight in a heavily Shiite district of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 51 people and wounding 75. As the blast occurred in the midst of a neighborhood where Sunnis had been savagely driven out, some of locals blamed the displaced Sunnis for the attack. The bombing was the deadliest attack in 3 months. One man whose wife and child were killed in the blast sceamed, “now the Americans are bringing outsiders to secure our neighborhood, and look what happened! Maybe we should bring back the old days.”
  • Operation Launched Against Taliban: NATO and Afghan forces begun a joint operation to drive Taliban insurgents from the outskirts of the city of Kandahar. Amid conflicting reports of casualties, troops backed by helicopter gunships are patrolling west of the Arghandab river, revealing "no major incidents so far". One resident says of the patrols, "most of the roads have been closed, there are check posts everywhere, planes are flying and military convoys belonging to the Afghan and foreign forces are patrolling the city." Last Friday about 350 Taliban fighters escaped with a total of 1,200 inmates from a jail in Kandahar. Only a handful of prisoners have been recaptured.
  • Bush and Offshore Drilling: President Bush will call on Congress today to reverse a long standing federal ban on offshore oil drilling. Bush wants to work with states to determine where drilling should occur. The move demonstrates how $4-a-gallon gas will be a major issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, and a growing number of Republicans are lining up in opposition to the federal ban. The Congressional moratorium on offshore drilling was first enacted in 1982, and has been renewed every year since. It prohibits oil and gas leasing on most of the outer continental shelf, 3 miles to 200 miles offshore.
stephley stephley 9 years
Working tonight, but here's a quick bit on nuclear, and I don't have time to detail the health risks. From the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research: Nuclear power is too expensive and risky to attract the necessary commercial investors. The massive federal subsidies will cover up to 80 percent of construction costs of several nuclear power plants in addition to generous production tax credits, as well as risk insurance. But consider this: the average two-reactor nuclear power plant is estimated to cost $10 billion to $18 billion to build. That's before cost overruns, and no U.S. nuclear power plant has ever been delivered on time or on budget. Another reason atomic energy is so expensive is that its accidents are potentially catastrophic, and activists have forced utilities to build in costly double and triple safety systems. The byproducts of the fissioning of uranium-235 remains radioactive for thousands of years, requiring safe disposal away from society until they lose their significant radiation values. Many underground sites have been constructed, only to be filled within months. Storage facilities are not sufficient to store the world’s nuclear waste, which limits the amount of nuclear fuel that can be used per year. Transportation of the waste is risky, as many unknown variables may affect the containment vessels. If one of these vessels were compromised, the results may be deadly.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Why is that a bad idea stephley? Nuclear power is safe and doesn't have any of the greenhouse emissions that burning fossil fuels has. France gets almost 50% (I heard the percentage today, I thought it was 50. Please correct me [and I apoligize] if I am wrong) of their electricity from nuclear facilities. On another note - Does anyone think it would be a good idea for the US to go into the oil business for itself? We have energy co-ops here in the midwest that are basically publically owned energy corporations. Why not do the same thing on a large scale with oil?
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
"if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake... I... drink... your... milkshake!"
stephley stephley 9 years
WORST IDEA EVER: "Sen. John McCain called Wednesday for the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030"
Jillness Jillness 9 years
McCain in May in Wisconsin said: "[W]ith those resources, which would take years to develop, you would only postpone or temporarily relieve our dependency on fossil fuels," McCain said when asked about offshore drilling. "We are going to have to go to alternative energy, and the exploitation of existing reserves of oil, natural gas, even coal, and we can develop clean coal technology, are all great things. But we also have to devote our efforts, in my view, to alternative energy sources, which is the ultimate answer to our long-term energy needs, and we need it sooner rather than later."
