More oil is NOT the solution
He's telling Congress to open up the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge again - ANWR.
Do you know how much -- or rather, how little -- oil there is in ANWR?
According to this MSNBC article, 10.4 billion barrels. That sounds like a lot, until you realize how much oil Americans consume. According to NationMaster.com, we consume approximately 20,730,000 barrels of oil A DAY.
Multiply that by 365 days and we consume about 7,566,450,000 a year.
So how long would ANWR last us if we used it for our sole oil source? Just a little over ONE YEAR. Outrageous. We'd destroy an ecosystem that is hundreds of thousands of years old for a little more than ONE YEAR's worth of oil? Absolute insanity.
Of course, we won't even get that oil all at once. It will only be a trickle until it reaches maturity. So that 1.4 year's worth of oil will be spread out over other years, hardly reducing our reliance on foreign oil, and hardly putting a dent in the price.
So why is Bush pushing this? Because he's about to leave office, and his oil buddies want to grab all the oil they can while they can. Because they know an Obama administration would not sacrifice this land and its animals to the greed of a few.
The same holds true re our offshore oil supplies. We'd be willing to risk polluting entire beach communities for those insanely small droplets, relative to our vast need, and we'd be doing it to feather the pockets of private investors.
No. Just say no. This is insane.
What we need is a comprehensive energy policy that invests money in renewable energy sources -- wind power, solar, geothermal, and others -- and if I were President, I'd insist that any investments in research by government be repaid in royalties once the private businesses starting showing a profit.
I'm also a big believer in publicly owned utilities. We have a publicly owned police force, and it works just fine. Can you imagine if we had to pay Halliburton for our internal security? Why should we have to pay a private corporation the profits of something we all need so desperately -- energy? Ditto health care, for that matter. I'm all for private restaurants, private entertainment outlets, private businesses on any number of levels. But there are five things that absolutely should not be under private control, as they are essentiall to the wellbeing of every person in the country:
- Education (through high school, at least)
- Security (military and police forces, intelligence agencies, etc.)
No one should be allowed private profit from these basic necessities. I don't put food there because there are many sources of food, and so many options. But basic nutrition is, in my opinion, a healthcare issue, and no one should be denied basic nutrition, even if they are homeless. No one should be allowed to starve who is born in America. It's unconscionable.
Call your congressional representative and Senate members at any of these toll-free numbers below. If you don't know who your senators are, go to the Senate Web site and look them up. If you don't know who your congressional representative is, go to the House Web site.
Then call. It takes less than 30 seconds. Just say "I oppose offshore drilling and drilling in Alaska. Please support renewable energy proposals instead." Call any of these and ask to be transferred to the appropriate office. Your children and their offspring will be forever grateful.
Toll free to Capitol Hill: