Some people—okay, mostly Republicans—keep pushing for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It probably won’t help, and Kansas Congresswoman Nancy Boyda explains part of the reason why:
As I write this, there are 68 million acres of publicly leased lands available for drilling that are not being drilled. 80 percent of the oil available on the Outer Continental Shelf is already open for drilling. Today, these leases are in place; the environmental hurdles have been cleared, but no drilling is happening. The American people want to know why. So do I.
It is Big Oil’s dirty little secret – they don’t have the equipment necessary to do more drilling. If we opened up the remaining 20 percent of offshore areas for drilling, there won’t be new rigs available to drill in those areas for years! According to the American Petroleum Institute, in a time of increasing demand and high profits, the oil companies have not been growing their stock of drilling equipment even for the lands they currently have leases for! Unbelievable.
Some people apparently don’t want to talk about this, preferring to cloud the energy issue with a debate about the merits of using federal power to preserve wildlife and habitat. And while that debate is going on, the oil companies can continue to make obscene amounts of profit at the expense of everybody else. Boyda continues:
My mom always taught me to clean my plate before asking for more. The oil companies aren’t following mom’s advice. They have been collecting lease after lease but not drilling on those lands. It is time that drilling started. The high price of oil helps the oil companies and maybe this is a good business decision for them, but its killing American families, businesses and farmers.
Congress can’t force the oil companies to drill, but we can pass legislation that stops hoarding of oil leases on federal lands. I voted to do just that three weeks ago, but like other important energy bills, it is opposed by the President.
It’s strange how some of this never gets mentioned by the major news sources. It’s like everybody’s conspiring to keep us all ignorant. I’m not saying they ARE conspiring, only that things seem to be working out just as if they were.