The reason usually given for blocking the drilling of oil is environmental concerns, i.e. oil spills. This concern is so pervasive that some governors have opposed offshore drilling even though it would bring jobs to their states and improve the nation's domestic oil supply.
But is it a valid concern?
USA Today reports that the National Research Council found just a tiny percentage of the oil in our oceans come from offshore drilling:
A report by the National Research Council found that offshore oil and gas drilling was responsible for just 2% of the petroleum in North America's oceans, compared with 63% from natural seepage and 22% from municipal and industrial waste. Coast Guard reports show that the amount of oil spilled in U.S. waters dropped from 3.6 million barrels in the 1970s to less than 500,000 in the 1990s.
Even in the midst of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, seepage was kept to a minimum:
During Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, 115 oil platforms were toppled, but only insignificant amounts of oil spilled, says Roland Guidry, Louisiana's oil spill coordinator.
President Bush today lifted an executive order ban on offshore drilling that had been in place since his father occupied the White House. Now it's time for Congress to get in gear and open up offshore areas and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for drilling.
With our nation so dependent on foreign oil, and with Americans paying over $4.00 a gallon for gas, isn't it time to tell the environmental extremists to go pound sand?
Isn't it time we went back to a sane energy policy in America?