I am by no means an expert in oil exploration but much of the argument on our current energy crisis involves the lack of drilling and new refineries in this country. That drilling prohibition off the Gulf Coast has been in effect since 1981. Some energy officials say a huge supply of oil is available in that coastal region while others say the potential for environmental impact is too great to allow for the drilling. Quite frankly, I don't know.
But apparently those fine folk in Washington know because last week they once again continued the prohibition against oil drilling off the country's coastal waters despite arguments that the drilling could produce oil and at some point lower gas prices.
And you want to know what the primary argument was against the drilling ban? Tourism in Florida and other coastal states would be harmed if an oil spill were to occur.
So let me get this right. We are currently paying tons of money to countries that are sometimes less than favorable to our way of life and yet we prohibit the potential for energy independence because it might impact tourism? What am I missing?
If there is oil in Alaska that would free us from dependence of our enemies, then drill away. If there is oil off the coast of Florida that would free us from dependence of our enemies, then drill away. Heck, if there's oil is my backyard, drill away and send me a postcard to Tahiti - my future new address.
I recognize the importance of tourism and I fully recognize the importance of a safe and clean environment. But I'm willing to risk some loss in that area in order to assure that our future energy supply is not dictated from the Mideast. And just one thought - how will tourism be impacted with $5 a gallon gasoline?
Congress needs to explain in detail why drilling in our own land is prohibited when the stakes are so high. Energy supplies will continue to be less available in the years ahead. So it makes no sense to ignore what might be an energy solution in our own backyard and instead, rely on oil supplies from governments that are less than friendly to our way of life.
Ask your Congressman how they voted and why.