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RUSH: ‘Saudi Arabia will raise oil production to record levels within weeks in an attempt to avert an escalation of social and political unrest around the world. King Abdullah signalled the commitment to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, at the weekend after the impact of skyrocketing oil prices on food sparked protests and riots from Spain to South Korea. Next month, the Saudis will be pumping an extra half-a-million barrels of oil a day compared to last month, bringing total Saudi production to 9.7 million barrels a day, their highest ever level. But the world’s biggest oil exporters are coupling the increase with an appeal to western Europe to cut fuel taxes to lower the price of petrol to consumers. Saudi Arabia, which has called an emergency meeting of oil producers and consumers in the port city Jeddah next Sunday, says the energy crisis has not been caused purely by market pressures but by a speculative bubble. Saudi Arabia and OPEC believe there are no shortages to justify the sudden surge in prices.’

So they want taxes to be cut — fuel taxes, specifically, to be cut. It says here in western Europe, but then King Abdullah goes on and says (paraphrased), ‘Hey, you know, you consumers of the world,’ he addresses us consumers of the world and says, ‘You have a role in this. You have a responsibility here to cut back on how much you use.’ But here’s what worries the king. This is what worries the king of Saudi Arabia. I mean, these are petrodollars, and if these prices… It’s exactly what I told you. This price cannot be sustained for very long because they have to sell the oil. They want to sell it. If people consume too much, then it will result in not as much being sold and pumped and so forth. That’s his fear, anyway. So they’re going to pump more oil. Now, here’s the thing. The president went over there and asked them to pump more oil, and after the president went over and said, ‘Pump more oil,’ they said, ‘Well, okay, we’ll bump it up 300,000 barrels a day.’

So now King Abdullah says we’re going to bump it up another half million barrels a day. So the Saudis since May are going to bump their production 800,000 barrels a day, and of course the world’s going, ‘Ooh, goody, goody! This is so great! More oil! More supply and prices will go down!’ Everybody’s going nuts, everybody loves this, right. If we had been drilling in ANWR since Bill Clinton vetoed it in 1994-’95, since 2003 — had we begun drilling back in the mid-nineties — one million barrels of oil would have been on the market for use by us. Of course the Democrats, Chuck Schumer and the boys, say, ‘A million barrels? That’s nothing! That’s not going to add much to the supply. It’s not going to bring the price down,’ and yet here the Saudis are going to add 800,000 barrels, less than we would be getting from ANWR, and everybody is going, ‘Yeah, baby! Yeah, cool! All right! This is really magnifico!’ What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a made-to-order issue for the Republican Party.

Everybody is just concerned as hell over the November elections. Forget the presidential race for a moment. Everybody’s concerned about how many seats we’re going to lose in the House and how many Senate seats we might lose. Here’s an issue: ‘Drill here. Drill now. Pay less.’ The Republicans in Congress need to grow some. Let me put this in perspective for you. There’s a fear. There’s a fear among Republicans that says, ‘Gosh, if we come out for drilling, why, the American people don’t want it. The American people are worried about global warming and pollution! It could hurt us politically, why if we come out for this.’ Read the polls, Republicans. An ever-enlarging majority of Americans wants to drill, and the number is being added to each and every day. But look at it this way. The Republicans in Congress had no fear of risking their leadership and their control of the House by spending like drunken sailors, did they?

I mean, when the opportunity came up to spend money on a new Medicare entitlement or came up to spend money on whatever, ‘Oh, sure! Sign off on it. Let’s spend,’ with no regard for the implications that it might cause harm, which it did in the 2006 elections. But they have some fear of stepping up to our energy needs: drilling and refining. They had no fear risking their power and their control by spending out the wazoo, which they should have known was gonna get ’em in big trouble. Our Founding Fathers had more courage in one disc than this Congress has in its whole spine. Now, for those of you in Rio Linda, let me put that a different way. There’s more courage in a single finger than this Congress has in its 5,350 fingers. Will a single no-drilling Democrat be thrown out of office? Will the voters who want change actually vote for a change? Do you realize here that the Democrats have made it clear they are going to stand firm on no drilling, no new supply, no lower prices?

The Democrats are the ones that advanced an energy bill in the Senate that would have increased taxes like crazy when gasoline is already at $4 a gallon! We have a built-in issue with which to define the Republican Party and the conservative movement against the socialist left, and our presidential nominee just this morning in a press conference talked about how we need to get our arms around global warming, reduce our carbon footprint, find alternative sources of energy. If somebody could get to Senator McCain — somebody that he trusts, somebody that has his ear — and say, ‘Senator, do you want to win this? Do you want to become president? What’s the objective here? Win the election? You want to become president? There is an issue made to order for you, sir. Yes, it would require a flip-flop, but it’s a flip-flop your base and your side would celebrate and support you on.’ But (sigh) the odds of that don’t look too good.

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