I always knew that Washington was it’s very own environment, and creates it’s own sphere of self perpetuating influence, but it’s become quite clear of late just how out of touch with America it is. Or, they are. There has always been a huge difference between the coasts and the heartland, or the flyover or whatever it is they refer to it as. But Washington, it seems has taken the abstract differences to the max. For YEARS people have pressed for energy independence. Often it has been the democrats doing the talking about alternate forms of energy, and accusing the republicans of stalling that progress. The republicans have always pushed for more relaxation in regulation over the industry, the idea being that the Capitalist Way and free enterprise would lead to these new sources if allowed, but that allowance has always been blocked by special interests and environmental concerns… No-one really pressed the issue because gasoline was fairly cheap and it would take years to satisfy government regulations which pushed the benefits back years off into the future.
Now that the future has caught up with us, the democrats use the tired excuse that any benefit would (again) be years down the road… but, to a public that hurts, those words ring hollow. After all, if it had been done then, it would be available NOW. And if we do it NOW, it will still be available someday, not never if we don’t. That oil that sits underground will NEVER be available, if we put off drilling for it because of the length of time it would take to get it out of the ground. What we are using now, somebody back then decided to drill for. They didn’t wait!
A lot of the other excuses that the democrats give for not drilling for those known quantities of oil don’t hold water either. Sure, some of these oil fields only hold enough for a few years usage… but that assumes that that would be the only oil pumped anywhere in the world. Most of the known oil fields in the world would only last for short periods of time if we were to pump them individually – one at a time. But that isn’t how it works. Oil comes from many sources, which combined make many years worth of reserves. Adding ‘years’ worth’s of oil here, and ‘years’ worth of oil there, all adds up to many many years worth of oil. But if you don’t drill for it, it adds nothing. There are years worth of oil in ANWR.
There are years worth of oil off the coast of California. There are years worth of oil off the coast of Florida. Years worth off the east coast. Years worth in the Gulf. The democrats will tell you that there are many acres of leases undrilled upon, but we don’t “carpetbomb” those leases. That would lead to environmental problems. Also they talk about spoiling the beauty and disrupting the wildlife in the Artic Reserve, but in actuality the total amount of land mass that would be effected (by government account) would be about 2000 acres. And where we have oil fields and pipelines in Alaska now, wildlife thrives.
Sure there can be spills and such. But that isn’t excluded anyway as ships move across our oceans caring the stuff in bulk. Or as railroads or pipelines carry much of those products and are certainly subject to accidents and such themselves, the environment is open to harm from there. Safety is in fact a large and important part of the industry now.
There is no real excuse to put off the quest for greater energy independence. Sure there are concerns and drawbacks (there is with everything), but those concerns and drawback can be addressed. We’ve address many environmental concerns successfully of the years and there is no reason to think we can’t be successful here.
There is much to be done on all fronts, conservation, new types and sources, AND producing more oil domestically. But burying your head in the sand and crying “It can’t be done! It can’t be done!” gains us nothing. It CAN be done. And we need to start NOW. The democrats need to get up off of there rears (and out of bed with the special interests) and actually do something for AMERICA.
President Bush told us in 2001 we needed to do this, but the democrats said it would take at least 7 years to do, so it wasn’t worth the doing. But how long ago WAS 2001 anyway?
America is hurting Washington. Are you listening?