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March 2, 2011

What part of "we told you so" is so hard to understand? For decades everyone on both sides (tyranny versus liberty) have been bemoaning our dependence on foreign oil. It's a Sword of Damocles that's been dangling over our collective heads since Commissar Carter turned off the air conditioning, but all we do is talk about how we have to "decrease our dependence" and "develop alternative sources", yada, yada yada. We've all dreaded the day when we'd be really held hostage by events we could no longer control, and now it is here. But, we've always had the solution, and we've allowed those with less wisdom than my socks to talk us out of using it.

With the known sources, new extraction techniques, offshore reserves, and suspected resources, there's more than enough oil and gas to provide for our energy needs for most of the rest of this century without buying from anyone overseas, if we'd just go get it. We could still buy from foreign sources, but only on our terms, and such a situation would force the price of oil globally to fall to pre-Carter levels. Do you remember the last time oil prices fell? I remember exactly when it was. It was the week after then-President Bush relaxed the rules on drilling for new oil. We didn't actually get any, we just said we would. Look, everyone knows we're holding back, and just that threat loosened the reins on prices.

However, our current President seems not to understand that, or is it he really does understand and doesn't care. In fact, I think this is exactly what he's wanted! In an interview before the election he plainly stated his energy policy would "necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket"! Unfortunately, I'm afraid that is his attitude on many issues - and it is diametrically opposed to what Americans want. His stance on the vastly unpopular Health Care Bill should have told us everything we needed to know about what he thinks of us, but now we're facing an immediate and fundamental change (does that term sound familiar?) in the basic assumptions of our economy - the availability of relatively inexpensive fuel. Those of us who've been warning for years this time would come, when we'd be held hostage by events, are now in the most unenviable position of uttering those 4 words.

But, just because we're in the bottom of the 9th with two strikes doesn't mean the ballgame's over. We may be approaching a time when Congress can actually override the President on this issue. IF the American people get angry enough, and IF the solution is already in motion, we can avert destroying our economy, albeit at the last minute. It's time for our legislators with any sense left begin a process to force the President to allow immediate exploration and extraction of oil and gas, both in places like ANWR, and in places closer to home. Congress has the power to mandate an energy policy. Tea-Party Republicans, are you listening? With the election cycle revving up, even "progressives" want votes and don't want to be seen as the cause of $7/gallon gas. Make it their problem, and provide the solution.

By the way, I hate those 4 words!


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