Newt Gingrich’s “Solutions” for America’s Energy Woes: Drill, Baby, Drill!

If anybody deserves credit for almost single-handedly revitalizing the once defunct movement for offshore oil drilling, it’s former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

After spending a few years wandering the political desert, salvaging his tarnished reputation and peddling his views on various conservative outlets, Gingrich made a political comeback of sorts when he founded American Solutions for Winning the Future, a supposedly non-partisan (or, in his words, “tri-partisan”) 527 group, in late 2007. While its mission is ostensibly to propose solutions for America’s most vexing issues by encouraging multi-sectoral grassroots engagement, the organization has largely come to be defined by its aggressive promotion of offshore drilling – a politically astute position that has helped it raise $13.1 million, according to a new investigative report published by the Center for Public Integrity.

Despite claims to the contrary, Gingrich has taken a highly partisan approach to running American Solutions, launching its “Drill here. Drill now. Pay less” campaign only a month before McCain called for the lifting of the ban on federal offshore drilling and going so far as to openly state his desire to do everything in his power to, “be helpful to the McCain campaign.” John McCain himself began to adopt the “Drill Now” slogan while on the campaign trail this summer, much to Gingrich’s delight, culminating in the loud “Drill, baby, drill!” cheers that erupted during the Republican convention.

The group is being underwritten by seven of McCain’s top fundraisers, including billionaire mogul Sheldon Adelson and American Financial Group CEO Carl Lindner. While it claims to be a grassroots-based organization, it has raised over $8.9 million, or 68 percent of its total funding, from 40 large donors. To avoid being subjected to stringent campaign finance laws, the group has refrained from formally endorsing John McCain’s candidacy though Gingrich has made no bones about his support for the Senator from Arizona.

As Joe Romm and others have noted, Gingrich has unfairly earned a reputation for being an environmental “moderate,” reaping praise from Slate and The Washington Post, which credited him for adopting a mainstream, bipartisan approach to environmentalism, and getting a starring role in a high-profile ad for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.

Brad Johnson from Wonk Room reported on Friday that Gingrich was readying the next phase of American Solutions’ offshore drilling push, which include a new book – creatively titled “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less” – published by right-wing imprimatur Regnery and “We Have the Power,” a movie created by his wife that will be distributed by the right-wing organization Citizens United. Gingrich’s devotion to the cause has already yielded substantial dividends: According to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll, 74 percent of the electorate now supports offshore drilling – this despite the fact that even the Bush administration’s Energy Information Agency has admitted that the impact of drilling on oil prices would be insignificant.

Displaying his unique brand of “bipartisanship,” Gingrich has strenuously opposed all efforts to hash out a compromise deal on drilling, which would’ve opened up some offshore areas to drilling in exchange for guaranteeing the extension of renewable tax credits, lambasting the deal as “an $85 billion tax increase disguised as an energy bill” in a column for Human Events.Despite his protestations, the compromise bill may come up for a vote in the Congress as early as this Thursday.)

While it remains to be seen whether Gingrich’s latest ploy will prove successful, and whether it will carry McCain and Sarah Palin, his protégé, past the presidential finishing line, you can bet his name will come up again – if not this election cycle, then next year and, quite possibly, in 2012.

Editor's note: this is Jeremy Jacquot first post for DeSmogBlog, please read DeSmogBlog welcomes Jeremy Jacquot.



They have no choice but to drill in currently off limit areas. World supply is shrinking both from geological depletion of deposits, but also demand from other regions, such as China. (At China’s current rate of growth in 15 years their demand will be what the world currently produces, 86million barrels per day, leaving nothing for everyone else)

Canterell field in Mexico is in terminal decline of about 15% per year and accelerating. That deposit is the US’s third largest import source. In 4 years the deposit will not supply Mexico’s domestic demand. Hence it’s just a matter of a few short years and the US will have to make that import up from somewhere else, competing with China.

Thus the US has no choice. And since it takes a decade to get platforms producing, this is going to be tight.

But still even drilling in these areas will not keep this party going. Estimates are that there is about 30-40BB of recoverable oil in these locations. That’s 5-6 years of US consumption. They actually will last much longer because the flow rate is going to be the issue. Off shore and difficult deposits have very low flow rates.

