To Drill or Not to Drill
HUM/111 CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING
President Obama wrote a letter to Congressional Leader to take immediate action to eliminate unwarranted tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and to use those dollars to invest in clean energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. (Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents; 4/26/2011, p1-2, 2p).
President Obama and Congressional Republicans marches in completely different direction on energy policy. Mr. Obama reminds us that charting a clean energy future is not a pipe dream and that America can reduce its dependence on foreign oil. The republicans remind us how hard it will be to get there. The outcome depends in no small measure on how hard Mr. Obama is willing to battle for his policies.
America sends nearly $1 billion daily overseas to purchase oil, which is nearly half the trade deficit. Nearly 20% of our oil imports come from the Persian Gulf, where instability causes roller coaster prices. "Drill, baby, drill" won't get us out of this mess. We have only 2% of world oil reserves but use one-quarter of world oil production. Oil companies want more ocean drilling, yet it will take years to produce anything from the thousands of undeveloped Gulf of Mexico leases they already own. And nuclear plants are no solution because they are exorbitantly expensive and time consuming to build. We must shrink oil use by increasing vehicle efficiency, using cleaner fuels and investing in public transit.
The Obama administration has responded to the oil threat by requiring that fuel economy improve by one-third in cars built from 2012 to 2016. This would save a cumulative 1.8 billion barrels of oil and lower drivers' gas bills by an average of $2,800 per vehicle. The president plans to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Eliminating $4 billion in Big Oil tax loopholes would provide customer rebates and help build vehicle recharging stations. Planned investments in high-speed...