KE Cellars

Let’s have a picnic in the oil patch!

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on Newstalk 600 KTBB, Friday, June 6, 2008.

Please forgive me for again going on about oil prices and the need to change U.S. policy with respect to domestic exploration and production. I know I’ve been on that topic pretty relentlessly of late but I can’t help it. There are two factors dragging heavily on the economy right now. One is credit market turmoil and the other is high oil prices. The former will work itself out over time but the latter will only get worse unless we change course now.

I have a proposition. Let’s all get together and invite Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and John McCain to East Texas. Talk about bipartisan. We’ll make history.

OK Paul. We’ll invite them. Why on earth would they come?

Simple. To eat ribs. Really good ribs. We’ll just get the four biggest names on the American political scene all together on a picnic lunch hosted by us and catered by the Country Tavern.

Why the Country Tavern?

Because it’s close to where we’re having the picnic and the ribs are fantastic. We’ll round up the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader and the two presidential candidates, all of whom oppose drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), spread out some blankets, break out the ribs (and the sauce — good Heavens, don’t forget the sauce!) and we’ll have a lovely afternoon at the site of the Daisy Bradford #3.

Now if you don’t know your East Texas history, the Daisy Bradford #3 is the oil well drilled by Dad Joiner in 1930 and bought (some apocryphal stories say won in a poker game) by H.L. Hunt. It’s the well that put East Texas in the oil business. It’s still the largest oil field ever discovered on the North American continent and it’s the well that put H.L. Hunt on the way to being one of the richest man in the world for a good part of the 20th century.

This well changed history. It opened the East Texas oil field. From the time of its discovery until the early 1960s, East Texas was to world oil production what the Middle East is today. Oil from East Texas was shipped via pipeline to Linden, NJ where it was refined and sent to Europe to make the critical difference in winning World War II.

The Daisy Bradford #3 has been producing oil for 78 years. So have wells all around it in the Woodbine formation of East Texas. Lots and lots of oil.

Now this is the part where you have to look at the pictures.

The Daisy Bradford #3

Treating our politician guests to a picnic next to an oil well that has been producing for nearly 80 years will serve to give them a real world lesson on the impact that oil production has on the environment.

Which is to say, next to none.

The land upon which the Daisy Bradford sits and the land all around it is without question some of the most beautiful in Texas. Don’t take my word for it. Look at the pictures. The Daisy Bradford is surrounded by towering trees. (No, Ms. Pelosi, they’re not giant Redwoods like you find in the Muir Woods outside of San Francisco. But they do block out the sun and create a canopy over the road and they really are pretty and we’re proud of them.)

The well itself sits on land covered by naturally-occurring grass. Perfect for our picnic. In fact, the land would make a beautiful rural home site.

Now Madame Speaker and Senators, feel free to wander around on the site. Look for the environmental damage. Oh, no, that’s OK. Take your time.

But when you’re through looking at least acknowledge the obvious. After nearly eight decades of producing oil, the land is as pretty as it was when Dad Joiner spudded the well.

Now that we’ve had a nice lunch, Madame Speaker and Senators, you can look at the land upon which you are sitting and explain to us again why we can’t drill ANWR. You can tell us again how producing oil in a tiny piece of a large tract of federal land will cause such grievous harm that it’s worth foregoing the positive impact that nearly 1.5 million barrels of additional oil per day from a domestic source would have on the price we pay for gasoline.

And you can try to back up your assertion by pointing to the site of the Daisy Bradford #3. The fact that the land is pastoral and suitable for a picnic lunch after nearly 80 years of producing oil shouldn’t dissuade you.

Lord knows, nothing else has.


  1. Ray Holland says:

    Paul,
    This is a perfect example of just how ignorant our nation as a whole has become. We have let the environmentalists (liberals) lie to us about the harm that progress causes, no matter what the area. In everything I’ve ever read or studied, we leave nature better off after we leave than it was before we arrived. The poor polar bears, moose and yes even the buck tooth bunny has thrived and multiplied after we have gone. I’m sick of the lies and the liars. I think God built a pretty durable planet and I really have trouble believing that man will be able to destroy it before the Creator is ready. Of course, with some of the immoral, tree hugging, global warming idiots we currently have in control, He may get ready sooner than even He had thought. Thanks Paul and God bless.

  2. Paul,

    Great story and pics there!

    I have to say, it was with astonishment that I saw our Senatorial leaders haul the 5 oil company exectives in front of congress, and lecture them on OIL PRICES. And ask them how much income they had last year.

    What amazing gall these people have, being the very same people that have for decades effectively killed off new domestic on-shore and off-shore exploration and development of our own natural resources. The result, of course, is the current gas price crisis, dependancy on foreign oil, and concomitant scramble to assign blame for it. How these people can sleep at night, I have no idea.

    The sad thing about it is that there are primary consequences and secondary ones as well.

    Obviously, the primary consequence of $4/gallon gas, which disproportionally affects the lower strata income folks, is an erosion of their standard of living due to not only fuel prices, but also the ripple effect that raises prices of almost all goods and services in the economy, eating into funds that could be used for food and shelter.

    But an important secondary effect is that the cutting off exploration and development has prevented the creation of thousands of high-paying jobs that could have been available. Unfortunately, NIMBY attitude also means not as many good jobs in your back yard either.

