A look on Lynn Woolsey’s official site’s Energy page reminds us that while she is eager to promote many types of alternative energy (wind, solar, geothermal), she is opposed to further drilling for oil in the U.S. Is her view good for America or not? Although we should certainly strive for the energy independence she claims she wants to this nation by incorporating renewable, clean fuel sources, the fact is that currently we are still dependent on oil, and on FOREIGN oil. The question is whether is makes more sense to try to end that dependence through an eradication of oil-based energy use or to direct oil production back to domestic sources. Lynn Woolsey and other progressives want the former even though that could result in major reductions in Americans’ standard of living.
In the GOP weekly address, Sen. Murkowski of Alaska, presented what seems a much more sensible plan. See and listen to her five-minute speech here:
If you prefer text to video, click here at The Minority Report post which provides a transcript of her remarks (it also prefaces the post with “Editors note: This is by no means an endorsement of Senator Murkowski who’s behavior in the 2010 elections was deplorable!” I completely agree she acted deplorably during the last election and that taints her , but her speech on this subject is superb nonetheless).
Watch or read the entire speech. But here perhaps are the most important comments she made:
“Republicans know that it’s past time to produce more of America’s oil. My home state of Alaska alone has estimated resources in excess of 65 years’ worth of Persian Gulf imports.
“Republicans would end the de facto moratorium on new development in the Gulf of Mexico and parts of the Rocky Mountain West. Instead of canceling leases and refusing to issue permits, we need to put people back to work.
“It’s also time to shelve the bad ideas. Democrats have repeatedly sought to increase taxes and fees while slowing the permitting process. That won’t solve any problems, but it will mean less production, more imports, and higher prices. To boost production, we need to cut red tape and streamline regulations.
“Both supply and demand affect oil prices, and that’s why Republicans support both new production and alternatives to reduce consumption. But we’re also thinking about what comes next, and we’re committed to making progress on cleaner energy – that’s just not our only goal. We also want energy to be affordable, abundant, diverse, and domestic.
“For far too long, our nation has lacked a coherent energy policy. For too many decades, opponents have argued against vital long-term policies because they won’t produce instant gratification. We’ve ignored the tremendous benefits of American oil production – jobs, money, and security – and now we’re facing the consequences.”
Lynn Woolsey and her cohorts are not being realistic about energy sources. The fact is we use oil. Yes, we should move toward alternatives. But as we do so, we need to responsibly and in an environmentally careful way tap into our own abundant oil resources instead of relying on foreign oil. Doing that will reduce our vulnerability on the international stage and will also reduce our trade imbalance.
The argument that Lynn Woolsey’s site repeats — that expanded domestic oil drilling would not “yield any oil for at least ten years” is not adequate. Just because Rep. Woolsey and many others have prevented oil drilling here for years and therefore kept us from beginning this vital element of energy independence earlier does not mean we should not begin now with the aim of achieving that independence as soon as possible.
We need to manage our natural resources as efficiently as possible. We are stewards of our world, so ideally we should not mismanage any resource. That includes our oil reserves and our wilderness areas or ocean areas under which the oil rests. But oil extraction technologies have advanced to the point where we can drill for oil and still maintain ecological balance. The BP oil spill in the Gulf should not have happened and is an example of negligence on the part of the company and regulators. But it also served to renew the vigilance of both oil companies and government. I have confidence that we can pump oil here in the U.S. with care for the environment from which it is taken.
Our national defense and national financial health depends on a sane oil policy here at home. Let’s hope we get one and soon.
Let me not forget to agree wholeheartedly with Sen. Murkowski’s introductory comments concerning the catastrophe in Japan:
“Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Japan in the wake of Friday’s terrible earthquake and tsunami…. We share and support the President’s commitment to bring America’s resources to bear to help Japan recover – and we commend the actions that he has taken so far.”
Japan, you are not forgotten in your great hour of suffering and need.