DocumentsJul 11, 2011
The Case Against "Drill Baby, Drill"
Republicans in Congress continue to push their "Oil Above All" plan, a failed energy agenda that keeps America addicted to oil and gives away billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to big oil companies. These companies are recording the largest profits in the history of the world while consumers pay more at the pump. At a time when job creation is a top priority, these wasteful subsidies are going to big oil companies that are actually reducing their American workforces. Over the last 5 years, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and Chevron made $485 billion in profits but shrunk their U.S. workforces by more than 10,000 employees.
Just one year after the BP oil spill, the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Republicans continue to block legislation that would improve the safety of offshore drilling, introduced by Ranking Member Markey and other Democratic leaders. Instead, the Republican Majority is pushing to allow drilling off our beaches on the East and West Coasts where our children swim and tourism powers local economies.
The truth is we can not drill our way to lower gas prices and energy independence. The fact is, we only have two percent of the world's oil reserves, yet we consume nearly 25 percent of the world's oil. We are burning through our oil resources much faster than any other country.
The United States is currently the largest producer of natural gas in the world and the third largest oil producer. Under the Obama Administration, U.S. oil production is at its highest level since 2003 and natural gas production is at an all-time high. Yet, even with all of that drilling gas prices have continued to rise. The problem is that we simply don't have enough oil reserves to drill our way out of our dependence on imported oil.
While we can and should continue domestic oil and natural gas production in those areas that are available for drilling, the real solution to our imported energy problem is technology -- energy efficiency technologies and renewable energy technologies.
Unfortunately, the House Republican Majority has passed legislation which would gut funds for wind, solar and electric vehicle research. Their 2012 budget lays out a plan to cut investments in alternative energy by 90 percent over the next three years.