Sunday, February 6, 2011

Drill Domestically, End Ethanol Subsidies, Feed The World- A Formula For Stability Without Compromise

The recent collapse and destabilization of Western-backed governments in Middle Eastern nations like Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt have created fears of a destabilization of the region, Islamic extremists seizing power (as they have in Lebanon) and the possible shutdown of the Suez Canal- leading to increased oil prices and supply shortages.

Politicians and pundits have been bloviating about the folly of American support for tyrants that, while friendly and/or helpful to us, deny their own people the freedoms that we take for granted. They have also questioned the implications of these dictators’ fall from power to us and of course Israel.

The question that no one is asking, even as the price of crude continues to rise, is why do we continue to leave ourselves vulnerable and compromise our principles- by supporting unsavory rulers and hostile nations-  by not exploiting our own natural resources?

Contrary to what President Obama and other liberals say, the United States possesses more oil, than all of the Middle Eastern nations combined. Instead of propping up despots and sending American jobs and money overseas, we could be drilling here at home and offshore.

So why don’t we open up drilling in the many areas within and offshore the United States that are currently closed to it? It’s certainly not because of environmental concerns. If it were the President wouldn’t have guaranteed $1 billion in loans to the Mexican state oil company PEMEX to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, while putting a moratorium on U.S. drilling in the Gulf. He also probably wouldn’t have made a similar arrangement with Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company so they could exploit an offshore field that they recently discovered.

Some say the reason we don’t “drill here, drill now” is because President Obama and his progressive allies want to redistribute the wealth to poorer nations. Others say it’s because we don’t care if Third World nations are ravaged and polluted as long as we get what we need from them.

The problem with both these arguments is that the people in oil producing nations are poor. Most of the money from the production of oil goes to the rulers and the oil companies, not the average person on the street. As for the environmental impact, there is little evidence that oil drilling has adversely affected these nations.

There is no doubt that if the United States were to announce tomorrow that it was going to open up areas that are currently off limits to oil and natural gas drilling in Alaska, the continental U.S., as well as off the Atlantic coast and shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico the price of a gallon of crude would drop precipitously and immediately.
If we were to end subsidies for ethanol and bio-diesel, the price of corn and soybeans  - artificially inflated by such subsidies- would fall, along with the prices of livestock feed and most foodstuffs.

This would be in the best interests of U.S. national security and would ease the financial strain on not only Americans, but also poor people around the world who are going hungry because of food costs and shortages. It would also end our “need” to support dictators in the name of stability, while turning their populations against us.

We could stop the stranglehold of OPEC and the tyrants that profit from it’s monopoly around the globe- some that are somewhat friendly to the U.S., some not- if our so-called leaders would end the lies, ignore the special interest groups and act in the interests of those they’re supposed to represent- We the People.

If we drill domestically, end ethanol, bio-diesel (and oil company) subsidies and use our crops to feed people- not cars- we can have long-term security without supporting tyrants or compromising our American principles.