…So let’s open up the Outer Continental Shelf, the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, tar sands and oil shale in the Western U.S. to drill, drill, drill.
The words above are the not-so-subtle suggestions of Georgia Congressman John Linder (R – Duluth) in an op-ed column published in this morning’s Gwinnett Daily Post. In the column, Linder tries to convince us that the reason why the United States is not energy independent is because “radical environmentalists say no.”
The Georgia Republican writes that “While it’s great politics to support wind, solar, geothermal and biomass, it’s terrible policy […] We simply cannot replace our fossil fuel use with renewable energy.”
And finally, Linder makes the case for placing oil wells within 150 miles of Anchorage or Juneau, Alaska saying, “I was in Saudi Arabia recently. They have oil wells within 150 miles of their capital city. You would never notice it. We can do the same in Alaska.” [Source: 6/17/2008 Gwinnett Daily Post op-ed column “Increase oil supply and prices will drop”]
There can be no doubt that John Linder believes the solution to lowering gas prices and making Georgia and America more energy independent is to drill, drill, and drill some more to increase America’s oil supply. However, John Linder’s thinking represents a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
John Linder’s logic represents a thinking-just-for-the-moment philosophy rather than a let’s-plan-for-the-future one. Oil is a non-renewable resource meaning that eventually the oil supplies will run out. Drilling for more oil, even to the point of putting oil wells within 150 miles of Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, California, or John Linder’s hometown of Duluth, Georgia, may lower gas prices temporarily but the sand grains in that oil supply hourglass will continue to empty out.
And unlike a real hourglass, we can’t just flip over the oil supply and start anew because once the oil is gone, it’s gone.
Congressman Linder’s words have provided yet another contrast between Democrats and Republicans in this critical year for change in Georgia and America. While John Linder and the Republicans believe the solution to our energy problems is to keep drilling, Democrats want to invest in renewable energy sources and end our current policy of borrowing money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.
Democrats believe that it is not only great politics support wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and other renewable energy sources; it is also good policy.