It does not take a genius to figure out that we have a fuel crisis on our hands, with gas prices still incredibly high and America still looking for solutions to its energy problems.
One solution is offshore oil drilling, especially on America’s own shores. It should increase our supply of “home-grown” oil and lower the price of gasoline.
Do not be mistaken. This is the most pressing environmental issue on our doorstep, with the Obama administration’s acquiescence to allow some offshore drilling, which had been banned for many years, and Republicans pushing for more.
We know several reasons for why offshore drilling is not the answer, apart from the obvious threat of oil spills like the recent BP disaster.
First of all, gas prices will probably decrease, but not very significantly. Our consumption of oil is so grand that we will only get a new drop of oil rather than a full flood if offshore sites are opened.
Offshore drilling is not going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil significantly. Foreign countries, especially in the Middle East, produce so much oil that they are easy trading partners. With our current energy policy, we will continue to purchase from these countries.
Most importantly, simply opening up offshore sites without finding a long-term energy policy will only stop our bleeding temporarily, which will come back even stronger the next time that an oil crisis hits.
It is time to stop dilly-dallying on a robust energy policy. Past generations have been too lazy and there is no guarantee that future generations will pick up the slack.
We only have the present to make sure that things get done, so let’s get them done.
Gaurav Dhiman is a senior majoring in biology and political science.