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As Long as We Remember...

March 8, 2012

In Our Best Interest?

Blaine R. Young

If there is anyone left who doesn’t think we need a complete change of leadership in Washington, the events of the last few weeks should take care of any remaining apologists for our current federal government.


The list of the ways in which our Washington “leaders” neglect their duty to protect the interests of the American people is a long one, but today I want to talk about just one thing. Oil.


What got my attention was a report that came out late last week that foreign energy companies are lining up in front of the Cuban government in Havana to get permits to start off-shore drilling for oil as close as 60 miles from the Florida coast.


That’s right, while the president has essentially shut down our domestic off-shore oil industry, our communist neighbor to the south, who shares the Gulf of Mexico with us, is about to turn on the spigot. Doesn’t everyone see the problem with this?


At least when our companies drill for oil in the ocean pursuant to permits granted by our government, they must comply with our environmental laws. Over the years our environmental regulations governing the process for extraction of oil from under the sea in our waters has gotten measurably and increasingly tougher. And I have no problem with this. Okay, maybe just a little.


We should do everything in our power to ensure that the energy we draw from the ocean is pumped in a safe, clean and ecologically responsible manner.


The oil companies, who have been pushing for additional off-shore oil drilling leases in the Gulf, the Atlantic, the Pacific and Alaska, have not once, at least that I have seen, complained about the rules. All they have asked is for the opportunity to collect the oil from under our portions of the ocean, put it on the market and thereby increase the supply of oil. It doesn’t take a Harvard-educated economist to know that when you increase the supply of a product there is a good chance you will drive the price down.


Yet, in this current atmosphere of almost $4 a gallon gasoline, increasing reliance on unstable governments in the Middle East for our oil supply, and our president stopping a pipeline that would start with our friendly neighbor to the north in Canada and cross our country and provide oil for us, the boneheads in Washington are unwilling to let our companies drill more of our own oil.


So, into the breach steps the Castro Regime in Havana. I don’t think you will see them too hesitant to collect the royalties on the oil to be drilled from their waters. And I am certain you will not see any sort of environmental constraints on these companies that will even approach what our companies are required to respect when they drill in our portion of the ocean.


The idea that we will not allow domestic oil companies to drill for oil off-shore in a clean and environmentally sensitive manner, and we instead turn over such drilling to companies working with other governments without our sense of responsibility to the environment, is not only bad policy, it is borderline malfeasance in office. Not only do you have the impact on our economy of $4 and perhaps later $5.00 a gallon gasoline, the more of our oil that we can produce for ourselves means less reliance on governments that we would rather not deal with, who essentially hold us hostage for the oil they send us every day.


We do the same thing with issues such as air pollution. We put strict requirements on our companies, agree to these international protocols to limit our industries, and look the other way when countries like China and other so-called “developing” nations belch everything they can produce into the sky without the least bit of concern for the environment.


The last time I checked, air moves. Pollution in a neighboring country cannot be walled off and kept within that country, whether in the air or in the sea. We are at risk from every other nation’s pollution, so it would seem to make a lot more sense for us to concentrate as much of the production on land and in waters we control, and thus know that it is being done in an environmentally responsible way.


It should be clear to everyone by now that the restrictions the Obama Administration has placed on domestic oil drilling have nothing to do with the environment. It is a continued effort by liberal Democrats to control how we live. They would rather we not have enough oil, not be able to afford to fill up our gas tanks, to keep us from hitting the road. They prefer us all to live in big cities, use mass transit, and the more of us they can get off the road and keep housebound (or apartment bound as they would prefer), the happier they will be.


It is time for a clean sweep of Congress and the presidency in Washington. Please think about all this as you go to the polls in 2012.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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