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Oregon Senator Whitsett's August 12 newsletter

Dear Friends,

At $4.30 per gallon, the cost of gasoline continues to make headlines, and to fuel political debate regarding the artificial restrictions of domestic oil and gas supply created by our bankrupt national energy policy.

Meanwhile the perfect economic storm is quietly forming. The next train wreck will come in the dead of the winter in the form of unaffordable energy for home heating. The primary heat sources for most American homes are natural gas and fuel oil. More than 50 million homes are heated with natural gas, and an additional 8 million are heated with fuel oil.

On average, the cost for natural gas is projected to increase by about 67 percent by the winter months. The cost of fuel oil is already near $5 per gallon, representing at least a 50 percent increase in cost over last year.

That obscene cost is expected to increase significantly more by the winter months. The escalating cost of electricity has already eliminated that energy source from most home heating plans. Cost pressures from environmental regulation and from escalating fossil fuel prices will certainly continue to drive electricity to unaffordable levels for home heating use.

The bottom line is that we may expect a near certain doubling of our home heating costs from last year’s prices, which were already oppressive and beyond the means of many of our citizens.

The Wall Street Journal predicts that the average middle class American family will spend more than $1500 per month this winter on the combined cost of home heating, electricity, and gasoline. Meanwhile the federal government has set aside only about two and one half billion dollars for its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

That amount will provide an annual grant of about $350 each to about 17 percent of the nations’ poorest families. The other 83 percent of the nation’s poor, as well as all middle class families, are on their own.

In past years we have been concerned how poor families and elderly citizens on fixed incomes will be able to afford to heat their homes. This year we will experience the same phenomenon among many middle class families.

Our politicians, our political elite, have created this energy crisis by making development of most of our known domestic resources illegal. This train wreck will continue to escalate until the American people command the political elite to create a coherent national energy policy that provides adequate supply for our peoples’ demand.

For the first time in more than 50 years the United States Congress is leaving Washington D.C. for its August recess without passing a single spending bill. Not even one. As a mater of fact, Congress has accomplished virtually nothing to date during this entire congressional session.

Why? Because the radical environmental handlers, who control Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, will not permit them to allow a roll call vote on anything of substance in either chamber.

Republicans and Democrats alike know that more than three fourths of the American public is in favor of expanded domestic oil and gas exploration and development. These congressional leaders know that if virtually any bill of substance is allowed to come before either chamber, amendments will be attached to expand domestic oil exploration and development opportunities. They are well aware that such amendments would pass with broad bipartisan support. These fearless leaders choose for Congress to do nothing, rather than to face the fury of the radical environmental establishment that funds their campaigns.

As a matter of fact, these dauntless political bosses share the environmental dogma that soaring energy prices are a good thing for the American people. Nancy Pelosi stated in a recent televised interview that her efforts to prevent a vote are driven by her desire to save the planet. These leaders celebrate $5 diesel, $5 heating oil, $4 gasoline and 50 to 100 percent increases in the cost of natural gas and electricity.

 In truth, Pelosi and Reid do not believe that today’s energy prices are high enough. Only last month they debated a carbon cap and trade bill in the Senate that would have added multi-trillion dollars in regulator schemes to our nation’s energy cost over the coming decades.

Multi-trillions of additional fictitious charges for our citizens to pay for the cost of doing business, the cost of getting to and from work, and the cost of staying warm in the coming winter months.

America’s production of crude oil has declined significantly since 1980 while its demand for crude oil has increased dramatically. The direct result is that we now import more than 60 percent of the oil that we use.

We import this oil because our own government has passed laws that prevent access to more than 90 percent of our own known domestic reserves.

According to the United States Geological Survey the Coastal Plain of the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve contains more than 10 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil. This source alone could   equal the entire production of the state of Texas for the next 30 years. A 2,000 acre area was set aside for future oil exploration by Congress and President Carter in 1980. This area of the Alaskan coastal plain, no larger than an average municipal airport, is neither wilderness nor wildlife refuge. Never the less, in their fear of radical environmentalist, Congress has denied our citizens the use of this resource for nearly 30 years.

