Virginia stands to be a leader in the development and use of domestic energy, if the soon to be newly elected Republican majority in the General Assembly, the Senate and the Governor's Mansion have the cajones to stand up to the EPA and government regulations and reaffirm State Sovereignty. Its about states' rights. Its called the 10th Amendment.
We have the right as a sovereign state to take care of our citizens first, and I would expect nothing less from the other 56, ahm, I meant 49 states. The federal government has no authority to impose restrictions or mandates which diminish, or restrict the ability to improve, the standard of living of any citizen, regardless of what the law or regulation was intended to do when enacted.
Family Security Matters has a piece posted today, part of which is excerpted here:
Our future prosperity and freedom are at risk. This is because we have a current energy policy that puts them at risk. We are also contemplating a new energy policy, commonly termed “cap and trade” which could very well push our nation’s economy of a cliff, (my conclusion, not that of Chevron). Mr. Watson started his remarks with a plea that we start with some “facts,” what President John Adams called “stubborn things.”
Over the horizon, we will need to invest some $26 trillion in energy production, transportation, and efficient utilization technology. The U.S. population is growing and so is that of the world. The U.S. and world economy also need to grow to raise the standard of living of people everywhere – to secure the “heat, light and transportation” that we all take for granted said Watson. But over eighty percent of the natural gas and petroleum reserves in the world are in the hands of governments. And 85 percent of such U.S. reserves are off limits to exploration and development.
Watson further noted the U.S. oil and gas industry is responsible for 9 million American jobs and 7.5 percent of our GDP. The challenge of providing an affordable energy supply for more than 300 million Americans is being made all the more difficult by the regulatory ambitions of the U.S. government and its growing debt. Yet most Americans want to be less dependent on foreign supplies of oil that can be manipulated to harm our economy. And they believe we need a stable but diverse energy supply. And they also want to do their responsible part for ameliorating any negative impacts on our climate and environment.
....the current restrictions on the exploration and development for U.S.-owned fossil fuel resources make so little sense. U.S. oil production has declined by 4 million barrels a day over the past 25 years while demand has grown by exactly that amount – 4 million barrels a day. Thus, although we are the number 2 or 3 producer of coal, natural gas and oil from domestic resources, when we import 8 million barrels of oil daily, (the combined drop in production coupled with the increase in demand), it is at a cost that approached some $450 billion a year when oil hit $147 a barrel.
Yet the U.S. Geological Survey is forbidden by federal law from actually doing an accurate assessment of how much oil and gas we have off of our coasts and on Federal land. And we still propose to tax those oil and gas resources we do produce at a rate far greater than other resources. Add to that the prohibition on exploration, and it is easy to understand how oil exploration and development was pushed overseas and with it the complimentary run-up in U.S. oil imports. Reasonable estimates are that at least 30 billion barrels of oil are readily available off our shores or in places such as Anwar. While we cannot “drill for independence,” said Watson, we can and should “drill for more energy security.”
I take exception to the remark that we cannot "drill for independence". Once we start extracting our own reserves and refine those resereves into a marketable product, we become independent. We can sell it, or keep it. Either way, its ours, we own it and we'll do with it as we please.