Federal Government: The Barrier to Achieving Energy Independence for America!

by Richard H. Frank

Just how fragile is the American economy when it comes to our “non-existent energy policy?”  Every American is suddenly thrust into the politics of an unstable Mid-East as evidenced today by the unrest and potential revolution boiling over in Egypt.  Should the Suez Canal be embargoed or blockaded by militant factions in the Mid-East it would cut off the world supply of oil from Saudi Arabia.  The price of oil would skyrocket and impact every facet of the world’s economy.  $5 or more per gallon for gasoline and doubling the cost of home heating oil would surely cripple the United States.  Moreover, such actions would have the potential for lighting the fuse leading to conflict and the impetus for a Third World War.

Our Government over the past 40 years has chosen to bury their heads in the sand and refused to adopt a concise comprehensive energy policy for America.  Government has frittered away at least 30 years which could have been dedicated to becoming energy independent while providing freedom from the massive deficit our children and grandchildren face in the future.

Our Federal Government has instead erected barriers to exploration and development of our natural resources of fossil fuel in the name of “saving the planet” and punishing greedy energy producers.  Billions of dollars of American treasure are exported annually instead of invested in energy independence here in the United States of America.

Barack Obama’s statement in the State of the Union address, that green energy will provide 85% of the nation’s energy needs by 2035 is a pipe dream.  Today’s level of green technology produces less than 1% of the nation’s needs.  In order to achieve his projection, a breakthrough in technology heretofore unknown would be required. Assuming that breakthrough was on the horizon it would take more than 25 years to adapt that now mythical technology to meet our needs.

The Federal Government through the Department of Interior and other agencies such as the EPA and the Department of Energy have usurped the Authority of Congress to adopt a policy of energy independence and erected administrative barriers to circumvent the wishes of Congress, the courts and of “We the People.”

Federal regulations under the Bureau of Land Management, part of the Department of Interior, has jurisdiction over onshore leasing, exploration, development and production of oil and gas on Federal lands.  The BLM in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service and the GSA also share in authority over onshore gas and oil leasing. Authority for the BLM extends to all states east of the Mississippi River and sixteen states west of the Mississippi.

The Bureau of Land Management national regulations are contained in the Gold Book:  “Surface Operating Standards & Guidelines for Oil & Gas Exploration and Development.”  These regulations are comprised of numerous “forms” and “orders” that create barriers to exploration and development.

Today’s energy policies are drafted such that they represent a war on fossil fuel production.  Instead of establishing new Federal and state partnerships, with revenue-sharing models established that will create local support for environmentally sound energy exploration and production, our Federal Government has chosen to stifle domestic production in favor of imposition of taxes on these producers as a means to fund unknown alternatives.

In the interim, our dependence on imported oil has risen from 40% in the 1970s to more than 60% today. Government policies have put the most promising domestic oil and gas prospects off-limits to exploration and production through moratorium.

The Outer Continental shelf is an area of 1.76 billion acres submerged off the coasts of the United States and controlled by the Federal Government.  Today 97% of this area remains under moratorium preventing any exploration or production of oil or natural gas.

Through Government fiat we are prohibited from access to an estimated 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  In addition, it is estimated that 83% of Federal lands onshore contain 28 billion barrels of oil and 207 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

According to the DOE, the United States is sitting on coal reserves with energy value equivalent to 6 trillion barrels of oil.  Oil shale and heavy oil sands contribute an additional 2,154,000,000,000 equivalent barrels of oil to our domestic supply.  To put the enormity of our potential reserves in prospective, consider the fact that the United States has consumed a mere 197 billion barrels of U.S. oil since our first domestic well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859.

At the end of the first decade of the 21st Century we find ourselves in a similar situation to that of the oil embargo of the 1970s.  The past 40 years have been spent arguing about the evils of oil, fossil fuels and nuclear power generation.  The actions of our Federal and state governments have only served to enrich those Mid-East countries that do allow exploration and production at the expense of every American.  Economically, produced energy drives the engine of economic production and innovation here in the United States.  This is evidenced in the standard of living achieved in America during the 20th Century.  We need to create a domestic supply of economically-priced energy if we are to sustain and increase that standard of living for all Americans.  A new cohesive energy policy must be built on a foundation of domestic oil, fossil fuels and nuclear production to establish a bridge for achieving competitively-priced renewable energy sources.  Our Federal Government seems to have disregarded the history of the 20th Century and the part fossil fuels played in building the most prosperous, powerful nation in the World.

Our Government policy should be “drill here, drill now,” build nuclear power plants, open Anwar to exploration and production and use revenues generated to support wind and solar development.

