Try Coming Up With A Real Answer For Once

It’s no secret I’d like to see the gasoline-powered engine head the way of the buggy whip.  And while I continue to call $4 a gallon gas little more than consumer rape (Try the $8 a gallon they pay in Europe.  I’m surprised there hasn’t been a few civil wars over that yet.), I am glad to see the auto industry pushing harder to build more hybrids, flex-fuel engines, electric cars, and…  Dare I say it?…  Hydrogen?  (GM plans to shift its hydrogen fuel cell program into high gear sooner rather than later.) 

But all that’s the long-term.  Even assuming GM’s first fuel cell vehicle goes into limited production by 2012, it will be in limited numbers until the price falls in line with current technology.  In the meantime…

I keep hearing the same rank stupidity whenever domestic drilling is brought up.  “It won’t produce anything for 3-10 years.  And it won’t drop prices.”

Um…  Can I have whatever you’re smoking?  Sounds like some really whack stuff.

First off, not producing anything for 3-10 years is not an intelligent objection, let alone a legitimate one.  3-10 years is actually much later than we need domestic oil.  Far be it from me to praise George W. Bush, the Warren Harding of his generation, but George got it right when he lifted the executive ban on offshore drilling.  Let’s be honest here.  What makes the people who object to this think the Saudis, Iranians, and Venezuelans are going to be any friendlier in 3-10 years?  And what good will come of staying with them when gasoline hits $5 or $6 a gallon?  Yes, we need to get off crude oil, but it ain’t happening in the next 3-10 years.  On the other hand, maintaining the status quo while we wait for the auto industry, British Petroleum, and Shell to change over to ethanol, hydrogen, and electric is inviting a few more planes into the upper floors of some very tall buildings.

Assuming the airlines are still in business to supply the hijackers with planes by then.

To the latter point, explain to me how not having to ship oil by tanker across multiple oceans – already proven to be an environmental risk greater than drilling itself – is going to run up the price of oil.  It’s not.  Here’s the problem with that theory.  Even if oil still goes higher, at least domestic supplies will keep the profits here.  The problem is we’ve been sending money overseas to people who don’t like us much, and people we don’t like much, either.  You tell me what’s cheaper:  A few rigs off California?  Or the Saudis turning off the taps.

At some point in the next decade or so, America and Europe are going to turn off the spigots, or at least turn them way down.  At that point, no one will care what the Middle East or Venezuela thinks of the rest of the planet, other than…

“Hey, buddy.  Got a bite to eat?  We’re starving over here.”

Until then, we need to bring the oil home and stop pissing off the rest of the world because we’re too self-righteous to drill our own.