Politics and Oil – Strange Bedfellows

If there was ever a reason for President Barack Hussein Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and to support drilling in the US, this is it. We learn that in December, 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, in a leaked note, that Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism. In a secret memorandum, Clinton said that donors in Saudi Arabia “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

Clinton continued that Saudi Arabia, from which Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 terrorists came, is “a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during the Haj and Ramadan.”

From former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, “We pay Saudi Arabia $160 billion for its oil, and $3 or $4 billion of that goes to the Wahhabis, who teach children to hate.”

So… can the US do without Saudi Arabia’s oil? In a word, “Yes!” The US, as of 2011, imported 9.67 million barrels per day, with 1.2 million barrels per day coming from Saudi Arabia. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) also estimates that the US produces 5.36 million barrels of crude oil per day. BTW, we also import 2 million barrels per day from Canada and 1.2 million barrels per day from Mexico.

If we choose to forego Saudi Arabia’s oil, from where will its replacement come? In 2011, the US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that, with (then) current technology, the US has approximately 50 billion barrels of producible crude oil. Most of those estimates were made before the current horizontal drilling and fracking procedures were developed. The North Dakota Geological Survey and Oil and Gas Division places the Bakken generated value at 200 – 300 Billion barrels. Some estimates place the Bakken formation generation as high as 132 Billion barrels of oil in North Dakota and Montana.

Alberta, Canada, sits atop the biggest petroleum deposit outside the Arabian peninsula – as many as 300 billion recoverable barrels of oil sand and another trillion-plus barrels that could one day be within reach using new retrieval methods. Recent improvements in mining and extraction techniques have cut oil sand production costs nearly in half since the 1980s, to about $10 per barrel, with more innovation on the way. Yet in January, 2012, Obama killed the northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that was to transport Canadian oil sand to the US gulf coast.

And now (May, 2012) the USGS estimates that the Green River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and economic conditions. It estimates that the Green River formation, a stretch of largely vacant federal lands in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, may hold more recoverable oil than all the rest of the world combined. The “problem” is that nearly three-quarters of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

If only 30 percent of those royalty revenues from the oil in the Green River formation went into the US Treasury, that would be enough to pay off the entire national debt without raising tax rates or cutting federal spending. If federal overregulation does not stand in the way, oil and gas extractable in North Dakota and in the Green River Formation of the Rocky Mountains may solve many social and economic problems.

Even though the US can easily do without Saudi Arabian oil, let’s examine why Obama will not alter his energy policies in order to protect Americans, despite what Hillary Clinton says about Saudi Arabian terrorism sponsorship.

Percy Sutton, the former borough president of Manhattan and founder of Inner City Broadcasting, said Dr. Kahlid al-Mansour contacted him to ask a favor: Would Sutton write a letter in support of Obama’s application to Harvard Law School? Sutton says while he was raising money for Obama’s law school education, al-Mansour was representing top members of the Saudi Royal family seeking to do business and exert influence in the United States.

In April, 2012, Saudi Arabia Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz visited Washington to discuss key issues and stress strategic cooperation. Both Abdul Aziz and Obama stressed in their meeting the strong and strategic partnership that ties the two countries.

In December, 2011, the Obama administration announced a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, saying it had agreed to sell F-15 fighter jets valued at nearly $30 billion to the Royal Saudi Air Force.

We have all heard that “blood is thicker than water.” With Obama, “politics is thicker than blood.” Especially when it comes to Saudi Arabia and terrorism.

But that’s just my opinion.

“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” – Ronald Reagan

Cross-posted at RWNO, my personal web site.

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