According to the United States Mineral Management Service, America’s deep seas on the Outer Continental Shelf contain enough known oil and natural gas to supply all of our national requirements for at least twenty years. The federal government continues to deny U.S. companies access to 92 percent of this energy resource at the same time that China, and other countries, are actively developing the resource for their own use. Indeed, the United States is the only developed nation in the world that forbids energy production on its own Outer Continental Shelf.

The Bureau of Land Management reports 31 billion barrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in known on shore reserves.

United States companies are denied access to more than 90 percent of these resources by Congress as well. Of course, most U. S. companies are prevented from even exploring the more than two trillion barrels of known oil shale reserves in the continental United States.

To his great credit, last week Congressman Greg Walden introduced the SEA Act. This legislation would open much of our coastal resources to oil and gas production. It would return much of the discretion regarding exploration and development to the states as well as much of the revenue from royalties and leases to help fund state needs. Walden’s plan would use a portion of the lease and royalty proceeds to fund Secure Rural School and Communities as well as federal payment in lieu of property taxes. Incredibly, the 35 original co-sponsors of the SEA Act did not include any of the four Democrat Congressmen from Oregon.

For virtually this entire congressional session, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have used every deceptive parliamentary procedure available to prevent debating and voting on the single energy issue that the American people are most concerned about. They have made it clear that they simply do not care that our national economy and the American people are in peril. It appears that the only issue of importance to the new progressive democrat party is to destroy America’s free market economy.

Unfortunately, they are well on their way to accomplishing that goal.

A public law, called the “No Child Left Inside Act”, is currently being debated in Washington D.C. I believe this Act should be of serious concern to everyone regardless of our political affiliations or our environmental concerns.

HR 3036 proposes to amend “No Child Left Behind” to indoctrinate our kindergarten through high school students on federal government environmental policies The law proposes to provide $100 million in federal education grant money each year to state education departments to perform federal government mandated environmental education. 

Title two provides grant money to ensure that elementary and high school students are environmentally literate. The plan is for state education agencies to develop an environmental education plan suitable to the mandates of the United States Department of Education. The plan further calls for the education agencies to enlist the aid of state environmental and natural resources agencies, as well as state and national nonprofit environmental organizations, to establish course content.

The plan requires the professional development of teachers to improve their knowledge of environmental issues, and their skill in teaching environmental dogma. The grant structure strongly encourages establishing partnerships with state and local environmental agencies, and with nonprofit or for-profit environmental organizations, to enhance the professional development of our teaching corp.

The plan proposes to establish the quantity and the content of government selected environmental knowledge required to be demonstrated before a student can graduate high school.

Title five creates and additional environmental education grants system to encourage nonprofit environmental organizations to develop environmental education programs that can be utilized by state and local education agencies.

A direct quote from the bill explanation states:

“Climate changes, depletion of natural resources, air and water problems and other environmental challenges are pressing and complex issues that threaten human health, economic development, and national security. Finding widespread agreement about what specific steps we need to take to solve these problems is difficult. Environmental education will help ensure our nation’s children have the knowledge and skills necessary to address these complex issues.”

Apparently, the chosen method of establishing widespread agreement is for the federal government to provide grants to indoctrinate our children with their chosen environmental dogma.

Currently, 1.2 million teachers are providing thirty million students programs that range from environmental science courses to interdisciplinary approaches that integrate the entire curriculum with an environmental theme. However, the bill description further laments that schools are choosing to reduce, or abandon, environmental education in favor of emphasizing more time and resources in teaching reading and math. They conclude that “No Child Left Behind must provide schools and school systems with incentives, flexibility, and authority to develop and deliver environmental education programs.”

HR 3036 establishes the means for the federal government to provide grants covering up to 90 percent of the cost to support systemic education reform by strengthening academic content and student achievement standards in environmental learning.

Of course, with that 90 percent funding comes virtual complete control over teacher environmental education, what they teach to our kids, and what environmental dogma our kids must be able to regurgitate to graduate high school.

This bill places an entirely new meaning on public education. It appears to replace mandatory education standards with mandatory environmental propaganda. History is replete with examples of the despotism and tyranny that follows the mandatory indoctrination of a nation’s youth with selected government dogma.

That's enough for this addition! But as always, please remember that if we do not stand up for our rights, no one will.

Best regards,


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