Oil drilling in Alaska actually is an answer
Wilton Duncan • My View • May 26, 2008
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Re: "Drilling off Florida isn't the answer" (My View, May 21).
Sen. Bill Nelson took a swing at Robert J. Samuelson's column in the Washington Post that said drilling is the answer. But Samuelson is right. If we are to become energy independent, we must produce our own oil — and we have an awful lot of it.
The senator is correct that we are a nation hooked on oil, but after that he says that drilling won't solve this problem. He brought up the oil problems of the 1970s, and he is right that those were the days of Jimmy Carter with high unemployment, interest rates through the roof and a failing economy, on top of high prices at the pump.
When Ronald Reagan was elected president, his first official act was to deregulate the oil industry, and shortly thereafter oil prices dropped.
We are more dependent now than ever on other nations to furnish our oil. Some are rogue nations that can easily cut us off, and then what? We have no reason to depend on other nations. What's going to happen when China and India, which are both growing at a surreal pace, start buying more and more oil and we have to compete with them?
Environmentalists and their left-leaning buddies in Congress want us to concentrate on solar power and windmills. The senator was right when he said it would be 10 years before any drilling and oil production in the U.S. could reach the market. That's what the oil producers were trying to tell Congress 20 years ago, but to no avail. It's funny that nothing has changed. The environmentalists and our Congress are doing the same thing they did years ago: promoting more efficient cars, solar power, windmills, etc. It sounds so good, but it isn't going to solve our problem of our need for oil.
In 1995, President Clinton vetoed the bill that would have allowed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Had he signed the bill, we would be using that oil today.
Let's take a serious look at our situation for a minute.
Most of our food and necessities come by truck. Do you think they can run those semis on solar power and windmills?
We travel by air. Solar panels and windmills just aren't going to fit on those planes.
Trains will have a hard time trying to use solar panels and windmills for power.
Ronald Reagan was right when he said, "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."
The answer: Drill, drill, drill. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is in Alaska. We don't have to buy the land because it is already owned by us. It is more than 19 million acres. We want to cut out 100 acres along the north shore for oil production (that's 100 acres out of 19 million).
The senators from Alaska are all for getting the oil out of the ground and used by us. The Democrats in Congress have stopped this at every turn, yet they complain about the high oil prices and want to blame President Bush for the high gas prices. Unless we start drilling now and build more refineries, we will get further and further behind.
Blame members of Congress! They are bragging about stopping the drilling, but unwilling to take any of the blame for high gasoline prices.
To borrow something from a recent Newt Gingrich column, "High energy prices aren't theoretical, they have real consequences for real people."
The answer, paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, "isn't easy, but it's simple — so simple it could fit on a bumper sticker: Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less."