Oconto County Reporter
Kagen’s energy plans for Congress make sense
July 23, 2008
During a recent stop in Marinette, Democrat Congressman Dr. Steve Kagen, told Marinette Eagle Herald Reporter Donn Williams about his proposals for short and long term solutions for our worsening energy crisis.
His observations, this reporter believes, makes common sense. But he may face obstacles in Congress trying to implement them. This is what our 8th District Congressman suggests:
“I’ve been listening to people in the oil industry, in our district, across
Kagen claims there are more than 100 million barrels of oil beneath the continental
The congressman believes the Bush administration’s push to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve to oil exploration would do little to make the nation less dependent on foreign oil. He says only one well has been drilled in the reserve so far and there is no reliable estimate of the amount of oil there He points to the 22 million acre National Petroleum Reserve about 100 miles to the west, that was opened to oil drilling during the Clinton administration. Only three million acres are leased by oil companies and they’ve drilled only 25 exploratory wells with zero production.
To encourage oil companies to do more drilling and oil exploration on lands they lease within the continental
Currently oil companies are drilling on only 12 of the 68 million acres the government has leased to them.
Kagen is also working to prevent oil price manipulation. He says 38 percent of the inflated price of gasoline is the result of the devalued dollar. Market demand is responsible for a fraction of the increase. Speculation is the primary culprit.
He points to testimony before the House’s subcommittee on energy and commerce that indicated, if speculators were prohibited from purchasing oil and gasoline, the price at the pump would drop $2 a gallon within 30 days.
Kagen has co-sponsored new legislation that would require speculative investment firms to take possession of the oil they buy, just as consumers do when they purchase gasoline at the pump. He’s hoping that will result in increased oil supplies and cause gasoline prices to fall.
“If somebody on a computer buys a million barrels of oil, they take possession on their computer,” Kagen explained. “I want them to be in position to take possession on their property or in the business they own. If we get the speculators out, the price will come back to supply and demand.”
Kagen is calling on the Bush administration to compel the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to “squeeze out market speculation in commodities” by enforcing existing laws.
And he says the president should start selling 500,000 barrels of oil a day from the government’s strategic petroleum reserve. “If he does that every 100 days we’ll still have 90 percent of our reserve,” he said. “Our average cost (for oil) in that reserve is $28 per barrel. So, let’s sell it to
Effective this week, the
Finally, the congressman says the country needs a new energy policy that’s moves as rapidly as possible away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources.
“I am absolutely convinced when we have a president that will design an energy policy that makes sense for