The Corner

Environmentally Sound Energy Independence

On this holiest of days for EcoLiberals, how about if Americans celebrate Earth Day with responsible energy development that leads to greater independence and conservation?

There’s no better way for President Obama and his administration to celebrate Earth Day than to embrace a real, environmentally sound commitment to energy independence instead of relying on foreign countries that lack environmental safeguards. One aspect of the “all-of-the-above” approach I have been discussing for years involves, of course, the necessity to “drill, baby, drill.”

It’s no secret that throughout America, including the very wealthy state of Alaska, we find a storehouse of natural resources that God so benevolently dumped underfoot, just waiting to be tapped. ANWR, for example, is screaming to be used to help bring prosperity and national security to America. Indeed, there is an inherent link between energy and prosperity and energy and security. On this day, as many are focused on preserving the planet, environmentalists need not fear that the land or wildlife would suffer from the wise decision to drill here. As Alaskans know, ANWR is not some luxurious vacation spot teeming with Bambi and friends frolicking through waterfalls and flower-strewn mountainsides, as environmentalist fundraising advertisements depict it. It is a vast, remote, desolate, frozen area available to be used with a tiny drilling footprint to bring the country closer to what is clearly needed: commonsense, money-saving, job-producing energy independence. Believe me, I live in the Last Frontier because I cherish the earth and thrive in the clean air and fresh water amid our plentiful wildlife. I don’t want to mess this up for future generations.

Thankfully, America has the wonderful opportunity to truly demonstrate a commitment to protecting the beautiful earth we have been blessed with. No one loves our land more than we do, and no one wants to preserve it more than we do. Our high standards for energy exploration prove this. Our guidelines are stricter than those of other nations we seem content to rely on for energy, and we benefit from reasonable guidelines here. However, caring about the earth also means caring about measures being employed globally to access resources. What better way to walk the environmental walk than to take the lead rather than sitting back while less environmentally conscious countries develop resources for us—and hold us over the barrel in the process?

America isn’t the only country that celebrates Earth Day, but we are the most exceptional. It’s time for the greatest nation on earth to tap into its full potential, and one surefire way to do so is to tap into what is beneath this earth. Energy independence awaits, and her companions are national security and financial prosperity.

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