August 4, 2008

Additional Oil Would Be a Huge Help


Your Ideas section July 27 focused on the energy debate. As usual, we were told by an anti-drilling "expert" that we are not going to be able to drill our way out of the energy crisis. This is the same mind-set that told us in 1978 that the world had 10 years of oil left and that drilling at Prudhoe Bay would destroy the environment, destroy the caribou herd, and provide oil for six months. Those "experts" were wrong then, and history tells us they are likely wrong now.

From 1968 to 1988 we produced an average of 8.85 million barrels a day domestically, peaking at 9.6 million barrels. In 2007 we produced 5 million barrels. In May '08 we imported from our top five suppliers -- Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria -- 6.3 million barrels per day. If we merely matched that production today, it would wipe out all but 800,000 barrels that we import from our major suppliers. What would that do to the price of oil?

Then the renewable forms would likely make up the difference, further reducing or eliminating the need to send $400 billion to $600 billion a year out of the country. That would put a major dent in our trade deficit and create thousands of those high-paying jobs that the Democrats say they want.

None of this will assuage the radical environmentalists who want to destroy our capitalist society because they believe it is not "fair" that some should have more than others. This is not about "saving" the planet. They will continue to tell us of the danger to the environment, despite the fact that a recently released study by the Institute for Energy Research says that only 1 percent of spills come from offshore drilling, 63 percent from natural seepage, and 4 percent from transport. Offshore drilling is obviously the most environmentally safe method of getting our oil, and it appears that nature poses the most "danger" to the environment! A Coast Guard report says that the amount of oil spilled in the oceans has plummeted since 1970.

Ask yourselves why we are the only country in the world whose leaders refuse to permit us to extract our own resources, thereby forcing us to pay nearly $4 per gallon for gas? Start asking them now!

The writer lives in High Point.

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