Two other factors that contribune to the cost of gasoline at the pump are 1) mandated gasoline blends for all seasons and 2) the floating U.S. dollar.

Boutique Gasoline Blends: Refineries, as mandated, must follow through for each region of the country by shifting from winter-grade to summer-grade fuel. The Chicago region must comply to its own gasoline boutique blend.  The winter to summer switch began in 1995 as part of the Reformulated Gasoline Program (RFG), established though the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments as ordered by the EPA, to reduce pollution and smog during the summer ozone season, June 1 to Sept.15. 

Summer grade gasoline is more expensive to produce because of the ingredients it must contain, which requires refineries to shut down briefly before the new blend of fuel can be produced.

Oil as a Commodity:  The government prefers a weak dollar and is doing nothing to strengthen or to stabilize it. As a commodity, the cost of oil hasn’t gone up, but as the dollar loses value more dollars are needed to buy the same amount of oil .  The gold market goes hand-in-hand with the dollar’s worth. As the cost of gold rises, the dollar weakens. As the cost of gold drops, the value of the dollar rises. 

The U.S. government, by flooding the marketplace through printing $2 trillion worth of extra dollars, has made the money at our disposal worth less. This accounts for rising food prices at the supermarket and elsewhere. 

Upon reflection these two questions demand our consideration:   

1) Why does our nation continue policies that foster dependency on oil from nations like Venezuela and Iraq by sending money to them to buy oil when we have more untapped oil than Saudi Arabia?

The supply of oil around the world is getting tighter as more and more people in China and India are gaining the financial means to drive cars, etc.  It is estimated that several years from now the world’s oil supply will tighten even further, still President Obama continues to insist that drilling is not the answer to lower gas prices.  Instead, Obama is on his bully pulpit promoting and pushing alternative green energy sources as ways to wean this nation off oil. 

Alternate green energy sources such a wind, solar, and electric cars (and the miracle fuel algae called green slime) are not yet ready to substitute for oil, and they may never become practical and cost-effective future energy sources, yet billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies are being given out in a willy nilly fashion to help them succeed.

Solyndra’s $500,000 solar company boondoggle was a failure from the get-go.  As suggested on Fox News, by 2015-2016 there could be long gas lines and gas rationing if fossil fuels continue to be treated as energy piranhas

May we not forget about nuclear energy which is having a Renaissance across the world, but unfortunately not in the U.S.  Nuclear energy is safe, green and gives the biggest bang for the buck. 

I am still smarting over all the effort I put into trying to save the fully paid for, safe Dual Zion Nuclear electricity generation facility, which were located on seismographic approved ground. Both could have been upgraded for a fraction of the cost to build two new plants, and which contained the same Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) design by Westinghouse that is still being used in our operating Navy submarines and aircraft carriers. 

Zion’s present decommissioning will result in the wasting of 2,100 MW’s of dependable, cheap, and green energy, while Illinois fiddles with wind and solar power as the solutions to its future energy needs.

2) Why have there been no new refineries built since 1979? Reported by Fox News on March 17 is that critical refining operations beset the Northeast. Refineries that turn oil into gasoline from New York to Philadelphia have been idled or shut down permanently because their owners are losing money on them. Sunoco is set to close its 335,000 barrels per day Philadelphia refinery before June of this year if if doesn’t not a buyer. This action would take another 335,000 barrels per day in production capacity off the market. 

For those who ascribe to our President’s belief (and state policy) that fossil fuels are evil as they emit CO2 which is the cause of man-made Global Warming —  we exhale CO2 and plant life needs it to live and thrive on it — this recent study in the UK Daily Mail by Ted Thornhill will perhaps allow your mind to rule rather than your emotions. Thonhill relates how the whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2.

Even if man-made Global Warming were for real, how could man ever dream of stopping one so powerful as Mother Earth?!

If this nation continues on the same pathway by refusing to tap into its vast supply of oil, including shale oil recovery, not only will gasoline prices remain high, but electricity bills and all other commodities will continue to rise.  

Recent EPA regulation will likewise force the closing of more and more coal mines in both a nation and state that is rich in coal and which presently relies heavily of coal-powered plants for electricity. 

Building new nuclear reactors and upgrading old ones must also factor into any energy policy that makes sense or the American people will suffer in a future that looks uncertain and bleak.  

But perhaps the biggest blunder of all, and that which the American people should be outraged over given the escalating price of gasoline which is eating up disposable income and which in all likelihood will rise even higher, is that for the first time since 1949 this nation has become an exporter of petroleum products such as jet fuel, heating oil, and gasoline. Sixty percent of our trade deficit of $332 billion out of $560 can be attributed to our dollars shipped overseas to buy crude.

November is just around the corner. Do the American people care enough to fire their Commander and Chief for what passes as his failed and self-serving Energy Policy?

 

Postlude: High Gas Taxes Factors Into Filling Your Tank

 

  

 
Another factor contributing to the high cost of gasoline at the pump –in addition to drilling as the “Silver Bullet,” which was addressed in a series of three blog posts published over the past three days at Lake Forest-Lake Bluff  Patch — are high gas taxes here in Chicagoland.

The taxes have contributed in paving the way for what are record high or near record high gas prices.

To update Thursday’s blog post, High Gas Taxes has been added to my accounts of Boutique Gasoline Blends and Oil as a Commodity as an additional contributor to the high price of gasoline at the pump.

Boutique Gasoline Blends: Refineries, as mandated, must follow through for each region of the country by shifting from winter-grade to summer-grade fuel. The Chicago region must comply to its own gasoline boutique blend. The winter to summer switch started in1995 as part of the Reformulated Gasoline Program (RFG), established though the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments as ordered by the EPA, to reduce pollution and smog during the summer ozone season, June 1 to Sept.15. 

Summer grade gasoline is more expensive to produce because of the ingredients it must contain which requires refineries to shut down briefly before the new blend of fuel can be produced.

