Glenn Beck: Oil shale the answer?


Chris Cannon (R-Utah)

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VOICE:  The economy is weak, taxes are high, illegal immigration isn't being resolved.  Come November it's up to you the voters to make a difference.  Before you cast your ballot, know the facts.  Read Fusion magazine's voters guide for a look at the candidates' platforms and only their platforms.  Subscribe today by calling 888-Glenn-Beck or by visiting GlennBeck.com.  But hurry, time is running out.  Fusion magazine, more perspective, more comedy, more heart, more Glenn.

GLENN:  The thing about Fusion magazine this time around is it compares their platforms and their words to those of Karl Marx and Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and Lenin, Mao.  It's amazing when you see and you compare and contrast.  There is no political opinion in this issue of Fusion magazine.  My picture is on the cover.  I want you to be able to hand this to your friends and say, really?  Which is closer?

Now, this isn't necessarily going to help you make a case for John McCain or Barack Obama.  It's going to make a case of, wow, are we on the wrong track.  So check it out.  Fusion magazine.  You can subscribe right now at GlennBeck.com, or 888-Glenn-Beck.  I think you have to order, is it this week to be able to get it for July?

I saw a story in the paper over the weekend and it is about an oil shale proposal in congress.  The headline says representative Cannon's bid to boost oil shale seen as a pre-primary PR stunt and then the very last, the second to the last line is the person who said it was a PR stunt is his opponent.  So I thought I would get down to the bottom of the oil shale thing.  Chris Cannon is a representative.  Which district?

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Third congressional district, Glenn.

GLENN:  Chris, tell me your idea on the oil shale.

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  You know, if we're going to bring down the price of gas, you have to have three things.  You have to have a big reserve, you have to have the ability to develop oil out of that reserve quickly, and you have to be able to produce oil at a relatively low cost.  And that's oil shale.  In Utah and Colorado and to some degree in Wyoming we have an amazing amount of oil.  If you compare the size of our reserves of Saudi Arabia and the whole Middle East, it's like three times as much as all of that combined and that's just the easily, readily available 1800 billion barrels and there are probably 3 billion barrels that are commercially just under that, available.  And long term if we change the technology, perhaps as many as 4 trillion, with a T, 4 trillion barrels of oil.  There's enough, marginally if we just supplied all of our use in America instead of importing oil, it would be enough for 100 years or so.  There's just no energy crisis in the world.  There's a regulatory crisis.  So what I've done is I've introduced a bill that would give the President the authority to draw people together that can understand these issues in government and to sit down with people that want to develop that shale and say, okay, let's figure out what you need to do to do it in an appropriate, careful, environmental manner and then let's go forward with it.  And that would mean fairly quick production of oil and that would have a big impact on the price of gas at the pump.

GLENN:  Okay.  Now, I know the environmentalists are against this, and I'm trying to find the name of this, the wilderness society says that the oil companies already own some land with shale on it and they can't come up with a technology to get a drop of oil out of it.  Is that true?

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  No, that's actually ridiculous.  The regulatory burdens are great.  We do have the first commercial test of shale, extraction of oil from shale going on right now.  It should be done by the 15th of this month.  They could be -- and I don't want to speak for them, the company, but my understanding of their technology is that they could be in full production in relatively short order, within six or eight months of their test if they didn't have to spend two years waiting for air quality permits.  Now, they are operating on school trust lands.  That's essentially private land.  So they don't have the big DOM problems that people with government leases have.  I think that when society talks about owning it, they are talking about leases.  But a lease is no good unless you have the ability to produce off that lease, and the problem is not technology.  There are at least five, six technologies that are really good out there for producing oil out of shale and it's a seven year process to do that.  I think the leading company on this has been Shell.  They spent hundreds of millions of dollars on their technology, and the head of that operation came into my office a couple of weeks ago and dropped a couple of pieces of paper on my desk.  It was a list of 46 agencies with multiple permits each.  They have eight-year leases to do experiments on 160 acres, two parcels 160 acres.  Those leases are for eight years.  It's going to take them seven years to get the permits.  O'Connor said to me, how do I tell my board of directors they should invest in that?  Seven years of permits for one year production when it's a multiple year process to produce off that land?  The technology is there.  The regulatory hurdles are just plain too high.

GLENN:  All right.  So what is the -- your bill takes all of the burden out of congress and puts it on the President's desk?

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Well, yeah.  He is the executive and what it does is it gives him the ability to cut through seven years and make that seven weeks and so you sit down and you say, what do we need to do to protect the environment and what's the process we're going to use.  And there are various processes that are very different and they are going to have different constraints.  But then you give the President the authority to come to a conclusion and give a permit in a short time and then you monitor, see what's going on.  You may have to adjust that permit over time but at least you get people producing oil.

GLENN:  The will in the country with the American people is extraordinarily high.

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Yes.

GLENN:  Yet the will in congress is not.  I've got a guy here who's been waiting for a while to talk on the air and I'm going to put him on the air.  His question is don't you think that congress is intentionally trying to sabotage our economy for the election.  Give me a reason here, Chris, why congress is doing the things that they're doing.  Why are they doing this?  This is not in our economic long-term health by any stretch of the imagination to keep us shackled to terror states.

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Yes, Saudi Arabia funding Al-Qaeda, Iran funding Hezbollah, Hamas.  Human events had an article two weeks ago about an Iranian funded terrorist camp in the Venezuela.  You know, we're paying these people to undermine our interests and we're propping up a --

GLENN:  So what is stopping the congress?  What is the motivation of congress to not free our hands?

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Well, if you look at the numbers, they're fascinating.  The bulk of Republicans will vote to drill in ANWR, to drill in the continent she will, to drill in the Midwest to drill for shale.  About 90%, in some cases a little more, a little less of Democrats vote against that and with the reps cans who vote against this and the Democrats who vote against this, we've not been able to get those things passed.  We passed the right -- there's a prohibition against drilling in the Alaskan national wildlife preserve but we have to overcome what's positive law.  We passed that in the House a couple of times and the Senate actually passed it as well but the times we passed it in the House and the Senate didn't pass it, then we had problems with a potential candidate being the critical vote there.  So we have to get -- the American people have got to express themselves on this issue and we're about to put up a website called dollargas.us.  I think it's up yet but we want the American people to be saying we want a dollar, a dollar and a quarter gas.  That's where it ought to be.  And if we were producing our own gas, our own oil out of our own resource here in America, one, we would have cheaper gas.  And two, we wouldn't be funding our enemies.

GLENN:  Chris Cannon from the great state of Utah.  Thank you very much.  We'll look at the bill.  What is the bill number?

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Oh, it's -- I think it's 6811, but I apologize.

GLENN:  That's all right.  No, that's in that left field question.  We'll look it up.  Thanks, Chris, I appreciate it.

CONGRESSMAN CANNON:  Thank you.

GLENN:  You bet.  Bye-bye.  You know, I've got to tell you.  I told you a little while ago I wouldn't mind if congress got trapped on a golf course some place for the rest of eternity.  This guy might be an exception.  I mean, I don't want them doing anything unless they are doing something to get out of our way.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.