Citizens for Electioneering Michigan’s Energy

Big Political Spending By Electric Utility Raises Concerns

If you think that government unions should be prohibited from taking members’ money to spend on political ads those members disagree with, you may also object to Consumers Energy shareholders’ money being used for political ads supporting Consumers’ agenda. Which, among other things, includes outsourcing electricity generation to other states.

I have no objection in principle to the idea of cost effective outsourcing. I mention it because the inaptly named “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” has been fear mongering about outsourcing Michigan electricity supply jobs in a blitz of radio and television ads. Most of the funding for that electioneering came from Consumers Energy.

Consumers Energy points out the campaign ad money did not come from customers.

“Our contributions to Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy came from the company in the form of non-customer, shareholder dollars. In other words, funds driven from our shareholders – people buying stock – and not from customer bills.”

As if this makes any difference. As TOC has noted previously, money is fungible. The money they used for political purposes could have been used to defray costs, increase shareholder dividends, mitigate rate increases, or invested in capital projects. Instead, it was used in a crony capitalist scheme to maintain and extend its government granted monopoly status – upon which their stock price largely depends.

Remember Consumers election spending next time they ask you for a donation to their solar projects, or their Green Generation wind program, or offer you a discount for letting them take control of your air conditioner.

Consumers’ political activity should be severely constrained, as befits a company operating with a government granted commodity monopoly.

Update, 5:09PM. I’d forgotten these details from 2014:

In November 2014 the MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing Consumers Energy to recover $9,752,187, with interest, in deferred major maintenance expense.

Deferred MAJOR MAINTENANCE expense? And they have a government guaranteed 90% market share? And they put $43 million into political advertising in this time frame?

That’s one way to ensure profit margins stay in double digits.

Citizens for Enervating Michigan’s Economy II

There are a few lobbyists styling themselves “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” who are hammering the radio with political ads criticizing legislators who support expanding energy choice. CEME is, in fact, dependent for funding upon Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy. These guys have been around for awhile, so their pedigree is clear:

Touting A ‘Looming Energy Shortfall,’ Utility-Connected Nonprofit Spent $7.4 Million Last Year (2015)

The $4-Million Push To Influence Michigan Energy Law (2015)

Utilities spend $1.6M to influence Michigan energy policy debate (2015)

Michigan Big Energy firms working together to steer legislation to fatten their profit statements (2015)

Consumers Energy confirms affiliated PAC donated to Rep. Gary Glenn’s election opponent (2018)

Consumers Energy contributed $43.5 million over four years to Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy (2018)

Utilities-backed dark money group sparking energy debate in Michigan This article describes ““Citizens for Michigan’s Energy Future,” which is just another front for the same lobbyists. (2015)

One of the current ads claims that opposing energy company plans is the same as “outsourcing Michigan jobs” in the utility industry. Well, it might be true that there would be fewer Michigan utility jobs. However, job creation should not be a utility company’s prime objective. They should reliably deliver electricity at reasonable rates. Which means no featherbedding.

Besides that, they don’t tell you they are in favor of outsourcing electricity generation in order to help meet Michigan’s ill-advised* renewable energy goals; This Michigan Utility Is Planning Your Energy Future: “[Consumers Energy] expects to rely heavily on electricity from out-of-state generators by 2040.” Lots of Michigan’s energy is planned to be purchased from other states, while Consumers’ own solar arrays will cover “between 25,000 to 35,000 acres by 2040.”

They neglect to mention that they lobby furiously to eliminate energy supplier choice (now capped at 10%), dramatically increasing costs for public schools. See also; Consumers Energy-funded group running ads against electric choice/deregulation

TOC mentioned “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” in 2014, when they were last found trying to increase your electricity costs by opposing consumer choice in electricity supply. They ran deceptive advertising then. They are doing it again.

Lobbyists have a First Amendment right to petition the government. I think you should have a balanced view of their agenda, and who these “citizens” are working for.

According to Consumers Energy’s spokesperson Katie Carey, “Our contributions to Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy came from the company’s general funds and were not reflected in utility customer rates.” Well, since money is fungible – and could have been used to reduce rates, or pay dividends – I’m skeptical.