Oil as a Commodity: The government prefers a weak dollar and is doing nothing to strengthen or to stabilize it. As a commodity, the cost of oil hasn’t gone up, but as the dollar loses value more dollars are needed to buy the same amount of oil .  The gold market goes hand-in-hand with the dollar’s worth. As the cost of gold rises, the dollar weakens. As the cost of gold drops, the value of the dollar rises. 

The U.S. government, by flooding the marketplace through printing $2 trillion worth of extra dollars, has made the money at our disposal worth less. This accounts for rising food prices at the supermarket and elsewhere.

High gas taxes: In Illinois, there is a 19 cent per gallon tax on gas, a 21.5 cent per gallon tax on diesel, and other taxes of 31.6 cents which includes a 6.25 percent sales tax calculated off the retail price less federal and state excise taxes and a $0.003 per gallon tax for an underground storage tank fund, and other local sales and gasoline taxes.

Might a one-year moratorium be wise to declare on the federal gas tax and on other state gas taxes that don’t have to do with the issue of safety on the roadways in order to ease the burden on the American people, many of whom are spending all or much of their discretionary income on filling up at the pump? An incident that took place today prompted me to add the following thoughts to was to have been a limited additional blog post about the high price of gasoline.

An incident happened Thursday that prompted me to write more than I had planned to do.

In Part 2 of my three-part blog series on high gasoline prices (Obama claims oil part of Energy Policy), I touched upon the controversy over ending government oil subsidies to big oil companies. 

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, an ardent supporter and co-sponsor of the “Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act,” was rebuffed on a 51-47 procedural vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate just an hour or so after President Obama’s plea in the Rose Garden to end the $4 billion in tax subsidies to oil companies. A two-thirds vote was needed to proceed.

Two Republicans — Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both from Maine — crossed party lines and vorted to repeal the tax breaks. Four Democrats — Senators Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.),. Ben Nelso (Neb.) and Jim Webb (Va.) — voted against the bill. 

President Obama, in his Rose Garden speech, asked whether Congress would stand with the big oil companies or with the American people. 

But what about the nature of oil subsidies which have been seemingly maligned to convince the American people that oil companies no longer need subsidies (tax payer money) because they are pulling in record profits. 

President Obama stated in his Rose Garden speech March 29 that the $4 billion (subsidies) could be put to better use on alternative energy investments.

Who is President Obama kidding after the bankruptcy of much-publicized Solyndra and countless other boondoggle green investments where countless millions of taxpayer dollars have already been lost! 

Not understood by many is that subsidies really refer to tax rates. Oil companies receive the same tax rates as do other companies to help facilitate more oil supply, such as encountered by the very costly process of exploring for oil. Oil companies taxes amount to 40 cents of every dollar earned. Apple, in contrast, is taxed 20 cents for every dollar earned.  

Mr. President, if you are so opposed to oil company subsidies (tax breaks) when oil companies are already paying what seems like a fair share of taxes on profits earned, why then is your administration subsidizing oil drilling in Brazil?

Even if the $4 billion in subsidies were taken away from oil companies, most experts agree that the tax incentives in question don’t have much effect on gasoline prices, one way or the other. 

Wrote Stephen Brown, a professor of economics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in a 2009 co-study: “The impact would be extremely small.  If the subsidies were cut, the average person would spend, at most, just over $2 more each year on petroleum products.”

It’s about time Democrats took a stand against President Obama by keeping in place oil subsidies (tax breaks), which will prevent Obama from following through with his plan to invest the saved $4 billion of oil subsidies in additional unprofitable and unproven green energy ventures. 

Oil is not a thing of the past. It is of the present and the future. It’s an organic, a natural, and a proven source of energy.

Really, Mr. President, might you truthfully inform the American people if there is really room in your Energy Policy for oil and for that other important fossil fuel, coal, when only several days ago your EPA mandated new rules and regulations that will doom coal-fired electricity plants, as was noted in an article several days ago by Jordan Weiss, “Did the EPA just kill Coal?

 

 

 
Steve Newton  

Part 4 for a 5-part series:  Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Admitting to being guilty of resorting to a bit of exaggeration myself, it didn’t take but a nanosecond for me to decide that Steve Newton’s Republican candidacy for Lake County Coroner should never have become a possibility in the first place.

And that his candidacy could not be allowed to succeed.

The most difficult part in vetting the race for the Lake County Coroner’s office was to decide where to begin my somewhat revealing story that has all the makings of a soap opera. 

It involves shenanigans behind the scene by Lake County Republican Establishment higher up officials to assure that Newton could run unopposed in 2012 by forcing David Cooper out of the race; unethical doings by Newton while serving as chief deputy coroner in Dr. Richard Keller’s administration; an office love affair in a relationship turned marriage leading to Newton’s firing and his girlfriend’s dismissal in 2007, and the late arrival of Dr. Howard Cooper into the race as a long-shot Republican challenger.

I am well aware that my coroner expose will not set well with many, knowing also that others will thank me for letting them know the truth about a candidate before voting next Tuesday (March 20). 

Why am I then taking it upon myself to reveal what many of my fellow Republicans has so far been successful keeping under cover, and for which I will be criticized for doing (hopefully not more is forthcoming!).

As a Republican, I place my conservatism above my Republicanism. My sense of integrity demands that I point out abuse and corruption wherever and whenever it may surface, realizing that corruption in political parties is an equal opportunist where winning often is all that matters. Like cancer, corruption first invades, and then follows pollution, which can eventually destroy all that it comes in contact with if not curtailed in time.   

This post reflects a continuation of research that was begun more than two years ago when I become aware that Republican hard-ball tactics were being employed in regard to winning back the coroner’s office in 2012.

The only mistake the true-life David Cooper made, when announcing his candidacy more than two years ago, was to make public that he wanted to bring honor and integrity back to the office of Lake County Coroner. 

