Holding Us Back.The oil producing nations are causing our high gasoline prices. The third largest producer of crude has put millions of oil reserves off limits to drilling. because of leftist interest.
It may surprise Americans to discover that the United States is the third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We could be producing more, but Congress has put large areas of potential supply off-limits. These include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. By government estimates, these areas may contain 25 billion to 30 billion barrels of oil (against about 30 billion barrels of proven U.S. reserves today) and 80 trillion cubic feet or more of natural gas (compared with about 200 tcf of proven reserves).
What keeps these areas closed are exaggerated environmental fears, strong prejudice against oil companies and sheer stupidity. Americans favor both "energy independence" and cheap fuel. They deplore imports -- who wants to pay foreigners? -- but oppose more production in the United States. Got it? The result is a "no-pain energy agenda that sounds appealing but has no basis in reality," writes Robert Bryce in "Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of 'Energy Independence.' "
Then there is the ethanol crises which we heavily subsidise farmers and manufactures, while we throw a $0.58 a gallon tarrif on on top of the state and Federal taxes of $2.00 a gallon Brazillian Ethanol .
But major obstacles remain. Unlike Brazil, U.S. producers make ethanol from corn, which is a far less efficient source, yielding four times less energy than sugar. Ethanol prices in the U.S. are less competitive than in Brazil. U.S. producers are protected by a 54 cent per gallon tariff on Brazilian ethanol.