by Robert J. Samuelson - April 30th, 2008 - Washington Post
It may surprise Americans to discover that the United States is the third-largest oil producer, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. We could be producing more, but Congress has put large areas of potential supply off-limits. These include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. By government estimates, these areas may contain 25 billion to 30 billion barrels of oil (against about 30 billion barrels of proven U.S. reserves today) and 80 trillion cubic feet or more of natural gas (compared with about 200 tcf of proven reserves).
What keeps these areas closed are exaggerated environmental fears, strong prejudice against oil companies and sheer stupidity.
I could not help but be dispirited when the man I am supporting for Governor informed me that he believed we should keep bans on drilling in place and expand the biofuels idiocy that is starving people to death. The "sheer stupidity" assessment is right. However it astounds me how many otherwise bright people have accepted the argument that we must not drill for oil.
A footnote to the above article, though government estimates are that the areas blocked from exploration are equal to our current reserves, oil industry experts believe that the amount is nearly double that. Which means we could triple our own production, eliminating the need to import oil, if we would free our industry to drill. The writer of this article is right. START DRILLING.