Silent Archimedes

Two Ways to Solve the Oil Problem. Conservation vs. Expansion. Obama vs. McCain. Who’s Right?

Posted by silentarchimedes on August 5, 2008

Two Ways to Solve the Oil Problem. Conservation vs. Expansion. Obama vs. McCain. Who’s Right?

Solving the oil crisis and our dependency on foreign countries for our energy needs have boiled down to two ideas. One is the conservation of existing energy supplies. The other is of increasing our national oil supplies by expanding our offshore drilling. These two methods have also defined the presidential race. Obama is for conserving our supplies while McCain is for expanding offshore drilling. Both sides agree that investment in alternative energy is important nonetheless. However, there is one major difference between these two solutions. The first solution requires a big commitment on every individual in the country and lowers our quality of life for the better of our future. The second solution maintains our current high quality of life with no true regard for our long-term viability. It also has a higher risk of damaging the environment and does not fully address short-term and mid-term prospects. In essence, it sounds good, but doesn’t have much fluff.

Obama suggests that if every American fulfills some basic driving techniques to improve gas mileage, we would in essence get more bang for our buck for all the oil Americans use per day. Such techniques include filling your tire pressure to the recommended PSI. McCain’s camp jumped on this “energy solution” as saying it doesn’t even match up to the benefits of expanded offshore drilling. However, McCain’s camp is reacting at the gut, and not really with facts. Since many Americans drive on underinflated tires, studies have shown that if everyone did drive on properly inflated tires, it would increase gas mileage by 3 to 4%. A Dept. of Energy study in 2005 estimated that U.S. motorists wasted 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline a year from driving on underinflated tires — roughly 61 million barrels of oil! By comparison, the U.S. Department of Interior says there are 17.9 billion barrels of oil available off-shore in areas under the federal drilling ban. Due to a shortage of equipment and legal hurdles, experts estimate that if the ban was lifted, it would take at least five years to produce an additional drop of oil from those areas. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said last year that new off-shore drilling could add about 200,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. output — not enough to have “a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.” These are studies done by the government’s own departments.

Expanding offshore drilling is the most political and useless solution ever proposed for solving the oil problem. Most citizens have no idea how many barrels of oil America consumes a day, and how much offshore drilling will help us. Not to mention the environmental impacts it could have. However, logical conservation steps are guaranteed to have an impact…today! McCain’s naive response to Obama’s tire pressure suggestion is equivalent to saying each individual’s vote doesn’t count in an election, or that each person’s recycling doesn’t make a difference.

The days of high standards of living are coming to a close in America. There will be hardship involved as Peak Oil occurs at some point in the future. Just because oil has dropped from a high of $145/barrel to under $119/barrel does not mean the problem is solved. After all, it wasn’t long ago that people were debating if oil would cross $100/barrel. And at $119, it is still 600% higher than what it was in the late 1990s. Oil is not recyclable. Once it is used, it is gone forever. We should be taking care of the Earth’s limited supply by getting the most mileage per drop of oil…

One Response to “Two Ways to Solve the Oil Problem. Conservation vs. Expansion. Obama vs. McCain. Who’s Right?”

  1. The only energy or oil monopoly in this country is a governmental institutionalized monopoly on our country energy market. The legislative branch has been engaging in anti-competitive energy practices from drilling to building new refineries and much more. They are in clear violation of the

    “Sherman Antitrust Act
    This Act expresses our national commitment to a free market economy in which competition free from private and governmental restraints leads to the best results for consumers.”

    Clearly the governmental restraint are in violation of a free market economy and is criminal negligence on the part of the liberal politicians who are the real cartel that profit in taxes more then 3 to 1 to the oil companies that actually work for their money and then have to pay taxes on top of that. So when Oil profits go up the tax revenue increase is 3 times that of the oil companies. So who do you think is the real cartel???

    This criminal incompetence of the democrats and legislative politicians anti free market energy economy in allowing American companies to meet American Oil needs is in need of change and with bush opening up offshore drilling it is time that we conservatives take a page from the left wing play book and for us to us the judicial system in upholding our laws and open up drilling.

    Why dose the Senate call for investigations on big oil? Because they are trying to transfer the blame off of them by placing the blame on someone else. By placing the blame on the oil companies and keep people from seeing that government is the true problem they are able to offer false hope in an effort to gain more power and money from taxes while eliminating a free market economy in our country and forcing us to send our money to unfriendly Middle Eastern countries.

    Why should we drill?
    1) Create more high paying jobs for Americans
    2) Become energy independent and stop sending $700 billion to middle eastern countries that support terrorism
    3) Invest the $700 billion in America
    4) $700 billion is 6% of the yearly US economy, and investing this in America would do what to our economy? Lower inflation and strengthen the US dollar?
    5) Instantly drop the price of oil because oil Speculators like me would invest in commodity producers that provide the product like Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, because this is the smart investment. When Oil Speculators transfer investments the Oil price falls on the stock market.

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