The oil illusion
When oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens takes up the wind-power call and says “we can’t drill our way out of this one,” do you think we should listen?
When simple analytics and basic arithmetic show that opening up more of our offshore environment to oil drilling won’t reduce gas prices and will only make a tiny dent in our petroleum demand – and then not for another decade or two – does that mean a return to reason and a firm push to a more sustainable national energy policy?
Not if politics has anything to do with it. The latest casualty of logic is our own representative in Congress, Mark Udall. The normally sensible Democrat, in his race for a U.S. Senate seat, has joined the chorus to drill, drill, drill and severely compromised his long-standing commitment to sustainable energy. Sure, Udall says more drilling should be part of an overall plan that includes other solutions, but the reality is it’s a cynical response to polls that show most Americans think drilling will quickly reduce prices at the pump.
That’s simply not true, and it’s incumbent upon more progressive voices like that of Udall and Barack Obama – who also reversed his stance to embrace more drilling – to put the facts in front of the American people and support what they know is right, not what they think will help get them elected. Americans respect leaders who lead even the face of political expedience. At this crucial point in history, we do not need more backward-looking focus on the energy solutions of the past.
It’s a disgrace that Congress took its August recess without coming anywhere near passing a new, forward-looking energy bill, and to hear our representative in Congress kow-tow to politics rather than stand behind his and his family’s legacy of conservation and sustainability is simply sad. We can only hope once November passes our leaders will get back on track and use logic, not knee-jerk reaction, to one of the world’s most urgent problems.