Republican Write: Tapping own resources good, not permanent idea

Do you like to drive? I sure enjoy driving my car. Because it runs on gas, which uses oil, I say let's do whatever we can to secure more sources of oil. Alaska is a big waste of untapped space. So, what do you say? Everybody grab a drill.

We've done what we can to cripple research and development for renewable energies, but we still want to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Oil importation is the biggest dependency plaguing our country when it comes to energy production.

If we started drilling on our own soil we could rid ourselves of some of that nasty dependence and we'd only kill several hundreds of acres of wildlife and a few dozen animal species in the process. At least we could still drive our cars.

Before everyone thinks I go around hugging trees and have Green Peace stickers plastered all over my car, allow me to clarify. Reducing our dependence by drilling for our own oil is a good idea. Looking at this as a permanent solution to our dependency problem is not a good idea.

In the past few weeks gas prices have risen 14 cents per gallon on average around the country. We live at the whim of the Middle East when it comes to our oil consumption. If you watch or read the news, you can see how this isn't the most stable of regions.

The area of land the experts are looking at drilling is a 1.5 million-acre coastal plain - an area that may also contain about 11.4 billion barrels of oil. Reports vary on how much this oil could help rid the United States of its dependence.

"Alaska National Wildlife Refuge can produce 600,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 40 years," President George W. Bush said last May. "What difference does 600,000 barrels a day make? Well, that happens to be exactly the amount we import from Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

This is a good thing, given our relationship with Iraq. The bad thing comes during the extraction process. Obviously drilling for oil isn't the cleanest or least-destructive process on Earth. Animal rights activists and others have been screaming for months that drilling into the ANWF will kill hundreds of animals and possibly endanger some species.

As bluntly stated earlier, if restrictions aren't followed then eliminating animals and other wildlife in the region can and will happen. If drilling occurs and restrictions are enforced, however, we can have our cake and it too. That will only be until the oil runs out, in which case we will be in worse shape then before.

What we need is to find a cheap and efficient fuel that lets us drive our cars and run our televisions and DVD players without feeling guilty. Well, most of us don't feel guilty about it anyhow, which is probably why nobody has found this miracle fuel yet. Maybe that should make tomorrow's "to do" list.

Write to Justin at jtsyndram@bsu.edu


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