The fact is, to move the US to alternatives is going to require oil to do that. Once oil gets too expensive then alternatives will become uneconomic. And we are rapidly running out of time. Peak oil is very likely on us now.

The high-ranking government honchos at Royalty-In-Kind need to maintain their office harems. And all the bubble baths too.


It has nothing to do with who rakes in the money. It has everything to do with trying to keep the economy going, keeping people in their jibs, and keeping people fed.

Soon as the economy falters due to oil decline people are going to die.

The economy, or certain people’s economy?


sounds like a whole different kind of global cooling. A prosperity winter of frozen economies and a snowstorm of trouble.

points out that further off-shore drilling will do essentially nothing for gas prices.

Peak oil is here. Learn to live with it.

There would be a temporary drop in oil prices if drilling started up everywhere. The price dropped by about 30% in a short time for no good reason other than the fact that politicians are throwing around the idea of drilling.

theory of speculaton, in oil this time, ran it expected course. IMHO nothing (directly) to do with drill talk.

If you have not already seen this series, do so. Very sobering.

Especially the latest, #18.

Not unsurprising anyone with any biological training knows about population curves and resource explotation of species. Not a real shock that human usage of resources follow the mearly the same type of patterns.

Like global warming the concept of running out of limited resources seems beyond most peoples ability to realize/conceptualize the danger. I would say that the video posted the other day from the lecture about why people are unable to see dangers from global warming would apply in this case to.

Resource depletion is gradual, slow and over time. The energy needed to extract the resources increases slowly and the price to consume goes up rather slowly as well. Though suddenly there will be a shock once we start getting the exponential portions of the curve. Cant wait for kids to ask us when they are adults why didnt you see this coming and do something sooner…….

Well, except I understand exponential growth very well (took evolutionary biology at university, self taught in geology, self taught in software development), and I wholey reject AGW on scientific grounds. I think if anything, those who promote AGW cover up the realities so much, obscure the science, and launch personal attacks on any one who questions it, that the public has no choice but to accept it. But that is slowly changing, and like any growth curve will accelerate.

I’m still waiting for an exponential growth in the number of bubble bath babes. I’m sure, with the power of Trickle-Down Economics, the day of such growth will be upon us any time now.


You miss the point.
If Americans (and Canadians as well)would simply accept the gosple according to Gore, we could solve all of our energy problems in less than 10 years.
We just need to all buy $20,000 dollar solar panels (good for about an hour of running a dryer)
Put up a few wind mills. (who needs birds anyway)
Replace all your light bulbs with curley bulbs. (Mercury really won’t hurt you)
Buy Al Gore’s carbon indulgences. (Absolution is great eh)
And Most important of all, pay ever higher taxes.

Its really the taxes that will solve everything.

“pay ever higher taxes”

Yeah, I can see how that might be a problem.

For the filthy rich honchos at the Royalty-In-Kind programme, that is. How are they going to maintain their harems? Their bubble baths? Their meat parades?

Tell you what, how about switching to the political system of Ottoman Turkey?


Except it’s the middle class the pays the bulk of taxes. The rich contribute very little to the total income tax revenue of government because there are so few of them. The vast bulk is the middle class. Just to give you a perspective, here in Canada, 6 years ago I was at the height of my income. I calcuated my total tax load. All taxes and payments to goverment. My total tax load was 63.5%. That is excessive.

It’s irrelevant. When you pay taxes, I’m sure you don’t care about your income class, you just worry about your own wallet. Because that’s what matters to you.

In the same way, I’m sure it’s the cost of harem upkeep – not to mention the expenses of maintaining their lascivious bubble baths – that the Royalty-In-Kind honchos are worried about. So yeah, I can still see why raising taxes might be a problem for them.


His subject line was “Irrelevant”
he really couldn’t have summed up his post any better than that. sorry Frank - that was just too easy

Where can I get one of these bubble bath thingies. And are they full of babes?

Bubble baths with babes? Babes with bubble baths? Those are for rich people who head the Royalty-In-Kind programme, and by the way these rich people are just like the ordinary Joe Sixpack and Hockey Mom.

On the other hand, we the not-so-rich are too Elitistic, Stalinistic, and Ivory-Toweristic, to afford to enjoy the pleasures of bubble bath babes.

