The United States is too dependent on foreign countries for oil. That’s our problem, plain and simple, and we must solve it.
Senator John McCain (Republican candidate for president) is calling for more domestic drilling. President Bush is calling for more domestic drilling. Senator Barack Obama (Democratic candidate for president) opposes the drilling. Obama is wrong. There is so much disagreement about this issue, so I’ll just set the record straight for you, so you know why McCain & Bush are correct.
First, let me make it clear than I’m focusing on the big issues here, and that’s oil. It’s easy for us to reduce the issue to the price of gas. And if you do that, you’re looking at the wrong problem. Soaring gas prices in the U.S. are of course a major concern. But our problem is that we refuse to depend on our own resources, and instead depend on other countries for our oil supply.
We have oil reserves in the Outer Continental Shelf. We have oil reserves in ANWR (Artic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska). We need to tap those resources. I’ve now heard and read statements from many people about why we should not increase domestic drilling. I’ll address each one.
Increased domestic drilling is not a short term solution for high gas prices. I agree. But that’s not a good reason to not drill. President Clinton vetoed a bill in 1995 that would have increased drilling in ANWR. Had he not done that, we’d be drilling more today, and according to some reports, we’d have harvested over a million barrels of oil from ANWR this year.
We need to reduce our dependence on oil. Again, I agree. And again, it’s not a reason to not drill. You can talk all you want about our need to drive more environmentally-friendly cars. All good stuff. You can talk about alternative energy resources. Even more good stuff. But how many years have we been trying to be more green? How much can we sit here and think that being green will solve our problems? Don’t get me wrong, I agree with our green efforts. They are all quite noble and we’re even changing our ways in my own household. But we still need to drill more in our own backyard.
Drilling in ANWR would hurt our wildlife. Possibly. But this is a tricky issue. We need to decide once and for all what’s more important to the American way of life. If we continue to cave to the demands of environmentalists, all we do is sit here not drilling, enjoying all of our wild caribou, while we allow the Saudis to control everything. It’s great to save the caribou, but at what cost? We’re doing this to ourselves. We don’t have to go hogwild and completely ignore environmental concerns. But we do need to stop caving 100% of the time.
Speculators are driving up gas prices, not the Saudis. Yet another good point. But what are you going to do about that? Not drill? Some experts say that even the announcement of more domestic drilling could burst the speculation bubble.
One report I read stated that the United States owns about 3% of the world’s oil supply, while we use 25%. That’s a tough one. More drilling certainly won’t solve that. But we still must drill. We must be responsible for ourselves.
Listen, all of the above points are good ones. But none of them are reason to not explore our own resources more fully. We have our own oil resources. We need to tap them.