The Countertop Chronicles

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

John Kerry, An Absurd Fool

The House Resources Committee has responded to an absurdly foolish statement that attributed to John Kerry today in Greenwire.
“That black stuff is hurting us.”
---Sen. John Kerry on oil (Greenwire)

Washington, DC
– Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry is quoted in today’s edition of Greenwire as saying, “that black stuff is hurting us,” with regard to oil. Members of the House Committee on Resources found the Senator’s comment absurd.

“John Kerry is dead wrong,” Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) said. “Oil doesn’t hurt Americans; John Kerry’s anti-energy policies hurt Americans. In fact, this is exactly the kind of rhetoric and bad policy that has led to the outsourcing of good American energy jobs. Last year alone, the United States outsourced more than $100 billion worth of American jobs, economic growth, and national security to foreign countries for our energy needs. Americans are left with a supply and demand imbalance that creates higher prices at the pump and longer waits on the unemployment line.”

At a time when economists cite jobs and rising energy prices as the only threats to an otherwise burgeoning economy, Senator Kerry’s comments appear completely out of touch with basic economics. It is widely held that energy is the lifeblood of the economy, yet this Senator seems opposed to cheaper, more abundant supplies of energy to strengthen the economy.

"If John Kerry spent as much time at the job he was elected to do as he does on the campaign trail, he might have noticed the recent Resources Committee hearing on the loss of American jobs due to our reliance on foreign energy,” said Rep. Barbara Cubin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals. “The American people deserve a president who isn't a hostage to the radical environmental community and who knows that what's hurting us is red tape and frivolous environmental litigation - not American oil."

In Greenwire, a Kerry spokesman stated that the Senator voted against more energy production in ANWR seven times “because it was a joke” and would not have cut dependency on foreign nations. However, a 2003 study by the National Defense Council Foundation found that ANWR’s 10.3 billion barrels of oil would create more than 2.2 million jobs across all 50 states - roughly 10,000 of those in Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts.

“It’s the do-nothing attitude that’s hurting us,” Rep. Jim Gibbons, Vice Chairman of the House Resources Committee added. “Our energy demands continue to grow, yet we are more dependent on foreign oil than ever before. We have tremendous energy production capability right here in the United States that remains untapped. The do-nothing attitude promoted by special interests groups prohibits us from domestic energy production and from creating new jobs. That’s what is really hurting America.”

There is a lot of American Life in a barrel of the “black stuff.”

Contrary to a popular misconception, less than half of every barrel of oil we use in the United States is turned into gasoline. The majority becomes the key ingredient in thousands of products Americans use everyday. Here are just a few:



Artificial hearts





CD players






Digital Clocks


Food preservatives

Food storage bags


Golf Balls

House paint



Medical equipment




Photo film

Safety glass


Shaving cream

Contact Lenses

Surgical equipment





* Massachusetts consumes 14 million gallons of oil per day for these needs and others.

Environmental, Economic, and National Security Benefits

Even the Clinton Administration would find fault with Senator Kerry’s comments. In its 1999 report, Environmental Benefits of Advanced Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Technology, the Clinton Administration asserts that for the 21st century, energy production, environmental progress, and economic vitality must all go hand-in hand. However…

1. Public awareness of significant and impressive environmental benefits from energy technology advances remains limited. (Page 1)

2. Myths that are perpetuated about oil (read: Kerry) “threaten to block progress on important environmental issues…it is vital that we debunk these myths so that the public can most effectively address the environmental needs of today.” (Page 22)

3. U.S. dependence on foreign oil has increased to record levels. As that dependence increases, “Americans lose jobs, tax revenues, royalty income…changes that also hurt our environment – reducing the capability of industry to meet demand in the U.S., increasing tanker traffic and the possibility of spills, and reducing capacity to deploy new technologies for environmental performance.” (Page 69)

But is this just another flip-flop?

Transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff…

Woodruff: Senator, questions are already being raised about what you said to some of these labor leaders in order to get their endorsement. James Hoffa of the Teamsters said in an interview just this week, he said you told him that while you opposed drilling in ANWR -- the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- that you are, quote, he said, going to put that pipeline in and drill like never before, drill all over the United States to create more jobs.

Kerry: I think he -- I said exactly what my policy has been all my life. Which is I'm for the natural gas pipeline. Absolutely. I voted for the natural gas pipeline. I think it's important to build it. And so do most Americans. I'm also for the drilling in the 95 percent of the Alaska oil shelf that's up for leasing now. In fact, President Clinton put out the biggest lease in American history in that part of the shelf. I'm not for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and I haven't changed and I won't change.

Woodruff: You're saying there's no contradiction here?

Kerry: Absolutely none whatsoever.

Looks like it…

" He has time and time again voted against increased oil exploration," Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said. "He opposed the energy bill [and] didn't even show up to vote on the final passage of the bill."


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