So, what's the point? Who's really going to benefit from opening up our coastal shores to oil drilling? Bill Scher says we should "follow the money."
While coastal drilling amounts to nothing in regards to lower energy costs for you and me, it does amount to a fat giveaway to Big Oil.How so? More domestic oil=more exports for U.S. oil companies. A recent Reuters-UK article had some figures showing just where the oil goes. (Hint. It doesn't stay in our country.)
While the U.S. oil industry wants access to more federal lands to help reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, American-based companies are shipping record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel to other countries.Mexico, Canada, Chile, Singapore and Brazil get the lion's share of exported U.S. oil products, yet Republicans continue to blame tight supplies for our record prices.
A record 1.6 million barrels a day in U.S. refined petroleum products were exported during the first four months of this year, up 33 percent from 1.2 million barrels a day over the same period in 2007. Shipments this February topped 1.8 million barrels a day for the first time during any month, according to final numbers from the Energy Department.
The surge in exports appears to contradict the pleas from the U.S. oil industry and the Bush administration for Congress to open more offshore waters and Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling.
While the administration argues that more supplies would help to bring down prices, U.S exports of diesel fuel in April averaged 387,000 barrels per day, up almost seven-fold from 59,000 barrels a day in the same month a year earlier.To recap, Republicans want to open more land to drilling so oil companies can export more oil out of the country, which will keep supplies tight here at home and keep prices high. Who wins? Big oil and the Republicans who benefit from their donations. Who loses? Everyone else.
(Cross-posted at Blogging for MI.)