Thomas Sowell has a few good quotes in his "Random Thoughts" post today. Here is my favorite: "Government bailouts are like potato chips: You can't stop with just one. " Between the stimulus checks and corporate bailouts this country is acting crazy.
I know we all enjoy having a few extra bucks in our pockets from the stimulus checks, but that cannot be the answer to every economic issue this country faces. Yes, gas prices are high. But the government should not simply send us checks to deal with the issue. How about expanding U.S. oil inventories and production, wind power, nuclear energy, etc., etc. ? Simply decreasing or stopping the strategic oil reserves and mandating conservation efforts does not help the average American get to work in the morning. Increasing domestic oil production would have a positive effect on the futures market and potentially on the motivation of OPEC to increase their oil production. Additionally, while I agree that increased drilling won't have an immediate effect on supplies, it will have a long-term effect on both supply and prices. The sooner we start, the sooner we feel those effects. And why is it that we cannot drill and implement other alternative energy programs? It should not be an all or nothing proposal. I am all for creating innovative technology to deal with energy concerns, but it will not happen over night. That is why I find it so strange that the same people who spout that increasing U.S. domestic oil capabilities will not help in the short-term are also saying that we need to push everyone towards using wind power, hybrid technology or whatever. It's not like pushing people towards alternative energy will really be faster than drilling for oil. So, lets do both and hopefully we won't be in this situation again.
Also, I have had it with the politicians on this issue. The latest polls suggest that 70% of Americans would like us to drill offshore for oil. Well, the politicians know this stat and are scared to tell the American people that they oppose drilling for fear of losing their power. It makes me sick that they won't vote on a drilling bill because they know they could lose power if they vote based on their beliefs. Take a position already, and make it known! We elect you to vote and propose bills to help us, not to protect your government pension!
Oh well, I am sure I will get emails telling me that oil drilling wouldn't even help oil prices for 20 years, global warming is going to kill us, nuclear energy will kill us, oil companies are involved in a world wide conspiracy, etc. All I can say is that there are two sides to these issues. And unlike a lot of individuals with opinions on energy, I have researched both sides. I'll stop here.