It’s time to become oil independent . . .
The article (“Cuba drills for oil off Florida,” July 31 edition) about Cuba drilling for oil in offshore areas that abut U.S. coastal waters should concern Americans. Who knows whether or not oil will be siphoned off U.S. underground pools? In view of the fact that high gas prices affect everyone and every industry in the country, offshore drilling needs to be increased. Yes, nuclear plants for producing electricity can also be revisited. France can do it. Why can’t the United States?
The question calls to mind a recollection I have of the secretary of Energy for the United States appearing on television saying there is nothing he can do about the high gas prices. Well, I happen to remember May 25, 1961, when President Kennedy stood up and said, “We will land a man on the moon in this decade.” He was proved right in 1969, when Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind.”
If Mr. Kennedy had the foresight to predict such a prodigious achievement, why can’t President Bush set a five or 10-year goal for this great country to become oil independent and once again export oil?
I humbly suggest that it is high time to ignore the environmentalists and the Sierra Club, bypass them and begin to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Drilling on the North Slope has proved that permafrost and wildlife are not offended by the intrusion. People living in Alaska favor it. Since there is also a refining problem, the NIMBY people should be offered some consideration. It that doesn’t work, build refineries where few people live.
This country has all the resources and the skills required to exploit this mini-crisis, but the secretary of Energy says he’s sorry but he can’t do anything. We have the natural resources, coal, oil shale and corn to make ethanol. We have the industries that can drill for the oil. We have the skills necessary to build refineries. Why not set a goal of becoming oil independent and do it in five or 10 years? If Congress would get serious about this repugnant situation, they could offer tax breaks to companies performing the work necessary to achieve the goal.
It seems to me that the foreign countries benefiting from the high prices don’t like us anyway. So it would be advisable to set and achieve a goal that will obliterate the distasteful dependence we have on the oil exporting nations. Instead of being exploited by worldwide cartels, it would be nice to exploit our creativity.
Does America still have the “can do” attitude? I’m confident that America does, but I’m not sure that Congress does. Robert A. Kellow Whiting, New Jersey