Thursday, July 10, 2008

No Solution is Not a Solution Either

I hear people say, mainly political candidates, that “Drilling is not the solution.” My response to that is, saying drilling is not the solution, isn’t a solution either.

I wrote my senator and congressman telling them I was mad as hell, mainly about the price of fuel, and wasn’t going to take it anymore. I don’t know what the heck good that did, though; I don’t think much, but I did it anyway. I’ve signed petitions; I’ve joined activist groups and sent people money. Outside of participating in an armed revolution, that’s about all I feel able to do. I'm a patriot, and I pray it doesn't come to that, but those we've elected are failing us. They've replaced our trust with arrogance.

I told my senator and congressman there is a plan, one by former Speaker Newt Gingrich and his action group AmericanSolutions, wherein we could become self-sufficient/independent in oil production, and at the same time work on alternative fuels so we can get to the place where we 1 – Don’t need to buy oil from our enemies, 2 – in the long term, don’t need oil at all.

So far, my senator – Jim Inhofe - has ignored me, and my congressman - John Sullivan – sent me a lengthy stock letter on his energy position. Sullivan’s points pretty much coincide with mine, but it was mostly blah, blah, blah. It had the tone of campaign rhetoric. Congressman and Senator, I hear a lot of talk; I see no action.

Newt says this:
1. We need to release about 1/3 of our national oil reserve onto the market. That would break the greedy speculators who are pushing up the price of oil. But more importantly its main impact would be a drop in oil prices by about $50/bbl. That would in turn cause an immediate drop in fuel prices.

2. We need to pressure our lawmakers to loosen the restrictions on domestic drilling. There are billions of barrels of oil off our Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf shores. There is a huge reserve in Northeast Alaska in a place called the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. The Rocky Mountains contain shale from which holds an estimated 2 TRILLION barrels of oil. We currently can’t go get any of this oil because of federal laws that forbid it. These were mainly put in place to placate environmentalists. It’s like we’re dying of thirst in the middle of an oasis. I understand all this oil could be drilled for and piped in a way that wouldn't disturb any polar bears or harm any snail darters. I’ve got to believe there are people working in oil companies who care as much about this planet as the next guy, no matter how jealous I am of their incomes.

3. We need to aggressively, with tax-break incentives, develop alternative fuels including wind, solar, bio-fuels, and nuclear. We have technologies in place to use all these. We need research incentives to improve these existing technologies and develop others, e.g. hydrogen. Nuclear fuel is another of those the activist environmentalists have made dormant. No nuclear facility has been built in this country in 40 years. France, of all places, gets 80% of their electricity from nuclear plants. Freaking FRANCE for Pete’s sake!

So we have the means, and we have the ends. The question is, do we have the spine. In my opinion, but not mine alone, the fight for this has the moral equivalent of mobilizing for war.

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