*Oh, by the way, here’s how windmill power worked out for Ontario: Ontario Wind Turbines

Citizens for Enervating Michigan’s Economy

“Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” opposes competition among Michigan’s electricity suppliers. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has some thoughts on CEME’s recent misleading ad campaign. (The ad can be viewed from that link, if you aren’t aware of it.)

A new commercial is attempting to make Michigan residents fear electricity deregulation.

It claims that Texas “decided to experiment with deregulating their electricity,” and subsequently, prices “shot through the roof” and “blackouts threatened communities.” It then tells that a proposed bill in this state that would “deregulate Michigan’s electricity.”

Not exactly…

For starters, state policymakers are not considering electricity deregulation. The cited legislation — Rep. Mike Shirkey’s House Bill 5184 — merely lifts the cap on the portion of consumers who would be able to choose an alternative electricity provider (other than the one assigned to them by Michigan’s current monopoly system). The electricity market in Michigan would remain just as regulated as it is now. The state would still control which utilities could operate and would continue to regulate rates, among other things…

[T]he average residential retail price of electricity in Michigan increased faster than Texas’s over the last decade and remains significantly higher. Texas’s rates were about eight cents per kilowatt hour in 2000 and about 11 cents in 2013. Michigan’s rates were about 11 cents per kilowatt hour in 2000 and increased to almost 15 cents in 2013, the highest in the Midwest region and 11th highest in the nation.

Where has CEME been for the last 10 years, when we needed them?

Ask yourself who benefits from the 10% Michigan cap on electricity competition: You, or DTE and Consumers Energy?

According to a National Association of Broadcaster’s form indicating who placed the ad (NAB Form PB-18), “Citizens for Energizing Michigan’s Economy” consists of three individuals:

John Truscott
President/Principal at Truscott Rossman:

John Truscott is one of the foremost experts in public relations and politics in Michigan. When you need to develop a message, assemble a strategy, generate publicity or make a new connection, nobody does it better.

Howard Edelson:

[I]s campaign manager for the CARE for Michigan coalition and founder of The Edelson Group. In addition, Edelson is the past president of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and was campaign manager for the 2006 Granholm for Governor Campaign.

Formerly, Edelson was Director of Governmental & Regulatory Affairs CMS Energy Corporation (1995-2005); Chief of Staff U.S. Representative Bob Carr (1992-1995) and Field Director MI Democratic Party (1983-1984).

Rhoda Tinkham appears to be a retiree from Consumers Energy.

Just Words

Our President has subjected us to a wearing parade of oversights, sleights, and pettiness – at once vacuous and calculating – a tendency that seems to lay close beneath his intellectual patina. I say calculating rather than accidental because it has become impossible to imagine these blunders are not deliberate. This is insensitivity masquerading as cluelessness.

Large policy errors can be understood within the overarching sweep of an ambition to “remake this country,” but when the tiny things at the edges, the easy to avoid slips and smallness, continuously suggest that the clothes have no emperor, it is disquieting.

Some examples:

  • The DVD package, for the wrong region, he gave to Prime Minister Brown after returning a bust of Winston Churchill which had been in the Oval Office on loan from the UK.
  • The picture of the soles of the President’s shoes while he’s speaking to the Israeli Prime Minister.
  • Flipping the bird to Hillary. It’s the childish “I’m clever” grin and the crowd reaction that makes the case the gesture was no accident.
  • Calling the Poles and the Czechs in the middle of the night to tell them he was scrapping anti-missile deployment the next morning.

Sometimes he even acknowledges mistakes. President Obama actually apologized for jokes about Nancy Reagan “speaking with the dead” and comparing his terrible bowling skills with the Special Olympics. He “clarified” remarks about his grandmother being a “typical white person,” and tried to recast a comment about his opponents bitterly “clinging to their guns and religion.”

Most of these cannot be written off as accidental cluelessness. The most recent one surely resulted from a plan. You might argue the planning itself was uninformed by reality or responsibility, but it was premeditated: Our President’s first remarks on the shootings at Fort Hood.

