Monday, February 9, 2009

Energy crisis? Let's do nothing. Yeah ... that'll work.

This video, from a recent session of the US Senate, shows Sen. Mitch McConnell repeatedly proposing benchmarks that would trigger a grant of permission to drill for oil on US soil (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf of Mexico, etc.). At ever step, Sen. McConnell is thwarted by then-Sen. Salazar (now the Secretary of the Interior), who objects to Sen. McConnell's ever-increasing gas price benchmarks: $4.50/gallon, $5/gallon, $7.50/gallon, and $10/gallon. Even at $10/gallon, Ken Salazar objects.

Now, granted that the oil we have won't solve our foreign oil addiction, and granted that whatever we pump up will take months or years to hit the market. We should do absolutely nothing about this? We should absolutely refuse to use the oil we have an can easily extract? Are drilling and pursuing alternative energy sources somehow mutually exclusive? The level of environmental degradation caused by drilling would be minor -- probably not much more, I'd guess, than the level caused by creating a new parking lot for a Super-Target or a Whole Foods. And given that this is oil we can use and easily extract, what non-ideological reasons can folks like Ken Salazar give for not trying to take it out and use it?

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