By Richard Leonetti,
Secretary Bradbury wrote an op-ed piece saying we should not drill for oil. His arguments were riddled with contradictions and some speculation. He asserts that expanded drilling will increase gasoline demand. Actually increased drilling has no affect on demand but will increase domestic supply or keep it from falling as it is now doing. This in turn would tend to lower costs and help, not “hurt Oregonians”, as he claims. I thought he wanted lower costs?
He also says that we should start now to develop other energy sources that might take 10 years to occur. If it is good to invest now, presumably taxpayer money, for returns in the future it certainly is even more advantageous to start drilling now. Drilling costs the taxpayer nothing and actually reduces taxpayer burdens because the leases are “sold” to prospectors for cold hard cash. They also create new jobs and taxes.
This argument that it will take too long to bring in new oil is very much like the 30 year old saying that there is no sense in saving for retirement now he can just take his chances later that he might win the lottery. Sooner is always better than later.
Lastly his speculation that alternative energy pursuits will create lots of jobs is just that, speculation. We do know, however, that less oil and gas will affect current jobs. Higher natural gas costs drive up the cost of of many products. Farm jobs would be affected by higher fertilizer costs making the product more expensive. Diesel fuel costs affect trucking, rail and airlines making hundreds of products more expensive. This country thrives on cheap transportation to get our products to markets including the ports for export. Not to mention that every barrel of oil and every BTU of gas we produce here does not need to be purchased with US funds sent to foreign countries, some of whom are not our friends.
With environmental safeguards, drilling now is a logical and an economic benefit to us all and we should pursue it.