To be serious: yeah, good question. :)


well anything is possible…it’s always the last ones you suspect.

Consider this: Big Oil, better than anyone took note that Peak Oil was coming and they wanted to maximize profits and the sooner the better. They wanted prices to jump. What better way to do that then to make supplies tight? They can’t tighten supplies by drilling everywhere. So 30 years ago they started a nefarious under the table campaign to generate political pressure to limit oil exploration based on various eco arguments and to cast themselves as the bad guys, purely for selfish financial gain. It was effective. Prices became artificially high. At the same time they threw some money in the other direction for cover.

It’s crazy and I don’t actually believe it but it’s at least as plausible as the wacky idea that we can control natural climate change by following the Gore Gospel.

Here’s my theory: Rick is an out-of-job Hollywood comedy writer hired as a really bad sockpuppet.

No, I don’t actually believe it, and I strongly encourage everybody not to believe it. Really, I do. You shouldn’t believe a single bit of the theory that I just spouted. No, really, really, really, you’re not supposed to believe it. I’m just bringing it up, I’m not telling you to believe it.

Um… what was my theory again? Ah yes, it’s this: Rick is an out-of-job Hollywood comedy writer hired as a really bad sockpuppet.

You really shouldn’t believe this. You really shouldn’t.


I’ll try to improve my evil and yet lame sock puppet ways.
Perhaps I can eventually become better. Perhaps I need a better puppet master.

Here’s a better idea for you: Get a real job.


This is not as unbelievable as it would seem.
Review the situation when Maggie Thatcher was having Coal Miner union issues 30 years ago.
She instigated a process to diemonize coal in an effort to get Nuclear power going.
Energy security was the goal.
Seem the agenda took on a life of its own and went off on miriad other money making scams.
Our buddy Al is of course the biggest winner in the scam field.

But of course, Gary, you totally don’t believe the Thatcher conspiracy theory which you just spewed, do you? You’re merely just bringing it up for discussion, right? Even while you’re blabbering about it, you know it’s a totally, totally, totally crazy conspiracy theory, and you very, very, very strongly encourage people not to believe in it, right?


No Frank.
I am encouraging everyone to research it and make up their own minds.
Unlike AGW pushers, I don’t attempt to tell people how to think, I merely post information that may help in their research.

Personally, I do believe that Thatcher had a lot to do with propogating the scam. Not everything, but she seems to have had a signifigant role.

Since there is no scientific reason to push the AGW Agenda, there must be a political of economic reason.
Or perhaps many.

Well, there we are. Gary doesn’t actually tell people what to think! All he did was to present his insinuations and “beliefs” as “information”, but this, my friends, is totally different from telling people what to think!

Gary baldly asserts that “there is no scientific reason to push the AGW Agenda”. When he says this, he is absolutely, totally, completely not telling you what to think! He is merely posting “information”!


Bollocks! The unions were strangeling the country, and domestic coal was not economical.

That’s exactly why she needed nuclear so badly she financed so much “focused”research to “prove” CO2 was causing a problem.

Of all the many reasons for the little warming spell of the late 20th century, only CO2 can be used to guilt entire populations into accepting taxation and removal of basic freedoms.

With it, Maggie could tax her way to nuclear power independance.

It is also the perfect leftie tool to impose socialist rule and shift the wealth of the west to the stagnant economies of the east.

Two birds with one Wind turbine!

.00009 Degrees Cooler; Humans Rights Gone

Everyone, rest assured, rest very assured, rest very very assured, rest very very very assured that Gary is absolutely not trying to tell you what to think. He’s just posting insinuations, um I mean informations.


That time was an unprecedented expansion in oil and gas, i.e. the North Sea fields.

I wonder if the trolls are working a bit harder to wreck Desmogblog with their gibberish because it’s election season in Canada and the USA. They seem recently to have been more persistent and their noise and bizarre scientific revisionism is drowning out productive conversations before they even start.

The flame wars start around line 1 of the comment sections these days. Nothing helpful comes from this and these comments, which are flames really, do not constitute discussions. They’re not even comments. They’re just propaganda. I don’t know, but I suspect that is not really “cricket”, even on a web site devoted to deflating propagandists’ efforts to distort common understanding.

