Plenty of blame to go around no matter which party you may favor.
Wouldn’t it make sense to drill our own oil and gas and spend the next 25 years doing the research necessary to replace and/or reduce our oil based economy along with building Nuclear power plants? ML
We have failed to increase our country’s crude oil production. Domestic oil production has declined, to 1.9 billion in 2007 from 3.1 billion barrels in 1980, while imports increased to 3.7 billion barrels from 1.9 billion. We now importing about 60% of the oil we use.
One reason for the imports is that our public policy has forbidden offshore oil drilling for much of the estimated 85 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (an 18-year supply) that are on the Outer Continental Shelf, and another 10 billion barrels of oil in Alaska. Together they could replace America’s imported oil for about 25 years, but the first President Bush issued a directive forbidding access to a significant portion of the Outer Continental Shelf. President Clinton extended the restriction through 2012 and vetoed legislation that would have allowed drilling in Alaska.
So America has large amounts of oil and gas, but our efforts to extract it have been significantly reduced by the federal moratorium on drilling. America remains the only nation in the world that has curtailed access to its own energy supplies/ Meanwhile China will soon begin drilling for oil off Cuba and in Venezuela.
Among the worst antienergy policies we have experienced was President Carter’s 1980 “windfall profits tax” on oil companies, which reduced domestic oil production by between 3% and 6% and increased imports by 8% to 16%. Yet last week Majority Leader Harry Reid and 20 other Senate Democrats introduced a similar 25% tax.
We have failed to allow the construction of new nuclear power plants to add to the 104 that we have in operation. Nuclear power is clean and efficient, but no new nuclear plant construction has been granted permits in the past 30 years. By contrast, China plans to build 40 nuclear power reactors in the next 15 years – two or three each year.