Friday, October 16, 2009

Sarah Palin: Drill

As usual, Sarah Palin, in this National Review column, speaks directly to the heart of the matter with regard to our energy policy, or the current lack thereof, starting with her very first sentence:

Given that we’re spending billions of stimulus dollars to rebuild our highways, it makes sense to think about what we’ll be driving on them.

And, again as you might expect, Sarah Palin believes, as I do as well, that we need to have more domestic oil as a way of reducing the amount we import.  And we need to do this not just to power our vehicles but also for many other uses:

We rely on petroleum for much more than just powering our vehicles: It is essential in everything from jet fuel to petrochemicals, plastics to fertilizers, pesticides to pharmaceuticals. Ac­cord­ing to the Energy Information Ad­min­is­tra­tion, our total domestic petroleum consumption last year was 19.5 million barrels per day (bpd). Motor gasoline and diesel fuel accounted for less than 13 million bpd of that. Meanwhile, we produced only 4.95 million bpd of domestic crude. In other words, even if we ran all our vehicles on something else (which won’t happen anytime soon), we would still have to depend on imported oil. And we’ll continue that dependence until we develop our own oil resources to their fullest extent.

Really, I could reproduce the whole thing here, but really, you should go check it out yourself.  (Again:  click here for the column.)

I do, though, want to draw attention to a point she made that most people do not accept as true:

My home state of Alaska shows how it’s possible to be both pro-environment and pro-resource-development.

Too often the debate on environmental issues has been framed as business vs. environment, as if those of us who want to see our businesses success have an innate desire to destroy the earth.  Let's not draw those distinctions; instead, let's have an energy policy that is geared toward helping both businesses and the environment, and, in doing so, help our people prosper.

(Just to be clear:  the proposed "cap-and-tax" plan is not such a plan.  You think you'll prosper more when you're paying four times as much each month in your electric bill?)

Seriously, read Mrs. Palin's column, even if (or especially if) you don't believe she has the ability to write coherently.  There's a lot of common sense to be found there, and we desperately need that right now.

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M1EK said...

It betrays a crucial lack of economic literacy (or, perhaps, although less likely in Palin's case, a base disingenuousness) to claim that the amount of oil we can bring to bear will lower 'our' oil prices enough to be worth it.

And Alaska's environment is just awful - except for the parts the Fed protected a long time ago.

Of all the Palin arguments, this is the weakest one. You'd do well to focus elsewhere.