click to enlarge
President Bush called on Congress today to lift a 26-year-old ban on oil drilling off the shores of the United States, arguing that the country needs more domestic energy production to alter the circumstances that are driving up oil prices.
In a speech in the White House Rose Garden, Bush said that if Congress removes the ban it first imposed in 1982, he would lift an executive order that also prohibits drilling for oil and gas on the U.S. outer continental shelf. That executive order was issued in 1990 by Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush.
Bush also repeated his call for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska and urged Congress to allow access to oil shale in the Green River Basin that stretches across parts of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. He said the basin contains the equivalent of about 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil, more than three times the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.
I just don't buy it. Bush's energy estimates are overly rosy. Look at ANWR. The most optimistic, GOP think-tank estimates show us, at present consumption rates, ANWR oil would only satisfy the needs of the US for barely 18 months. What they don't tell you is it would take ten years to develop the field before you can pump out the first drop. They also don't tell you that the field would need to be pumped slowly, taking about 40 to 50 years to pump the oil out. That is half a century of trampling the wild reserve. In short, ANWR doesn't solve anything.
Bush went on to yap about the drilling offshore on the outer continental shelf - how that will save America. All of that oil and natural gas will make the United States energy independent he tells us. What Bush doesn't tell you is it will take decades to explore the shelf, build the new drilling rigs and extract the fossil fuels. He also doesn't even want to mention what will be required on-shore. Such massive off-shore operations requires significant on-shore support. New oil pipelines, new refineries, new storage depots, and a host of other dirty, oil related crap that does nothing to ween us off of fossil fuel. This is billions in infrastructure that could be used to actually get us off of oil - forever.
SPECIAL REQUEST FOR TCD FANS: The San Francisco Chronicle is pondering the addition of new cartoons for their paper - a process that seems to be initiated by Darren Bell, creator of Candorville (one of my daily reads - highly recommended). You can read the Chronicle article here and please add your thoughts to the comments if you wish. If anything, put in a good word for Darren and Candorville.
I am submitting Town Called Dobson to the paper for their consideration. They seem to have given great weight to receiving 200 messages considering Candorville. I am asking TCD fans to try to surpass that amount. (I get more than that many hate mails a day, surely fans can do better?)
This is not a race between the two of us, it is a hope that more progressive strips can be represented in the printed press of America.
So if you read the San Francisco Chronicle or live in the Bay Area (Google Analytics tell me there are a lot of you), please send your kind comments (or naked, straining outrage) to David Wiegand at his published addresses below. If you are a subscriber, cut out your mailing label and staple it to a TCD strip and include it in your letter.
Executive Datebook Editor
The San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103