All of TV breaks to cover his words, and he speaks for 2 minutes before mentioning the murders of American soldiers on a US Army post in what, at that time, had to be considered a possible terrorist conspiracy (and it was a terrorist attack, even if not an al-Qaeda conspiracy). Before even a nod of reassurance to Americans, who were only watching because of that attack, and before acknowledging the sacrifice of those American soldiers, President Obama thanks the conference organizers and Department of Interior staff. He gives a “shout out” to some Tribal Nations Conference delegate as a winner of a Congressional Medal of Honor (false, the President confused a military award with the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award). (Applause) Then he thanks the attendees and assures them, “[I]t’s not the end of a process, but the beginning of a process” (Applause) “…every single member of my team understands this is a top priority for us.”

At this point the President mentions himself in a clumsy segue from the cozy repartee; “…[B]eyond that, I had planned to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead, …but as some of you might have heard, there’s been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base [sic] …my immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and the fallen” Well, yeah, “immediate”ly after the implied apology for failing to deliver his “broader” wisdom on the “top priority” conference items. And all of you “might have heard” about it 2 minutes earlier if our Commander in Chief had had the sense to make that tragedy his immediate priority.

This is one more demonstration of tone-deafness on the part of the man himself, and it is an indictment of his advisers, by whose character and skill he invited us to judge him. None of them apparently thought the sole focus should be on murdered American soldiers.

Skipping the folksy, campaign style preamble is what a CinC would have done. A CinC would not have been seen to regard the death of American soldiers as a contretemps.

When our President did get to the shooting the words were right, but delivered in the trademark boring, affectless tones and cadence so in contrast to the soaring rhetoric on things he cares about.

Apparently, being a Community Organizer teaches one the square root of zero about leadership. The leadership qualities required at ACORN seem to be quite different from those required to lead America’s Armed Forces. Or the free world.

It’s what he’s tone-deaf about that’s worrisome.

Welcome to the Party, Mr. President

Mr. President, I am thrilled you have noticed the Tea Party movement. I know the day after nearly a million people attended Tea Parties across the nation Mr. Gibbs said you hadn’t noticed.

But, yesterday, in St. Louis, you said:

“Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”

Mr. President, you do have a habit of attacking straw men. We definitely agree – I and think I speak for most of those demonstrating on April 15th – that a serious conversation is needed about all your grandiose plans. We wish we thought you weren’t serious, and we’re seeing now that you understand we are serious. Heck, even a serious soliloquy on your part would have been appreciated, so an invitation to dialog is a wonderful thing. I’ll start.

We need to start our serious conversation by recognizing that we cannot afford to add over $600 billion to spending on health care, as you, Mr. President have proposed. Your good intentions to save money this way are naive, and can only work through rationing. We should take a lesson from other countries where health care is “paid for” by the government and is, perforce, universally rationed. You never mention that when you speak of the “investment.”

I agree we must abandon the failed policy of employer subsidized health care ushered in during WWII. General Motors, for one excellent example, offered health care to its workers because the government let them deduct it, and because GM needed some way to attract and keep talented employees under federal wage and price controls. Government fecklessness was the beginning of this mess, and the beginning of the end for GM. We’ve learned nothing from the 3 obvious lessons above, or at least you haven’t. Offering government health care to fix this decades long corporatist problem will just make it worse.

Government already controls over half of all health care expenditures in this country, and that, and the accompanying regulations, are the biggest barriers to the competition that would help reduce costs. If you are successful in taking over health care it will become the single largest reason for doctors to quit being doctors – already an issue.

It is true that even with such massive government intervention there are entrepreneurs proving costs can be dramatically lowered. You propose to stop such innovation and replace it with scarcity managed by bureaucrats.

As to intentions, let’s take the instance of the increase in tobacco tax that is intended to fund SCHIP, children’s health care. This is a good intention, but the tax disproportionately affects lower income people and it will increase the cost of health care in direct proportion to the improvement in health of the people who live longer because they quit smoking. Better to let them pay for the cigarettes and for the health care entirely on their own.

