If you’re someone who wants your candidate to be taken seriously on foreign policy, you probably shouldn’t say stuff like Obama advisor Richard Danzig said, “Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security”. Yes, I’m sure that there was a deeper, broader point to it, because this guy is considered by some to possibly be the National Security Advisor in an Obama administration. Putting the national security discussion in terms of children’s stories and fictional Star Wars characters might not be the best way to demonstrate a deep level of understanding on that subject.
Meanwhile, the move to end the ban on offshore drilling is picking up steam. Both President Bush and presidential candidate John McCain have announced that they support ending that ban. This is a change of position for McCain, but he is not a stupid man, and he knows that the majority of Americans want to start drilling to reduce the price of oil. According to Rasmussen Reports, 67% of those they polled support ending the ban on offshore drilling. The poll also said that a significant percentage of those people also believed that offshore drilling was somewhat likely to reduce gas prices. The American people have now reached the point where their own financial interests are conflicting with their general desire to care about the environment and conservation of resources and so forth. They are seeing the tradeoff and deciding that cheaper gas is more important than the environment — if being environmentally friendly means $4 + gasoline, that’s where they recognize the insanity of our current policies. This is important, because all we seem to be hearing from the Democrats is that we can’t drill our way out of this mess, and some Democrats have even suggested that the government should take over all the refineries (!!!).
Offshore drilling won’t completely solve the problem, but it will provide temporary relief while we continue to work on a more comprehensive energy policy. I know that many Democrats owe their careers to the environmentalists, but surely they don’t want to be seen as opposing anything that has so much public support. As long as there are appropriate safeguards in place, why not do everything we can to mitigate the pain Americans are suffering at the pump?
As far as what we should do to get this elusive energy independence, we could start with producing more of our own oil. It makes no sense to beg the Saudis to increase production when we refuse to use the resources we already have. There should be incentives for oil companies to re-invest profits into research into alternative energy sources — not increased taxation for failing to meet some benchmark set by a government bureaucrat. Then we should look into nuclear power and coal. As far as government oversight goes, I have no problem with that, but we should draw the line way before we get to nationalizing refineries.