We must start now and stop political arguing and turn the implementation of the new policy over to free market entrepreneurs.  Contrary to our President’s belief, NASA did not put us on the moon; free enterprise innovation and production did.  No politician and their political rhetoric ever produced anything but hot air.

The time has come to seriously pursue energy independence and not waste another 40 years which could have seen us independent today if it were not for Government interference!

Where’s the Beef?

by Richard H. Frank

During the State of the Union address, our President championed investment in our infrastructure.  If my memory serves me correctly he requested and was given $1. trillion for shovel-ready projects by Congress for infrastructure rebuilding and to keep unemployment under 8.0%.  It would appear that our President has a very short memory and in addition owes every American an accounting as to how the $1 trillion was spent.  After all, he is supposed to be the leader of the most transparent administration in our entire history.

I could not help but equate his speech with the movie “Ground Hog Day.”  He kept repeating the same litany of promises we have heard over and over again since his campaign for President in 2008.  The biggest joke was his pledge to veto any legislation containing “earmarks” that came to his desk – even Joe Biden cracked up by that broken promise.

Predictably he attempted to change the language to show he had moved to the center with his policies to govern.  New legislation will now be a “shared responsibility” following the massive Democrat defeat during the 2010 mid-term election.  When did the Democrats and his administration ever take responsibility for the damage done to this Republic by their control for the past two years?

It seems to me we have “heard the song before” with regard to “reforming the Government,” “investing in clean technology,” “reinventing our energy policy.”  What energy policy?

I could go on for pages scutling almost every hollow statement he made during this pathetic attempt to make Americans believe the recession has ended and America is on a path to economic recovery.

President Obama failed to acknowledge our Government has a spending problem and not a revenue problem.  This State o f the Union address failed to meet the Constitutional requirement to truthfully advise Congress and America on the general health and welfare of the Nation.  In essence, there was no substance to his address and at best it was a poor campaign effort on his part.

America expects and deserves more from all of our elected Representatives and especially our President!

Obamacare: Prescription for Disaster!

by Richard H. Frank

To quote the now infamous words of Nancy Pelosi regarding the Affordable Health Care Act: “We need to pass it to find out what’s in it.” Certainly no Congressman read the 2700 page monstrosity before they voted for it in 2009 against the Will of the their constituents.

Now the newly elected 112th House of Representatives has voted to repeal this onerous piece of legislation.  Their legislation to repeal the Act faces defeat in the Democrat Congress and ultimately should the Senate adopt the law, a Veto by Barack Obama.

The prospect of non-action in the Senate and a Presidential Veto should not and must not deter pursuit of repeal by “We the People.”  The Democrats in Congress continue to claim that Obamacare is not a Government take-over of health care in America in spite of the documented 1968 powers for regulation contained in the law given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” provides for the following that in my mind constitutes Government control of health care in America:

  • Imposition of intrusive Federal control of the American health insurance delivery system.
  • The actions the Administration will take to try to achieve the goals of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect every American’s health care.
  • The Law requires that HHSS’s definition of “essential health benefits” “reflect an appropriate balance among” the general categories of service.  Some bureaucrat will decide what the “appropriate balance” is with regard to:
  1. diagnostic services
  2. how long symptoms are experienced
  3. types of chemotherapy allowed
  4. available preventive measures

Newt Gingrich recently outlined the intrusive nature and controlling aspects of powers granted to the Secretary of HHS in an article entitled “1968 Reasons to Repeal Health Care.”

Consider the following:

  • The Secretary will decide what prescription drugs seniors may access
  • She will instruct physicians and nurses how to administer drugs to patients in long-term care facilities
  • The Secretary will determine how dentists and hygenists should perform examinations on your teeth.
  • HHS can override states on insurable rates (so much for shopping for insurance across state lines)
  • The Secretary can use comparative effectiveness research to determine access to care for seniors (so much for not coming between you and your doctor) e.g., the British National Health Service
  • She can use comparative effectiveness to determine access to care for seniors.

When it comes to Obamacare, you can forget about all the privacy protections granted to you under previous HIPPA legislation.  Insurance companies are in the process of advising their policyholders of the change that the law has on their personal medical files.

Here is a summary of what our insurance company informed their policyholders regarding Obamacare:

  1. Your personal medical information may be given to family and friends, even if you stated otherwise in writing;
  2. The government may use your personal medical information “to support treatment…”
  3. Your medical information may be provided to all agencies of the Federal government and “legally mandated entities.
  4. The government can access your information for “quality assessment, public health, special government functions such as national security and intelligence and medical suitability determinations.”
  5. HHS will also use your personal medical data to “manage health care service.”

