I want to immediately go on record that I have no answer to both those questions. Although I'm starting this on July 30, I'm not sure I'll finish it on July 30, 2008. I don't even know how much there is to say on the subject, yet it concerns me, as it should concern all of us.
I was passing by the TV today, and saw a little of an interview between Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Sanchez. She parroted the ludicrous phrase that "The Democrats, by opposing offshore drilling, are making our gasoline cost more" (or words to that general effect).
I'm not all that fond of Democrats right now, especially since they, along with (in our precinct, at least) some crossover Republican voters, chosen the wrong Democratic Party candidate for President. However, Democrats are the best hope we have, right now.
Kay Bailey is right up there with the shortsighted person who said recently "We need a strong economy to attract capital". What capital, and whose do we want to attract? The stock market is a measure of the economy, but it is not the economy. The economy is made up of productive citizens who participate in the maintenance of that economy. The stock market economy will no longer be valid when the citizens can neither produce nor consume the tangible products of the economy.
I'm almost certain, although I was not able to confirm, that Kay Bailey said that the production from ANWR could offset the oil we import from the Middle East. Whether or not that's true, the oil production from ANWR would not be "our" oil. The oil companies would put it on the world market, and we'd be in competition for it, just as we are with the oil from the Middle East. There are at least two countries in the world with whom we can no longer compete in the bidding for the remaining, diminishing, supply of the world's oil.
Kay Bailey http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=294015465776712 also opposes the biofuel mandate. I need an explanation why the reasons that are being thrown out against biofuels are valid. That could be the basis for a whole other discussion.
When Rick Sanchez mentioned a report http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/otheranalysis/ongr.html that indicated the offshore drilling being stalled by those nasty Democrats will not produce a viable product before the year 2030, she replied "I don't think it would be that long". A true loyalist to her party, and for that I applaud her.
A long time and influential oil man has said "We can't drill ourselves out of this one", and I agree with that more than I ever thought I possibly could!
A hundred and fifty years ago, the annual production of oil in this country was 2000 barrels, and only shortly before that, oil was used only when found in pools on the surface of the earth. How were we able to survive and develop civilizations for thousands of years before that? In 150 years, we've made ourselves so very dependent on this one product that without it, our civilization could fail completely.....so what's the scheme for the next 150?
The only concern I've ever had with "NEWKEWLER" energy is the handling of waste. I once heard an "expert", who was promoting the South Texas Project, say that waste was the government's responsibility, and that we could have safe, cheap energy if the government would get off their backs and let them develop this valuable source of energy without so much restriction. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, HE SAID ALL THAT IN THE SAME SPEECH, WITH A PERFECTLY STRAIGHT FACE! (Although he may not have used exactly the same words in exactly the same order, since he said it in the early seventies, and I can't keep everything in perfect order in my head).
It was in those early seventies (like about 120 years after the first commercial extraction of petroleum) that we began to be aware that we'd need to do something about our dwindling supply of oil. It's almost forty years later, about a fourth of the time we've been using oil, and we're still headed down the same shortsighted path of dependence on it. Instead of drilling for more oil, we should immediately, thirty years late, start looking into alternative energy sources!