To fix Social Security we must acknowledge that the general government has been lying and stealing, conducting a ponzi scheme, for decades, and that the reason Social Security is already insolvent is because government could not control its greed. Any private enterprise would be fearful of prosecution under RICO. Even in the face of this fact, your predecessor gave us the largest single entitlements increase in our history. You promise to quadruple his error.

You want to fix education by federalizing it and dumping in more money. By that measure Washington, D.C. should already have the most successful public education system in the United States. It is difficult to grant you the benefit of the doubt here due to your direct involvement in failed experiments in Chicago. To fix education we must turn it back to the States and allow experimentation, in vivid contrast to the recent shameful actions of your administration in canceling a successful vouchers program in Washington, D.C..

Addressing our energy future by doubling down on failed subsidization policies is simply perpetuating the corporate welfare scheme both your predecessors ran on behalf of the ethanol pirates. We should be encouraging private industry to build nuclear plants, and we should do so by repealing unnecessary regulation – which will also save the general government money. We should encourage windmills and solar in the same way, by getting out of the way. If they can’t make their way, so be it.

I must say I am happy to hear you’d like to have a serious conversation with the Tea Party movement, because I am really worried there won’t be any debate in Congress. As I’m sure you know the Senate Democrats voted yesterday, alone, to pass the outline of your $3.4 trillion budget. They are threatening to invoke reconciliation, which, as I’m certain you know from your many years as Senator, reduces the final vote required to pass a bill to a simple majority and limits debate to 20 hours. Even Senator Byrd finds this outrageous when it involves a budget bill. When that bill involves well over $3 trillion, any serious person must wonder if you even have a clue what that means.

I am disappointed that the world’s greatest deliberative body will probably have very little time in which to debate the implications of your unprecedented increase in spending and the effect your policies are likely to have on the quality of health care, the cost of energy, job creation, and the further mediocritization of American education your Faustian bargain with the NEA necessitates. If your plans for massive additional intrusion into the lives of American citizens by the general government come to fruition it will damage this country severely, perhaps irreparably. And that will hurt the whole world.

Mr. President, I heard you say you would prefer not to be forced by circumstances to be in the banking or automobile businesses and that you don’t want to expand government. Like many things you say this is quite clever and partially true, but it hides the real point. Why, indeed, would you be satisfied with ownership of a moribund automobile industry and the boring business of finance? After all, these things are small potatoes compared to the health care and energy industries, and are minuscule compared to future dividends promised by the federalization of the indoctrination industry. Sadly, your ambitions are not nearly so small as General Motors or Bank of America.

So, let me know, I’ll be there for a substantive discussion at your convenience. Maybe we can even touch on the concept of minority rights if you have time.

Congressman Rogers’ energy plans

It has been over a month since I asked Representative Mike Rogers to take a “no earmarks” pledge. I have heard nothing, not even a form letter. Today, I get this email.

I would like to update you on [sic] regarding my work to promote clean energy and a healthy environment in Michigan and across the globe. I appreciate the opportunity to contact you.

I believe we need to reduce emissions to stem climate change, and even more importantly, I know we can reduce emissions to protect the planet AND create new jobs in Michigan. To do this we must first make sure that we protect the many families who are struggling through difficult times. For example, one in five families are behind on their energy bills. These families are carrying and average balance of $160 on electric bills and $360 for natural gas. In Michigan, this problem is even more intense with one in three families behind on their utility bills. Faced with these terrible facts, I believe we simply cannot raise prices any further on hard-working, struggling families. And unfortunately, Cap and Tax will raise prices. Everyone from Michigan Representative John Dingell who called this plan “a tax, a great big one” to President Obama who has said that cap and tax will cause electric rates to “skyrocket,” have acknowledged this fact.

Instead, I believe we must embrace Michigan’s best natural resource, our people. By investing in people through incentives instead of mandates, we can harness the creativity and work ethic of our great state to protect our precious environment.

