4-22-08 by dugan
The headlne today seemed promising: "Bush Voices Concern About Record Oil Price." It’d be a step forward from a president who recently said he’d never heard a thing about $4.00-a-gallon gasoline. Then I read the whole story, twice. Bush’s only idea for fixing things was to open the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling. The presidential candidates ought to be leaping forward to set Bush straight on the complete uselessness of his answer. Here’s an EZ kit of useful responses, even aside from the obvious environmental damage:
- It would take up to 10 years to get a drop of oil from ANWR to refineries.
- The whole oilfield would provide 6 months to a year, tops, worth of oil for the U.S. Better auto mileage standards would save more oil for the U.S.
- Alaska’s permafrost is melting, so it’s increasingly unlikely companies could build the needed ice roads into the coastal drilling area.
- Alaska’s oil pipelines are already sagging and dragging from permafrost melt, so how would Bush build new ones?
- The oil companies that originally demanded the right to drill ANWR have seen the problems, and mostly switched their focus of desire to the California coast.
So Bush is suggesting something that not only won’t do a thing about oil prices, it is yesterday’s impossible oil company demand, not today’s.
Sen. McCain, Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama have all laid out some sort of energy policy, but they are low on detail. None of them, for example, calls for regulation of gasoline supplies on hand, to stop refiners from cutting back production and gaming supplies to keep prices rising (as they’re doing right now). Candidates should be yelling like crazy about speculation in oil markets. But at least they’re not saying "drill ANWR" as the solution to today’s oil and gasoline crisis.