July 18, 2008

Arnold Lacks Backbone to Approve Oil Drilling


MY car has a 16-gallon tank. I'm filling it twice a week, which sets me back about 140 bucks, or $560 a month.

My wife's car also has a 16-gallon tank. You do the math.

And unless your last name is Begley, you have. Like me, you've been pumping your way to the poorhouse. Lucky for us, we have a generation of dynamic leaders committed to securing America's energy independence, which is sarcasm.

President George W. Bush, who failed in the oil business, and Vice President Dick Cheney, who didn't, argue the solution is increased domestic production, which means drill, drill, drill. Drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Drill in Malibu. Drill, drill, drill.

The Democrats say save, save, save. Biofuels! Hydrogen cars! Bike paths!

And then there's Arnold.

California's vertebrae-challenged governor has taken the energy debate into a logic cul-de-sac from which it may never return. When asked about the prospect of offshore drilling, Schwarzenegger said, "Politicians have been throwing around all kinds of ideas in response to skyrocketing energy prices, from the rethinking of nuclear power to pushing biofuels and more renewables and ending the ban on offshore drilling, but anyone who tells you this would bring down gas prices anytime soon is blowing smoke."

And we all know smoke contributes to global warming.

Apparently, in Arnold's world, the only solutions worth pursuing are instant cures.

Because drilling will not result in an instantaneous reduction in gas prices, we shouldn't do it. I suppose this is why the state budget is a disaster. Arnold couldn't find his magic wand: "Presto, change-o! Balanced budget!"

What an absurd notion. We shouldn't drill for oil because it won't bring down gas prices "anytime soon"? If that's the governor's philosophy, why try to end global warming? Nothing we can do today will cool the Earth soon. Why plan for anything other than exhaling after inhaling?

I'm not on the payroll of the oil industry. I don't pretend to understand the vast complexities of the world commodities markets, and I don't know how our "eternal friends" in the Saudi royal family are stiffing us. I do know developing domestic sources of oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power has to be part of the solution. Until we have a practical nationwide system of renewable, environmentally responsible fuels that allow the First World to function, traditional energy supplies have to be increased.

India and China are not fictions. These two economic giants are consuming enormous quantities of oil. Future growth will see the markets tightened even more.

While we develop green technologies and apply those we currently have, we need to drill where the oil is. It's unfortunate oil happens to be located in some pretty places. I wish we had vast untapped oil reserves in Victorville. But the oil is where the oil is.

Arnold's next movie should be "Kindergarten Cop-Out." He's taken the popular but irresponsible option of green platitudes over pragmatism. He'll achieve his goal of being remembered as the green governor. All that green from your wallet will go into your gas tank and into the offshore bank accounts of hostile Middle Eastern regimes because he lacks the backbone to face physical realities.

The oil is where the oil is.

Sadly, this governor has returned to the world of make-believe and wishful thinking from which he came.

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