Thursday, July 17, 2008

Drill Already

US crude oil supplies increased by 3 million barrels this week and what do you know - the price of a barrel of oil dropped from $147 to $135. It didn't hurt that President Bush lifted an executive order imposing a moratorium on off shore drilling. Unfortunately, Obama and the Dems continue to stand in the way, arguing that taking action to increase domestic supply is a stupid idea because "we can't drill our way out of this."

The US Minerals Management Service estimates that there are 85.9 billion barrels of oil (enough to supply the US for 11 years) and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (enough for 18 years) waiting for us on the Outer Continental Shelf. Yes, it will take some time to get to some of it, but certainly not as long as it will take to develop competitive alternative energy sources. The only thing standing in the way is the Democrat controlled Congress and a certain presidential nominee.

Energy policy is shaping up to be a tough issue for the Democrats, as they are beholden to the powerful environmental lobby which absolutely opposes cheap energy. Many Democrats would like to see higher prices on gas because it causes people to use less energy. Most favor the Kyoto treaty, which would probably require the government to increase taxes so that gas prices reach $7-8 a gallon. Obama opposes drilling in the OCS and doesn't have a problem with the price of gas. He did tell MSNBC that, “I think that I would have preferred a more gradual adjustment.” I would prefer that we make every effort to secure our own oil so we can fuel our economy and lower our payments to oil rich countries supporting terrorism.

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