In preparing this column, three significant events occurred: (A) the State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, (B) attempts to overthrow the Egyptian government, and (C) my learning of the vast amounts of oil in Montana and the Dakotas. Because they seem related, let's look at all three of them.
The president's report to the people was disappointing. An overwhelming majority of the voters clearly have indicated they expect some information about jobs - jobs that are to be available before 2035, when 80 percent of electricity is to come from clean sources, or before a million electric vehicles are on the road by 2015, or before 80 percent of Americans can have access to high-speed rails in 25 years.
Get real, Mr. President, there is no clamor for high-speed rail transportation. When there is, our free enterprise system would supply it - if the government would clear away the federal paperwork that is stifling business.
The "shellacking" incumbents took in November was to warn government that citizens want spending reduced - not frozen.
The president said, "We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same."
One would expect an announcement of some effort to curb spending. There was nothing -not even the closing down of some of the 12 different agencies he cited that deal with exports.
In Tiffin, we are closing schools and reducing personnel, but not one word was given that the federal government also would tighten its belt.
Regarding the importance of investing in research, the president said, "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."
We can break "our dependence on oil" Mr. President, if extreme environmentalists are not allowed to block reasonable efforts to serve the common good.
With the attempt to overthrow the government in Egypt, the world once again faces the problem of using the oil resources of the Middle East. Within an hour of the start of the riots, oil price went up $4 per barrel.
According to the U.S. Geological Service and other estimates, the United States has more oil inside our borders than all the other proven reserves on earth:
Eight times as much oil as Saudi Arabia.
18 times as much oil as Iraq.
21 times as much oil as Kuwait.
22 times as much oil as Iran.
500 times as much oil as Yeman.
The Energy Information Administration estimates the oil reserves at 503 billion barrels worth more than $5.3 trillion - enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2,041 years.
This resource has been labeled the "Bakken" and is located in the western two-thirds of North Dakota, western South Dakota and the extreme eastern part of Montana.
Nov. 4, James MacPherson of The Associated Press wrote an article stating a "Texas company is proposing a pipeline that could transport up to 75,000 barrels of crude a day from North Dakota's booming oil patch to U.S. supply hubs in Oklahoma and Illinois." MacPherson also wrote, "Officials say the daily production rate could hit 400,000 barrels a day within a year."
In his report to the nation, the president said, "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels." It is obvious we have the oil. What is needed is not allowing environmental extremists throttle drilling. There are jobs available in bringing the crude to refineries.
The explosive situation in the Middle East is of concern to all nations, but we should take some comfort in knowing we are not over a barrel with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries controlling our oil supply.