Here’s an example, paraphrased from above and previous, drive-by BS-ing: Al Gore is responsible for the consensus climate science position. Huh? This statement is irreconcilable with reality. Gore has nothing to do with the science, has never contributed to the science either positively or negatively except perhaps by occasionally voting, with hundreds of others, to fund scientific research. He has acted in a public way to do lots of things… that are UTTERLY unrelated to the development of the nearly-universally accepted view (read: by every science academy I can think of) that human activities are altering climate. So, why propagate the myth? Dishonesty? Ignorance? A combination of one of those and political spin?

How can a political philosophy be expected to benefit Canadians (or Americans, or whoever) if it includes a codified misrepresentation of reality, with a distortion of risks to the citizens it purports to guide as a consequence? Again, that perspective rests of the unanimity of the world’s scientific academies, the IPCC, the thousands of independently conducted studies and multiple lines of experimental, observational, and modeling evidence that demonstrate with virtual certainty the large role of humans in altering climate. The question is intended rhetorically.

But forthright answers to such questions might be the basis for a discussion. The response I expect to this email would not be.


He has acted in a public way to do lots of things… that are UTTERLY unrelated to the development of the nearly-universally accepted view (read: by every science academy I can think of) that human activities are altering climate. So, why propagate the myth? Dishonesty? Ignorance? A combination of one of those and political spin?

Al Gore funds Jim Hansen, who is the scientific authority on AGW. Who then funds RealClimate. Gore not only has a direct link to the “science”, thus the message of that “science”, but also has financial gain by keeping the polemic going.

Again, that perspective rests of the unanimity of the world’s scientific academies, the IPCC, the thousands of independently conducted studies and multiple lines of experimental, observational, and modeling evidence that demonstrate with virtual certainty the large role of humans in altering climate. The question is intended rhetorically.

Question for you. Does that mean the IPCC’s views are the offical views? In other words, the IPCC is the gosple on AGW?

BTW, one can just as easily claim that you are flaming and a troll here since such views are opinions only.

Lies, JRW. Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Are you seriously trying to claim that Gore funds NASA? You seem to be completely out of touch with reality.

take out the “trolls” and what do you have? a cheering section for the post. that’s lame. there are tons of cheering section message boards on both sides of this discussion and they’re all boring. There is qualified scientific discussion on both sides. Pretending otherwise is dishonest. The wish for a cheering section rather than a discussion is telling. Is that all you want from this anti PR blog?

I can understand you not liking the mockery, but just look at the headlines of the articles. Desmog starts with mockery and they get mockery back. If they want an even and sober discussion free of mockery, they need to set that tone. This place is largely about throwing stones at the other side.

For Rick, laying out inconvenient facts is called “mockery”. And of course, since he can’t dispute the facts, he disputes the “tone”. With that in mind, he goes on to justify some blatant name-calling.


So perhaps we should take responsibility for raising the bar? I tried in my post above but was, to my mystification, accused of being a troll. Whatever…

This site is only about throwing stones at each other if you make it that way. Why would you want to bother with something like that?


“I tried in my post above but was, to my mystification, accused of being a troll.”

It’s called “projection”.


When will the nutbar conservatives in the United States realize that when the American economy does not rely on fossil fuels, it will turn the corner and start allowing Americans to be prosperous again as it once was? The sooner the US economy is unhinged from oil, the sooner it will be on the road to recovery and prosperity.

The longer the American economy is reliant on oil, the further in debt the country will become, the greater number of foreclosures will occur, and the more banks will face failure. It’s about time these conservative hacks be voted out of office for good. They’ve done enough harm to the American people.

“When will the nutbar conservatives… ”

My best guess would be when the lazy, mushy, short sighted lefties have finally found a way to strangle the last bit of ambition from the masses and have imposed a wet blanket of socialism on America.

That would be a sad day for such a great nation.
The Omish would feel at home though.

you really think that if they elect democrats, it’s going to in some magic way reduce demand and dependency on oil. Fascinating concept, but I think there will be zero difference. It’s hardly about who is in power. It’s about global realities and it’s about basic human nature. We all want the good life that oil gives us. You, me, the hollywood hypocrites and even the esteemed Mr. Gore.