Saturday, September 12, 2009

Forget 'Peak Oil' — Drill, BP, Drill


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009 4:30 PM PT

Energy Policy: Ignoring peak-oil Cassandras, BP has made another giant oil find in the Gulf of Mexico. We're not running out of oil. Our government just doesn't want us to look for it.

Read More: Energy

The world is running out of oil and good riddance. That's the environmentalists' mantra. But since the first well was drilled near Titusville, Pa., 150 years ago, the prophecy has gone unfulfilled. Trouble is, those darn greedy oil companies keep finding the stuff.

Oil has been produced in the Gulf of Mexico since the first well was drilled by Kerr-McGee Corp. in 1947. Some of the wells are pretty well played out by now, except that over the past two decades or so, oil explorers began to notice a curious thing. Shallower wells that were thought to be exhausted seemed to be filling up again.

This, and the discovery of vast natural-gas deposits at depths greater than 10,000 feet, mean that either (1) we haven't been drilling deep enough or (2) oil and gas are not finite resources deposited long ago, but rather the result of still-functioning processes deep within the earth. Either way, there's much more to be had.

So British Petroleum went looking for it at depths that had never been plumbed. The spot where it hit black gold is in a place called the Tiber Prospect about 250 miles southeast of Houston. The Tiber well was drilled to a depth of 35,055 feet, which is greater than the height of Mount Everest.

BP, whose partners include Conoco Phillips and the Brazilian company Petroleo Brasilero SA, says the discovery may hold as much as 3 billion barrels of oil. That equates to about a year's worth of output from OPEC giant Saudi Arabia.

As Bloomberg notes, Tiber is BP's second discovery in three years in a geological formation in the Gulf known as the lower Tertiary that consists of a layer of rocks created 24 million to 65 million years ago.

Geologists and engineers didn't know if oil could be recovered at such depths until Chevron drilled a well into its Jack Prospect in 2006. Chevron drilled in 7,000 feet of water and more than 20,000 feet under the sea floor.

Its Jack No. 2 well, in deep water 270 miles southwest of New Orleans, tapped a field with perhaps 15 billion barrels of oil.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service says that, all told, offshore areas off-limits to U.S. drilling contain upward of 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The oil is there and oil companies are willing to go after it if we let them. Think of it: American oil creating American jobs while lowering gas prices. Congress, however, continues to place most of the Outer Continental Shelf, the Arctic riches of the Chukchi Sea and ANWR, and the shale-rich Rocky Mountain West off-limits. In other words, it doesn't know Jack.

If Brazil had copied America's current energy policy, it wouldn't have discovered in December 2007 the Tupi field, estimated to contain 5 billion to 8 billon barrels of crude, or its Carioca offshore oil field that may hold up to 33 billion barrels.

Much was made of the U.S. Export-Import Bank sponsoring a $10 billion loan to Brazil's Petrobras to develop its offshore fields. That will help increase the world's oil supply and further disprove the peak oil nonsense.

But we need to be doing more in our waters and on our land.

The BP project shows that our resources may be limited only by technology and will. It shows the kind of expensive technology required and what oil companies do with their profits — look for more oil. Drilling seven miles into the seabed is not what you do when, as the anti-oil crowd often charges, you are hoarding supplies to drive up prices.

Illegal Immigrants Difficult To Remove From ObamaCare


News Analysis by IBD
| Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009

It was the heckle heard round the world. During President Obama's Wednesday speech, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted "You lie!" when Obama said his health plan wouldn't cover illegal aliens.

Democrats — and many Republicans — cried foul at the breach of decorum. Wilson apologized for his "inappropriate and regrettable" outburst. Obama said Thursday he accepted the apology.

But was Wilson inaccurate? Some independent analysis indicates — contrary to Obama's claim — that the House health bill could result in coverage being extended to illegal immigrants.

The Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan agency that analyzes legislation for lawmakers, notes that most of the language in the main House bill does not include illegals — but has few mechanisms for enforcing this.

The bill's individual mandate to get coverage does include illegals.

"Wilson was inappropriate and rude, but he does have a point," said Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors immigration restriction.

As an Aug. 25 CRS report notes, the bill's individual mandate to get health coverage extends to "unauthorized aliens" who have a "substantial presence" in the U.S. That means they have lived here for at least 31 days in the current year and 183 days in the past two years.

Trust, Don't Verify

Another provision would create health exchanges for people to buy public or private insurance. The CRS notes that the bill "does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens — whether legally or illegally present," from participating.

The bill would also provide subsidies to buy health coverage, but not for "individuals who are not lawfully in the United States."

Yet the CRS notes the bill has no verification mechanism. It leaves that up to a newly created "Health Choices Commissioner."

During Ways and Means hearings, Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., sought to amend the House bill to require screening illegals via the Income and Eligibility Verification System and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements.

Heller's amendment was voted down along party lines. A committee spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

"The congressman believes the House bill does not restrict illegal aliens from accessing the services in the bill," said Stewart Bybee, Heller's spokesman.

No Health Patrol?

CIS's Camarota agrees, saying the bill's language gives little reason to believe it would screen out illegal immigrants.

"It is kind of like putting up a speed limit sign on a highway and then the police saying we'll never patrol that highway," he said.

The CIS estimates that the House bill would cover 6.6 million uninsured illegal immigrants.

Pro-immigration groups dispute such contentions.

Sonal Ambegaokar, health policy attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, says that claims the bill would extend to illegal immigrants are simply false. Most low income people would come in via Medicaid, she said. "And they have done an effective job in verifying eligibility."

She expects that system to be extended to the insurance exchange in the final language.

Camarota responded that about half of illegals earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. He also argued that expanding Medicaid will erode its enforcement powers.

If ObamaCare truly bars illegals, they would likely use emergency rooms, which has been cited as a reason for national health care.

It's unclear how the Senate will address illegals. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has proposed an outline, but the Senate has no single health bill now.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that Baucus' plan would require companies to pay for subsidies to buy coverage for employees from low-income families. This could deter firms from hiring the poor, freezing out many immigrant families.

Friday, September 11, 2009



September 10, 2009


Mrs. Grace Cherrin of Wilmington, Del., announces the engagement of her daughter, Lynn Hannah Cherrin, to Scott Michael Rubin, son of Neil and Faye Rubin of Marlton, N.J.

Ms. Cherrin, the daughter of the late Gary Cherrin, graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She also holds a Master of Science degree from Drexel University.

Mr. Rubin graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers University-Camden.

The couple, who lives in Bucks County, is planning a May wedding.



Grace Cherrin of Wilmington, DE announces the engagement of her daughter, Lynn Hannah Cherrin, to Scott Michael Rubin, son of Neil and Faye Rubin of Marlton.

Lynn Hannah Cherrin, also the daughter of the late Gary Cherrin, graduated from the Univ. of Delaware with a B.A. degree in English and received a Master of Science degree from Drexel Univ.

Scott Michael Rubin graduated from Rutgers Univ. in New Brunswick with a B.A. degree in Political Science and received a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers Univ. in Camden.

The couple lives in Bucks County, PA and is planning a May 2010 wedding.