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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Energy and Iraq's Death car

Congratulations to NASA on its first space repair, a success. PapaCool is right - people will be turning in to see if the Shuttle gets back safe. I bet they will. We need to get NASA moving at "warp" speed and get more private space business going as well. It's time for free enterprises like SpaceShipOne to be sending us civilians where few get to go. Can't wait for the first Space Burger Joint to open up!

Now, the Energy Bill. It has taken years to get an energy bill through Congress. But what was passed won't fix our biggest problem - lack of refineries! We have access to crude but not refined gasoline we need to fill your tank.

An expert I met explained it this way: Say we can refine a maximum of 1 million barrels a day. Say that because of summer driving or whatnot we consume 1.1 million a day - only 100,000 barrels short. That 100,000 shortfall has to be imported as refined gasoline at a 20 cent a gallon premium. So what happens? The sellers of the other 1 million raise their prices 20 cents a gallon to match it! So the 100,000 shortfall raises prices on the other 1 million. Yikes.

So until we build another refinery or two to refine the extra gas we need daily, we will have artificially high gas prices. Problem? Environmentalists drive but object to refineries -- and studies take years.

My solution: build a US refinery just across the border, either in Canada and Mexico with a pipeline straight to the USA, and watch the cost of filling your car drop like a stone. Start now.

Finally, Iraq - Steven Vincent didn't realize that the Iraqi Death Car had come for him (today's Houston Chronicle). Before being killed yesterday, he had reported that the insurgents are infiltrating the new Iraqi police and army. Off duty police paid by the extremist al Sadr's group drive around, kidnap and kill people. The death car, one of many, probably killed him. 45 journals have died along with over 1,800 American troops and countless Iraqi civilians. My military advisors say if we withdraw too soon Iraq will fall into a civil war.

Recently Mr. DeLay voted "no" to a motion that would have given a mere $53 million for more prosthesis research for vets coming home with missing limbs...

I believe if we send troops in harm's way we should take care of them 100% when they come back. $53 million is a spit in the bucket compared to the $200 billion spent on Iraq so far...

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