Obama and other Democrats have said repeatedly that you can't drill your way out this problem. How does he know? He doesn't know!! Who could have predicted the burst of shale oil and gas production? Natural gas production has risen so much that wellhead prices have collapsed to less than $3 per 1000 cubic feet. (If it were priced the same as oil, it should cost $18 per 1000 cubic feet.) Oil production in North Dakota is exploding and the Keystone pipeline would have helped to exploit it. The problem with Democrats is that they are so pessimistic, Malthusian and arrogant! Republicans are not much better----but still better in understanding energy.
No one knows how much oil and gas lies in offshore water along the ENTIRE US east coast and the ENTIRE US West coast. We know giant oilfields exist offshore California (several were developed in the early 1990s containing more than a billion barrels each). We don't know how much oil is in ANWR---no one knows! We should know what's there: maybe it's a bonanza, maybe it's not much.
Here's the history of US oil production:
- Allow exploration in ANWR (a flat mosquito-infested swamp in NE Alaska that no one visits or could visit even if they wanted to) that will definitely boost North Slope production. How much is there; no one knows. If it's the same as other parts of the North Slope, then you might expect 2 million barrels per day. Don't tell me you can't drill your way out of a problem! Politics, misinformation and Malthusian pessimism are the enemy.
- Allow exploration and production offshore Southern California. It's a known place of giant oil fields. The last two fields developed there had more than 1 BILLION barrels of oil each. There are many more. Assume an extra 1 million barrels per day from exploration and production in Southern California waters alone.
- Convert trucks to natural gas (of which we have a long term surplus). That would save 2 million barrels per day.
- Convert cars to methanol or compressed natural gas (methanol is made from natural gas). That would save 4 to 6 million barrels per day. Automobiles consume 9.4 million barrels per day, so the import savings could be 9.4 million barrels per day total if all cars were converted to electric, compressed natural gas, LPG or methanol/ethanol. The additional electricity could come from nuclear or wind power if you want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Other ideas to reduce petroleum consumption would include expanded natural gas powered buses for mass transit or compressed natural gas fleet vehicles.
- Shale oil might provide an additional 1 million barrels per day or much more across the vast shale basins.
- Canadian oil sands are good for 2 million barrels per day. Let the Canadians send oil to America via the Keystone Pipeline for refining in America!
- The entire East Coast and the entire West Coast of the US are off-limits for oil or gas energy exploration. No one, NO ONE knows what's there (or not). There's no reason not to! Only politics, ignorance and a complete failure to understand the consequence of chronic trade deficits and compromised national security by politicians are ruining this country.
Let me repeat: the above steps could reduce our imports from 14 million barrels per day to 2 to 4 million barrels per day! (not counting importing 2 million bpd from Canada). If all cars were converted away from gasoline to natural gas or it's derivatives, then imports would disappear! That's 0 million barrels per day of imports!
Now that's an energy policy! If America can put a man on the moon in 10 years, then we could do this! The only thing missing is leadership and faith in America like John F. Kennedy. Obama has neither faith nor leadership.