Sunday, July 13, 2008

Drilling Won't Make Us Energy Independent

After the mess the Bush administration has made of our economy, it seems like Bush thinks he can still lie to the American people and get away with it. The price of gas is now spiraling out of control. It's already over $4.00 a gallon, and it looks like it might rise to $6.00 or $7.00 a gallon before much can be done about it. But Bush (and his elderly protege, Sidney McCain) claim they have a simple solution.

Bush and McCain say all we have to do to lower the price of gasoline is let the big oil companies drill for oil in our pristine wilderness areas (ANWR) and offshore of some of our most beautiful and popular beach areas. They would have us believe that as soon as the drilling starts, the price of gasoline will magically begin to fall. What a load of crap!

The new proposed drilling would fatten the wallets of Bush and Cheney's corporate oil buddies, but it would do nothing to bring down the price of gasoline. As McBlogger tells us, it would take nearly 10 years for that new oil to get to market. In addition, there's simply not enough of it there to make much of a dent in the oil market.

There are a few other things to consider before buying into the silly argument that we can drill our way out of this mess. First, one of the most successful of all oilmen, T. Boone Pickens, says it can't be done. He says there's simply not enough oil there to drill our way to energy independence.

Second, the chances are much greater of ruining our wilderness and beaches than of finding enough oil in those areas to affect the price of gasoline.

Third, there are already 68 million acres of land and water where oil companies currently hold leases, but have not drilled. Shouldn't these areas be tapped first?

Fourth, a significant portion of the oil that is produced in this country is being shipped to foreign countries. What guarantee do we have that the oil companies won't do the same with any new oil found in America? The big oil companies are multi-nationals. They're not trying to make us energy-independent. They're only interested in record profits.

The truth is that there's only one thing that will bring down the price of gasoline -- a significant drop in demand for it. As long as our only alternative to power our vehicles is gasoline (and those vehicles use that gas inefficiently), the price will continue to rise.

It is time for the United States to adopt a reasonable energy policy -- something that has been non-existent in the last eight years. Part of that policy should be to significantly lower the vehicular demand for gasoline.

We must raise the fuel efficiency of all gasoline powered vehicles and produce more hybrid vehicles. We should also run more of our vehicles on natural gas and biofuels (that are NOT made from food products such as corn). We should also hasten the development and production of electric and hydrogen vehicles.

If we were to stop playing around with these ideas and get serious about them, we could greatly reduce the demand for gasoline in just a few years. Then the prices would come down. The more that we don't need gasoline, the lower the price will be.

But the idea that we can drill our way to energy independence is just another Republican lie.


  1. When I read thisI was amazed. It is insane how nobody will understand this.

  2. Sorry, here is the link I was talking about.

  3. People want an easy fix. We Americans love our toys. One of our biggest "toys" are our gas guzzling cars and trucks. It is easy to sell a policy of "drill more" when it offers a quick fix that will allow an illusion of the continuation of status quo.

    Once again..nobody seems to be able to think things thru to a more logical conclusion. Even if you only consider emerging energy markets like China and India then the realization that we must have a new energy paradigm becomes apparent. One need go no further than the math on this fact alone to begin to accept that the price of oil MUST continue to increase in the longterm.

    Drill More becomes a mantra that allows people to remain complacent about changing habits and luxuries that contribute to global warming and/or our dependence on oil as the driving force of our consumerism economy.

    We appear to be thoroughly capable of sticking our heads in the sand until that sand consumes us.


  4. MM-
    I hate to admit it, but you are probably correct.

  5. Someone promised "a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices," but they've been sitting on it for the last 812 days. In the interim, gas has gone from $2.91 to over $4.00 a gallon.

    The Democrats have had the majority in both houses of Congress since January 2007. Where's the plan, Nan?


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