It is time to take up the anthem raised by Sarah Palin in 2007 - DRILL, BABY, DRILL.
Following the BP oil spill, the Obama administration halted virtually all oil drilling off the Louisiana coast. It remains that way today despite two federal court orders lifting the drilling ban. The actions of the Obama Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency should be cause for a contempt of court action. The Louisiana economy remains devastated. And the American economy is now further endangered by the reckless disregard of the administration, Democrats in congress and the silence, at least so far, of congressional Republicans.
Unrest is flaming into revolution in key oil producing countries in the middle east. Wall Street oil speculators are running up the future price of gasoline with abandon. And some economists are now predicting Americans face $5.00 a gallon prices at the pump before the end of the year.
This would be a catastrophic blow to an economy undergoing, at best, a slow and anemic recovery. Statistically, more than nine percent of our fellow Americans remain unemployed. That figure swells by fifty percent if those who have given up looking for work are counted. And many of those who have found new jobs are taking home smaller paychecks.
It is these Americans who will feel the brunt of political instability abroad and our failure to drill for domestic oil every time they fill up their tank.
The American Petroleum Institute reports there is enough oil under American soil and off our coastlines to supply U. S. domestic needs for at least a century.
A majority of states are challenging the unpopular and hugely expensive Obama healthcare plan, among them Indiana. Now these states need to petition the federal courts to lift federal bans on oil drilling and allow individual states to make those decisions, including allowing drilling on federal lands that are not part of federal park systems.
Leasing drilling rights could be a quick source of sorely needed revenue for cash strapped states. And could also be a source of income for the residents of states where drilling is allowed.
All Alaskans who meet the residency requirement receive a sizable check every year as their direct share of revenues from oil drilling. Those checks would balloon if the billions of gallons of oil beneath the desolate and uninhabitable area called Anwar could be tapped.
States should also be granted the right to approve construction of new oil refineries. The federal government (EPA) has blocked such construction for more than a quarter-century. Think of the higher paying jobs oil drilling and refinery construction and operation would provide to thousands of American workers.
America imports nearly three quarters of the oil we use. Since the price of oil is traded in U. S. currency, the effect of such a high import ratio is to keep the dollar weak against other world currencies. That makes the cost of anything the U. S. imports higher for American consumers.
An even more troubling situation is Mexico, from which America imports 15.5% of the oil we need. That country is in chaos, with no indication the criminal instability and corruption crippling our neighbor to the south will be ameliorated anytime soon.
Worse - 12% of our oil comes from Venezuela. It goes downhill from there if you count middle eastern countries and places like Nigeria. These countries are not our friends and it should become a priority of this country and our Congress to end the oil import bonds that bind us to them.
With political instability wracking the middle east, this is a good time to lure American oil companies home, along with the drilling rigs that are invested overseas, particularly the off-shore drilling platforms. Nearly 40 such platforms were pulled from our southern waters and towed to other places around the world following the imposition of the Obama drilling ban on the Gulf coast.
The madness that has permeated our government's oil drilling policies must end - and end now. The crisis so long predicted is here. And it has the makings of a far worse crisis than we faced in the 1970's. I'm old enough to remember the waiting in long lines to fill-up, that is if there was gasoline available.
What can Congress do immediately? Start by temporarily banning oil futures trading. Only traders, financial firms and hedge funds benefit from such trading, and of course the oil companies and their big-bonused executives, who simply smile indulgently at the machinations of Wall Street all the way to the bank, while American consumers and the American economy suffer.
American oil resources belong to the American people and should only be drilled by American companies hiring American workers for the sole use of their fellow Americans.
Americans should benefit from the leasing and allocating of those resources - not suffer at the hands of a recalcitrant government in the pockets of environmental lobbyists.
Let us take up the chant - DRILL, BABY, DRILL - NOW!