Continuing its valiant struggle to turn a recession into a depression and expanding its war on the working class, the Obama Administration reinstated a ban on offshore drilling:
Facing gas prices near $4 a gallon and a pivotal national election, congressional Democrats allowed a ban on offshore drilling to lapse in September
But times change, and on Tuesday, the Obama administration – with gas prices roughly half what they were and many Democrats’ having been swept into office – blocked offshore drilling plans put in place at the last minute by the Bush administration, including plans to open the national outer continental shelf for drilling.
Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar also announced last week that his agency would block drilling on public lands in Utah, criticizing the Bush administration for releasing its offshore drilling plan just days before leaving office.
Secretary Salazar claims the Bush Administration engaged in "a headlong rush of the worst kind" when it rescinded the drilling ban. Perhaps the Secretary doesn’t remember last summer’s $5 per gallon gasoline prices and the tremendous burden that placed on middle and lower-class Americans who have to drive to work. Perhaps he’s not aware of our dependence on imports from hostile dictatorships in the Middle East and Latin America, some of whom are using part of the money they get from oil to finance our jihadist enemies. Perhaps he doesn’t understand that the immense wealth transferred outside the US by buying this foreign oil is a large part of the financial crisis we face.
Perhaps he’s just a hack Obama appointed to pander to the Hispanic vote.
There’s a reason "drill here, drill now" became a chant during the last election: we are sitting on huge recoverable resources of oil both within the continental US and offshore. Modern technology makes extracting that oil much safer than its ever been. We had a opportunity in that election to elect a team that understands the economic and national security implications of our policy toward oil and coal, but, for whatever reason, we chose instead a savior who’s so far only delivered mediocrity and "just words," and his running-mate, a gas bag with a weak grip on reality. We’re going to pay for that, as far more wealth goes overseas instead of creating jobs here, and as fuel prices inevitably go up again to hurt the people who can least afford it.
It’s too late now to do much about it for the next few years, but soon we’ll have the chance to make good choices and elect people who understand energy policy and the intelligent use of our resources, starting in 2010 and, I hope, 2012.
Drill, baby, drill.