More drilling would blunt dis­rup­tion ef­fects

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion -

Oil is a sig­nif­i­cant un­der­pin­ning of our econ­omy. High fuel prices cause fi­nan­cial strain on fam­i­lies, but a dras­tic re­duc­tion or in­ter­rup­tion of oil sup­ply could have dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects.

A dis­rup­tion would mean mil­lions of em­ployee com­muters would have to cur­tail or stop com­mut­ing, thou­sands of truck­ers would stop haul­ing goods needed by small and large busi­nesses alike, trains car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers and goods would be dis­rupted or stopped al­to­gether and air­planes would prob­a­bly stop fly­ing.

All these catas­trophic events jeop­ar­dize jobs and fam­ily well-be­ing. Also, tax rev­enue would be dras­ti­cally re­duced, caus­ing more pain for many, in­clud­ing se­niors and the needy. Yet with such po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects, we con­tinue to de­pend heav­ily on for­eign oil sup­pli­ers, in­clud­ing sup­pli­ers from ar­eas where tur­moil ex­ists, in­creas­ing the chances that sup­ply could be dras­ti­cally cut back.

Why is it OK to pay for­eign coun­tries with money we don’t have for oil when we have 200 years of oil sup­ply at cur­rent use lev­els? Pres­i­dent Obama re­fuses to al­low ad­e­quate lev­els of drilling in the Gulf of Mex­ico, ap­prove the Key­stone XL pipe­line or ap­prove drilling in the Arc­tic Na­tional Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and other lands. Isn’t it bet­ter to have our own oil sup­ply in­stead of re­ly­ing on un­cer­tain sources, since a sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tion in oil sup­ply could dev­as­tate our econ­omy? The Strate­gic Petroleum Re­serve’s oil would only last about 38 days, which is not enough to over­come dev­as­ta­tion if oil sup­plies are cut or dis­rupted dras­ti­cally.

We shouldn’t al­low a dev­as­tat­ing eco­nomic sce­nario to de­velop be­cause of the de­sire to use al­ter­na­tive en­er­gies such as wind and so­lar power. Nei­ther of these is suit­able for pow­er­ing cars, trains, trucks or air­planes. Let’s not force on the public some­thing that doesn’t work. In­stead, let the mar­ket­place do its job. It has a very good track record in that re­gard with ad­vances in au­to­mo­biles, com­put­ers, air­planes, phones, TVS, gaso­line, nu­clear power, clean coal, electricity and more. The public usu­ally re­sponds when a prod­uct is use­ful and rea­son­ably priced.

It is way past time that Amer­ica con­trol its own destiny by drilling to get more oil while cre­at­ing mil­lions of jobs that help ev­ery­one. En­ergy in­de­pen­dence should be a high pri­or­ity. Let the free mar­ket work to de­velop al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy at rea­son­able costs. The pres­i­dent and Congress should act to get that done — the sooner, the bet­ter. FRANK MEDICO Mount Ver­non

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