Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Drilling for answers

I mentioned this morning about the amazing “coincidence” that a day after republican presidential candidate John McCain said the US should lift the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, “President” Bush held a presser this morning in the Rose Garden where he called on Congress to “pass good legislation as soon as possible” that would lift that ban and open up exploring the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) while also allowing states to permit offshore oil drilling.

While Bush said that, in order to relieve the “painful level” of gas prices, “our nation must produce more oil”, he also restated his insipid demand that Congress allow drilling for oil in the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) because it will “bring enormous benefits to the American people.”

The problem with that statement is the fact that members of his own administration disagree… in fact, an entire Bush(whacked) department disagrees with him as a Department of Energy report that was released last month found that drilling in ANWR would do little to reduce the price of oil. And that’s not all… back in 2005 the Energy Department estimated that there are nearly 18 billion barrels of oil available in the OCS, which is roughly double the reserves in the Arctic Refuge.
Thus, by 2025, drilling in Alaska and the OCS would shave around $2.25 off the cost of a barrel of oil meaning “little to no impact on the price at the pump, today or tomorrow.”
It's painfully obvious that republicans see opportunity in high gas prices to roll back environmental policies, such as the offshore ban, that have been in place for years… but for what gain?

Drilling in ANWR would take years and years to deliver oil to American pumps and still would only meet about 4-6 months of US domestic demand.

Offshore drilling, like McCain’s widely ridiculed (even by VP Cheney) gas tax holiday, is nothing more than a gimmick to not only avoid the necessary fixes, but also an appeasement to those people that can’t use their own brains and continually follow the lemmings over the cliff.

Not to shock you, but republicans don't have a solution to high oil prices. Drilling in ANWR and off our coast would not ameliorate prices now, and wouldn't do so for many years to come. As Americans we need to understand that it’s entirely possible gas prices will never come back down, and that cheap oil is a thing of the past.

Now the question is, what to do.

I’ll talk about that tomorrow...

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