From then on, nasty and contentious actions were employed within the ranks of higher ups in the Lake County Republican Party to destroy David’s livelihood and reputation. 

The results: David was forced out of the race and lost his livelihood. For Newton, it was full steam ahead. For the Establishment Republicans, it was a means through which they could return power, control and the status quo of the coroner’s office to the Republican Party, which it lost to great consternation in 2004 to the Democrats. 

The following link relates my sordid tale in three parts with full documentation.

Having established a timeline of past happenings in the Lake County coroner’s office from 1952 to 2004 when a Republican-like dynasty was in control, it is now time to zero in on the candidate. Newton promises to bring integrity back to the Coroner’s office in 2012 in a role as the establishment Republican candidate pick.

Newton, like all candidates running for office, must face the public and be prepared to answer uncomfortable questions that candidates would rather not deal with.

One question Newton faces repeatedly from concerned, potential voters is over whether certain indiscretions occurred when Newton was serving as Chief Deputy Coroner under the administrations of Republican interim Coroner Jim Wipper and elected Democrat Keller.  

I observed Newton brush off the question as a happening that was all about nothing when he spoke in February of this year in front of the Republican Assembly of Lake County.   

The indiscretion involves an office relationship which Newton continues to describe as being between two single individuals at a time when fraternizing was not forbidden, with the claim that Dr. Keller didn’t fire him in 2007.

Newton wasn’t prosecuted when fired, because, as a Republican, the present Lake County State’s Attorney, Mike Waller, did not to bring charges. Waller’s propensity not to level charges against fellow Republicans is well known, and is but one of the reasons why he is not running for re-election and leaving office under a cloud of inaptness.

The opposite rings true about Newton’s firing. Through research I was able to locate two back newspaper articles which tell a different story. I have shared two of them with you.

1. The Daily Herald described the nature of the firing due to an improper “relationship” with a female underling, a direct subordinate of Newton.

2. The Chicago Tribune reported on April 24, 2007 of Dr. Keller’s announcement of the effective date of Newton’s firing, April 20, 2007.

But this isn’t the end of the sordid office relationship girlfriend saga that Newton is attempting to keep under wraps as he runs for coroner.   

Installment 2: Misuse of coroner’s office

 
 
The most difficult part in vetting the race for the Lake County coroner office was to decide where to begin my somewhat revealing story that has all the makings of a local soap opera.  It involves manuverings behind the scene by LC Republican Establishment higher up officials to assure that Steve Newton could run unopposed in 2012, unethical doings by Newton while serving as Chief Deputy Coroner in Dr. Keller’s administration, an office love affair by Newton turned marriage leading to Newton’s dismissal in 2007, and the late arrival of Dr. Howard Cooper into the race as a long- shot Republican challenger.

I am well aware that my coroner expose might not  set well with many, knowing also that many will thank me for letting them know the truth about a candidate before voting next Tuesday. 

Why then am I then taking it upon myself to reveal what many of my fellow Republicans have so far been successful keeping under cover and for which I will (hopefully not more is done) be criticized for doing? 

As a Republican I place my conservatism above my Republicanism.  My sense of integrity demands that I point out abuse and corruption wherever and whenever it may surface, realizing that corruption in political parties is an equal opportunist where winning often is all that matters. Like cancer, corruption first invades, then follows pollution, which can eventually destroy all that it comes in contact with if not curtailed in time.   

Steve Newton, like all candidate running for office in Lake County and elsewhere, must face the public and be prepared to answer uncomfortable questions that they would rather not deal with.

One question Newton faces repeatedly from concerned, potentials voters is about certain indiscretions that occurred when serving as Chief Deputy Coroner under the Administrations of Republican interim Coroner Jim Wipper and elected Democratic Coroner Dr. Keller.  

I’ve heard Newton brush off the incident as a happening that is all about nothing when he spoke in February in front of the Republican Assembly of Lake County.   

The indiscretion involved an office relationship that Newton now describes as being between two single individuals, that fraternizing  was not forbidden, and that Dr. Keller didn’t fire him in 2007. 

Steve Newton wasn’t prosecuted, because, as a Republican, the present Lake County State’s Attorney, Mike Waller, preferred not to bring charges. Waller’s propensity not to level charges against fellow Republicans (well know in Lake County) is but one of the reasons why Mike Waller is not running for re-election and is leaving office under a cloud of inaptness in executing the duties of his office.

The opposite is true.  Through my own research I was able to find newspaper articles which tell a different story.  I have shared two of them with you.

1.  Daily Herald described the nature of the firing due to an improper “relationship” with a female underling, a direct subordinate of Steve Newton:    CTRL + Click to follow link” href=”http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Coroner%20to%20fire%20his%20top%20deputy%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf” target=”_blank”>   

2.  Chicago Tribune reported on April 24, 2007 of Dr. Richard Keller’s announcement of the effective date of Newton’s firing, April 20, 2007.  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Coroner%20to%20fire%20his%20top%20deputy%20-%20Chicago%20Tribune.pdf 

 The women/girlfriend who later became Steve Newton’s wife was a Deputy Coroner; Newton was her supervisor in the Office as the Associate Deputy Coroner.  This romantic office coupling resulted in two gross infractions by Steve Newton as Associate Deputy Coroner in the Keller administration.

1.  Steve Newton gave his county-issued purchasing card, P-card, to his girl friend when she traveled to St. Louis to attend a medical course required by Lake County.  At the time, the county P-card could be used only by the employee who’s name was on the card (Only Newton was issued the card as the LC Associate Deputy coroner.).  While in St. Louis, and with Newton’s credit card in hand, Steve’s girl friend charged her expenses (including hotel) to Newton’s credit card. There was even a situation where Newton’s girlfriend paid for another individuals meal, which, under P-card regulations, the card could not be used for purchases of non-county employees. 

