Sunday, October 26, 2008

Drill Here, Drill Now: Why Now?

Former president George H. W. Bush banned crude oil exploration in the continental US for a reason, now his son – the current US president – wants it repealed. Is it a misguided political rhetoric or the path to energy independence?

By: Ringo Bones

If it defies logic, it must be rhetoric, right? Yet as a platform for energy independence for America, the Republican Party had been very busy lately promoting their “Drill here, drill now” program in order to promote crude oil exploration on the continental US – especially on the still-pristine parts of the state of Alaska. If the Exxon Valdez disaster scared the higher-echelons of Capitol Hill to prompt them to ban US domestic crude oil exploration – i.e. drilling especially with President Bush, Senior’s blessing, then why restart drilling now?

The truth is many experts – as opposed to just environmental nut-jobs as the Republican Party will want you to believe – believe that the total crude oil that will be extracted via domestic exploration in the US will only last for 3 years given the current US crude oil consumption. They even have enough peer-reviewed scientific data to back this up. Sadder still, it will take 10 years to set up the new crude oil exploration / drilling infrastructure up and running in an economically sensible manner. Imagine that, it takes 10 years worth of work just to extract 3 years worth of crude oil.

To me at least, the US Government had reached this position of energy uncertainty because environmental lobbyists had never had a say in the American energy policy. If the green / renewable energy programs that started during the Carter Administration were allowed to continue when Pres. Reagan was at the helm, America’s energy would have been virtually crude oil-free by 1995. Operation Desert Storm could have been the last war America would be fighting in the name of securing a reliable supply of crude oil supply.

That’s why the longer we cling on to our crude oil based economic, transportation, and energy generating systems, the more expensive it will be to introduce renewable energy systems that are radically different from the energy generating systems they intend to replace. If the “business as usual” mentality continues of the powerful Capitol Hill crude oil lobbyists, then maybe we better start investing to the construction firm who made the Palm Jumeira in Dubai. Because of the resulting increase in construction contracts that will result of the inevitable sea level rise brought about by global warming due to excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere caused by crude oil-based fuel burning. Too bad poor countries would have to settle to sink because they won’t be able to afford such grandiose schemes to dam their shorelines.