Domestic drilling should be an option

Columnist and Columnist

Remember in May 2008 when the price of gasoline was an estimated $4 per gallon? It is now surging yet again towards the same price.

Why is this? The environmental consequences of drilling here in the United States, threats from Iran of shutting down a strait in the Indian Ocean to cut off our foreign oil supply?

Or is it because lawmakers simply don’t care that the American people, in a desperate recession, have to pay outrageous prices just to drive to work?

A big debate soon came after that, when the U.S. citizens were fed up with these sky rocketing prices.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. consumes about 20 million barrels of oil products per day.

Then in 2008, Senator Domenici and Senate Republicans proposed the American Energy Production Act to address the inflated high prices of gasoline. Whatever happened to this bill, one may question?

It got shot down multiple times within Congress with consistency to block a bill that could produce up to an estimated 24 billion barrels of oil.

This is enough to suffice America for five years, without foreign imports.

The truth is we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil from questionable allies. The American Energy Production Act S. 2958 never passed and Congress and the media went silent.

Now in 2012, with years come and gone, the crucial problem is not fixed. With America is still extremely dependent on debatably corrupt countries to supply us with oil at a hefty price. Now, we are faced with Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a part of the Indian Ocean where multiple oil-producing nation states’ oil tankers pass through.

Around 40 percent of the world’s oil passes through the Strait.

In fact, the vice president of Iran, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, said if the U.S. ceased Iran’s nuclear weapon production, “not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz.” This could easily be done, putting the U.S. and oil consumers in a precarious situation.

Although proposed years ago to start drilling in the United States, the Department of Interior is delaying the process of granting offshore leases for exploration and drilling.

This means placing large areas off limits, and they are slow to issue permits in areas where exploration and drilling are presently allowable. The jobs created by these oil and natural gas drillings would be enormous and a help to our country’s unemployment rate.

One example is the controversial Keystone Oil Pipeline XL, a 1,700 mile pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas.

TransCanada the company that wants to build the pipeline, says Keystone would create 20,000 “direct” jobs. Which Include 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 jobs making various items such as the pipe alone and pump houses.

Additionally, TransCanada projects nearly 120,000 “indirect” jobs would be created from the new project.

So, what are Congress and the Obama Administration doing?

The Obama Administration, just a week ago stopped a permit for the $7 billion Keystone XL project.

They feel they need more time to review any environmental implications it may cause.

Isn’t it ironic that in 2008 this was a topic and now it’s coming to the forefront again in 2012?

Is the government really interested in energy independence, or only discussing it in an election year?

The government has for too long sat on this issue, doing nothing for the country and its citizens.

Can one consider these ridiculous fuel prices actually an excess tax on the poor and middle class? As for my solution, quit thinking Congress and President Obama, but instead “drill baby, drill!”

Sadly, history shows, our lawmakers will likely wait another election year to discuss this financially pressing issue again.

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