Free Markets, Free People

Norway

Terrorists bomb government building in Oslo, Norway (update)

This should be interesting to watch unfold, given the propensity of Europe to pretend it hasn’t a problem regarding terrorism (i.e they’re much more inclined toward the "lawfare" model and thinking of all of this as criminal behavior requiring only police action rather than terrorism):

 

 

Hat tip to looker who sent the link and who is pretty sure this wasn’t the work of Norwegian separatists demanding a free Narvik or Viking revolutionaries.

In the meantime, here’s the prime suspect:

The AP also reports that a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges this week against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he is deported from the country. The indictment centered on statements that Mullah Krekar — the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam — made to various media, including the American network NBC.

There was also a shooting in a “youth camp” outside Oslo (I put youth camp in quotes because “youth” is often a euphemism used to designate young muslims.  It is not at all clear if that’s the case with this shooting).

NRK state TV reports that one person has been arrested at a Labor party youth camp ouside Oslo where at least 5 people were injured when a man wearing a police uniformed opened fire.

Let’s see what this brings.

UPDATE: A CNN breaking news email (confirmed by Norway’s NRK) says a 32 year old Norwegian man is in custody for the two attacks today which police in Norway are saying are linked.   As Dud points out in the comments, this may end up being a local crazy and not some terrorist group (although some group calling itself “Helpers of Global Jihad” claimed responsibility and then apparently retracted their statement).

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Stimulus? Try Offshore Drilling

During the last days of the Bush administration, there was a small flurry of hope among proponents of drilling for oil and gas which is off our coast. The president lifted the ban on offshore oil drilling and Congress, understanding the politics of the moment, let their ban expire. As the Washington Examiner explains, that leaves only one obstacle to the US finally going after what is thought to be about 3 billion barrels of oil and 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas:

So the only thing keeping U.S. firms from drilling off our own continental shelf is President Barack Obama and his secretary of the interior, Ken Salazar, who is slow-walking the approval process that must be cleared before the work can begin.

However, President Obama has managed to break 2 billion of your dollars loose to loan to Brazil to help bankroll their offshore drilling in the Atlantic. One assumes that will give Brazil a savings which will allow them pursue drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as well, since they are one of a number of nations pursuing oil and gas there:

Brazil, China, India, Norway, Spain and Russia have all signed agreements with Cuba and the Bahamas to initiate exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico within the next two years. So the prospect of seeing Russian oil rigs 45 miles off the Florida Keys — where American oil companies are now forbidden to drill — is a very real possibility.

That “very real possibility” would see us buying oil from the Gulf from foreign oil producers when it was just as readily available to us and our own companies.

And who would you rather produced it – US companies who have proven over the years that they have the ability to recover both oil and gas safely and in an environmentally sensitive way or foreign companies 45 miles off your coast who could give a good rip one way or the other how environmentally safe their methods were?

Then there’s the recession, jobs and the government’s hunt for revenue. This seems like a natural “shovel ready” industry that wouldn’t cost the taxpayer a nickle to crank up but would benefit the economy and the tax base:

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the development of America’s coastal oil and gas resources would generate more than $1.3 trillion in new government revenue and 160,000 high-paying jobs over the next two decades.

Instead of going full bore and trying to get this program off the ground – or in this case, in the water, we’re still piddling around trying to pass legislation:

Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Ak., and Mary Landrieu, D-La., are bipartisan co-sponsors of a bill that provides coastal states such as Florida their fair share of revenues produced by off-shore drilling and production. The same thing should be done for states on the East and West coasts. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state’s lawmakers hope to tap deposits off Santa Barbara to generate billions in royalties, and Virginia’s front-running gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has made drilling 50 miles off that state’s coast a key component of his energy plan.

Meanwhile foreign nations are moving to exploit resources we should have been exploiting for decades.

We have a huge looming energy gap. We’re behind the curve as it stands right now. While all the politics is focused on health care reform, this need isn’t going away and only becomes worse. Instead of “slow-walking” this, Barack Obama and Ken Salazar should be fast-tracking it and getting us out in those offshore areas to grab the most productive regions first. If we don’t, we’ll be moaning about how the percentage of oil and gas we import has gone up again.

And, as usual, that will be our own negligent fault.

~McQ

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