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Friday, October 16, 2009

To Drill or Not to Drill? That is Palin’s Question


By Shane Vander Hart, Caffeinated Thoughts

Sarah Palin has piece that was published this morning for National Review, and she opens by stating, “Petroleum is a major part of America’s energy picture.  Shall we get it here or abroad?”  This follows a Facebook post regarding the desire of Gulf oil producers to replace the dollar in pricing oil with a different currency.

The answer, she writes at National Review, is to drill:

Given that we’re spending billions of stimulus dollars to rebuild our highways, it makes sense to think about what we’ll be driving on them. For years to come, most of what we drive will be powered, at least in part, by diesel fuel or gasoline. To fuel that driving, we need access to oil. The less use we make of our own reserves, the more we will have to import, which leads to a number of harmful consequences. That means we need to drill here and drill now.

We rely on petroleum for much more than just powering our vehicles: It is essential in everything from jet fuel to petrochemicals, plastics to fertilizers, pesticides to pharmaceuticals. Ac­cord­ing to the Energy Information Ad­min­is­tra­tion, our total domestic petroleum consumption last year was 19.5 million barrels per day (bpd). Motor gasoline and diesel fuel accounted for less than 13 million bpd of that. Meanwhile, we produced only 4.95 million bpd of domestic crude. In other words, even if we ran all our vehicles on something else (which won’t happen anytime soon), we would still have to depend on imported oil. And we’ll continue that dependence until we develop our own oil resources to their fullest extent.

Those who oppose domestic drilling are motivated primarily by environmental considerations, but many of the countries we’re forced to import from have few if any environmental-protection laws, and those that do exist often go unenforced. In effect, American environmentalists are preventing responsible development here at home while supporting irresponsible development overseas. (read the rest)

Palin is right.  For the sake of our economic and national security we need to unshackle our ability to develop the God-given natural resources that we have here at home.  We can develop and access these resources in environmentally friendly ways providing a transition to a cleaner fuel alternative.  So my answer to her question is, “drill, baby, drill.”  Let’s get it from within our own borders.

It would be the common sense approach, which is why Washington won’t likely go for it.

Shane Vander Hart is the editor of Caffeinated Thoughts.  Feel free to friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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