President Bush has called for more domestic oil exploration, asking congress to allow drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Preserve and off the coasts. While some, including the president, say this will drive the cost of gas down, it isn’t exactly the golden ticket to the energy crisis. And while I don’t expect or forsee a “quick-fix” to the rising cost of gas, I can safely say this is a step in the wrong direction. Drilling for more oil domestically may buy us another five or ten or even twenty years of lower gas prices, but the oil will run out. And when it does, we will have ravaged our natural resources, our precious wildlife, and our coasts in an irreparable way. For what? A handful of years of cheaper gas? It’s not worth it.
Bush’s proposal is like putting band-aide on a broken leg. Our time and money should go toward researching ways to produce clean energy–cars that run on hydrogen or are electric, or perhaps function on something else entirely. I have complete confidence in our research capabilities to find a more efficient way to fuel our country. I wouldn’t be opposed to expanding domestic oil exploration if it were packaged with an agreement to increase funding for alternative fuels and came with regulations that would protect certain areas such as wildlife preserves. Even as Bush and others call out for more oil exploration, I doubt they would like an oil refinery in their town. If I were in congress, I’d call for the next refinery to be in Crawford. It’s one thing to say we need more exploration to bring the cost down, and quite another to take care of all the fine print that such a decision entails.