The former Alaska governor writes in National Review: Drill
Given that we’re spending billions of stimulus dollars to rebuild our highways, it makes sense to think about what we’ll be driving on them. For years to come, most of what we drive will be powered, at least in part, by diesel fuel or gasoline. To fuel that driving, we need access to oil. The less use we make of our own reserves, the more we will have to import, which leads to a number of harmful consequences. That means we need to drill here and drill now.
We rely on petroleum for much more than just powering our vehicles: It is essential in everything from jet fuel to petrochemicals, plastics to fertilizers, pesticides to pharmaceuticals. According to the Energy Information Administration, our total domestic petroleum consumption last year was 19.5 million barrels per day (bpd). Motor gasoline and diesel fuel accounted for less than 13 million bpd of that. Meanwhile, we produced only 4.95 million bpd of domestic crude. In other words, even if we ran all our vehicles on something else (which won’t happen anytime soon), we would still have to depend on imported oil. And we’ll continue that dependence until we develop our own oil resources to their fullest extent.
Those who oppose domestic drilling are motivated primarily by environmental considerations, but many of the countries we’re forced to import from have few if any environmental-protection laws, and those that do exist often go unenforced. In effect, American environmentalists are preventing responsible development here at home while supporting irresponsible development overseas.
That last point is something a lot of people don’t understand: in order to make our selves feel morally pure by not drilling for our own oil and gas, we contribute to the severe environmental damage caused when other, less stringent countries drill for theirs to sell to us. It’s like saying you don’t drink, then sending the butler out to the liquor store.
Palin goes on to provide examples of how Alaska combined energy development with responsible stewardship of the environment, and at the end takes a playful shot at the Obama administration.
I hope to see much more of those in 2012.