Here’s a completely different take on domestic oil drilling:
Why on Earth would we use up our own resources, when they are currently sold for so cheap elsewhere? Better to drain the sands of the Middle East – paying them a pittance for the privilege.
If you think $70/barrel oil is expensive, what happens when we are down to a 5 year supply? A 2 year supply? Keeping the assets stored in Alaska as an investment will pay off in a huge way in a 100 years or two. In the meantime, we leech these corrupt regimes of their oil, and accelerate their demise.
Make sure you take a detour today, and take satisfaction in the small part you played in “driving” OPEC and Co. out of business.
There’s something attractive about this line of thinking. Here’s the other side: will we still be using oil by the time there’s only a five-year supply left? I actually hope not. Plug-in cars are already becoming more feasible by the day at current oil prices, and we’ll probably all be using them by the time I’m 80. Why not sell ours now while it’s still valuable, get some relief from the prices in the short term, and create a whole heck of a lot of jobs and wealth that stays here in the U.S.?
Another, more standard take from the Left:
The short answer is, we’re concerned about global warming, so we’d like to leave as much fossil fuel in the ground as possible, rather than pump CO2 into the atmosphere. We support either a carbon tax or a nearly-equivalent cap and trade system; balanced by some package of income tax reductions and EITC increases. Increasing the price of gas at the pump will push the market towards plug-in hybrid cars, reducing our need to import oil from unfriendly nations.
Fair enough — but let’s stop talking about “energy independence,” because that’s not the real goal. The real goal is to use the power of government to squeeze the American consumer and taxpayer until he shouts “uncle” and does what you want him to, because you think the world is about to come to an end. I’d love to see the Democrats campaign on that platform.