Monday, July 14, 2008

Offshore drilling? Symbolism vs. reality

President Bush today announced he is lifting a White House ban on offshore drilling to try to drive down soaring energy prices. This is, by all accounts, an empty symbolic gesture that won't have any short-term impact on high gasoline costs.

Congress banned offshore drilling in 1982 and the ban continues. Oil companies already control 68 million acres that they aren't drilling on. Further, even if drilling began tomorrow, it wouldn't lower gas prices for years, and even then, only a few cents.

The president just wants to beat up politically on the Democrats, who control Congress, by bludgeoning them for not wanting to expand oil drilling offshore or allow it in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We're always up for beating up on politicians, but we'd have a more welcoming attitude toward Bush's symbolic efforts if he showed as much concern for energy conservation, by pushing for better fuel economy standards for cars, and more money for mass transit, for instance. He should be working to develop long-term alternative energy solutions that don't cause the food shortages and rising grocery prices resulting from Washington's beloved but increasingly problem-filled corn-for-fuel program.

Instead of meaningless symbolic gestures, how about some real leadership for a change?

5 comments:

GTP said...

First, Bush is not going to try to lead in these areas.

Second, if he did try the Democrats aren't going to allow him success in an election yearl.

Tom said...

That's been Bush's problem since Day One -- instead of leading he just does what his campaign contributors tell him. That's why his legacy is closer to Nixon than Reagan.

JT Lancer said...

You say you want 'real' leadership on energy, yet the beloved politicians that you slavishly worship are the ones that have created the mess in the first place. Witness the ethanol subsidy debacle.

You say push for better fuel standards for cars. Why? Are there not enough options for consumers to decide for themselves?

You say more money for mass transit. Why? So that inefficient governments can continue running transit systems at a loss, forcing non-users to subsidize rides of users?

Command and control economies have never worked, and they never will.

Why you put so much faith in politicians over the ability of individual citizens to make their own decisions and choose what is best for their own families is beyond me.

Fleiter said...

By all means, let's continue our current energy policy, which requires us to send all of our national wealth to our enemies in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia. Please repeat after me: We have oil. We just need to drill it. If we had done this 10 years ago, we would not be heading into the worst recession since the Great Depression. All of our elected officials are idiots.

Jeff said...

I am really getting tired of all the excused being given by the democrats for not lifting the ban on oil shale, offshore, and Alaska oil exploration. I am particularly tired of the excuse that allowing the drilling would not ease prices.
I am not a politician, but I am smart enough (like most Americans) to know that if one party can nail the other, they will. The Republicans continue to push for more domestic exploration. The Democrates say it won't help. Now, if the Democrats really believe it won't help, then that is the BIGGEST reason they have for allowing it! What better way to show the Republicans as fools and ignorant? Allow the exploratioin and then wait for it to NOT work! It's perfect! But, the mere fact taht they will not take this approach is evidence that the Democrats really know it WILL work! They don't want to do ANYTHING that will make the Republicans look good!
And then theres the argument that the oil companies alredy have leases and they are not exploring on the land they have leased. Well, same thing applies. If the Democrats really believe that BIG OIL only wants the leases to tie up the land and that they will not explore, then why not give them more leases and see what happens! That would rally prove their point wouldn't it? Give them all the land they want and watch them NOT EXPLORE! Then the amereican people would know the Democrats were right! What a way for them to kill their opposition. And then if the evil American oil companies will not drill on the land, give it to companies or countries that will! Why not, we've given everything else to foreign countires, why not the offshore leases too? take China for example, they have proven that they will drill anywhere they are allowed to. Why they are exploring not 50 miles off the Floried coast already. Give them the leases and show those evil American oil comopanies and Republican lackies! Then we could buy our oil back from China like everything else we buy. Who knows, maybe we could sell the oil to China so it comes back to the US as gasoline. Then we can go buy it at Wal Mart when we buy all of our other Chinese goods...at the lowest price, ALWAYS!