For the first time in a long time, Americans are really starting to feel true pain at the pump. So what do politicians do? They use this unfortunate period of time to push initiatives to help special interest groups.
President Bush and John McCain announced that they will seek an end to the offshore drilling ban, citing high gas prices and our dependence on foreign oil.
Sadly, opening up the rest of the gulf to drilling is not going to do a damn thing for gas prices. At least not for the next 7-10 years or so. Around 2018 gas prices might be a few cents lower, but it essentially does nothing for the average American now or in the long term.
The only beneficiaries of this policy are oil companies. The environmental risks are definitely real, although offshore drilling is a lot cleaner today than it was in the 70’s and 80’s.
Here’s a thought, why don’t we push policies to reduce our oil consumption through energy efficient technologies, and the use of alternative fuels? Why don’t we have an Apollo program to get the majority of cars sold in the US to use hydrogen by 2020?
Opening up more drilling isn’t going to do damn thing for the price of gasoline. We need to move beyond oil.