That is why I have worked to pass the law that helped create “Energy Star” computer server rules, dramatically reducing the electricity used by computer server farms, one of the fastest growing electricity users. It is also why I fought the Bush administration to pass auto loan guarantees for auto makers and auto suppliers, so they have the help they need to design and build new, cleaner cars. And it is why I am now working to create a new clean energy plan that will create jobs in clean energy through:

– New investment in wind, solar and hydroelectric power, creating over 200,000 jobs and producing at least 15% of our electricity from totally clean, renewable energy.

– New tax credits so families can afford to install energy efficient windows, insulation and efficient appliances.

– A cash for clunkers program that will get 2 million old cars off the road, and traded in for new, fuel-efficient American-made cars.

These efforts can be successful because they provide us with incentives to invest in clean energy, to save money by using better technology, and to take a job, a “green job,” in a new clean energy economy. Again, I appreciate the opportunity to contact you. Should you have any questions or concerns in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Mike Rogers has lost my vote. I won’t vote for his opponent either, unless that person calls BS on Congressman Rogers’ belief that I’m an idiot. Yes, Mike, Barack Obama is wrong on this and all I ask is that you recognize why; instead of this pandering buy-in to pseudo-science devoid of real solutions.

Even before I could proofread and post the above, I got another email from Congressman Rogers:

I would like to update you on my recent efforts to create a clean energy economy in Michigan. I appreciate the opportunity to contact you.

As you may know, Congress is now considering a “Cap and Tax” system that would place a new limit and tax on green house gases like carbon dioxide. I strongly support reducing carbon dioxide emissions through new technology and innovation. Yet, Michigan Congressman John Dingell, who called this plan “a tax, a great big one” to President Obama who has said that cap and tax will cause electric rates to “skyrocket,” there is a growing understanding that Cap and Tax will cause energy bills to rise and for manufacturing jobs to disappear. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, a cap and tax could cost Michigan as many as 121,000 jobs by 2030 and increase the price of gasoline as much as 141% and electricity by 177%.

In Michigan we have the opportunity to take another path, and to lead America into a clean energy future. Michigan’s best natural resource, her citizens, hold the most potential to lead into a clean energy economy.

That is why I support the following to reduce carbon emissions:

– A cash for clunkers program that will get 2 million old cars off the road, and traded in for new, American made cars. Creating and saving 190,000 American auto industry jobs.

– A new investment in nuclear energy which has zero emissions, creating over 70,000 new, permanent jobs

– New investment in wind, solar and hydroelectric power, creating over 200,000 jobs and producing at least 15% of our electricity from totally clean, renewable energy.

– New tax credits so regular families can afford to install energy efficient windows, insulation and efficient appliances.

These efforts can be successful because they provide us all with incentives to invest in clean energy, to save money by using better technology, and to take a job, a “green job,” in a new clean energy economy. Please know that I will never stop fighting for Michigan jobs.

Again, I appreciate the opportunity to contact you. Should you have any questions or concerns in the future, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

A typo’s fixed and some gobbledegook is rearranged. He should have mentioned nuclear in the first place and should not have pretended there is any such thing as a “green job” aside from that guy who used to work for Captain Kangaroo.

Here’s the merged summary of Congressman Rogers’ energy proposals with comment:

– A cash for clunkers program that will get 2 million old cars off the road, and traded in for new, American made cars. Creating and saving 190,000 American auto industry jobs.

Those would be part of the 4 million jobs Obama’s going to create or save, I suppose. And, I further suppose, you can only spend the “cash” on cars the government approves. But why is it the job of the general government to pay me for my old car or tell me what I have to buy with the proceeds? Why should I pay taxes for this program, much less why should people in Wyoming?

– A new investment in nuclear energy which has zero emissions, creating over 70,000 new, permanent jobs

I doubt that’s 70,000 jobs in Michigan, but it is the only sensible point Mr. Rogers makes. Where are the earmarks for it, then?

– New investment in wind, solar and hydroelectric power, creating over 200,000 jobs and producing at least 15% of our electricity from totally clean, renewable energy.