stephley stephley 9 years
"You have once again regurgitated the same information and have not shown how any of your items for Congress would lower gas prices. New taxes do not = lower gas prices, forcing oil companies to invest in alternative energy does not equal lower gas prices and removing tax breaks does not equal lower gas prices." All could lead to lower gas prices and are things Congress can do. Simply because you can't fathom how, or don't believe in it, does not determine the truth of anything. You could suspend the gas tax and prices at the pump would appear to be less, if all you were going for was an overnight change in prices. I think suspending the gas tax is a stupid idea. "Additionally, please advise how drilling for oil equals higher food prices?" I never said this so feel no need to explain it. Drilling is not a 'huge' benefit to us, it is a finger in the dyke that would likely be too little, too late at too high a cost.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
You have once again regurgitated the same information and have not shown how any of your items for Congress would lower gas prices. New taxes do not = lower gas prices, forcing oil companies to invest in alternative energy does not equal lower gas prices and removing tax breaks does not equal lower gas prices. You can repeat the same items, but it does not change the fact that none of those items if enacted by Congress would lower gas prices. Additionally, please advise how drilling for oil equals higher food prices? I do see how the Federal Government's push on the use of Ethanol has helped to raise food prices (especially since it takes more energy to create Ethanol to be used by cars to drive us shorter distances, but maybe that is a thought for another thread.) Last, in regards to your low numbers, I said that even at your rate that there is still a huge benefit to us doing this. I didn't say these numbers were wrong, but said that even if we were to use these low numbers that this is still an asset to us. I do continue to use the term "low numbers" as other suggest their could be more and most parties agree that it is unknown how much oil is actually below and could be much higher than even expected.
stephley stephley 9 years
My low numbers came from the U.S. Department of Interior - we should be able to expect them to be truthful. They are after all, going to be used to sell the idea of drilling again. Had Congress taxed windfall profits, cut tax breaks and directed money to alternative research, they could have lowered gas prices. They haven't done any of those things so here we are, and since they aren't moving to do any of those things, here we stay. "I, on the other hand, have provided an option to help us lower the price of gas on the longer term as we search for other usable energy." You've offered nothing but the same old ideas that got us where we are; considering the rate at which gas and food prices are climbing by the time we get to "the longer term" the country will be mired in depression anyway.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"Not to mention that the mere suggestion and plan of action to start drilling is going to cause concern for those who control the market and we might see some changes there." I forgot to add this into my post! I completely agree with this. And isn't cuba and another country, planning on drilling off the coast of Florida? So people are already planning on tapping into what could be our oil.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Ca - I dare you. I am not in any terms being that.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Bella I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not! :)
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Besides the fact is that we don't know exactly how much oil is offshore or onshore in the US. None of us do, no experts do. We can guess all day long, it doesn't matter until we drill, we won't know.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
If we drill of course the reprieve wouldn't be tomorrow, but it WILL come. And if China and India take as long as we did to try to halt their consumption, then we will be in a great position to SELL our oil to THEM. Not to mention that the mere suggestion and plan of action to start drilling is going to cause concern for those who control the market and we might see some changes there.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Good job Bush! I knew he would make continue to make a difference in the last couple of months.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Stephley, you commented that "Congress hasn't made any real effort to do anything about gas prices." I asked what Congress could have done. You came back with a list of items that would do nothing to lower lower gas prices. Would they be attacking the Oil Companies? Yes, but they would not do anything to lower gas prices, the whole point of my question and your list of items that Congress should have done/should do. So, really, you're giant list of items doesn't really add much to the discussion of how Congress should lower gas prices, it just lists ways we could attack the oil companies. I am still open to hear how Congress should have/could have/ should lower the price of gas. I, on the other hand, have provided an option to help us lower the price of gas on the longer term as we search for other usable energy. And yes, I repetitive on this item as I believe this is one thing that Congress can do to help us in the long term. Also, please let me know what policy has led to "that policy has led us to seriously degraded environments, gas and food prices that are making a mess of the economy, and war." I'm sure you don't mean that my shruggin off your comments has lead to that, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean there. Last, as noted, there are a wide range of estimates on how much oil there actually is. Even using your low end terms, your saying we could rely on solely our own oil for almost 2.5 years. As we wouldn't rely solely on our own oil, this would help us to supply some oil from our own side and lower the overall price of oil as we would not be solely dependent on foreign oil. This doesn't mean that we use just our oil, just that by us being able to add our own supply into the mix that we can help to lower costs that are currently being controlled from outside of us.
