Since the inception of the terrible BP oil spill it would seem that America has sufficiently shunned the utterers of “drill baby drill”. With such a rude awakening it would be logical to infer that America should be entering a new epoch of environmental awareness fueled by greener energy and increased productivity. However, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for America when all we can do right now is point fingers and bellow “don’t drill baby, don’t drill”. Less drilling without a commitment to finding better alternative energy sources is just going to increase the revenues of foreign oil cartels like OPEC while draining the coffers of all American energy consumers.
There needs to be more incentives for private innovation in the field of alternative energy without the naïve enthusiasm over currently limited resources like wind power. Because let’s be honest, the only way wind power is going to take the place of petroleum based fuels for vehicles is if we strap fucking sails to the roofs of our cars. If we’re going to stop drilling there needs to be a serious alternative to petroleum. For an environmentalist to worry about global warming, discourage drilling here in the US, but then be fine with idea of becoming equally as addicted to foreign oil is complete bullshit. That makes no sense at all. If that becomes the case then we will all be paying more at the pump, using just as much oil, and releasing just as many metric tons of auto emissions into the atmosphere. It’s a worthless endeavor to discourage drilling if we can’t figure out a way to replace gasoline. Large corporations will be able to pay the new higher price of mostly foreign gas and they will have lobbyists in Washington to help them wheel and deal while small businesses and private individuals will just go broke paying for gas they can’t avoid using.
The same problem plagues cap and tax proposals. We will all be hit with new energy taxes that will drive up the prices of commodities that will cost the little guy more while the big guys can sweat these losses. It’s not fair to ask people who rely on using fuel for their living to shoulder the burden. John Doe who drives trucks for a living can’t afford a heavy tax on his gas just so environmentalists can fuel their sanctimonious conquest against domestic drilling if there’s no promise of relief. Artificially raised prices can only bring down emissions so much. Big corporations will be able to buy more carbon credits (which equates might with right) while the rest of us can’t afford to buy those environmental get out jail free cards. All of these economic maladies will afflict us if we continue babbling “don’t drill baby, don’t drill” without any plans for encouraging private innovation in the field of alternative energy. So remember, my friends, we need more innovation not more taxation and importation.
-Jack Daniel Betz