U.S. looking to increase domestic oil drilling

There's oil in Midland Pictures, Images and Photos
President Obama announced over the weekend that he is planning to increase domestic oil drilling. He said that the U.S. will expand their Alaska oil drilling and also look to make some areas off the Atlantic Coast available for drilling. This is sort of a shift in tactics for the administration on this issue. Although the President has always maintained that domestic oil is a part of the overall energy policy, he did change his own policy about not drilling off the Atlantic Coast. This comes at a time when gas prices are insanely high and also right after Republicans passed a bill that is essentially what the President announced, but on steroids.

The U.S. does need to drill more oil domestically. There is still a good amount of untapped areas on shore and off shore that have not been developed yet for a variety of reasons. No doubt, safety standards and regulation of those standards must be much better than they have been, but increased domestic oil production is essential for the U.S. economy. Don’t forget, if the U.S. did not have to import oil, they likely would not have much of a trade deficit every month. It will also create jobs in the U.S. and will make them less dependant on the Middle East for their energy.

There is a concern out there that increasing domestic oil production will only further destroy the environment and make us less likely to adopt renewable forms of energy which we should be doing. This is a legitimate concern, but it is also one that should be addressed by new laws that set a timeline and investment goals from the private and public sectors as part of this increase in domestic oil production. This will make it clear that oil production will grow for the medium term but then decline in favour of renewable energy. I have not heard government officials discuss this idea, but this can begin to solve both our medium and long term energy, economic and national security challenges.