Waste of money. Waste of time. Stupid. Kills two jobs for every one it creates. Total. Utter. Rentseeking. Corporatist. Bullshit. When private industry proposes this without asking for a subsidy, then, and only then, will it be ready for prime time. If the general government has to pay for it, put the money into nukes.

– New tax credits so families can afford to install energy efficient windows, insulation and efficient appliances.

Not the general government’s job.

See how easy that is, Mike?

Canny Lies Op

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is giving up on trying “to save the planet,” in order to save her own hide.

“They have this thing that says drill offshore in the protected areas,” Pelosi said. “We can do that. We can have a vote on that.”

She’s been getting an ear-full from her House colleagues, and, apparently, she can read the writing done near The Mall. The Washington Post debunks some of the Democrat talking points about drilling, but repeats others.

Before exposing these myths the Dems perpetuate – 1) Drilling is pointless because there’s so little oil here, 2) The oil companies aren’t using their leases now and 3) Drilling is environmentally dangerous – the Post tells us how important it is to preserve ANWR, an opinion to which they are entitled despite their own point 3) above. However, this is merely a political position and has the square root of zero to do with “saving the planet,” an idea the Post acknowledges in later in the article:

…if it is acceptable to drill in the Caspian Sea and in developing countries such as Nigeria where environmental concerns are equally important, it’s hard to explain why the United States should rule out drilling off its own coasts.

That is, where environmental safeguards are infinitely more strict and there’s far less chance of terrorist sabotage. So the argument to “preserve” ANWR is that it’s “special?” A strategic mosquito resource, perhaps? Maybe continuing to delay drilling on a postage-stamp sized part of ANWR is simply the bare minimum Pelosi has to have to assuage San Francisco eco-hysterics. It is hard to explain otherwise.

The mystical allure in ANWR’s tundra pulls the Post in the same direction as it does Democrats. Why the Post goes there is not entirely clear, maybe they’re truly worried about Caribou, but the latter case is purely political pandering to lobbyists. The resistance to drilling in ANWR is not based on tiny potential environmental impact, it’s based on the psychological impact on the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as it will affect campaign contributions and 501(c)(3) commercials yet to run.

The other canard the Post repeats is not a matter of opinion. The Post claims that it “would be years before any oil flowed from the Outer Continental Shelf” In fact, that is not true:

A report from Wall Street research house Sanford C. Bernstein says that California actually could start producing new oil within one year if the moratoria were lifted. The California oil is under shallow water and already has been explored. Drilling platforms have been in place since before the moratorium.

By all means, Ms Speaker, let us have a vote. The House GOP is ready right now.

Update: 8:33PM 13-Aug
Check out another Pelosi motivation here. Jason Gillman’s work on this is noted at Michelle Malkin’s blog.

Inflation Idiots

The furor surrounding Barack Obama’s contention that “we could save all the oil they’re talkin’ about gettin’ off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires” has died down. The manner in which it died, however, was not in the ridicule it so richly deserved, but as a debate the MSM portrayed in Obama’s favor. Thus, you may well run into people who will claim that Time magazine, for example, showed that Obama had a point.

In Time‘s August 4th issue, Michael Grunwald mounted this defense of Obama:

…who’s really out of touch? The Bush Administration estimates that expanded offshore drilling could increase oil production by 200,000 bbl. per day by 2030. We use about 20 million bbl. per day, so that would meet about 1% of our demand two decades from now. Meanwhile, efficiency experts say that keeping tires inflated can improve gas mileage 3%, and regular maintenance can add another 4%. Many drivers already follow their advice, but if everyone did, we could immediately reduce demand several percentage points. In other words: Obama is right.

Grunwald also mentioned those “those twisty carbon fluorescent lightbulbs.” Actually, they’re called compact fluorescent lightbulbs, there’s no carbon involved. This is a minor gaffe, but it appears in a supposedly definitive article on energy policy. Grunwald and his editors seem to have carbon on the brain, possibly from listening to too many ALGore speeches. It seemed right to them. Just as did the idea that opening the Outer Continental Shelf off California alone – where exploration has already revealed 10 billion barrels of oil in shallow water – not counting ANWR or the Alaskan Continental Shelf, would produce only 200,000 barrels a day by 2030. That doesn’t even pass a first order reasonability check.

