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"Drill Baby Drill" Where Hath Thou Gone?

Updated on October 31, 2012

The drumbeat for increased oil drilling to quench our insatiable energy appetite have subsided for now as a result of the tragic Gulf oil spill. Maybe now we can all sit down and develop a more diverse and sustainable strategy to meet our country's energy needs. The Obama administration has partially embraced offshore oil drilling as a compromise to the political right and as a temporary energy supply fix. This was to be incorporated into a broader and more comprehensive energy plan. This expanded offshore oil drilling policy has been temporarily put on hold until the Obama administration is able to fully deal with the consequences of this crisis and fully investigate its causes. My hope is that this investigation will include a reassessment of their energy plan and a complete move towards independence from fossil fuel energy.

I would like to state at the outset that I do not have a problem with fossil fuel energy use for now while we transition into a new alternative renewable energy model. I do feel that we must move away from fossil fuels into this new model with all great haste. Research and investment money is needed to accelerate this process. Gasoline is taxed at a very low rate in the United States compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Even a small increase would provide a huge amount of funds to facilitate this transition to renewable energy sources. A carbon tax would also be helpful. Both would also encourage energy conservation among the population.

I know these are highly controversial proposals for funding but they are extremely necessary for this transition to a new green energy model. I feel this is a matter of national security. Global warming is threatening the long term survival of the United States and the world. The supply of oil and gas is finite. The amount we still might find with new and increased drilling will buy us only a few years extra supply at best. Our time, energy, and financial resources would be best spent on renewable energy sources that would permanently wean us off our reliance on other countries' oil supplies and dramatically improve our environment. Our foreign policy would no longer be influenced so heavily on maintaing our access to these foreign oil supplies.

What would our energy situation look like in 10 years if we retained our current fossil fuel energy model? I believe that oil would cost $175 a barrel at a minimum. Lack of additional oil drilling will not be the cause of this rise. The current international economic recession is slowly lifting. Rising economic activity will lead to higher energy demand which will lead to steadily rising oil prices. This combined with the economic rise of highly populated countries such as China and India will contribute exponentially to rising oil prices. Global unrest especially in the Middle East will certainly exacerbate this situation at various times.

Our new renewable green energy plan should be a multi-pronged one. Wind and solar energy are two of the most popular and promising energy alternatives. These should be funded on a much grander scale with larger tax credits to accelerate the growth of both industries. Another alternative is highly controversial and not in favor at the moment. This is nuclear energy. The truth of the matter is that nuclear energy offers the best potential for a mass energy supply. Safety and nuclear waste disposal issues need to be adequately addressed but they are eminently soluable. Europe uses this form of energy on a widespread basis with an outstanding safety record. Other solutions such as synfuels are also being developed. These and other ideas should be researched and nurtured. No alternative energy solution should be ignored.

The bottom line to all of this is that the United States and the world's future is at stake here. The rapidly increasing populations in the world combined with the steady industrialization of the third world is leading to this crisis in energy supply. The United States must take the lead in finding solutions to this crisis. The third world is way behind us in development and will not cede any ground if we are not willing ourselves to change and sacrifice.

The United States has the technology and resources to lead the way in this transition to alternative renewable green energy. The question is whether or not we will have the political will to make it happen. I sincerely hope we do. Future generations are depending on us to do the right thing and act on this now.

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    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I have heard of hemp and that sounds like a great avenue to pursue in regards to alternative renewable energy. Hemp was a very valuable crop before it was demonized due to the drug war. In actuality, they lost out in the midst of dirty tricks in a business war earlier in the 20th century. I welcome the use of hemp for our energy industry. Thank you for your valuable comments Road2hell.

    • road2hell profile image

      road2hell 

      7 years ago from Linden, AB

      Anybody ever heard of hemp? Here is a renewable resources that is easy to grow, friendly to the environment, and produce the energy needs of the Americans without interfering with food crops. You can grow three crops in one growing season, resistant to pests and no need to use fertilizer. This is one plant that has over 25,000 uses besides powering our automobiles.

      A great way to develop a business venture with a lot of potential to make farmers rich and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Thanks for commenting Dennis. I have no problem with exploring natural gas and oil reserves in this country over the near term. It will take time to develop cleaner renewable sources. The problem with most of these fossil fuels is that they contribute to pollution and global warming in a very negative manner. They are also running out no matter the amount found here or abroad. The rapid development of China, India, Brazil, and many others has sent demand for oil and gas skyrocketing. China to their credit is now at the forefront of alternative energy source research. We are trailing them now and we created this industry. We cannot allow this to stand. It is the future in this area. As oil and gas deplete and demand rises, prices will rise to a point that it will threaten our economic existance. Therefore we should explore for oil and gas internally for the short term but alternative renewable sources must be our longer term goal. This is where the bulk of our research must go.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 

      7 years ago

      This was an interesting hub to say the least. I do feel we need to explore other sources of energy available in the United States. I recently wrote an article about the energy reserves we have in this country which are not being fully utilized. In my research I found that the reserves we have are greater than the amount located in Saudia Arabia. To have this amount of energy resource not being fully utilized makes no sense.

      In my research we have more natural gas and oil reserves in the form of shale rock that other country. The technology to utilize oil in shale rock formations is now available. Other countries are now utilizing this technology to retrieve this type of resource which has been reported in the news. This will add to their financial benefit. Some estimates project we have enough of these reserves to last us 40 years at our current pace.