Of course in this notice you are told that you are entitled to accounting of where your personal medical file and information is released but the government is not required to disclose their release of information made for “treatment or health care operations” or other such gobbledygook.

In order words, the HIPPA program is a sham and we have no privacy anymore.  But keep your head up because we have the ability to write to Health & Human Services if we have a complaint (the same agency that now is responsible for 2,650 new subagencies and bureaucracies created by Obamacare.)

We have only two years to stop implementation of this socialist takeover of health care in America.  In order to assure its repeal and avoid the risk that it will be deemed Constitutional by the liberal members of our Supreme Court, we must all work to assure Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats in the House and Senate are defeated in the 2012 General Election.

Obama has begun his $1 billion campaign for re-election with a preceived pivot toward the center.  Don’t be fooled by the move the to the center, but remember how he governed the first two years of his Presidency. Consider what he would do if re-elected in 2012 where he could ramrod regulations through around Congressional consent to achieve his socialist ideals.

Barack Obama is one leopard that cannot and will not change his spots!

President Obama Desperate about Jobs

by Richard H. Frank

The message of the 2010 mid-term elections has finally begun to sink in for the Obama Administration and Democrat members of the Senate.  Suddenly, in a matter of less than 90 days following the massive defeat of Democrats in the House of Representatives, President Obama has switched his rhetoric from demonizing business to proposing reduction in regulation of business and encouraging tax incentives for hiring to improve job creation in America.

The Repeal vote in the House of Representatives of Obamacare, whether symbolic or not, has placed the President and all Democrats that support Government-controlled health care on notice that they are in jeopardy in the coming 2012 election.

However, be vigilant and listen carefully to any promise emanating from the lips of Barack Obama.  For the past two years his policies for redistribution of wealth and passage of legislation that retards economic growth cannot be changed by his rhetoric and empty promises.

The quickest actions within the power of the Administration and Congress to promote economic growth and ease the unemployment situation resides in three specific areas.  First:  To achieve a balanced budget and stop uncontrolled spending.  Second:  To reduce the corporate tax rate for businesses from 35% downward in the range of 20%.  Third:  to remove the shackles from businesses and entrepreneurs that would truly achieve energy independence in America.  Remove restrictions on domestic oil exploration, off-shore drilling and development of Anwar.  Expand nuclear power capacity and improve the delivery grid across our nation.  And most of all, stop spreading the misinformation that the only way to achieve energy independence is to put taxpayer subsidies into businesses which will only create batteries for cars that people don’t want and wind-generating equipment that isn’t proven to work and save money in the long run and that the American people don’t want as well.

Should these “real energy initiatives” be undertaken our economy would spring to life and create jobs beyond the wildest expectations of Government economists.

Instead, President Obama and the Congressional Democrats would rather manipulate the methods by which unemployment is calculated and attempt to count jobs saved or created as indicators of economic improvement.  When the numbers do not support the Administration’s contention they just change how the numbers are calculated (“by any means possible”).

Today, however, Americans are far too well-informed and are critically aware of their real economic situations than to just accept what the Government purports as fact.

You may expect to see over the next 12 months that the unemployment numbers will be reduced to a level well below 9%.  This may, in fact, be the result of increased employment from the need to replenish inventories depleted over the past three years, or from manipulation of the calculations for political purposes.  Like it or not, the campaign for holding political office in 2012 in well underway!

Beware Obama’s seeming to have moved towards the center as he governs.  He is an ideologue and his political agenda has not changed.  Watch what he does and not what he says.  The next 23 months are critical to Barack Obama’s political survival as President of the United States and for those Democrats up for election in 2012.  These months are also critical to the survival of our Republic as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

Clearly, the old adage that says “Don’t believe everything you hear and only half of what you see” is appropriate for each of us to remember over the next two years.

President Obama’s State of the Union – Reality vs. Campaign Rhetoric

by Richard H. Frank

On January 25, 2011 Barack Obama will stand before a joint session of the 112th Congress and address them and the Nation, reviewing the accomplishments of his Administration and the 111th Congress, indicating that they saved the United States of America from the “brink of economic and financial disaster.”  Among the praises he will bestow on his Administration will be passage of a stimulus that saved or created millions of jobs under his leadership, legislation that provides government-run health care for 30 million previously uninsured Americans, and saving the American Automotive Industry through forced bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler Corporation which in essence nationalized these industry giants at the expense of the shareholders, bondholders and creditors.  He will praise the ratification by the Senate of the arms reduction “START Treaty” between Russia and the United States.

