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Drill here! Drill now!

By Henry Lamb
web posted June 30, 2008

Drill here! Drill now!Democrats like to say "We can't drill our way out of this energy crisis." 

Newsflash!  Drilling is the only way out of this energy crisis.

Oil is only a part of the solution to the energy crisis, but it is the most important part.    No one yet knows the source of the energy future generations will use.  One thing is certain: the free market should make this decision, not the government.  It is the government's meddling with the market that has caused the current crisis.

Government decided that the free market should not expand the supply of oil from known reserves, or build new refineries, because government believed the result might harm the environment.  In a truly free market, the consumer would make the choice between price and social responsibility, not the government.  Democrats have a long history of imposing their brand of social responsibility on society, with the help of far too many Republicans.   The Democrats, though, are primarily responsible for blocking the use of known, available oil reserves in the United States.

Democrat-led opposition to expanding domestic oil production stands like a levee against a rising flood of public opinion: drill here; drill now! 

Government's efforts to manipulate and manage the marketplace prevented the market from keeping up with the demand for affordable energy. Instead, government demanded the use of ethanol, which is not only less efficient than gasoline, it diverts food crops from the kitchen table, and drives food prices skyward.

The new Democrat leader wants to expand nuclear energy, but not until the spent-fuel storage problem is solved.  Government hasn't been able to solve the problem for the last 20 years, and there is little evidence that it can, or will solve it the next 20 years.  Government should get out of the way and let the market solve the storage problem. 

The government is the problem causing the current energy crisis.  It is basically, a problem of supply and demand.  The Democrat-controlled Congress insists on halting the growth of supply while forcing a reduction of demand – thereby imposing unnecessary hardship on every citizen.

The people must make the government get out of the way and let the market work.  In the upcoming Congressional election, no candidate should be elected who will not promise to lift the ban on developing domestic energy resources – oil, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro-electric, hydrogen, and bio-fuels.  The market, however, should decide which resources to develop, and when they should be developed.  Government subsidies only distort the market, and impose unnecessary costs on the taxpayers. 

Rep. Maxine Waters' recent threat to "socialize" the oil industry verbalizes what the Democrats have, in fact, been doing for the last few decades: managing the supply of energy.  Many in Congress actually believe that they, under Democrat control, can manage the market, and the economy, better than a free market.  This is the same belief that guided the Soviet Union and that now drives North Korea, and Cuba.  This is the belief system that demands equality at the lowest possible denominator.

A free market is the best possible motivator of innovation and controller of price.  The pursuit of profit is the pursuit of happiness.  The freedom to choose the best product at the best price is the best possible way to keep a variety of products available at the lowest prices possible. 

Should Maxine Waters get her way, and impose the power of her brilliant brain over the wisdom of a free market, the nation is doomed.  In fact, the collective brain power of Congressional Democrats and Republicans can't hold a candle to the wisdom of a free market.

The free market can make mistakes.  Remember the Edsel?  Remember the Corvair?  Remember the Pinto? The free market is self-correcting.  The Edsel, the Corvair, and the Pinto are gone.  Government-managed markets do not correct their mistakes, government compounds the mistakes.  It was a mistake to prevent the energy market from keeping up with demand.  Instead of correcting the mistake, government, in its infinite wisdom, demanded the production of massive quantities of ethanol – which drove food prices skyward, and out of reach for much of the world.  Government must be forced to get out of the way.

More than a million people have signed the "Drill Here; Drill Now" petition.    A new campaign is now underway to send to every Congressman a drill bit and a map of the United States that says "Drill Here! Drill Now!"

The hope is that people will send a drill bit and a map to their Senators and Representative to lodge a not-so-subtle message that domestic oil reserves need to be developed.  Whatever method is used, it is up to the people to force their elected representatives to get out of the way and let the market work to solve the energy crisis.

Drill Here! Drill Now!  ESR

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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