If Only We Had Drilled

Three years ago the cry was “drill baby drill”, but we didn’t increase drilling for oil. Instead, the government placed more restrictions on drilling for oil.

Those against drilling said, “Even if we started to drill for oil today, it wouldn’t be available for three years.”

Well, the three years are up and there is another crisis in the Middle East. We could use the oil we would have had if we had started drilling three years ago.

I’m not the first person to make this observation, but it needs to be repeated because it demonstrates the hollowness of the rhetoric coming from those who oppose drilling.

Drilling was shut down in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a year, and it’s only been in the past week or so that the first new permit was issued for drilling in the Gulf.

In addition, the Interior Department is proposing to exclude more federally owned land from drilling.

It stopped many fast-track approvals that had been authorized in the 2005 Energy Policy Act because of a legal settlement with environmental groups.

On another front, the administration is evaluating whether to use the 1906 Antiquities Law that allows a U.S. president to remove federal land from multiple uses by executive order.

In another instance, the administration voided leases on public land.

Another ploy of those who oppose drilling is to lament that the amount of oil from new discoveries couldn’t offset all the 10 million barrels of oil we import every day. SNOPES makes this same tenuous argument with respect to the Bakkan oil shale field.

This argument is intended to discourage us from looking for new oil fields, similar to the above argument about waiting three years before getting oil from drilling.

The argument is specious, because we might find many new oil fields that, together, could significantly reduce our imports.

Fracking opened Bakkan oil shale for oil production, and whether there are 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, as suggested by the USGS, or only one billion barrels, it all adds up.

Now, it appears likely that the Utica shale formation may have similar potential because of fracking. And, according to CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates), there are another 18 potential oil shale areas being investigated.

We have a great deal of oil, but can’t drill for it because the administration is against developing our oil resources. The administration, prodded by environmental groups, would apparently prefer that we remain dependent on foreign oil.

The administration has no plan for extricating our country from the economically damaging payments to foreign countries for their oil, or from higher oil prices.

It talks about clean energy from wind, but wind generates electricity and doesn’t produce oil. It talks about biofuels, but even the UN has said using food for ethanol is a crime against humanity.

The sop about releasing oil from the strategic oil reserve merely distracts us from focusing on increasing our oil production.

It’s time to revive the call, “drill baby drill”.

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