You Know What This Spot Could Use? An Oil Well.

By Eliza Strickland | June 17, 2008 1:12 pm

oil rig offshore drilling platformAs Americans grimly fill up their cars with $4 per gallon gas and worry about turning up the air conditioning at home, they may well be wondering: Can’t we dig up some more oil and gas from somewhere? Well, their government representatives are feeling that pain, and are scrambling to offer new policies that would allow more oil and gas drilling.

Some U.S. Representatives have called, once again, for drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and the bill is reportedly gaining support among moderate Republicans. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate John McCain is making headlines by calling for an end to a 27-year-old ban on offshore drilling. McCain says he still opposes drilling in the “pristine” natural setting of ANWR, but sees renewed domestic drilling as the only way out of the current energy crisis.

In a major speech that he will give today on energy policy, McCain plans to say that “we have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. . . . It is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions” [The Washington Post].

The suggestion is bound to outrage environmentalists and will be opposed by many Democratic politicians. Democrats typically have argued that the United States can’t drill its way out of energy dependence and have stressed conservation over production [Congressional Quarterly]. McCain’s position may even create divisions within the Republican party, as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Governor Charlie Crist have both argued against drilling in the coastal waters of their states.

As the presidential race is now in full gear, McCain’s opponent didn’t let the endorsement of offshore drilling go by without comment. Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign and environmental groups said McCain’s proposal threatens U.S. coastlines and does little to reduce American dependence on foreign oil. Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said McCain’s hope to “simply drill our way out of our energy crisis” mimics the approach of the Bush administration [USA Today]. Obama has said that he supports a windfall tax on oil companies to fund consumer-relief programs, and would also invest heavily in developing cost-effective alternative energy.

Image: flickr/Strocchi

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment
  • Pingback: It’s Time for the Nuclear Option, Says McCain | 80beats | Discover Magazine

  • crabjoe

    “Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign and environmental groups said McCain’s proposal threatens U.S. coastlines and does little to reduce American dependence on foreign oil. Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said McCain’s hope to “simply drill our way out of our energy crisis” mimics the approach of the Bush administration [USA Today]. ”

    I think Barack isn’t thinking… Energy is a MAJOR PROBLEM and every little bit helps!

    His statement also tells me he’s not thinking forward. I say this because there is no cost competitive transportation energy source to oil and none on the horizon. Don’t tell me there’s an alternative without telling me what it is. I don’t see it.

    If you think Hydrogen or Electric, think twice. Hydrogen will most likely be made with electric. Electric… you gotta make it and send it. Electric bills are already climbing and our electric grid is maxed already. Solar or wind for electric won’t work either because you can’t put up enough solar cells or wind farms to generate the electric that will be needed to move us from gas to some form of electric (this includes Hydrogen vehicle) transportation.

    If electric were to become our main source of power, can you imagine what it will cost to heat and cool your homes? My electric bills have more then doubled since a few years ago, how about yours???

  • http://whafen@cox.net realamerican

    We will destroy you! Good read
    The OPEC minister will look you in the eyes and state:
    We are at war with you infidels and have been since the embargo in the 1970′s. You are so arrogant you haven’t even recognized it. You have more missiles, bombs, and technology; so we are fighting with the best weapon we have and extracting on a net basis about $700 billion/year out of your economy. We will destroy you! Death to the infidels!
    While I am here I would like to thank you for the following:
    developing your 250-300 year supply of oil shale and tarsands. We know if you did this, it would create millions of jobs for US citizens, expand your engineering capabilities, and keep the wealth in the US instead of sending it to us to finance our war against you.
    Thank you for limiting defense department purchases of oil sands from your neighbors to the north. We love it when you confuse your allies.
    Thank you for over regulating every segment of your economy and thus delaying, by decades, the development of alternate fuel technologies.
    Thanks for limiting drilling off your coasts, in Alaska , and anywhere there is a bug, bird, fish, or plant that might be inconvenienced. Better that your people suffer! Glad to see our lobbying efforts have been so effective.
    Corn based Ethanol. Praise Allah for this sham program! Perhaps you will destroy yourself from the inside with these types of policies. This is a gift from Allah, praise his name! We never would have thought of this one! This is better than when you pay your farmers NOT TO GROW FOOD. Have them use more energy to create less energy, and simultaneously drive food prices through the roof.
    Thank you US Congress!!!!
    And finally, we appreciate you letting us fleece you without end. You will be glad to know we have been accumulating shares in your banks, real estate, and publicly held companies. We also finance a good portion of your debt and now manipulate your markets, currency, and economies to our benefit.

    THANK YOU AMERICA !AND BARACK OBAMA

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