Urgent! We Must Get Behind Bill’s Bill Now!

As soon as you finish this blog, get on the phone and call Sen. Bill Nelson’s office to find out how you can add some muscle to his attempt to fight the forces of evil that are really responsible for high gas prices all over the world.

You will not only be striking a blow for justice and sanity – and bringing down gas prices – but also protecting America’s precious beaches from rapacious oil barons and pusillanimous politicians.

Currently, the Gulf floor up to 285 miles off Tampa Bay is protected from drilling. But in the past, politicians have proposed bringing gas rigs within 25 miles and oil rigs within 50 miles.

Now, offshore drilling is being sold as a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But Nelson insists it would do nothing to achieve this goal and would place Florida’s $50-billion tourism economy in jeopardy.

Just imagine how vulnerable those rigs in the Gulf would be to future hurricanes.

The Florida senator has long fought to protect his state’s pristine shoreline from offshore drilling. Now, he could use your help to rein in runaway speculation in oil “futures.”

I discussed the topic in an earlier blog, and I won’t bore you with the details now; but trust me, there’s skulduggery going on and it’s causing gas prices to spike. The man responsible for unleashing the feeding frenzy is Phil Gramm, a former member of Congress who now serves as chief economic adviser to John McCain.

You will recall that it’s McCain (and his evil twin George W. Bush) who launched the latest drive to turn oil drillers loose on America’s shoreline. The rationale is that supplies of oil are so short we need to sacrifice our scenery to meet the need for increased production.

Again, this is a complicated business, and it would take more strength than I have this morning to lay it all out, but I’ll repeat just a few salient points:

– Increased oil drilling now would have no impact on gas prices for many years.

– Oil companies have access to millions (yes millions) of acres in the Gulf that are not yet in production.

– The worldwide increase in demand is just one factor in the current gas-price crisis.

Here is what King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had to say on the subject of oil prices at an oil summit meeting today:

“There are several factors behind the unjustified, swift rise in oil prices and they are: Speculators who play the market out of selfish interests, increased consumption by several developing economies and additional taxes on oil in several consuming countries.”

Abdullah urged the summit’s delegates to “uncover the truth” and dispel rumors to get the “real and full reasons” behind the skyrocketing price of oil.

The kingdom has announced several increases recently to meet increased customer demand. And the country has consistently said that it will produce enough oil to ensure the market is supplied.

Saudi Arabia increased oil production by 300,000 barrels a day in May, and will add another 200,000 barrels a day in July — for a total of 9.7 million barrels a day. But this has done nothing to stem the run-up in the price of oil, which closed near $135 on Friday.

See?

Yet the U.S. administration pretends the oil crisis can be solved by increasing production – in Saudi Arabia and back home on America’s shoreline.

Nelson’s bill would have an immediate impact on gas prices.

“Clearly, unregulated speculators have bid up oil prices to unbelievable and unacceptable highs,” Nelson said. “Congress needs to step in.”

So, get on the phone… The number is (202-224-5274). And if you find that the senator’s message box is full (as I did), fax him at: (202) 228-2183, or write him at his Washington, D.C. Office, United States Senate, 716 Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510.

And, hey, mobilize your friends and acquaintances. This is a big deal!