Part 2 of 2
By Katie Kieffer
Jobs. Low gas prices. National security. Oh, yes, and did I mention JOBS?
If America wants to ensure any or all of the above, then, in B.o.B‘s hip hop style, “America could really use a drill right now, drill right now.”
The April 20, 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill has given drilling critics a feather for their paper-mâché hats. As environmentalists clamor for a ban on new drilling and President Obama describes the recent BP oil spill as a “massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster,” we remember that the current administration has a shady record on drilling.
Apparently, the President thinks Americans see themselves as “above” drilling for oil and would prefer to watch their neighbors “dirty” themselves in it.
In 2009, the President approved $2 billion to fund Brazil’s off-shore drilling. Now, we discover that President Obama was the highest recipient of BP’s PAC funds and that the government granted BP a “categorical exemption” from performing an environmental impact analysis on its Gulf of Mexico lease less than two weeks before the spill.
This spill still pales in comparison with the U.S.’s worst spill on record, the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Additionally, this spill pales in comparison to international oil spills.
The Earth is more resilient than the administration and the left-wing media will admit. The facts regarding this spill show that, while serious, it does not warrant a ban on drilling. Rather, now is the time for the U.S. to drill more.
There is a huge source of revenue and energy available to America in a tiny section of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) known as the “1002 area.” Out of ANWR’s 19,000,000 acres, the 1002 area’s 1,500,000 acres were set aside for potential energy resource production.
The biggest controversy over drilling in ANWR’s 1002 area is that it would supposedly harm wildlife, especially the Porcupine caribou. However, the facts show otherwise. Indeed, the Central Arctic Caribou herd migrates through and calves in the vicinity of an existing oil field on Alaska’s North Slope known as Prudhoe Bay every year.
The Central Arctic Caribou herd has actually grown from 5,000 to at least 32,000. The caribou seek refuge from mosquitoes in the oil field. In fact, ABC’s Lee Dye, who lives in Alaska, reported, “I personally saw caribou climb on top of the pipeline in a futile effort to escape the hoards of mosquitoes that drive them crazy. Sometimes, they have to be shooed off the runway so planes can land.”
Drilling is popular with Americans
Apparently most Americans recognize that we are in a recession, and for the first time in Gallup‘s 9-year history of conducting an energy vs. environment opinion poll, more Americans “favored energy production over environmental protection.” Thus, Frank Newport, PhD and Editor in Chief of Gallup concludes, “these parlous economic times are ripe for the announcement of policies that focus on energy development rather than the environment.”
Furthermore, most Alaskans also favor drilling as they understand the value it brings to their families and communities. Dye also testifies to the benefits he witnessed in Alaska when drilling in Prudhoe Bay:
“About 15 years ago, a decade after oil began flowing through the Alaska pipeline from the Prudoe Bay field, which is west of the refuge, I visited a high school in Point Barrow at the northern tip of the state. Before oil, the impoverished community housed its students in quonset huts. But the new school had everything, including computers on every desk, and an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool. The $50 million school wouldn’t have been there without oil.”
Here is a short recap of what America has to gain from drilling:
Low prices on goods
Whispers about $5 gas coming this summer should have America scouting for a better way: Drilling.
Actually, more drilling would yield more than low gas prices. Drilling would also help about keep down the cost of indulging in your morning coffee, replacing your tires, baking banana bread, or serving shrimp at your next summer cocktail party. As the oil spill off the coast of New Orleans has spread, it has temporarily shut down prosperous fishing grounds and could also jam up shipping at the mouth of the Mississippi River, causing prices to rise.
Just like you want to protect your blood sugar from spiking because of the detrimental impacts on your energy levels and overall health, our country should proactively search out ways to buffer the economy from “spikes” or crashes should a natural disaster, government oversight or corporate mistake jumble the natural flow of production. If we had a more self-sufficient drilling system in this country, we would be a richer country overall. It seems logical that we would be able to create a “buffer” from economic price hikes if we drilled in ANWR, for example.
Our country is secure when it is independent. China already owns much of our debt. How would we feel if China pressured us into handing over the fuel we are unwilling to drill for ourselves? Consider this: Less than a month ago, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez announced that his country had accepted $20 billion in loans from China as part of a venture where Venezuela agreed to supply the world’s second-largest consumer of oil with an ample supply of the crude oil from the Orinoco Belt.
If our country wishes to stay safe, we need to remain economically independent from other countries. It is particularly concerning that China, a communist country that censors free speech, utilizes sweat shops and opposes freedom of religion (remember the Dalai Lama?) is growing stronger in many ways while the U.S. is starting to look more and more like Venezuela - dependent on China.
Wouldn’t it be better to occasionally clean up an oil spill than to become a socialist country without individual freedoms and private property rights?
To read Part 1 in this series, click here.