      I agree with you we need a comprehensive approach to our energy problem but it must be one which utilizes the resources we currently have. We must develop other means to help us be energy independent while utilizing what we have.

      I also agree with the oil disaster in the Gulf has put a damper on oil drilling but I believe we can have controls to have safe operations and still provide a source of supply we despartely need.

      There is one thing that I do not understand and there is probably a reason is that if the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are outside of recognized territorial limits of the United States is how can Congress prevent or forbid the drilling of the oil?

      Thanks for presenting an issue which is sure to be a hot topic for a long time. I hope a compresenhives energy policy is generated that provides methods to develop new sources of energy while utilizing the resources we now have.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      You are right Bernie. Everyone needs to take responsibility for this problem themselves and do things to reduce their carbon footprint. The government though does have a major responsibility for taking the lead on this and fund alternatives. I also agree with you that many alternative energy forms will be needed to take the place of fossil fuels. Thank you for your comments.

    • bernieadkins profile image

      bernieadkins 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      I don't believe the energy crisis can be solved by any one method alone. I believe it will take a combination of all methods to meet our energy needs. While the people demand the White House to "do something" about our crisis they also criticize the decisions the government makes on our behalf.

      No matter what the government does nothing will improve our situation until we as a people look to our own homes and use of energy and make changes there that will reduce the consumption of energy on a personal level. We are just as responsible for solving the crisis as the government is.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I agree with you that we have to think extra hard about nuclear energy. It was probably always unsafe for nuclear energy in such a vulnerable country such as Japan. They are surrounded by water and right in the middle of major fault lines. I believe it can still be done in the U.S. but not near fault lines such as one we have in California. I think the extra security needs for nuclear now may make this option economically prohibitive. You are also right that we must lead the way in researching and implementing new alternative renewable energy sources. It is long overdue and I am excited that President Obama is funding this aggressively. We should and will lead on this but China is actually doing a lot on this. They realize they are a population 1.3 billion and they are on this already. Thanks as always for your great comments.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 

      7 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      The disaster in Japan must raise the question of how much a role we want nuclear to have in any energy policy. We need to get moving on innovative solutions. If the GOP is not booted out in 2012 I think we can pass the torch of leadership to other countries. They will lead us in new energy, education, stronger economies, human rights. Our life as we know it is vanishing before our eyes and those people with THC in their TEA are blind to it.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I do get angry at some of the political stands that our leaders take but I try to take a step back and deal with the issue calmly and logically. You don't want to see me when I watch the FOX news shows for any significant amount of time. I tell people it is the cause of much of my hair loss. I try to look at all sides of an issue and come up with sensible solutions. We certainly need them when dealing with our energy problem. Especially now with all of this Middle East unrest. Thank you for your kind comments.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 

      7 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      I think you wrote a well reasoned, thoughtful HUB. Your anger doesn't show. I must read your other HUBS.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. Let's hope our government begins to invest in these alternative renewable energy sources.

    • wsupaul88 profile image

      wsupaul88 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Some excellent points, enjoyed the Hub

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      8 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Thanks Amy. I got so angry after the Gulf spill and I needed to write about this issue. I like to get into the details with these issues I consider so important. Sometimes one needs to read my stuff in small bits. We all have a lot to learn and I enjoy delving into it and I can see you do also. I appreciate your comments.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Whoa, you have a wealth of knowledge on your hubs. I have alot to learn and will continue to take in your intimidating amount of info. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      8 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Thank you. I also don't understand why people have a problem with windmills near them. The Kennedys who are all for alternative energy blocked them off Cape Cod for the longest time because they ruined their scenery. I'd much rather see them instead of a power plant. The future of this planet relies on our getting off fossil fuels as soon as we can. We have to convince the rapidly growing third world to do the same since their populations are so large.

    • colonial82 profile image

      colonial82 

      8 years ago from Ohio

      Alternative energy has always been something that I have been interested in for most of my life. I love to read any new technology or project that is happening because who isn't amazed by what energy we could be getting from sources that are renewable and everlasting. For the life of me, I can't understand why some people hate having a big windmill near them since I love the look of them and what it is actually doing.

      If it was up to me, I would built them everywhere, along every coastline, hilltop, on top of skyscrappers, bridges, and in between highways. I would line all rooftops and deserts with solar panels.

      Thank you for writing this, I really enjoyed it :)

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      8 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Amen Tony. Our continued existence on this planet is also at stake. We must get going on this fast before we reach a point of no return.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Energy is clearly one of the resources that is going to be more and more contested in the years to come. Alternatives to fossil fuels have to be found urgently so that the contestation and violence is minimised.

      Thanks for an interesting read.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Howard Schneider 

      8 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I do believe we should continue drilling where we are doing so right now but to expand that right now would be imprudent. BP obviously was not adhering to proper safety precautions and had no contingency to cap this gushing well. Also though we are paying a fair amount for gas here, we are not paying nearly as much as the rest of the world. We should encourage all other alternative energies with maximum tax credits to broaden their market shares. Long term we have no other choice. Thanks for your comments. I do appreciate all feedback.

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      8 years ago

      While I certainly agree that we need to explore new avenues of renewable energy, I do believe that to stop drilling now would be a huge mistake. We are not prepared, at this point, to energize the country any other way. The cost is still prohibitive for many Americans. Obama himself stated that energy costs would sky-rocket, I believe that was his term, if he had his way. Well, we can either buy oil from other countries and continue to make them wealthy while we procrastinate, or we can drill now and sell our oil thus making our country money and putting people back to work.

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