The usual practice would have been for Newton’s girl friend to have used her own credit card and then to have submitted the charges accrued in St. Louis  for reimbursement.  

2.  Steve Newton submitted false pay claims for his girl friend by having her paid for hours she did not work.  Newton, as Associate Deputy, was not in charge of time keeping.  This infraction is called “ghost payrolling” according to the document I am privy to.

Both of the above examples were totally inappropriate and appalling, to say the least.

The aftermath:  Because of financial improprieties and other performance problems of such severity, Newton’s girlfriend was discharged from her position as a Deputy Coroner effective August 3, 2007. 

Without question, and despite Newton’s denial to the contrary, he WAS FIRED (4/20/2007) as Associate District Attorney by Dr. Richard Keller three months before his girlfriend’s discharge as a  Deputy District Attorney by Dr. Keller in August of 2007 upon discovery of Newton’s acts of financial improprieties toward his girlfriend. 

Established was that Steve Newton had acted above his authority to monitor time card applications.  The person in charge of the process wasn’t able to monitor Newton’s girlfriend’s time cards, because Newton had established a separate procedure for her authorization, to which was leveled the charge of “ghost payrolling.”  

Just as egregious was Newton’s sharing of his personal P-card, issued for his use only, for use by his girlfriend when she traveled to St. Louis for a required medical course. 

The financial indiscretions that resulted in Steve Newton’s firing in the Keller administration should be enough to disqualify Newton for holding any Lake County elected office, but the Steve Newton Lake County soap-opera saga doesn’t end at this point.

Steve Newton, in touting his education, cites his background in criminal justice and fire science.  He claims to have attended the College of Lake County and lets voters assume that he indeed has his degree.  Verified through the clearing house is that Newton only attended CLC for one semester and that no degree was given. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/CLC%20Newton.pdf  

One semester of college cannot give anyone a proper background in criminal justice or fire science, that’s  assuming Steve Newton did indeed take courses in criminal justice and fire science during his one semester at the CLC.  

 

President Obama is fond of saying that this nation has 2% of the world’s population, yet we use 20% of its oil.  This is a misleading statement if there ever was one! 

According to an article by Gary DeMar on March 19, “President Barack Obama is Lying about American Oil Reserves,” the U.S. has more than 22 billion barrels of “proved reserves” (what companies are currently extracting.).  This doesn’t count untapped supplies which include at least 87 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf, about 24 billion barrels in shale deposits, up to 12 billion barrels in ANWAR, and the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming which is said to contain a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale.  http://godfatherpolitics.com/4252/president-barack-obama-lying-american-oil-reserves/ 

President Obama also proclaims time and time that under his administration oil production has increased.  Once again truth rears its ugly head.  The drilling that is taking place is mostly on state-owned land, not on federal land.  Permits granted by the Department of Interior for current drilling sites were issued under the Clinton and Bush administrations.  These wells now constitute the producing oil wells whose production Obama is taking credit for.  Last year on federal land gas producation was down by 6%; drilling was down by 11%.   http://cnsnews.com/news/article/oil-production-pfederal-lands-has-de

Feeling heat over the escalating price of gasoline and realizing how the high cost of gas could derail his re-election, President Obama embarked on an Energy Tour during the week of March 19.

As reported, on Thursday, March 22, Obama showed up in Cushing, Oklahoma, which is the starting site of the southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline project, for a staged presentation designed to convince the public that there was room for oil and gas development in his renewable fuels Energy Policy.  As documented in the following news report:

“CUSHING, Oklahoma (Reuters) – Standing in front of a row of pipes, President Barack Obama pledged on Thursday, March 22, to accelerate approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, seeking to deflect criticism that his rejection of the full project helped drive up gasoline prices.” http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USBRE82LOUU20120323 

What President Obama aproved in Cushing, Oklahoma was the segment going from mid-Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.  What Obama failed to mention is that building the southern leg of the pipeline needed no federal permission. It was a done deal and was unstoppable by President Obama even if he had wanted to.  

What does require President Obama’s approval is about a 50-yard portion or that segment of the Keystone XL pipeline which crosses the Canadian/US international border that would transport oil from Alberta, Canada, to the oil refineries in the gulf.   

Might President Obama’s staged Oklahoma presentation on Thursday, March 22, been expedited by a Gallop poll released on the same day?

According to Gallop:  “A solid majority of Americans think the U.S. government should approve of building the Keystone XL pipeline” . . . . “Fifty-seven percent of those polled say the government should approve the pipeline. Eighty-one percent of Republicans, 51% of independents, and even a plurality of Democrats agree that the pipeline should be approved.”  http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2012/03/gallup-poll-america-wants-ob… 

The mainstream media was all too ready to assist President Obama in misleading the American people.  As a reliable mouth piece for the Obama administration since his election in 2008, day after headlines proclaimed that Obama had approved the Keystone Pipeline, when in reality it was the Southern portion needing no government approval.

Our own U.S. Senator Dick Durbin predictably entered the fray over high gas prices on Sunday, March 25.  Durban wants to punish big oil companies for high gas prices by pulling $4 billion in federal subsidies when the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (co-sponsored by Durbin) goes before Congress.  Durbin claims that the legislation would help families save money at the pump.  http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/03/25/durbin-wants-to-repeal-4b-subsidy-to-oil-companies/

But are government subsidies exclusive only to oil and gas companies?  Definitely not!   Why should oil and gas companies be treated differently then let’s say, General Electric?  If General Electric were denied the subsidies it receives would refrigerators cost less? 

What about demanding of Governor Quinn to reduce high gas taxes that our elected politicians deem are essential to fixing and repairing Illinois roads?  Gasoline taxes are targeted to pay for improving roads, but who knows what the money collected is really being used for, as all monies received are dumped into the General Fund right next to lottery receipts. 

