According to this article by AP writer H. Josef Hebert, the House has begun moving toward a vote that would end a drilling moratorium on offshore drilling that has been in place for more than a quarter century. This should have been done years ago, but it has consistently been blocked, for some unknown reason.
What we don’t need is a limitation on where we are allowed to drill. Many Republicans are displeased with the Democratic proposal because most of the offshore drilling sites would be out of bounds; we would not be much better off by their proposal. Drill now, even though experts agree oil production will not happen immediately.
According to an article in the International Herald Tribune, there is an enormous amount of oil and natural gas reserves just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. 60% of Floridians advocate offshore drilling. That’s a pretty significant jump. High gas prices will make you think about your priorities. Here’s an excerpt:
An increasing number of Floridians side with McCain when told that the candidate advocates expanded drilling to drive down prices, said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research in Washington. According to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted over the summer, at least 6 in 10 Floridians now support drilling.
The Democrats are crafty folk, and want to make their efforts look good to the American people, but they are just throwing us a bone. An article in the Dallas Morning News states the Democrats hope to tie new drilling to measures that would strip oil companies of tax breaks and require electric utilities to use more wind and solar power. Here’s a snippet of the article:
Democrats hope to put Republicans on the spot by tying new drilling to measures to strip oil companies of billions of dollars in tax breaks and to require electric utilities to use more wind and solar power – President Bush has repeatedly threatened to veto.
Ms. Pelosi also has crafted the bill carefully to limit new offshore production. Waters within 50 miles of shore would be off-limits. States could choose to drill between 50 and 100 miles but wouldn’t get a share of oil royalties for taking the environmental risk.
What do you think? Should we drill now? I don’t want to give the impression drilling is the only solution, though. It would be in our country’s best interest to pursue other forms of energy: solar, wind, and other forms coming on-line now. It will take a concerted effort to bring relief to Americans in this time of high gas prices. Don’t laugh, but I am of the opinion gas could be sold for $1.00 per gallon, and the gas companies would still be making a profit. That’s just me, though.