Monday, June 7, 2010

We Must Make a Decision About Oil

It appears that progress is being made to slow the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A cap has been lowered that is capturing some of the leaking oil and that oil is being pumped up to a surface ship instead of into the water. Our prayers go with everyone who is working to fix this problem.

Meanwhile, above the surface, we have a larger problem. We must determine what we, as a nation, are going to do to secure our energy future when it comes to oil.

Radical environmentalists want us to abandon the use of oil altogether in favor of, uh, um, well, they don't really know. All they can say is that oil is bad and we shouldn't use any of it and point out that this disaster is a prime reason for us to not use any of that icky, oily stuff. The part of that argument that doesn't hold water is basically all of it.

These radicals have been at work for the better part of two generations to insure that we don't have a viable energy policy based on reality. They've infiltrated government and the private sector alike, crafting legal maneuvers that have essentially crippled our ability to be self-sufficient and free from foreign suppliers. The EPA seems to be the enemy of the people when it comes to the harvesting of oil for America. They wield enormous power and primarily use it to restrict oil drilling instead of opening up new areas of exploration and development.

They all say the same thing: we need to develop alternative means to generate energy, but when pressed for a truly viable alternative to the methods and substances we now use, they cite wind and solar power.

Now for the dirty little secret they seem all too happy to ignore: windmills only generate power when the wind blows, requiring methods to store electricity until it's needed. Ditto with solar and the sun. Neither one of these alternatives will enable one aircraft to take off, but you never hear that from the radical environmentalists, now do you?

I'm terribly sorry to tell them this, but their attitude just doesn't cut it any more.

Our national choice should be very clear. We need oil and we will need it for the foreseeable future. It is the best and most efficient substance that we've discovered so far, capable of being made into so many things that benefit mankind it would take volumes to catalog it all. It's in our best interests to insure that the harvesting and refining of oil is plentiful and safe. This means that we're going to have to eliminate the current mindset of oil as somehow foreign to the earth, since that's where it came from originally. In its concentrated form, it is certainly toxic and requires safe procedures to minimize the effects of contamination, especially of our water supplies. The procedures are not terribly complicated, nor are they beyond our capacity to implement. Better to have a spill on dry land than a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf, should a spill occur at all.

Our national mindset should be that we will harvest and refine oil as safely as possible. We need to drill in accessible places, which means on dry land, first. Only after exhausting those reserves should we then move to less accessible areas. We should have the old "can-do" spirit that once was part of the national phyche and say we're not going to let a few idiots keep us from having a cheap and abundant supply of oil.

We can safely drill for and refine oil. Now let's get out there and do it.

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