Despite the back and forth rhetoric, the following article explains why cutting government subsidies to oil and gas companies would have little effect on gas prices:    http://www.propublica.org/article/despite-rhetoric-cutting-oil-subsidie

Part 3:  Really!  No ‘silver bullet’ to lower gas prices? (Drilling as the Silver Bullet)

 

The escalating price of gasoline might be likened to a passage in Shakespeare’s, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” that I had to memorize when in high school: “Water, water everything but not a drop to drink. . . ” 
 
Although oil, like water, can’t be used to quench the thirst of human beings, water like oil, however, is in plentiful supply here in the U.S.   A tight oil supply is one of the reasons why quenching the thirst of our gasoline-powered cars is costing many individuals most of their discretionary income. 
 
Charles Krathammer, in an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune on March 20, “Seaweed in our Gas Tank,” made the claim that Obama’s denial of oil as a means to lower gas prices is based on his disdain for oil and his love affair with green sources of energy.
 
Krauthammer went on to clarify his claim: 1)  There is no drilling happening off the Mid-Atlantic coast as Virginia wishes to do.  2) Off the broader Gulf of Mexico drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30% below pre-moratorium forecasts. 3)  In the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint would be the size of the Dulles Airport.  4) On federal lands in the Rockies, leases are down 70% since Obama took office.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct.oped-0319-Krauthammer-20120319-7,0,4234467-column  
 
It is not unreasonable to expect that the cost of gas will remain over $4 a gallon all summer long, and that it may even hit $5 by Memorial Day.  Already the cost of gas at the pump has reached $5 per gallon in some parts of the country. 
 
Human Events (The National Conservative Weekly) for the week of March 19, 2012, listed as Obama’s Top 10 Energy Blunders:
http://www.humanevents.com/articlephp?id=50101
 
1.   Keystone debacle:  Canadians want to sell the U.S. an abundance of oil, if only President would give the go-ahead.  Has chosen instead the deep-pocketed environmental backers over U.S. energy needs and thousands of jobs.
 
2.   Volt vanity:  Even with government’s help the electric car is a flop with few buyers and an exorbitant price.  The Volt represents Obama’s fantasy of gas-less cars. 
 
3.   Solyndra stupidity:  President Obama’s stuffed $787 billion stimulus package was to create green jobs, but resulted instead in a bankrupt Solyndra and a parade of other companies.
 
4.   Tesla travesty:  Another “green jobs” fiasco, Tesla received $465 million to produce electric cars.  Price tag $100.000 per car, with a creation of 400 jobs at over $1 million per job.
 
5.   Moratorium morass:   President Obama approved the moratorium off the coast of Louisiana after the 2010 oil spill, which prompted oil rigs to locate to Brazil.  Obama then offered technology and support to Brazil to develop its offshore oil production.  No American jobs created!
 
6.   Drilling dashed:  Obama refuses to consider drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or along most of America’s coastline and is also lax at pushing for shale oil extraction or natural gas drilling on federal lands.
 
7.   Cap and trade catatonia:  Fortunately Obama couldn’t get his convoluted cap-and-trade package through the Democratic-controlled Senate, which would have raised energy costs for consumers and resulted in a highly profitable venture for promoting global-warming alarmism. 
 
8.   Price pandemonium:  Energy Secretary Chu once said that it was important for U.S. gas prices to mirror Europe’s sky-high costs.  This seems to be what President Obama wanted all along with his attempts to make his green energy schemes profitable.
 
9.   Algae asininity:  Despite enormous areas of shale oil deposits and oil reserves, President Obama looks to algae to solve this nation’s energy problem. 
 
10. Energy excess:  It’s about time the Obma’s stop gobbling up copious amounts of fuel using Air Force One on travel jaunts, while the American people struggle to pay high gas prices.   
 
Does President Obama not understand how his Top 10 Energy Blunders as noted by Human Events, and which reflect his anti-energy-producing policies, are contributing to what seems like an almost daily jump in the price of gasoline?
 
The reality of escalating gas prices is playing out in communities small and large across this nation.   Food prices are by necessity rising, as each added cost in the production food chain increases the food product at the retail level.    
 
The outcome when many individuals are spending much or all of their discretionary income on gas is that buying at box stores., etc, decreases and layoffs will occur because of slow and limited sales. 
  
Instead of the buck stopping at the Oval Office, President Obama continues to insist — as he did when embarking on his recent Energy Tour to promote green energy sources — that there is room for oil in his Energy Policy.  
 
Obama even had the audacity while on tour on Thursday, March 22, to stand in front of a row of pipes in Cushing, Oklahoma, under the guise that he was accelerating the approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, even though the southern portion was a done deal and didn’t need Obama’s approval.   http://www.reuters.com/asssets/printaid=USBRE82LOUU20120323 
    
President Obama’s “Let’s pretend we are for oil” gig was prompted when a Gallop poll indicated that a solid majority of the American people were in favor of the U.S. government approving the Keystone XL pipeline.   http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2012/03/gallup-poll– 
 
Does the reality of the situation fail to penetrate President Obama’s thinking?  If not, might it be because what must be done is in opposition to his political ideology which serves as his guide in pursing those policies that will fulfill his set goal for America to radically change the relationship of the government to its people and to reduce this nation’s influence in the world so that it stands with other nations and not above them.
 
If this nation continues on the same pathway with its dream to replace fossil fuels with green energy sources while refusing to tap into its own vast supply of oil, including shale oil recovery, not only will gasoline prices remain high, but electricity bills and all other commodities will continue to rise as more and more coal mines are closed and new nuclear reactor construction is given short-shrift as older ones are unnecessarily decommissioned when plenty of life is left in them through upgrades.
 
