a tidbit from FoxNews with Dick Cheney

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SEPTEMBER 24, 2000


SNOW: The Clinton administration sends OPEC a message by releasing enough of the strategic oil reserves to cover our energy needs for a day and a half. Is OPEC quivering or laughing? And will the issue give the Bush campaign the boost it needs? We'll ask GOP vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney and Gore supporter, Senator Tom Harkin.

Plus, the latest on Hillary's slumber parties, W's new TV chatter pals, and Al's trip to the dog house  with our panel: Brit Hume, Paula Zahn and Juan Williams, on the September 24 edition of FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

Good morning. Welcome to FOX NEWS SUNDAY. Our guests will join us in a moment, but first headlines from Kathy Wolff at FOX NEWS CHANNEL in New York.


SNOW: Our latest FOX NEWS opinion dynamics poll indicates a statistical tie in a two-way race between Governor George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. And in a four-way contest, it's an actual tie. This comes as the Bush campaign is assuming a more aggressive profile, hammering Vice President Gore on everything from his oil policy to his campaign fund raising.

Here to talk more about the Bush-Cheney campaign and it's plans for the six-week sprint to Election Day is Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney.

Let's begin on the issue of oil. On April 12, 1999, you told a group of executives on Wall Street, quote, "OPEC seems to have gotten its act together"  this at a time that OPEC was cutting back on production. What did you mean by that?

CHENEY: Well, we'd gone through a cycle where in '97 they had increased their production, right into the Asian economic crisis, and that took prices all the way down to $10 a barrel, which is devastating. Frankly, it put a lot of people out of business; thousands of folks were laid off in the industry itself. And the speech I made here was simply a prediction, this time around, that they appeared  as they tried to come together and reverse that trend and bring prices back up into the $20s that they appeared to be doing better than they had.

SNOW: In other words, they were going to be disciplined.

CHENEY: They were more disciplined, yes.

SNOW: Now that's a bad thing, isn't it, for us right now?

CHENEY: It is if it goes too high. The thing that a lot of people don't understand, Tony, I think, is that nobody really wants to see sky-high prices. I think there's the mistaken assumption out there that everybody does. But the greatest value would be if we had stability, probably someplace down in the $20s. Then the consumer could have reasonable expectations of a reasonable price, the producer could make long-term investments and know that they'd get something by way of a return, that they could take the financial risks that are involved here. OPEC, I think, would be happy in that range.

What we've had are these wide swings back and forth, partly because the U.S. doesn't have an energy policy. We're so hesitant and uncertain ourselves in terms of how we want to proceed, and we've seen our domestic production fall. We're producing less now than at any time since 1954. And as a result of that, we're more dependent than ever on foreign sources, so we're more subjected to those wide swings in price.

SNOW: Well, even if we could produce more oil, we can't refine any more. Our refinery capacity is down as well.

CHENEY: That's correct. That's something a lot of people don't understand.

SNOW: Why is that; why is that?

CHENEY: Well, it's gotten so hard to build a refinery. The regulatory process is so burdensome. The red tape you've got to go through to get the permits to build a refinery is so enormous that we haven't had a new refinery built in this country in about 10 years.

The other thing that works here is that if you're in the refinery business but you don't have a guaranteed supply of crude at a reasonable price, you have to go out on the open market and buy crude. If you've got to pay $30 or $35 dollars a barrel for your crude oil, then the margins are so slim in the refining business that a lot of people find that uneconomical to invest in that kind of...

SNOW: You and George Bush have been hammering the administration saying it has no energy policy. If you were in the White House a year ago, what would you have done?

CHENEY: Several things. They have said, for example, that they wanted to reduce our dependence of foreign sources, but they've gone exactly the opposite way. Congress has tried several times, for example, to open up ANWR, the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve in Alaska. This is an area that's next to Prudhoe Bay.

The pipeline is already laid. It would be relatively easy to develop the resource that we're confident is there, and we could do it in an environmentally friendly fashion. The technology's gotten much better now in terms of being able to reach out several miles from a central location and not have to poke wells and build platforms and have oil wells all over the landscape. We can do it in a much more friendly environmental fashion now than we used to be able to do. Clearly we ought to, I think, open up the ANWR and begin to develop and produce that resource.

I also think you need to make special efforts to expand our refinery capacity. Because you're absolutely right, the heating oil problem today is not a lack of crude, it's a lack of refined heating oil.

SNOW: Now during the Bush administration, President Bush declared the outer continental shelf, that is, off-sea drilling, basically off limits, imposed a 10 year moratorium. Was that a mistake?

CHENEY: Well, there has been a moratorium imposed, especially on the California coast. We support that. We've said that we would not try to open up California. Governor Bush and I both have supported the continued moratorium.

