We are a funny lot, you know?
I am not just pointing my finger at others, but I will include myself in this argument as well. Because at one time, in the past, I also felt that there was too much oil exploitation in the US, that we were destroying the land with our rigs and drills. But that was many years ago, when I was still swayed by the teachings of others and did not have the desire to make decisions for myself based on my own research.
That being said, there is a problem that affects many of us. As an example, when the state says that they are going to build a new rehab center for people released from prison, everyone says, “Great job, they just need another chance!”
Then the state says that they are putting it in your neighborhood, and that changes everything. Suddenly it is not such a good idea and you are getting in line to petition against it. You are all for it, as long as it is someplace else.
The county says that they are going to allow a house in your neighborhood to be a home for functionally mentally or physically challenged people. Many people will say things like, “That is a great idea, and I support it 100%… as long as they move it somewhere else, just not in my neighborhood.”
I dare you to tell me I am wrong. Even if you might not be the one to actually SAY IT, you might still be thinking it. It is called “NIMBY”… or Not In My Back Yard.
Now… lets take the our attitude about the oil companies. More often than not it’s the LIBERAL and the Enviro-Nazi attitude towards them.
We talk all the time about the fact that we are paying out the nose for gas and that all that money is going overseas to the “Arabs”. We see on TV and read online about how these folks are building some of the biggest hotels and building on the planet. How the owners of these oil fields are buying gold and silver plated cars. But then when someone asks WHY and HOW they can do this, people stammer and stutter.
YOU AND I are the reasons. WE are feeding their addiction.
When someone looks at a piece of land in the US and mentions that there are literally BILLIONS of cubic feet of natural gas or barrels of crude just waiting to be pumped out of the ground, we have to fight through years and years of red tape with bureaucrats, special interest groups, ECO-Nazis, and similar groups until they just don’t do it.
Even the existing oilfields that we have are so closely watched that when something DOES happen, like say a tractor runs over a particular mouse, agencies move in in a heartbeat to stop everything to do some asinine environmental impact study on how they can save the rat and/or relocate it.
Now… I will take a moment to say that I am not against protecting wildlife, but there has to be a balance. I know there can be a balance between man and nature and we can both win.
Many years ago, I can remember when the common thought was that we, America, was selling out to the Japanese. I remember hearing stories about how they were buying everything and we were going to lose our identity as Americans. But the question then as it is now was, who is doing the selling?
I do see us selling out to the OPEC nations. I see people like my brother-in-law and my nephew-in-law working for companies that are struggling to make it because we are so anal about how we drill on the precious little pieces of land we are allowed to drill on, while at the same time we are sending billions of dollars overseas to companies that do not seem to be as badly affected by groups like we are here in the States.
This is a perfect example of NIMBY, and we are letting it happen. We are content to let our potential oil reserves sit, untapped, because we might cause some damage to the environment, yet we are happy to send the money overseas when we could be stimulating our OWN economy by paying people in the US to drill for oil.
I know what some of you are saying right now. You are saying: “Hey Samurai… look at what just happened in the Gulf… isn’t that a good example of why we should not be drilling and what effect it has on the environment?”
You would be partially right. I will never say that there are no risks to drilling. Accidents happen, spills will occur, people will get hurt. Tell me one job in the world that you could not say the same thing about. It is an industry with risks; each mistake makes us think a little more carefully about the next move we make. We learn from our mistakes because that is what they are there for.
We are constantly talking about alternative energy, and I am all for that. I support it 100%, but you cannot just flip a switch and change everything that we do overnight. You need to make changes slowly so that they do not cripple the economy. You need to ease up on nuclear restrictions and put wind farms where they will do the most good, not where they will look the prettiest.
Oil exploration and production is safe… it can be a high risk profession, people get hurt, sometimes killed, accidents and spills do happen. We need to understand that and get over it. Move on. Think of the economy this country could have if we started allowing safe and careful oil drilling in places like ANWR or some of the potential reservoirs like Williston Basin. Granted, it would take several years to develop these, but if we concentrate on things like this and take the Enviro-Nazis out of the loop, then we would be creating thousands of new jobs… possibly tens of thousands of new jobs, thus injecting money back into OUR economy and helping to rebuild OUR infrastructure.
We were strong once before, people… we can be strong again. We just have to stop listen to the special interest groups and the people who think they know better than we do. It can happen.