"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Dr. Onder on American Energy

June 10th, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

By Dr. Bob Onder

As the owners of an old plumber’s van that we use to haul around our six kids, my wife and I share the pain Missourians feel at the gas pump. As Missourians are all too aware, the price of oil has doubled over the past year. Just this weekend, gas prices moved above $4 per gallon. With gas prices that high, families are forced to take money out of other parts of their budget just to get to work or drive their kids to baseball practice, and businesses use resources that might have been used to create new jobs to pay for energy costs.

Skyrocketing energy costs are damaging our economy and killing jobs, over 60,000 in just the last month alone. Unfortunately, however, there does not appear to be any sign of relief in sight. A little over a month ago, in an effort to lower prices, President Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia to ask King Abdullah to release more oil from Saudi reserves. Stop and think about that: The democratically-elected leader of the most prosperous country in history had to essentially beg a second-rate, fourth-generation, third world monarch to ease the burden on American families. Much to his chagrin, the president was rebuffed. Saudi Arabia will not be increasing supply.

Something’s not right with this picture. We should not have to rely on the charity of foreign governments. We must find a way to wean ourselves off foreign oil. We need to invest in American energy sources now.

The good news is that we have the resources to end our reliance. The bad news is that Democrats have stood in the way of American development. At the far northern end of Alaska, in ANWR, we could have access to 1 million barrels of oil per day. In comparison, last year, we imported 590,000 barrels per day from OPEC nations, including 36,000 from Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, in 1995, former President Clinton vetoed legislation which would have allowed us to use this American oil because he said it would take ten years for the oil to start flowing. Thirteen years later, rather than enjoy daily access to nearly 28 times the oil we import from Saudi Arabia, we still rely on anti-American sources of energy.

It only gets worse. The Department of Energy estimates that 86 billion barrels of oil are available under America’s continental shelf. Yet, 85 percent of it is off-limits. Those who stand in the way of American energy production claim that new wells would cause environmental harm. But when Hurricane Katrina wiped out over 2,100 oil or gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico, we did not have a single serious environmental mishap.

American ingenuity has accomplished many great things. When I was a kid, we put a man on the moon. Since then, our engineers have come up with equally heroic solutions to environmental problems. Today, we can drill for oil in an environmentally friendly way, both in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. While green nations like Denmark and Norway allow their citizens to reap the benefits of their own natural resources, environmental radicals in the United States wreak havoc on the wallets of average Americans.

In the short term, we should continue to seek solutions like the suspension of deposits into the strategic petroleum reserve which President Bush signed into law just two weeks ago. But, in the long term, to ensure future prosperity, we must take advantage of American resources in an environmentally-friendly way. We have the technology to do it. All that is left is to generate the political will to let American ingenuity work its magic.

Dr. Bob Onder is a state representative and Republican candidate for Missouri’s Ninth Congressional District.

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Tags: Decision '08

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  • 1 john barninger // Jun 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    We have waited far too long to drill and use our own oil. It is time that we finally tell the minority (the environmentalists) that we will no longer tolerate their interference when it comes to our national security. We CAN safely drill, transport and refine oil. Thanks Bob.

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