It makes no sense when demand for oil is increasing globally, that the American people are being told to use less oil given this nation’s vast supply of untapped oil.  We are only hurting ourselves if we continue to put up with such unprincipled and self-serving deceitfulness from President Obama  
 
For those of you who still believe that fossil fuels are evil as they emit CO2 and contribute to man-made Global Warming, a recent study in the UK Daily Mail by Ted Thornhill will perhaps allow your mind to rule rather than your emotions.  Proof is given how the whole of the Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2120512/Global-warming-Earth-heated-medieval-times-human-CO2-emissions.html 
 
The American people can do something about it in November, but will they be angry enough to do so?  Our survival as a nation depends on refusing to grant President Obama a second term.
 
 
 
 
 

My Primary Election Day started early on when I cast my ballot at the Union Church in Lake Bluff, the site of two Shields Township precincts including my own, District #238, afterwhich I made calls urging registered voters to go to the polls.

By 10:00 p.m. most of the precinct votes had been counted and the results were visually displayed at the Lake County Clerk’s website where the percentages of votes cast for each candidate were noted by red bar links.

Following is a quick summary of how the candidates fared in Lake County as supplied by Shield Township Precinct Captain, Daniel Bryant of Lake Forest:

  • Mitt Romney handily won with 56% of the vote;
  • Yours truly will be one of his delegates and I look forward to representing Mitt at the National Convention in Tampa in August;
  • Lauren Turelli defeated Mark Neerhof in a tight race for State Representative 53% – 47%;
  • David Barkhausen defeated Rick Lesser in a hard fought race for the District 13 County Board Seat 52% -48%;
  • Mike Rummel defeated Scott Helton in the District 12 County Board Seat 60% – 40%;
  • Mike Nerheim won the extremely competitive State’s Attorney’s race by winning 43% of the vote, with Louise Hayes winning 28.5% and Bryan Winter 28%. Unfortunately for Louise, the 3-way race was the most expensive race across the county by a wide margin and that proved difficult to overcome;
  • Steve Newton defeated Howard Cooper for Coroner 56% -44%;
  • Keith Brin defeated Gerald Dietz for County Clerk in an extremely close race 51% -49%;
  • Bob Bednar defeated Marty Blumenthal for Lake County Recorder 53% -47%; and
  • The City of Lake Forest question regarding the program for aggregation of its own electricity was a resounding “yes” by 74% of the vote (The Village of Lake Bluff likely garnered a resounding “yes” vote.).  

Curious to see how many Republicans voted in my own precinct and the vote tally for each candidate I had endorsed, I drove to the Union Church the morning after the election to check the vote tally posted on the front door of the Union Church, as is required by law at all official polling place.

On the tally, dated 3/20/2012:  A total of 293 votes were cast in Precinct #238: Democrat (66)  Republican (227).

Among the candidates who won in my Shields Township #238 precinct, but who lost in Lake County were: Dr. Mark Neerhof (Illinois State House #59); Dr. Howard Cooper (Lake County Coroner); and Louise Hayes (Lake County State’s Attorney).

On first glance my record of endorsing losers seems to indicate that I am a poor judge of candidates.  All of my candidate picks lost except David Barkhausen who won his bid to represent Lake County Board #13.

Other factors, however, were in play that helped eek out victories for Lauren Turelli (IL House District 59) and Steven Newton (Lake County Coroner) over my endorsed candidates, Dr. Mark Neerhof and Dr. Howard Cooper, who I thought were better equipped to go up against their Democrat challengers in November.

The results of the Primary Elections only strengthened my pre-election assessments of Lauren Turelli and Steve Newton. Both will face uphills battle in their quests to win in November over the very strong candidates Democrats have chosen to pit against them.  Also in play is that Democrats need only to hold on to the two positions now on the Democrat side of the aisle.

Going up against Republican Lauren Turelli in November is Democrat Scott Drury. Republican Steve Newton will face Democrat Dr. Thomas Rudd, a Lake Forest Hospital Pathologist.

It is certain that Lauren Turelli’s challenger for IL House will bring up Turelli’s insistence that she was awarded a Cambridge University degree in England when documented facts on hand prove otherwise.

Regarding the battle for the Lake County Office of the Coroner, Dr. Tom Rudd who won over his Democrat establishment-backed challenger, incumbent Artis Yancey, will more than likely dig out some of Newton’s baggage to put on display.

The in-control Republican establishment in Lake County will possibly regret the day come November when early on it decided to throw its support, power, and money behind candidates Lauren Turelli and Steve Newton in its attempt to seize back from Democrat control IL House seat # 58 and the Office of the Coroner.  Yet I wish Lauren Turelli and Steve Newton well in their respective races.

Regarding the November elections, the Republican voter turn out of registered Republicans on Primary Election Day was dismal at 24% (the lowest in 70 years), which doesn’t bode well for positive results come November.

Voter apathy was most likely in play.  Were voters turned off with negative campaigning by their local candidates?

Most likely many Republican and conservative voters were not pleased with the way presidential candidate Mitt Romney came into Illinois to carpet bag the state with millions of dollars of ads — They lacked accuracy given the situations Sanatorium faced when making the votes Romney targeted — to convince conservative voters that he (Romney) really is a conservative rather than the moderate that he is?

This mode of operation in states prior to Illinois where Romney outspent candidates 7 to 1, and which promises to continue as Romney moves to other states, is upsetting to Republican base voters who Romney needs to win in November.

I am not political savvy enough to know if Romney can heal the wounds he has created with his Republican base in what amounts to buying the delegates he needs state-wise to become the Republican candidate to go up against President Barack Obama in November.

Even if conservative voters are able to consolidate behind Romney because he represents any one but Obama, it is doubtful whether there will be sufficient enthusiasm for the work needed at the ground level throughout the nation to propel Romney to victory (It matters not in Illinois even with a Mitt Romney win, because Illinois is Obamaland and Obama country.).

One thing I do know, if Republican voter apathy continues into November, this nation well be in deep trouble with the election of Barack Obama to his second term.

One thing is certain, Obama’s promotion of green energy while disregarding the massive, as-of-yet untapped energy resources located here in the U.S., and his determination to have Obamacare take effect in 2013, will result in a piling on of even more debt for future generations, more unemployment, less prosperity, and the continued loss of our freedom to choose what we want and when we want it, and not what the government tells us we should have and when.

