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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 07:03 AM
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Drilling Ourselves Deep In a Hole

Plundering is not good planning.


Drilling Ourselves Deep In a Hole
By Firmin DeBrabander


Domestic drilling can only diminish gas prices if that supply were guaranteed for domestic use alone. This appears to be the underlying assumption of the current congressional push for expanded domestic drilling. And it is laughable. Contracts for drilling in Alaska and off our coasts will likely go to US-based firms, like Exxon or Conoco, which are also transnational corporations, and thus, in no way compelled to restrict retail to the US market. If expanded domestic drilling succeeds in lowering our gas prices -- even marginally -- five years from now, while gas prices abroad remain robust, we all know well where Exxon will shop its Alaskan crude.


In his latest book, former World Bank director Joseph Stiglitz claims that the war in Iraq will end up costing three trillion dollars. Imagine if that amount had been dedicated to researching and sustaining the transition to renewable energies. A mere trillion dollars would have gone a long way towards remodeling American suburbia for lifestyle and transportation changes such as I witnessed in Belgium. Instead, we have sacrificed unimaginable funds (from future generations, Stiglitz tells us), and tens of thousands of lives (at least) for a resource that is soon to be economically irrelevant!

In this light, this administrations Iraqi venture is shockingly shortsighted. And now, in proposing that we sully pristine Alaskan wilds and our fragile coastal shelves in the name of oil, the White House threatens to keep living its lie. China is undertaking a massive initiative to install solar powered water heaters on urban homes; Brazil provides 40% of its domestic fuel use from homegrown sugarcane ethanol. We, on the other hand, aim to squeeze more oil from a taxed planet, and further entrench ourselves in our sorry addiction. This nations repeated gambles on oil will likely cost American prosperityand superiorityin the 21st century.


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