Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dame Gasolina! The Claremont Conservative and Energy Independence

Given that I fear the dentist with a passion reserved only for the Devil himself, I thought it ought that I should be advocating drilling, but there you have it. Seriously, the sound of a drill terrifies me.

Part of the reason I advocate drilling is that it will reduce the price of gas at the pump by changing the futures market. Incidentally, this is also why I oppose sanctions on Iran or Venezuela. Want world peace? Keep pumping that gasoline and the money flowing.

I'm glad to see that a lot of people have warmed to the idea of drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. According to recent polling, majorities of Californians support drilling off the coast.

And I certainly don't agree with Professor Pitney that everyone's blaming Bush for the rising cost of a tank.

If the revolt on Capitol Hill is any indication of the kind of fighting we are going to see, I welcome it. I'm tired of being told what I can and cannot do. We're Americans and we solve our own problems when the government stands out of our way.

It's always quite terrifying when people like Jonathan Khil of Claremont McKenna (says Macalaster on facebook, but whatever) favors building a very expensive rail in Hawaii. One of the arguments his group is using on its website is that the cost of gas is so high that they are just protecting people, the poor, etc. from a volatile energy market. They even film themselves standing next to a gasoline station as if to protest the high prices.

Nice try. The research here is overwhelming that even in NYC the cheapest cost of transport is still the car. You can throw subsidies at it, but it still won't change the economics. Ironically enough, the name of the group is We Will Ride, a not-so-subtle KKK sounding appeal for young folks. I'd wager that the only riding they'll be doing is overriding the taxpayer and sticking him with the bill.

In any event, I digress.

This week coming up I'll be interviewing John Lerew CMC '81 who is running for Congress of Colorado's 7th Congressional district. Lerew is a former oil man himself. I'll be asking him about how his senator, Ken Salazar (D-CO), wants to see the price of gasoline climb to $10 a gallon. Yes, really. Watch the video.

Lerew's in good company of Claremont McKenna folks who have ties with the oil industry. Henry Salvatori pictured way above made his money on oil and notwithstanding the neo-Marxist depiction of oil as the ultimate corrupting lubricant as seen most recently in There Will Be Blood, the boy who arrived penniless from Italy gave us the Salvatori Center, one of the greatest philanthropic gifts I have ever enjoyed. He also is the one who convinced the Republican party to let a certain actor by the name of Ronald Reagan deliver the famous, Time for Choosing Speech in October 1964. It's worth rewatching here as we think about all the greens are trying to do to us all. You should also watch Reagan's speech at the 1980 Republican National Convention. Note how he attacks the Democrats for a failed energy policy. Boy that sounds familiar!

Of course Pamela Gann hates things that aren't green -- except perhaps money itself. The money for the Keck Center -- you know, the building no one ever visits and which CMC's PR department uses to say that we are a biology major college, too -- came from the W.M. Keck Foundation. The Keck Foundation was established in 1954 in Los Angeles by William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company. Two guesses as to how they made their money. Incidentally, Keck's grandson, Robert A. Day, who serves as chairman of his grandfather's Foundation, gave Claremont McKenna $200 million. Wow, that sure is a lot of green.

I could go on and on, with the contributions Claremont McKenna alums have made to America's energy future. One alum started a company and changed the lives of an entire nation, Azerbaijan when he developed the half-a-trillion dollar oil fields. His name is Stephen E. Remp '69 and he founded Ramco Energy. You can read about his wild travails in the former Soviet Union in The Washington Post or Azerbaijan International. The title reads: "Trailblazer in Pursuit of Oil: The Re-Opening of Azerbaijan to the West."

CMC Alums Marlo Lewis and Richard Morrison of the Competitive Enterprise Institute agree with me. Mr. Lewis does the narration for this ad, going after the Al Gores of the world.

It nicely sums up my views.

(Harvey Mudd, a geologist-turned-oil-tycoon-- gave the Mudders money, too, lest we forget.)