Bush came out today and said that congress should lift the ban on offshore drilling. McCain gave a speech on the environment last night saying the same thing.. This is nothing more than a political ploy similar to the ridiculous gas tax holiday proposal. Let’s take a closer look:

  • We don’t have a supply problem. Demand is high, but oil supply is still meeting demand. Have you seen any long lines at the pump lately? I didn’t think so.
  • We DO have a speculation problem. Oil is so expensive because middle men are buying up oil futures and causing the price to skyrocket.
  • It will take AT LEAST 5 years, maybe more to develop Anwar and/or offshore rigs to the point that they start pumping oil into the market, and that’s if the oil companies got right to work. It’s very likely that the oil companies that purchased these leases would sit on them until the market was much worse just for the sake of profit.
  • Even if they could start pumping oil out of these areas today, we would only be supplementing a small percentage of the US oil consumption. The price of oil would still be determined by the global market and the speculators. But the oil companies would be making even MORE money because they don’t have to go through the middle east to get their oil before they sell it to us for the same price.

It pisses me off when Republicans tout these ideas as “solutions”. It anger’s me even more when I think about how many Americans will be duped by this suggestion. We’re in this mess with oil because we didn’t regulate the oil companies like we should have. We’re in this mess because we spent the last eight years pumping money into Iraq instead of into researching alternative energy.

We need to face the fact that there is no quick solution to the skyrocketing price of gas. The only way we’re going to get cheap gas is to make it irrelevant by offering hydrogen, electric, and biofuel alternatives. Drilling offshore and in Anwar is just another gift to the oil companies and that’s the last thing we need.