We are doing a lot of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and we're making significant finds there as well, too.

I'm not advocating, you know, that we set aside all of our environmental concerns and just drill everywhere. I don't think  I don't think you can build support for that and I think we have to be careful about where we do operate.

But there are places where we can operate, like ANWR, which is an area right next to Prudhoe Bay where we've been operating now for 20 some years, where all the infrastructure's in place, where it would be a relatively simple matter to go develop that resource and we haven't done it.

SNOW: I hear Republicans complaining that the president's release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is political. Who cares if it's going to reduce oil prices and provide heating oil?

CHENEY: It's not clear that it'll provide heating oil. Again, you come back to your refinery capacity problem. If your refineries are already operating at 96, 97 percent of capacity, even if you give them more crude, they're not likely to be able to produce a significant increase in heating oil, we'll have to see how that works out.

But with respect to the SPRO, to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the administration, Bill Clinton and Al Gore, said just a few months ago that they thought it was a mistake to take oil out of the strategic reserve in order to manipulate prices. They thought that was bad policy.

Larry Summers of Treasury says it's bad policy; Alan Greenspan at the Fed says it's bad policy. Now, because it's six weeks before the election and they're worried about prices, all of a sudden Al Gore is for releasing oil out of the strategic reserve in order to manipulate prices. But it's hard not to view it in a political context.

SNOW: So, are you also saying that, given what you've just mentioned about heating oil, that if there's a heating oil shortage, who's responsible?

CHENEY: I think the administration is responsible for having said one thing and done something else, for not having developed an energy policy, for having said  Hazel O'Leary, former energy secretary, Bill Richardson, currently the energy secretary, said we want to reduce our dependence on foreign sources, we want to produce more here at home. And than they haven't done it. It's been a lot of talk but with no results.

There's a bigger problem here, though, Tony, I think, and that is that this isn't just about prices this winter for heating oil  we need to help people who are having trouble. Governor Bush and I would fully fund the low-income energy assistance program, for example, to help for those folks. But this is one of those things that could conceivably threaten our economy.

If we get into the area where either there's disruption of the flow of energy to our economy or there  you're in a price spikes that stay there too long, we'll find ourselves in a situation where it could put at risk our prosperity, and that's a very serious problem and you have to go back and say, well, where's Al Gore been all this time.

He's been vice president for seven and a half years, he talks about energy all the time, he's the one whose advocated higher prices for energy. He's the one who advocated the Kyoto treaty, he's the guy who voted to raise gasoline taxes and cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate in 93, it's his book, "Earth in the Balance," that calls for higher taxes on all fossil fuels. But all of a sudden, six weeks out before the election, he wants to release oil from the strategic reserve in order to score political points.

Final point  and then I'll talk  you obviously hit something I care a lot about  is the purpose of the reserve. Gore said this week that  Al Gore said this week that he was there when they first began to put together the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He wasn't; I was. President Ford signed that legislation in 1975. I was then working for him in the White House.

SNOW: But he was there when they started putting oil into the ground which was not till '77.

CHENEY: Seventy-seven, but he didn't get elected to Congress until '76, so that whole debate in setting up the reserve and the rationale for setting it up was, in fact, happened before he arrived in Congress. And it was done with a specific purpose in mind to being able to guard against a national disaster, a war-time scenario, a major interruption in the flow of oil to the U.S. economy, not for tweaking prices six weeks before the election.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), September 26, 2000


Thank you Maria.

-- nothere nothere (notherethere@hotmail.com), September 26, 2000.

If we get into the area where either there's disruption of the flow of energy to our economy or there  you're in a price spikes that stay there too long, we'll find ourselves in a situation where it could put at risk our prosperity, and that's a very serious problem and

you have to go back and say, well,

where's Al Gore been all this time.

Yup, Curious Minds want to know (aside from being Head Cheerleader for "One of the Greatest American Presidents of All Time", (cigars and all).

-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), September 26, 2000.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 26, 2000.

Completely off-topic of the thread, but some advice:

The best HTML site I've ever seen is Sizzling HTMl Jalfrezi.

Just trying to help :-)

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), September 26, 2000.

Wow, Patricia, that is a very cool site. Thanks!

-- Celia Thaxter (celiathaxter@yahoo.com), September 26, 2000.

Yeah! (even if you did take it off topic ;)

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), September 26, 2000.

Cheney is an asshole. How's that for getting back to the topic?

-- (i@like.it), September 26, 2000.

thanks crypto,

by the way what persona were you in the old forum?

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), September 26, 2000.


It takes one to know one buttwipe.

-- nothere nothere (notherethere@hotmail.com), September 29, 2000.

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