When you hear conservatives talk about reducing gas prices … first of all – it’s like there is a fetish with drilling. I’ll let you draw any correlations you’d like out of the imagery but we will not be able to drill enough oil to address rising gas prices.
We’ve increased oil production significantly and gas prices seem unfazed – the Center for American Progress explains HERE:
It’s a global economy and consumption in the world increases way too fast for America to drill enough to address the problem. Drill, Baby, Drill is an awesome bumper sticker but it’s shallow in its honesty. So let’s talk about the situation in real terms…
Now we know that reducing America’s dependency on foreign oil is a major national security issue; one need only look at what happened in the Carter administration to understand what happens when there are actual shortages of gas … mass panic. And this constant demand for more energy by America was one of the primary drivers for America’s war with Iraq … and why so many conservatives are pushing for Iran to become the 51st state of America. If we were self-sufficient in our energy – our entire foreign policy would change dramatically. That’s the big picture.
The oil industry is the most profitable industry on the planet; it pays conservatives very handsomely to think the way they do (source). It’s like watching a game show “Integrity for sale at cheap prices”; except that’s not a game show – that’s just business as usual on Capitol Hill. And the oil business is a global business so the occasional shut down oil refinery at peak times and prices just go up. The oil industry does not want America to be fuel efficient … the less efficient – the more we use and the more we use … the more they can charge. It’s very simple.
And we know that fossil fuels are driving climate change – as I’ve written HERE - if you still don’t believe climate change is man made and thus we can fix it … you might as well be a part of the modern day flat earth society. Some things are just facts and science. But you know who doesn’t want you to believe that? The oil industry. If you start using natural gas or electricity – that changes the entire supply/demand relationship and all of a sudden – prices drop.
As we wrote HERE – President Obama brokered a deal to increase U.S. fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Even though this would have a tremendous impact on reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and would reduce gas prices by significant amounts … conservatives opposed it. The oil industry opposes it obviously. We will never fix this problem unless we improve our conservation of oil.
In a global market place … if we drill more oil in America – that oil just gets exported to other countries. That’s why America became a net exporter of oil in 2011 for the first time since 1949 (source). We drilled more and drilled more than we needed and what happened … oil went overseas. That’s how that works. That’s why drill, baby, drill isn’t the ONLY solution. Drilling is necessary and shouldn’t be stopped but it’s not the only war cry – it’s more like a cattle call for lemmings.
We need to transition from oil and we need to improve gas mileage standards. We need to have other options available like natural gas and electric. We need more mass transit. All of these things will help keep American dollars in America and reduce our dependency on foreign oil and thus our need to fight wars for oil. So – why are conservatives against this? You already know the answer.
The Energy Department put this out (originally from the White House) HERE:
America’s dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year since President Obama took office. In 2010, we imported less than 50 percent of the oil our nation consumed—the first time that’s happened in 13 years—and the trend continued in 2011.
We’re relying less on imported oil for a number of reasons, not least that production is up here in the United States. In fact, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. As part of his strategy to increase safe, responsible oil production in the United States, President Obama has opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration and we now have more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world—combined.
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