Local Races

On first glance, my record of wins looks to be a definite mark against me in my ability to judge candidates. All of my endorsed candidates lost their races, with the exception of David Barkhausen, who defeated Rick Lesser in the Lake County Board District 13 contest.

Other factors, however, were in play that helped eek out victories for Lauren Turelli (District 58) and Steven Newton (Lake County Coroner) over my endorsed candidates, Dr. Mark Neerhof and Dr. Howard Cooper, who I thought were better equipped to go up against their Democrat challengers in November.

The results of the Primary Elections only strengthened my pre-election assessments of Turelli and Newton. Both will face uphill battles in their quests to win in November over the very strong candidates Democrats have chosen to pit against them.

Regarding Neerhof with his background in medicine, this asset alone made him the ideal replacement for retiring Karen May. There is presently no doctor in the Illinois House. Neerhof would have been able to bring his expertise as a physician to much needed Medicaid Reform, without which Illinois will continue to sink further and further into complete financial ruin.

Going up against Turelli in November is Democrat Scott Drury. Newton will face Democrat Dr. Thomas Rudd, a Lake Forest Hospital pathologist. Both are strong candidates who will be defending positions already held by Democrats, a definite plus for the candidacies of Drury and Rudd. 

It is certain that Turelli’s challenger will bring up her insistence that she was awarded a Cambridge University degree in England when documented facts on hand prove otherwise. Having heard Drury speak at Candidate Voter forums, he is more than capable of holding his own against Turelli.

Regarding the battle for Lake County Coroner, Newton doesn’t seem to stand a chance against Rudd, who won over his Democrat incumbent Artis Yancy.  Like Yancy, who was favored by the Democrat establishment, Turelli was the pick of the Republican establishment. 

Dr. Rudd will air Newton’s baggage in the run up to November’s general election, which the Newton campaign refuted when facing Cooper in the primary.

The in-control Republican establishment in Lake County will most likely regret the day come November when early on it decided to throw its support, power, and money behind candidates Turelli and Newton in its attempt to seize back from Democrat control the District 58 House seat and the Office of Coroner.  Yet I wish them both well in their respective races. May “Lady Luck” be with them.

I really didn’t have a direct connection to the results of the County Board District 12 race between Scott Helton and the former mayor of Lake Forest, Mike Rummel. As a resident of Lake Bluff, I voted on the District 13 race between Barkhausen and Lesser.

Being acquainted with Helton, however, I did feel he would have brought much-needed workplace accessing skills, etc., to the Lake County Board, if elected in November.

Regarding the November elections, the Republican voter turn out of registered Republicans on Primary Election Day was dismal at 24 percent (the lowest in 70 years), which doesn’t bode well for positive results come November. 

Voter apathy was most likely in play. Were voters turned off with negative campaigning by their local candidates?

Presidential Race

Most likely many Republican and conservative voters were not pleased with the way presidential candidate Mitt Romney came into Illinois to carpet bag the state with millions of dollars of ads — which lacked accuracy given the situations Rick Santorum faced when making the votes Romney targeted — to convince conservative voters that he (Romney) really is a conservative rather than the moderate that he is?

This mode of operation in states prior to Illinois where Romney has outspent other candidates 7 to 1, and which promises to continue as Romney moves on to other states, is upsetting to Republican base voters who Romney needs to win in November. 

I am not political savvy enough to know if Romney can heal the wounds he has created with his base in what amounts to buying his way to the top Republican position to become the candidate to go up against President Barack Obama in November.

Even if conservative voters are able to consolidate behind Romney because he represents anyone but Obama, it is doubtful whether there will be sufficient enthusiasm for the work needed at the ground level throughout the nation to propel Romney to victory. (It matters not in Illinois even with a Romney win, because Illinois is Obamaland and Obama country.).

One thing I do know, if Republican voter apathy continues into November, this nation may well be in deep trouble with the election of Obama to a second term.

Obama’s promotion of green energy while disregarding the massive, as-of-yet untapped energy resources located in the U.S., and his determination to have Obamacare take effect in 2013, will result in a piling on of even more debt for future generations, more unemployment, less prosperity, and the continued loss of our freedom to choose what we want and when we want it, and not what the government tells us we should have and when.

Part 1: A Primary Election Day Wrap-up (Here & Now)

My Primary Election Day began early on in the day when I cast my ballot at the Union Church in Lake Bluff, the site of two Shields Township precincts, my own District 238 where I serve as precinct committeeman, and District 241, which is David Barkhausen’s precinct committeman assignment.

Both Barkhausen and I had walked our respective precincts a few weeks prior to Election day, distributing information about the voting process and candidate recommendations. 

Tuesday passed by quickly as I made calls urging fellow Republicans not to forget to vote and of the urgency to do so. 

Although I had been invited to numerous election night gatherings held by candidates I supported to watch election night results, I dropped in for a short time only to the one held by District 58 candidate Mark Neerhof at the Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest

Feeling weary as the pressures of previous days of activity closed around me, I left early to watch the election results from the privacy of my own home.

By 10 p.m., most of the precinct votes had been counted and the results were visually displayed at the Lake County Clerk’s website where the percentages of votes cast for each candidate were noted by red bar links.

I was particularly interested in local election results, of which I had written a number of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch blog posts vetting candidates in-the-running just weeks prior to the Election Day: County Boards 12 and 13; Illinois State House 59; Lake County State’s Attorney, and the Lake County coroner race.  

Following is a quick summary of how the candidates fared in Lake County as supplied by Shield Township Precinct Captain Daniel Bryant of Lake Forest:

  • Mitt Romney handily won with 56 percent of the vote;
  • Yours truly will be one of his delegates, and I look forward to representing Mitt at the National Convention in Tampa in August;
  • Lauren Turelli defeated Mark Neerhof in a tight race for State Representative, 53 percent to 47 percent;
  • David Barkhausen defeated Rick Lesser in a hard fought race for the District 13 County Board seat, 52 percent to 48 percent;
  • Mike Rummel defeated Scott Helton in the District 12 County Board seat, 60 percent to 40 percent;
  • Mike Nerheim won the extremely competitive State’s Attorney’s race by winning 43 percent of the vote, with Louise Hayes winning 28.5 percent and Bryan Winter 28 percent. Unfortunately for Louise, the 3-way race was the most expensive race across the county by a wide margin and that proved difficult to overcome;
  • Steve Newton defeated Howard Cooper for Coroner, 56 percent to 44%;
  • Keith Brin defeated Gerald Dietz for County Clerk in an extremely close race 51 percent to 49 percent;
  • Bob Bednar defeated Marty Blumenthal for Lake County Recorder, 53 percent to 47 percent;
  • The City of Lake Forest question regarding the program for aggregation of its own electricity was a resounding “yes” by 74 percent of the vote (The Village of Lake Bluff likely garnered a resounding “yes” vote.). 

Curious to see how many Republicans voted in my assigned Precinct 238 and the vote tally for each candidate I had supported, I drove to the Union Church the morning after the election to check the vote tally posted on the front door of the Union Church, as is required by law at all official polling place.

On the tally, dated March 20: A total of 293 votes were cast in Precinct 238:  Democrat (66), Republican (227).

  • District 58: Neerhof received 119 votes to Lauren Turelli’s 78
  • Lake County Coroner: Cooper received 92 votes to Newton’s 67.
  • Lake County State’s Attorney: Hayes received 123 votes out of a total of 227 cast; 104 votes went to one of the three other candidates vying for the same position.
  • Lake County Board District 13: Barkhausen received 133 votes to Rick Lesser’s 94.
  • Lake County Board District 12: Helton and Rummell faced off (Lake Bluff voted for District 13 board members). The total vote count in District 12 was 1,775  for Rummell and 1,149 for Helton.

Among the candidates that I supported who won in my Shields Township Precinct 238, but lost in Lake County were: Neerhof, Cooper, Hayes, and Helton.

Coming Sunday – Part 2: A Primary Election Day wrap-up: Future Projections

 
 
 
The Shell station on Deerpath in downtown Lake Forest listed gas at $4.39 for a gallon of regular on Friday.Credit Jim Powers, Editor of Lake Forest Patch
 
 
The first paragraph said it all: “Record-setting heat isn’t the only mark Chicagoland is breaking these days.”

I was further informed to expect gas prices to remain over $4 a gallon all summer and that they may even reach $5 per gallon.

A few days ago when filling up my gas tank at the Lake Forest Shell station, I paid $4.68 a gallon. Perhaps you have noticed that food prices seem to be steadily increasing along with gasoline. 

Food prices are affected by the rise in the price of gasoline, as the added cost factors into the production of food by farmers, transporting food to processing facilities, and then delivering the food products to supermarkets to be sold to the consumer. Each added cost in the food chain process must be figured in to the final cost of a product at the retail level. 

Now let’s go a step further. What happens when many individuals are spending much or all of their discretionary income on filling up at the pump?  Buying at box stores, etc., will decrease, resulting in more layoffs because of slow and limited sales.

The No. 1 question is why President Obama is not feeling the wrath from the American people as did President George W. Bush when gas prices reached $3 a gallon? The American people blamed Bush and called on him to do something about it.

Gasoline was down to $1.85 when President Obama was elected in 2008. Now fast forward four years, and gas is moving locally toward $5 per gallon.

Several days ago on the Don Wade and Roma weekday talk radio program on WLS-AM, I heard John Hofmeister, retired CEO of the Dutch Shell Oil Co. He related how he told President Obama when he first took office that he must do something about the oil situation or the very thing would happen that is now happening, gas prices would soar to $5.00 a gallon.

President Obama continues to say that there is no “silver bullet” to lowering energy prices, that factors beyond his control are contributing to the steep rise in the price of gasoline.

When pressed about more drilling as a remedy for lowering the price of gasoline at the pump, Obama insists that drilling for more oil won’t affect the price of gasoline, and how there aren’t enough oil reserves in the U.S. to satisfy our growing energy needs. 

In an opinion piece by Charles Krauthammer in the Chicago Tribune on March 20 — “Seaweed in your gas tank?” — Krauthammer asserts that President Obama’s retort that drilling is not a means to lower gas prices is based on his distain for oil and his love affair with green sources of energy. 

Krauthammer goes on to claify his claim: 1) There is no drilling happening off the Mid-Atlantic coast as Virginia wishes to do. 2) Off the broader Gulf of Mexico drilling in 2012 is expected to drop 30 percent below pre-moratorium forecasts. 3) In the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve more than half the size of England, the drilling footprint would be the size of the Dulles Airport. 4) On federal lands in the Rockies, leases are down 70 percent since Obama took office.  If more oil in the marketplace is of no consequence, why then have past presidents, including Obama, asked OPEC countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, to pump more oil to help stabilize gas prices if the amount of available oil is of no consequence?

Also, why is Obama thinking of releasing oil from this nation’s strategic reserve if flooding the market with more oil wouldn’t lower the price of gas in the long term and would do very little in the short term.   

As President Obama moves closer to an unprecedented second release of the emergency oil stockpile in a bid to bring down near-record fuel prices, experts say dramatic logistical upheavals in the oil market over the past year may now make such a more slower and more complicated.

The mechanics of the release may prove almost as tricky for Obama as rallying international support for a second intervention in as many years, or fending off attacks from Republicans who will likely brand it as a pre-election gimmick.   

Part 2: Really! No ‘Silver Bullet’ to Lower Gas Prices? (Obama claims oil is part of Energy Policy)