stephley stephley 9 years
3M - repeating 'I don't see how this is going to work' doesn't offer much to the discussion. You just shrug everything off and then say there's no other option but to drill - that policy has led us to seriously degraded environments, gas and food prices that are making a mess of the economy, and war. And drilling would probably give us less than 3 years worth of oil after 10-12 years of work: "The Interior Department offered a wide range of estimates of how much oil might be within reach of U.S. offshore drilling in a 2006 report. It estimated that the Outer Continental Shelf could hold 115.4 billion barrels. However, it also estimated that recoverable reserves off U.S. coasts in areas now banned from production probably hold only about 19 billion barrels. The figures differ widely because the higher number is a broader measure that includes "cumulative production, proved and unproved reserves." The world consumes about 86 million barrels a day. The U.S. share of that is about 20.6 million barrels, 60 percent of them from foreign sources. One thousand million barrels equals 1 billion, so if there are 19 billion barrels in the areas McCain would open to drilling, that's enough to provide about 920 days, or about 2.5 years, of current U.S. consumption."
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I understand what you are saying, and i am not saying that we do not focus on alternative fuels and energy sources, because I feel that is very important. So if we focus on alternative energy, AND the oil we do use comes from our own reserves, then wouldn't that make us self sufficient?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"But it would help build for a stronger more self sufficient America in the future" But we do know that oil is only going to get more and more scarce, and therefore more and more expensive. America has just three percent of the world's oil reserves, but Americans use a quarter of its oil. That won't change, and oil is only going to rise in value no matter what we do. Other countries have more oil that we do, that won't change either. This drilling won't help for years. By that time if we aren't more focused on other fuels we will be in a worse position.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Jill, there are so many benefits. Would it relieve the pressure immediately? No. But it would help build for a stronger more self sufficient America in the future.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
How much wood does a Woodchuck chuck if a Woodchuck could chuk wood?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Apparently oil companies already have 68 million acres offshore waters under lease that are not being developed. Even Bush said that it would take years for production to start on the areas where they are pressuring for drilling. I just don't see what the benefits are to what they are proposing.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
"Well, this is going to lower prices" = Well, this is going to raise prices
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
"Congress could institute a windfall profits tax against the oil companies - you think that will simply drive up prices, I think at this point it's clear they raising prices no matter what so take some of the damn money back." - Well, this is going to lower prices and all it will do is take more money out of the average person's paycheck. I don't see how this will do anything to help gas prices. "Oil companies claim they need the profits to explore new energy sources: right now, NOT ONE oil company invests more than 1.5% of its gross revenues on clean energy research." - Again, I don't see what this has to do with lowering the coast of gas prices. "Roll back the tax credits oil companies get - 18-Billion in breaks last year when the companies saw 123-Billion dollars in profits - how stupid is that?" - Again, don't see how this is an answer to lowering gas prices. "Congress could investigate the price increases and enact tougher laws against price gouging." - As it seems none of the previous investigations have provided anything worthwhile, I say let's do it again. I just want to state, in regards to my comments above, I'm not trying to defend the Oil Companies and God knows the situation is messed up, but I'm just trying to see what Congress can do to lower gas prices and I don't see how any of those items would do that in any way. What Congress could do is focus on opening our own oil production (via offshore or in Alaska) and look into spurring more gas production through refineries. These are solutions that could help us in the long term on lowering gas prices, as I was inquiring about.
stephley stephley 9 years
3M there are several things Congress could start doing: Congress could institute a windfall profits tax against the oil companies - you think that will simply drive up prices, I think at this point it's clear they raising prices no matter what so take some of the damn money back. Oil companies claim they need the profits to explore new energy sources: right now, NOT ONE oil company invests more than 1.5% of its gross revenues on clean energy research. Roll back the tax credits oil companies get - 18-Billion in breaks last year when the companies saw 123-Billion dollars in profits - how stupid is that? In 2006, Lee Raymond, chief of Exxon Mobil for 12 years, stepped down a $400-Million pay and retirement package - and we're giving them tax breaks??? Congress could investigate the price increases and enact tougher laws against price gouging.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Plus, it keeps the value up to have fewer refineries. There has been a push for alternatives, but we aren't close to being non-dependant on oil. The long term argument might fit now, but the past 30 years was a "long haul" where they could have been making refineries.
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