Charles Krauthammer: The Democrats need a tuneup
Democrats have been adamantly opposed. They say that we cannot drill our way out of the oil crisis.
Let's see: housing meltdown, credit crunch, oil shock not seen since the 1970s. The economy is slowing, unemployment growing and inflation increasing.
It's the sixth year of a highly unpopular war and the President's approval rating is at 30%.
The Italian Communist Party could win this election. The American "Communist/"Democratic Party is trying its best to lose it.
Democrats have the advantage on just about every domestic issue from health care to education. However, Americans' greatest concern is the economy, and their greatest economic concern is energy (by a significant margin: 37% to 21%). Yet Democrats have gratuitously forfeited the issue of increased drilling for domestic oil and gas. By an overwhelming 2-1 ratio, Americans want to lift the moratorium preventing drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, thus unlocking vast energy resources shut down for the past 27 years.
Democrats have been adamantly opposed. They say that we cannot drill our way out of the oil crisis. Of course not. But it is equally obvious that we cannot solar or wind or biomass our way out. Does this mean that because any one measure cannot solve a problem, it needs to be rejected?
Barack Obama remains opposed to new offshore drilling (although he now says he would accept a highly restricted version as part of a comprehensive package). Just last week, he claimed that if only Americans would inflate their tires properly and get regular tuneups, "we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling."
This is bizarre. By any reasonable calculation of annual tire-inflation and tuneup savings, the Outer Continental Shelf holds nearly 100 times as much oil. As for oil shale, also under federal moratorium, after a thousand years of driving with Obama-inflated tires and Obama-tuned engines, we would still have saved only one-fifth the oil shale available in the United States .