The solution to our energy crisis is finding more and using less. Families struggling with record high gas prices can’t afford for Congress to keep energy exploration options off the table.
I'm pleased that the President has lifted the executive order banning deep-sea exploration for energy resources. Four dollar a gallon gasoline has affected every family in North Carolina, and it is time for the Democrat Leadership in Congress to stop blocking action and pass long-term energy legislation like The Gas Price Reduction Act, which I have cosponsored. This legislation would lift the Congressional moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf exploration by giving states the ability to opt in on energy exploration off their coasts. We need a comprehensive approach to this energy crisis that allows us to find more and use less.
First, I do think it is very humorous that the name of the legislation is "The Gas Price Reduction Act." It has been pretty well documented that there is insufficient oil to substantially impact oil or gas prices. That being said, I do agree with both senators that we need a comprehensive energy strategy. My biggest problem with this is that any additional offshore drilling will likely take 10 years to come to fruition and it will have little impact on the larger market. Conservation will have a much larger impact than drilling. I would like to see some Republican led plans that put more emphasis on conservation and the development of alternative energy sources. At this point I haven't seen a comprehensive approach. There is a lot of talk for a small return.
That said, the Democrats hardly deserve a free pass. If we are currently at or near peak oil, will we really be able to avoid eventually drilling in these areas as oil becomes more scarce? What are the real risks to drilling? Personally, I think that there are more effective measures available than opening up drilling 10 years down the road, but opening up the Strategic Petrolium Reserve, as requested by Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer, seems like the different side of the same coin, i.e. more political posturing. Will this subject really dominate our energy dialog as we approach November? I hope not, this entire topic should be a small talking point in a larger discussion.