Creating an Energy Crisis
Instead of using our oil ourselves, we may soon be watching Cuba use them on behalf of China and India. Does something about that sound wrong? It sure does to me.
We can do something about the potential encroachment on our oil fields by lifting the bans on off-shore drilling and increasing the domestic production of oil and natural gas. The Times notes that we could become self-sufficient for energy for the next generation just on the known oil and gas reserves off our shores, and that does not count the ANWR preserve. The commodities market for oil would deflate with the US running on its own energy production, greatly reducing the revenue to potentially dangerous regimes. At the least, we can shed our trade with Venezuela and the Middle East, focusing on imports from Canada and Mexico instead, and extending the life of our reserves in the process. That would send a message that we have the will to reach self-sufficiency as well as remind some regimes how much they rely on American petrodollars and the inflated price of oil for survival.
Instead of providing for our own needs -- thus lessening our dependence on Venezualen oil and Iranian oil -- we're content to "protect the environment" and ignore our energy needs. While I have my (large) differences with the Republicans in Washington, the Democrats increasingly seem to be bent on stupidity.
Instead, we will probably continue to dream up conspiracy theories about greedy oil companies which have few investment choices, given the restrictions on drilling and refining that the US has imposed on the domestic industry. And while we travel through the fascination of paranoia, we will allow our economic and military rivals to steal our reserves out from underneath us -- literally -- and pretend that their drilling somehow doesn't carry the same environmental problems as our drilling would.
(A tip o' the hat to Captain Ed. The analysis is his, I'm just passing it along.)