He will attempt to label these achievements as bipartisan, when in fact they are the result of a liberal, progressive-dominated House of Representatives and Senate that has legislated against the will of the people since 2006 when they achieved the majority in both houses of Congress.

The message delivered by Barack Obama will stress the need to suppress uncontrolled spending in Congress and fiscal responsibility.  Don’t be fooled by his apparent move to the Center.  Words are just words and Obama has no compulsion to tell the truth.  Only his actions show his true motives and after two years we know where those motives are rooted.

Step back and examine “The True State of Our Union:”

  • Our Government tells us unemployment is somewhere between 9.6 and 9.8% and appears to have bottomed out.  We know the real number is approaching 18% when those who have exhausted their benefits and dropped from the rolls and are no longer counted.  Additionally, new claims for benefits continue to reflect no improvement in private sector hiring taking place across the nation.
  • The Nation’s debt is rapidly approaching $14 trillion and the existing limit will have to be increased in order to meet current obligations with spending requiring $.40 borrowed for every $1 spent by the Government.  This situation is unsustainable and the Administration has no plan to reduce the debt nor the trend to stop borrowing.
  • Our Government would have us believe that inflation is non-existent.  They calculate the CPI excluding the cost of energy and food which have increased at a rate of 5-7% annually for the past 5 years.  Just ask those Americans that live on fixed incomes what the impact of our non-existent inflation has had on their lives.
  • Health care costs are skyrocketing due to “Obamacare.”  Companies are incurring 20-30% increases in their premiums and seniors are seeing the first wave of rationing of services and the exodus of doctors participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
  • The Dollar is on the verge of collapse and is being challenged as the world’s reserve currency.
  • The unrestrained printing of currency by the Fed will ultimately create hyper-inflation and forever alter the standard of living for every American.
  • The United States has no cohesive energy policy to counter the Middle East oil cartel’s stranglehold on our economy.  Energy independence is a must if our Republic is to survive.
  • Government regulation by various agencies usurps the Congressional balance of power and jeopardizes the very security of our nation.  There is no recognition in our Constitution for Czars appointed by the President.
  • Federal tax polices are anti-business and current corporate tax rates are the second highest in the world and have forced industries to look outside of the United States to invest and hire workers.
  • Illegal immigration along our southern border poses a major threat to our national security.  Our Federal Government refuses to enforce existing immigration laws in favor of amnesty as a short-term fix to the problem.
  • The housing crisis looms heavily and Government-sponsored programs to provide home loan modifications are a joke.  Today 5 million homeowners are 60-75 days delinquent with 1.2 million foreclosures forecast for 2011.  Banks will not loan money for new construction without requiring down payments approaching 40%.  They delay underwriting requests for modifications in the anticipation of foreclosing and pocketing late fees until foreclosures may be executed.
  • The Government continues to function under Continuing Resolutions and has not yet provided a Budget for the current fiscal year.  What business would be allowed to function under these circumstances?
  • We have spent  $787 billion in stimulus dollars with no improvement to our economy and easing of the unemployment situation in America.  Jobs  created or saved as reported by the Administration is a sham.
  • Lastly, the nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia weakens our defenses in light of Iran and North Korea’s programs for nuclear dominance in their sphere of influence.  Where is and what is our policy to enforce the promise by the Obama Administration of a “no nuclear Iran?”  What level of extortion will we pay to North Korea to restrain their nuclear initiatives?

No doubt the Obama speech writers are burning the midnight oil looking for the words to turn lemons into lemonade” and the proper adjectives to best describe “The State of the Union, ”  a single word that will be reflected from the teleprompter through Obama’s eloquent delivery to take its place in history.  For me, the proper word, one which he dares not utter, is “devastated.”  In my entire life, spanning three score and ten years, I cannot remember a litany of problems equal to that I have listed in this blog.  The issues (problems) are the result of the electorate  swallowing the hollow promises of the liberal Progressives clamoring for power to govern over our great Republic.  The problem rests in the election of a President, unqualified to fulfil his office who has expressed disdain for our Constitution, the very document he has sworn to protect and defend.

I pray God will guide and lead the new 112th Congress in their initiatives to reverse, suspend and ultimately eliminate the damage done to this Nation by the Obama Administration and the congresses that preceded them.

During the 2010 elections “We the People” have spoken and made our desire for returning to the principles embodied in the Constitution and limited Government crystal clear.  We must assure our elected representatives do not stray from this course to restore a truly representative Government!

Bob Cesca’s Criticism of Sarah Palin

After my mouth dropped this morning reading http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/sarah-palin-fumbles-and-f_b_808336.html which is an article about Sarah Palin’s speech written by Bob Cesca on the Huffington Post, I read more about his background, and it is truly sad to me what a person with a college degree in Political Science has done with his life to date.  He has taken his education and worked  in such shows as the Don & Mike Show,  the Bob & Elvis show, and Camp Chaos.  What a waste!  When I compare him to other people I know of his age who are doing great things for our country, it makes me realize what drove him to write this article – he has no purpose other than to detest Sarah Palin for being born.

In the article he refers to endeavors with her Alaska program as “white trashy” and calls her a “nincompoop”, slams males in the baby boomer generation with profoundly ugly references and uses words to describe Sarah’s speech such as stupid, whine, histrionic, mentally retarded, laughable, not serious and talks about her slogans about America’s greatness as “fridge magnets.”

Being the mom of a girl around the age of Christina Green who was killed in Arizona, Sarah tactfully waited for some days to come forward and talk about this tragedy and probably would have waited longer to defend herself but for the hateful jabs she was getting in the media for her perceived role in the Arizona deaths.  I won’t even justify Cesca’s rant with a response about this, but I would suggest he look into his soul about what he has done with his life to this point, search out some guidance from God, and then just then, perhaps he will know how wasted his career path has been thus far.

I am not a person that believes Sarah Palin should be our next President, but I do feel strongly that Cesca’s hatred of her needs to be toned down and their focus perhaps put on ways to help alleviate the anti-business, high unemployment, debt-ridden condition of our Country.  Perhaps then, we could see that his college education and Political Science degree has been put to good use.

Don’t Exploit the Giffords Tragedy!

by Jayne Frank

Having had a sister with brain trauma, I spent yesterday in prayer and agony thinking of the pain that is now being felt by the families of Congresswoman Giffords and the others who either died or are hospitalized in Arizona.  That pain and the long  journey towards recuperation is something that cannot be known by many Americans.

Within hours of this massacre by a deranged young man, we had the Sheriff’s office saying that it is the result of the vitriol in America and especially in Arizona.  The news media outlets and journalists are burning up their pens and computers at this very moment on stories indicating that Sarah Palin, the Tea Party movement and “angry” Americans are to blame and should be investigated and stopped before this becomes a regular occurrence.

This was nothing more than a derelict act of a bored, manipulated, mentally unstable young man, who was in fact obviously angry, but blame must lay squarely where it belongs.  This is a country with massive unemployment, and many of those people have been unemployed for years and some will not find steady employment again.What happens to idle hands and minds that have nothing to do each day but think and spend time on social networks?  This is a country where our borders are so porous, allowing millions of illegals and drug/weapons smugglers to come across our southern borders every year and where people are reading every day of dozens of beheadings just across our border.   This is also a country where our freedoms are being assaulted every day by our own government where many people feel afraid for their futures.

So, rather than blame this event on Sarah Palin, who doesn’t have a violent bone in her body, or on the Tea Party Movement, I ask for positive action from our Government to help solve this problem.  The old saying about “idle hands and idle minds” is never more true than it is today.   Get people back to work and give young people the incentives and encouragement to finish their higher educations to be able to think positively about their futures. Take the shackles off Corporations in this country so that they will start hiring again.  And most importantly, you can quell some of the anger in Arizona by securing our borders and stop pitting one group of people in Arizona against each other.    This morning, I awoke not to thoughts and prayers for the Arizona victims of yesterday’s violence, but to headlines that our President is considering internet ID directives in the name of “password ease” for all Americans, and now his resolve will only be heightened by what happened yesterday and any such action will punish all Americans for the actions of just one.

As a final thought, even though this young man was 22, he was in his parent’s home.  What happened to personal responsibility of them for allowing this young man to become so mentally disturbed?  It was reported that there was a shrine in the back yard with a skull on it made by Jared Lee; there were dream journals, he had a history of pot use, there were letters, envelopes and other evidence found in his room, and of course, he bought the gun in November.  The father indicated, according to news sources, that he didn’t know what to do with him because he was “out of control.”  The father evidently knew about how troubled and more violent his  son was becoming.  Even though an adult, those parents had some options and rights available to them:  1) go through his room for evidence of something wrong, 2) call the authorities, 3) get him help, or 4) throw him out of their home.  They did none of these and now 6 people are dead, a couple dozen injured, and many other lives in their communities are changed forever.   For those of you that say they couldn’t invade his “privacy,” you are sadly mistaken and obviously part of our country’s problem.  He lived in their home.  Responsibility has to be also shared by these parents.

I hope people give some “real” thought to why this young man did what he did yesterday.