There’s a political webcomic I enjoy reading, A Town Called Dobson.
Today’s comic is about Bush’s call to Congress to lift the ban on off-shore oil drilling and to open the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.
Bush’s argument is that high gasoline prices mean that we need to increase our own production. That will bring down the price of oil. Indeed, just a few days ago I saw on Red State (the conservative version of DailyKos) an analysis that off-shore drilling and ANWR drilling will lower gasoline prices to about $2.40. The argument was that this is a Republican campaign issue; Democrats are being preservationists, and that’s making prices at the pump higher than they should be, but Republicans want to trample on nature and bring down the price of gasoline.
The thing is, and I don’t think anyone’s quite made it quite as succienctly, off-shore drilling and Alaskan drilling is not a quick fix.
To quote Dobson‘s closing analysis:
What Bush doesnt tell you is it will take decades to explore the shelf, build the new drilling rigs and extract the fossil fuels. He also doesnt even want to mention what will be required on-shore. Such massive off-shore operations requires significant on-shore support. New oil pipelines, new refineries, new storage depots, and a host of other dirty, oil related crap that does nothing to ween us off of fossil fuel. This is billions in infrastructure that could be used to actually get us off of oil – forever.
There is no quick fix. Republicans are going to try and claim that there is this fall. They’ll be lying. Worse, they’ll knowingly be lying.
What we need to do is develop a new energy policy that breaks our dependence on oil.