First, let’s examine why gas is so much in the first place. Unfortunately, it’s all too simple, supply vs. demand. Now usually through the 1970’s and 80’s, the United States was the leading consumer of oil in the world, so if our demand got to high, we would naturally fall back a little and the price would fall as well. However, with the dawn of the new millennium came more consumers, and pretty large ones, China and India. These two countries have one third of the world’s population within their borders and before the mid 90’s they were in relative poverty. Not a lot of cars were owned, or filed up. But as primarily China grew into an economic giant, their population began to gain enough money to buy cars. This grew to a smaller extent in India. As more and more cars were bought in China, the more fuel they required from the market. So the United States wasn’t the only customer anymore. We lost our individual power to control demand because now demand is based on the global marketplace.
Unfortunately no one in Washington saw this coming. Some still don’t see it. But most agree that since we can’t control demand anymore; let’s try to control the supply. Each party has go-to lines that they both use to answer a question about how to do this. The Republicans always say, drill for more oil in our country, so that we don’t depend on everyone else, but that’s where the plan ends. Democrats claim that “we can’t drill our way to energy independence,” and favor only searching for new alternatives. Personally, I feel that this should be a no-brainer for any well-thinking individual, why not do both.
Why not start drilling for oil off our coasts, under the shale in the Dakotas, and in ANWR. Most estimates say that there are billions, if not trillions of barrels of oil there, and right now it’s against the law for anyone to touch it. Beyond that, environmental groups block the building of new refineries to make the gasoline, even if we had the oil. If we were allowed to drill there and open refineries, it wouldn’t change the price over night, but with much of the prices based on speculators in the market, the drilling would be a jolt, a call of “help is on the way.” This should lower the price some, and after a few years and the oil is out and refined, the price should drop dramatically.
Next is where the Democrat’s plan comes in. While we bide time by drilling, we put this nation’s smartest minds to work on an Apollo-like project to find a new fuel source; hopefully it’s clean and renewable. This research could take decades, so that’s why the drilling is so important in the interim.
Now, I’d like to dispel some rumors about this problem that are totally idiotic and counter-productive. One is that we can’t drill in ANWR because it would ruin a pristine landscape. Some compare it to the Grand Canyon. Question: Has anyone reading this post been to ANWR? Have you planned a trip to ANWR? Do you plan on ever going? I would venture a guess that most of you would answer no on all three. Second, is the notion that the porcupine caribou will be disturbed by the drilling. Wrong again, because the places where the drilling would take place would be hundreds of miles from the nearest tree. It’s not like we’re putting an oil well inside the nest of these animals.
Myth number two is that we need a “windfall profits tax” on the oil companies. First, some background, out of every dollar that you spend at the pump, a whopping eight cents go to the evil Exon-Mobil CEO’s. That’s the profit margin of “big oil”. Now comes the really funny part. Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say that these oil profits are “obscene”. Eight percent is obscene. Okay, but what about 18 percent profit margin. I assume Speaker Pelosi would think that was outrageous, right. I doubt it, because that’s the percent that the government rakes in from your wallet at the pump. Yes, the Federal Government gets more than double what the CEO’s get, and they are demonized for “obscene profits”. I’ve now revealed why after 30+ years Washington hasn’t done much about our energy problem, because their making the most money off of it! But another tax, beyond being a slight bit socialistic, is a dumb idea. The oil companies would simply adjust there price to get around the tax. In a nutshell, the government gets another tax (more of your money) and “big oil” still gets those “obscene, record profits”.
Overall, I believe this is one of those problems that requires a bipartisan solution. This is easier than you might think to achieve. Think back the last year’s immigration bill that failed due to the flooding of the Congressional phone lines by angered constituents. The swell was so large that it overloaded the phone system. We need to do this again. Call or email your representatives and outline this or any of the other fine proposals that have been offered up by Congress. Remember, they work for us, not the other way around.
Please comment and call or email your reps!!!