Politics

What Part of ‘Drill Now’ do they Not Understand?

Out here in West Texas we love our guns, we support our troops, and we treasure our freedom. We are an independent bunch and — pardon me, Senator Obama — fiercely but not bitterly so. We are proud to have our own things to do with as we choose to, as free people of the freest nation in the history of the world.

We also walk around on top of oil: yes it’s far beneath us, but it’s there. And all these aspects of West Texas come together to our astonishment and anger over the fact that our independence is limited by an intrusive federal government that tells us what oil we can and can’t access through drilling, and ultimately makes us dependent upon other nations for our own fuel supplies.

This dependence is made worse by the fact that it is arbitrary: that is, we don’t have to rely on foreign sources of oil because we lack our own but because our government has chosen foreign importation over domestic production. And we name names where I am from, so for clarity’s sake allow me to say that Senators Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson are not keeping us in this position, but are pushing for common sense changes in energy policies that will result in greatly expanded domestic production.

The two main culprits here are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who are currently enjoying a 9% favorable approvable rating among the American people. Perhaps you will remember Reid as the man who boldly declared we had lost the war in Iraq a year ago: the war we are clearly winning today. His poor judgment in war-fighting and his lack of faith in our troops are matched by his energy policies that keep us dependent on oil from the very parts of the world with which we are at war.

Reid, and his cohort Pelosi, mock Republicans like McConnell, Cornyn, and Hutchinson for their belief that we can “drill our way out of this energy crisis.” But why can’t we drill out way out? Is oil that much different than other commodities? It is traded on the futures market and its elevated prices currently result from a demand that promises to be greater than future supply. Gold is a commodity, what would happen to it if we suddenly realized it is more plentiful than needles on a pine tree? I can tell you what would happen — the value of an ounce of gold would plummet: its value is directly linked to its scarcity.

Recently, President Bush did something that should have been done years ago: He lifted the Executive Ban on off-shore drilling. This means we not only have the oil deposits throughout the western United States which we could access in order to be energy dependent but the great oil deposits miles away from our shores as well.

In Colorado and Wyoming alone we have oil deposits sufficient to rival those of Saudi Arabia. Those, plus the use of ocean rigs, would easily result in over a hundred years of fuel for our nation. Yet Reid and Pelosi will not even consider removing the Congressional ban on offshore drilling. Rather, they spend their time talking about the current “energy crisis.” But with oil supplies such as those in Colorado, Wyoming, and the ocean untapped, this doesn’t really seem like an energy crisis as much as it seems like a concerted effort on the part of Reid and Pelosi to keep America from enjoying her independence.

And there’s more — We also have a rock quarry named ANWR from which we could double the amount of the oil we would draw from the western U.S. and ocean rigs. (I know all of ANWR doesn’t look like a rock quarry; but the part we would drill in does.) And there is nothing pristine about a rock quarry; no viable reason for keeping our oil companies from drilling there. Yet Reid and Pelosi oppose President Bush’s attempts to let Exxon and others pull oil out of ANWR as well. What’s wrong with these people?

The common opposition given against drilling offshore is the fear of oil spills. Does anybody remember hurricane Katrina? The havoc she wreaked on oil rigs in the gulf was unbelievable. Some of these were so damaged that they are yet to be back online. Winds well over 70 miles an hour and the resulting ocean surges pummeled the oil rigs late in the night of August 28 and into the early morning hours of August 29, 2005. And how much oil was spilled? Not one drop. (I am sure that Reid and Pelosi believe President Bush, “an oil man,” orchestrated the hurricane in such a way as to displace a hundred thousand New Orleans’ residents while sparing the oil in the gulf.)

On the other hand, the opposition to drilling in ANWR is usually cited in terms of the damage it would do to the caribou. In all honesty, how out of whack can things get? My friends and I shoot animals as big as caribou in our part of the country every year. We shoot deer, elk, bear, antelope, and aoudad, yet guess what happens without fail? Every few years the hunting seasons are lengthened because the animal populations are still so great that they require more thinning. Add to this the fact that the caribou around the current Alaskan pipeline are thriving and the arguments against drilling in ANWR go from ridiculous to asinine.

I am worried about having politicians in office who are more concerned about hoofed creatures than they are about human beings. Like President Bush, we still read our Bibles in West Texas and from it we learn that mankind was placed over nature not under it. Our Founding Fathers concurred.

We need to drill here and we need to drill now, as Newt Gingrich, McConnell, Cornyn, Hutchinson, and others who value America’s independence assert. It’s not a question of whether the oil is or isn’t there — we know it’s there — the question is whether we as a people will muster the wherewithal to tell politicians like Reid and Pelosi to remove the Congressional ban on drilling because America, rather than the Democrat Party or the caribou, comes first. In the end, this is tantamount to saying people come first; people of all economic classes who need gasoline for their cars, diesel for their trucks, oils to heat their homes, and the natural gas required to produce the electricity we are accustomed to having at the flip of a switch.

Just what part of “drill now” do they not understand?


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