In any case, here are some facts about that “Bush Administration report” Grunwald cited:

…some have pointed [to, sic] an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that estimated the amount of oil we could produce on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) if the drilling ban were lifted. EIA estimated this to be approximately 200,000 barrels per day.1

Unfortunately, this figure – and the data it was based on – is fatally flawed. For example:

* 200,000 barrels per day is roughly equal to the daily production rate of just one new offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The Thunder Horse oil production facility, which will be on line this year, is designed to produce 250,000 barrels per day.2 The Atlantis oil platform currently producing in the Gulf of Mexico has a production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.3

Despite these facts, the EIA projects that lifting the bans that prevent production on 85 percent of the OCS acreage surrounding the lower 48 states will yield an amount equal to that which can be produced from just one of these platforms. Obviously, the projections are flawed.

Don’t hold your breath for a correction from Time, they’ve left exactly the impression they wanted to. You, however, can correct those people who buy into it. You could even ask your congresscritter to ask Nancy Pelosi to allow a vote on opening the OCS to drilling.

There’s more of interest in the article, including busting the myth that any new OCS oil is 10 years away, so RTWT.

H/T Powerline

The cost of gaffoline

I noted this jaw-dropping gaffe on July 30th in a post titled Can he really believe this?

If the transcendent one is going to be stupid he’s apparently intent on being transcendentally so. At the time of my first post the ludicrousness of this idea was so obvious that pressing the point seemed like piling on. Leave the poor fool alone. But, with encouragement from the full panoply of punditry, he’s pushing this into full-blown canardhood. To prove that he believes proper inflation is the solution to expensive energy, Obama repeated it yesterday in Ohio:

So I told them something simple. I said, ‘You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we’d get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.’

So now the Republicans are going around – this is the kind of thing they do. I don’t understand it! They’re going around, they’re sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is ‘Barack Obama’s energy plan.’

Now two points, one, they know they’re lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they’re making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.

Senator Obama needs to talk to some reality experts before trying to make a difference. That would certainly not include his defenders on this issue in the Maim Scream Media™. They’re certainly in the tank, but increasingly unrefined.

The dead silence of the audience when he first said it probably did tell him something, but he forgot as soon as the NYT and Time, et, al. began saying there was actually some substance to his naifness’s pronouncement.

Elsewhere, the reality check has been done thoroughly. Here are excellent examples.

At Powerline: Time Tries to Salvage Obama’s Gaffe

Barack Obama’s suggestion that we can’t drill our way out of the current energy shortage, but we can solve the problem through tire inflation, has been the source of much hilarity. We did the math here, and found that it would take approximately 11,308 years of tire inflation to equal the energy we can obtain by developing our own petroleum resources.

At Bizzyblog: Time’s Tripe Is ‘Tired’: Writer Claims Obama Is Right, Ridicule Is ‘Smear’ (See Update)

The total daily amount obtainable from all sources of drilling, if allowed, would be at least 28 million barrels a day (27.3 million plus 986,000, rounded to the nearest million), or at least 140 times more than Grunwald [Time magazine] claimed.

…All of this means that the maximum achievable usage reduction [if everyone has been driving around on underinflated tires and no one keeps their car tuned up, and if airplanes taxied from airport to airport, and if trains start using rubber tires] if everyone followed Maximum Leader Obama’s suggestions would be 280,000 barrels a day (2% of 14 million; but also see the Update below). That’s only 1% of the low-ball estimate above of 28 million barrels a day obtainable from all forms of drilling. We would be taking advantage of these gifts from God already if it weren’t for the fact that unlike every other country on earth, which sees natural resources as a blessing to be opportunistically exploited for the benefit of everyone, our politicians and elites see them as environmental liabilities that have to be locked up.

It’s one thing that Obama was dumb enough to make such a statement in the first place. That he is repeating it with the assistance of major media is … not even surprising. Obama can NEVER be wrong. Just accept it.

Read all of both links.