Drill, baby, drill!

By Erik Rush

“We can’t drill our way out of this,” has been the mating call of the far left and congressional Democrats who oppose exploration for new oil resources and have done so for decades. While the oil industry reminds us that states within the continental U.S. alone contain more reserves than the reserves of Saudi Arabia, others maintain that the length of time it will take to actualize any measure of relief in a practical sense renders the pursuit as folly.

Skyrocketing fuel prices have not only raised a call for industry, government and the American people to get serious about curtailing our dependence on foreign oil, but have given rise anew to global warming propaganda and assertions that the Democrat Party (read the far left) is the only one with real answers and is the sole arbiter of wisdom in this area.

Overnight, we’ve gone from examining the extent of humanity’s impact on the natural cycle of global warming to a near wholesale acceptance of our species being the only causative agent in the phenomenon.

“Guns, baby, guns” was the call of black militants during the civil rights movement, who reasoned that armed rebellion was the only way blacks would realize the fullness of their constitutional rights.

So perhaps “drill, baby drill” ought to be the mantra of those proponents of drilling for new oil.

And we will have to drill. We should drill like a field full of randy rabbits, regardless of the lag time between oil lease approvals and arrival of product. For if speculators were able to do what they did to oil prices (and consumers of fossil fuels), it stands to reason that the effect of a United States clearly committed to freedom from the bondage of foreign oil will ameliorate rising oil prices long before the new reserves are tapped.

The aforementioned clear commitment also means that we must fast-track the use of existing alternative technologies (such as nuclear power) and the development of new ones. Hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles are a start, to be sure, but the development of alternative energy sources has effectively become an issue of national security and should be treated as such.

As in the issue of immigration, in which many politicians are so entangled in conflicts of interest and allegiance to special interests over the good of the American people, politicians will never act decisively (or for the good of the American people) until Americans become engaged and – for lack of a more delicate term – cause them some pain. Unpleasant though the prospect, voters need to support candidates – including those for the U.S. Congress – with a willingness to remove them from office should the need arise. Only when this occurs will lawmakers know that we mean business.

I use immigration as an example in this regard because immigration and energy are two issues in which the Congress has done nothing consequential over the last 40 years; rather, while prognosticators and the suffering American public complain, both Democrats and Republicans have indulged deep-pocketed special interests (in the areas of civil rights, industry, and others promoting an incremental socialist agenda) to the detriment of curing these two chronic ailments.

Energy Rally For America is a nonpartisan grass-roots organization, one of whose objectives is the passage of House Resolution 6566, The American Energy Act, without the addition of earmarks. H.R. 6566 is a comprehensive energy plan that includes not only an augmentation in the scope of oil exploration, but a myriad of incentives for the development of new energy technologies. The group wants to see the resolution signed by the president before Congress adjourns for the general election. This sort of organization, which dedicatedly targets Congress, is a step toward what America needs in holding our elected officials accountable.

Whether the legislation will be passed without earmarks (if at all) remains to be seen; as with the issue of immigration, voters must use such globally neglected issues as their litmus tests for elected officials, regardless of party. They must be willing to begin hurling their representatives and senators under the proverbial bus like a dockworker slinging sacks of grain if these lawmakers show signs of supporting the status quo.

It would also behoove Americans to be wary of those who are already seeking to profit from our dilemma. Not that interests which provide energy solutions shouldn’t be rewarded, but those that (for example) capitalize federal subsidies (read taxpayer dollars) ought to be scrutinized judiciously, lest their efforts become bureaucratized sinkholes.

And lawmakers who are discovered earmarking for energy industry concerns in which they have financial interest? Well, we already know what to do with them, don’t we?

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round …