Combs Spouts Off

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Demand an end to the OCS drilling ban

Posted by Richard on July 19, 2008

After President Bush lifted his daddy's executive order banning off-shore drilling, the price of crude oil dropped three days in a row. On Thursday, it closed below $130, an 11% decline. Some people quickly suggested a causal connection, but I thought that was premature.

For one thing, Nigerian production went back up about the same time (or a day or two earlier). Nigeria is the #5 source of U.S. oil imports, and its output has been reduced significantly by attacks on pipelines and other infrastructure. So maybe the good news from Nigeria triggered the declines?

Well, it may have been a factor. But on Thursday, a new pipeline attack further disrupted Nigeria's output, and today the price only rose about 1%. 

I'm thinking that Bush's action, although theoretically only symbolic until Congress acts, really did affect traders' views of the long-term outlook. It — together with recent polls and other signs of increasing pressure on Congress — made future domestic supply increases much more likely, and that exerted downward pressure on the current price. 

Now is the time to increase pressure on Congress further and try to get a vote on drilling in the outer continental shelf before the August recess. Did you sign that Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less petition I wrote about last month? Did you donate $10 or more to get the bumper sticker? It's not too late. The first 1.3 million signatures have been delivered to Congress, but they're still collecting more. 

Don't stop there, though. Freedom's Watch has a petition to Congress, too. It'll take you only a few seconds to sign it here.

Then there's the Grassfire.org emergency petition to Congress, which lets you choose up to five calls to action to include (ANWR, oil shale, etc.).

Finally, on a different but related matter, GreenWatchAmerica is petitioning John McCain to reconsider his position on global warming.

Sign them all, please.

(Yeah, you'll get some email from the sponsoring organizations, but they're all pretty reputable, don't sell your address to spammers, and provide an unsubscribe link on their emails. So you can opt out of each as soon as you get the first email, if you want.) 

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