  3. There is no shortage of drilling right now. 1900 active rigs. There would be more drilling going on but there is a shortage of rigs. As soon as more rigs get built there will be alot more drilling.Also it is not the democrats or liberals that is holding up drilling. Go to bakerhughes.com and keep an eye out on active rig count in the US. The rig count is probably going to take a big jump over the next year.

  4. Brian Eggerman says:

    While I doubt any of the congressmen you mention will take you up on your offer, I heartily accept. You name the menu, but please hold the mayo (I’m allergic).
    Now please allow me to reciprocate your generous offer. I will happily share a picnic lunch with you and your staff at any of the 14 spill sites along the Alaska pipeline. Your choice. I’ll bring the sandwiches, potato salad, and beverages, but you will have to provide your own hazmat suit.
    Maybe afterward we can go fishing in Prince William Sound. It’s highly unlikely we’ll catch anything, and in the off chance we do, don’t eat it. But hey, fishing is just an excuse to lie in the sun and drink beer anyway. Nothing spoils a good fishing trip like catching a fish, eh?
    Looking forward to it.

  5. Matt McCauley says:

    Well done Paul. I’ll supply the beverages if your guests attend. How about an ice cold keg of sweet Texas common sense Tea (tried an oil pun there, y’know).

    The way the oil problem is being handled, or should I say, NOT being handled is symptomatic of a much larger problem that is prevalent in both parties. I’ll leave it to the professional pundits to sort it out, but I submit that there is an undeclared 3rd party in American politics. That would be the ‘I Wanna Be Liked, Famous, and Elite, and needed by all America’ party. They are primarily driven by ego and either a collaboration or fear of the mainstream media that they believe can make or break them. Their partnership is not with the voters that put them into office. They seem to be beholden to pollsters, columnists, and media outlets that can stroke or savage their fragile egos. These politicians forget that they are public SERVANTS; certainly not the type that go around holding doors and saying yes sir, or yes ma’am. They ARE however, recipients of the public trust; a trust that believes they will do the RIGHT thing, not the easy thing, or what looks best. The right thing is difficult probably more often than it is easy. Our founding fathers would certainly agree. Indulge me while I share a few planks of this new, undeclared party:

    1. I will help you, and I wanna look good while doing it. Translation….I’ll do what I can to bring things to your district and relief to your life, but only if I can look good while doing so. Don’t ask or require of me anything that requires tough choices, being the bearer of bad news. I’ll look good while doing it because I’ll tax the bad (supposedly rich) Americans, while redistributing it to you. Make sure you ignore the fact that there is no incentive for me to be careful with your money; I mean after all it’s not MINE.

    The party will always be there for you….(translation….we will be there to give you as the saying goes, ‘a fish’, but don’t ask us to teach you to fish. We want to feed you, because that makes us look good. Teach you to fish so you can learn to feed yourselves? Are you kidding? Why then you wouldn’t need us….and we REALLY need you to need us!

    We know what’s best…. (translation…because I have a staff of people that revere me and conduct business in one of the most recognizable buildings on the planet, everything I say should be accepted as fact, my actions, even when perhaps questionable, were not EVER mal-intended. Further, since you did elect me to serve you, let me get along with the business of doing so and spare me the time of having to read your opinions, no matter how much sense they make. You are taking my time away from ‘the peoples business. After all what kind of building do YOU do business in?

    If only these type politicians could declare themselves…….I would loathe them for what they are, but my respect for them in one sense would go up because they at least have the guts to declare themselves. Anyone care to go first?

    Matt McCauley
    Bullard Texas
    903 445 2092

  6. What about refineries? How will we process the oil from new rigs?

    We haven’t been dealing with this problem for many, many years. We rely on foreign oil supply and pretend that our country isn’t heavily dependent on it. What will it take?? The cost of everything in the country has gone up because of shipping or delivery costs increases. Yet we strip food and energy out of our inflation numbers…

    Same thing happened in 1998-2000 with earnings analysis for dotcom companies. When you modify the way you measure something, you’re not measuring it! We are in for a ride until we can drill, pump and refine our own supply of this limited resource until the energy revolution can happen. Private sector, get started. It won’t come from uncle sam.

  7. Well, I don’t know about Country Tavern, but Earl Campbell’s hot links would definitely get me interested. It might also be fun to see Nancy Pelosi’s eyes bug out when she gets a little East Texas heat.

  8. Gary Trout says:

    I know I’m a bit late with this but I just found the editorial while killing time (trying not to work it to death).

    Good idea Paul. Let’s be sure and keep those folks in our own pre-selected areas of beauty though. I love my East Texas and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

    However, let’s keep them away from the 1200 acres of land, not too far from Kilgore, that I hunt deer, squirrel and feral pig on. The land that is criss-crossed with old, rusty, exposed pipe line, rusted out and abandoned tanks and huge, concrete derrick bases with only faint memory of a derrick ever having set on them.

    I volunteer to be these Washington elites handler if you’ll furnish the wine. I’m very familiar with the other 99% of East Texas that will wow them.

    Gary

  9. Altogether I agree with most of what you say and will follow this upon my carpentry website. Thanks

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