“Aside from the growing catastrophe in Iraq, we are now sinking deeply into a disastrous economic swamp as far as oil is concerned. The world-wide depletion of oil reserves, the failure of the U.S. to get effective control of the huge Iraqi reserves, the growing need for oil in the rest of the world, especially China, Bush’s bullying and threatening attitude towards once-friendly oil producers and worst of all, the dawning realization on the part of Muslim Fundamentalist terrorists that the U.S. is growing every more dependant on oil to prevent serious public eruptions makes refineries, tankers, pipelines etc very tempting and easily attacked targets. Here is some information about our current stocks of oil held by the Government and under the direct control of the President:
· The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil. The federally-owned oil stocks are stored in huge underground salt caverns along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico.
· Decisions to withdraw crude oil from the SPR are made by the President under the authorities of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. In the event of an energy emergency, SPR oil would be distributed by competitive sale. Although the SPR has been used for emergency purposes only once (during Operation Desert Storm in 1991), its formidable size (more than 600 million barrels) makes it a significant deterrent to oil import cutoffs and a key tool of foreign policy.
· Today, the SPR has the capacity to hold 727 million barrels. It is the largest emergency oil stockpile in the world. Together, the facilities and crude oil represent a more than $21 billion investment in energy security ($4 billion for facilities and $17 billion for crude oil).
· On November 13, 2001, President George W. Bush ordered the SPR to be filled to approximately 700 million barrels by continuing to use the Royalty-in-Kind program carried out jointly between the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior. The royalty-in-kind program applies to oil owed to the U.S. government by producers who operate leases on the federally-owned Outer Continental Shelf. These producers are required to provide from 12.5 percent to 16.7 percent of the oil they produce to the U.S. government. The government can either acquire the oil itself or receive the equivalent dollar value
· Strategic Petroleum Reserve Inventory for August 11, 2005
Sweet 284.6 million bbls
Sour 414.9 million bbls
Total 699.5 million bbls
Royalty-in-Kind to be Delivered 1.3 million bbls
While none of this is secret, it is also not generally known to the public. The price of oil to the United States is sharply escalating, partially because of the natural trends of the marketplace but also because of the aura of fear and hatred that Bush has deliberately fostered. He does not understand that if we were not so tied up militarily in Iraq, we would have plenty of troops available to enforce our acquisition of desperately needed oil. Try as he and his supporters may, the resistance in Iraq is far too effective and far too strong to permit U.S. exploitation of the huge Iraqi reserves (one of the main reasons for the war) and we could not invade Venezuela, also a strong desire on Bush’s part, because, frankly we do not have the troops. Bush doesn’t care what the UN or the rest of the world would say about such naked and greedy aggression but the vital troops are not there.
In point of fact, governors of mainly Republican states are wailing that Bush has stripped their State National Guards of warm bodies so that in the anticipated civil disturbances (skyrocketing oil, diesel fuel and heating oil prices followed by problems with truckers delivering food and supplies throughout the country because of exorbitant fuel prices) appearing on the horizon, there won’t be any force to deal with them except local police and, maybe, a mobilized fascistic Republican storm troopers made up of right wing nuts. Bush cannot recall troops now, as necessity dictates, because we are literally on the ropes in Iraq and Bush’s weak personality precludes him from taking even one step backwards. He feels, his aides have said repeatedly, that this would make him look “weak” (which he is) and this he will never permit.
All reputable foreign oil industry sources state that oil will certainly go as high as $100 a barrel but even if it does and riots ensue here as outraged citizens can no longer drive to work, to school, to shop, Bush has said categorically that he will never, never release a drop of the oil in the reserves. The military have put a stop to this saying that any future military action plans against Iran or North Korea, now in the works, would be useless without oil reserves to draw upon.”
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