With gas prices on the rise, it has become impossible
to ignore the fact that we're in an energy crisis.
The big oil companies and their friends in Congress
continue to offer just one answer to our energy problems
-- more oil drilling.
The truth is that opening additional coasts and wildlife
refuges to drilling will do nothing to lower gas prices
or solve our energy crisis. Right now, the U.S. holds
less than three percent of the world's oil, but we use
twenty-five percent of it. More domestic drilling will
simply not produce enough oil to impact prices on the
world market. What's more, the Energy Information Administration
tells us that oil from new coastal drilling would not
be available for nearly a decade, and would not reach
peak production for roughly twenty years.
Even if we drill every last corner of America, the oil
will amount to a drop in the bucket on the world market.
It's pretty clear who's winning and who's losing nationwide
as the result of our current energy policies. Just last
week, the biggest oil companies reported record-breaking
quarterly profits in excess of $40 billion. Meanwhile,
hardworking Americans are still struggling just to drive
to work in the morning.
Americans need and deserve more energy choices. An investment
in efficiency and clean energy would steer us away from
the dangerous course we're on and infuse our economy
with new life.
By rolling back subsidies for big oil companies, we
can help fund tax credits and refund checks that will
also offer short-term relief from gas prices—something
more oil drilling just won't do.
It's time to turn things around. Oil companies clearly
don't need more help. Regular Americans do. There are
solutions to our energy crisis, but more drilling isn't
one of them. In the words of one offshore driller, now
turned to wildcat wind production, ‘What is Texas?
An oil state? Or an energy state?”
Texas has taken a strong lead down this cleaner energy
path. We are now first in the nation in wind energy production.
We could further harness the huge potential of our big
Texas skies and rise to number one in the nation in solar
production as well. We are building more efficient homes
and buildings, retrofitting existing structures. We need
to make smart energy choices to benefit all of us, not
energy choices that benefit a few rich oil companies.