Drill, Baby, Drill–Or, We Must Learn to Bear the Truth About Ourselves, No Matter How Good it Might Be


Yesterday, the Republican minority on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee released a report entitled Energy 2020. As the introduction by Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the ranking minority member, makes clear, North America can produce enough energy to meet its own needs and then some by 2020–that is, in less than a decade.

The full report presents all kinds of marvelous data and analysis–if anyone tries to tell you Republicans know nothing about science, send him the link–but one chart says it all:


New technologies have already enabled us to boost our energy production dramatically–and enabled us to cut our imports from OPEC by a like amount. What nearly every president since Richard Nixon has promised and failed to do, in other words–free us from dependence on foreign oil–the free markets are quite neatly accomplishing.

There are 9 comments.

  1. Member

    It’s a lovely story, but the Left has a trump card to play: climate change. It doesn’t matter how safe and cheap oil and gas production is, and it doesn’t matter that it will make us energy independent. It will cause catastrophic climate change, dontcha know.

    Senator Murkowski can sing the praises of energy all day long, but she’s mostly singing about fossil fuels. As long as the IPCC et al. hold sway, her song will fall flat. When it comes to energy policy, ‘the phenomenon formerly known as global warming’ is only real issue. Lose on that one and nothing else matters.

    The president will redouble his efforts in this area during his second term. If the Republicans are outflanked or cave on this, the consequences are truly dire. Sen. Murkowski is right to say that

    Energy is good. Energy provides the basis for advanced civilization and improved standards of living.

    Yet she devotes less than 1% of her report to climate change. All the oil and gas we can extract won’t mean a thing if we won’t burn it.

    Alternatively, we can be more like Europe. Pick yer poison, Mr. Robinson.

    • #1
    • February 6, 2013 at 1:18 am
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  2. Inactive

    Would that we actually had a free market, at least in energy. Instead, we have market distortions like subsidies and tax breaks for oil and gas (trivially); subsidies, tax breaks, favored loans, etc for “green” energy companies (not at all trivially; most of these companies could not survive in the market absent these favors); open war on coal by an Executive Branch doing by fiat what Congress has explicitly rejected.

    We have friendly nearby imports of oil actively blocked (Keystone XL), leases being rescinded from inactivity while ignoring that the inactivity is due to government-generated uncertainty about the future of such drilling, drilling permits on Federal land and offshore being slow walked, state territory (e.g., Alaska and off the California coast) being confiscated by the Feds explicitly to block drilling, the Executive Branch manufacturing fracking failure as a prelude to following New York’s lead and blocking fracking altogether.

    It’s certainly true that the resources lie under our dirt, and we have the technologies to get them. But as long as Progressive politics stand in the way, the free market to do the deed is absent.

    Eric Hines

    • #2
    • February 6, 2013 at 4:12 am
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  3. Thatcher

    Alternatively, we can be more like Europe. Pick yer poison, Mr. Robinson. · 3 hours ago

    I simply cannot wait to become smarter and more attractive and start wearing ascots like these beautiful European people pictured in the article.


    • #3
    • February 6, 2013 at 4:37 am
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  4. Member

    I’m with you. Here’s my take from last year.

    • #4
    • February 6, 2013 at 7:08 am
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  5. Member
    Chris Campion

    Alternatively, we can be more like Europe. Pick yer poison, Mr. Robinson. · 3 hours ago

    I simply cannot wait to become smarter and more attractive and start wearing ascots like these beautiful European people pictured in the article. · 2 hours ago

    You don’t see that their walking to the RR station as they can’t afford gas. They just left their 600 sq ft apartment with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. They have heaps of vacation time, to spend walking hand-in-hand down their unpaved road to nowhere.

    • #5
    • February 6, 2013 at 7:11 am
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  6. Inactive

    I guess you won’t be looking here for answers to your questions,as there were none. The addition of Murkowski’s mug doesn’t engender much debate either. Ennui , satiety , or paranoia ? What has tendered it’s clinging vine to the ankles of some many conservatives ? 

    What kind of world do we live in where the idea of free market is actually stigmatized by the majority party in the United States of America ?

    We certainly have come a long way very quickly. What a shame we took the wrong turn .

    We’re not in Kansas any more ? I wish.

    And I had been able to avoid Detroit and Baltimore for my whole life and here we are. 

    Duck !

    Of course we have enough oil/gas. Heck most of it lies right over the Pacific Range from you. And your fellow statesmen scoff when they hear about it . Don’t they ?

    • #6
    • February 6, 2013 at 7:54 am
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  7. Thatcher

    It might be more appropriate to describe what’s happened with the development of domestic energy resources as being something that happened in a market, despite decades of efforts at curbing their exploitation.

    I wonder what our energy portfolio would look like right now, had nuclear not been largely taken off the table in the late 1970’s. 

    This is kind of an odd loop we put ourselves in, at least here in VT. Many condos and homes were built in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, and were equipped with electric baseboard heat. Why, one might ask? Well, VT had a new nuclear plant in Vermont Yankee, which would supply half the state’s energy needs for 30 years or more – so electric was cheap and would continue to be cheap.

    Until, of course, it wasn’t cheap, and less nuclear energy was available off the grid for cheap, either, and so now these small condos are (often) heated by propane, stored in small tanks outside, behind the condo itself, filled individually by a tanker truck a couple of times per year.

    Progress. Forward. It’s a wonderful thing to behold.

    • #7
    • February 6, 2013 at 8:14 am
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  8. Inactive

    This is old news. Peter – you should visit us over on the Member Feed more often. Lot’s of good stuff over there and apparently our Senators dip their toe in the pool occasionally.

    • #8
    • February 6, 2013 at 8:52 am
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  9. Inactive

    I’m sorry, but Lisa Murkowski is dead to me… as soon as you mentioned her name I just stopped listening.

    • #9
    • February 7, 2013 at 7:49 am
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