In my column last week ("Congress, Get Off Your Gas, and Drill!"), I called upon Americans to sign Newt Gingrich's petition, "Drill here. Drill now. Pay less." The goal is to mandate that Congress do something immediately to bring down gas prices. As a result, several hundred thousand people signed the petition. That's a fantastic start, but we need more -- lots more. And we can use your help.
Are the rest of the 300 million Americans actually enjoying doling out $50 to $100-plus for each fill-up? It's time to wake up the Americans who are snoozing in our petroleum nightmare. If we are going to drive down gas prices, we've got to get this country as mad as hell to do it. I got so riled up this past week that I went on "Fox & Friends" to send out a battle cry to all Americans, and I just recorded a new YouTube bit for Newt, titled "Chuck Norris Drills Congress." I think you'll like it.
Our government has done very little to respond to this energy crisis. They've stopped filling our emergency oil reserves with 76,000 gallons a day but won't draw from them in order to drive down costs. The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates seven times in the past nine months, but gas prices continue to rise. And while the Energy Department reported it will cut gas prices by 3.5 cents per gallon, you'll be saving only 60 cents from what it now costs you to fill up your tank. To add insult to injury, a congressional subcommittee voted a week ago to continue to prevent drilling off the coasts of America. Are these the best solutions these elected knuckleheads can come up with? Are we done telling them that we don't like their solutions? Are we going to wait until our blood boils and gas is at $6 a gallon?
This past weekend, in a great USA Today article on our gas crisis, more than two dozen energy specialists were asked what could be done to reduce gas prices. There was no unified answer, but one thing was obvious: Doing nothing will only drive costs higher. Some say drill domestically. Others say tap into our petroleum reserves. Still others say we must do what we can to develop alternative forms of energy. I say do it all and do anything. The most obvious thing is to drill here and drill now. The solution isn't "either Ö or," but "both Ö and." Everything helps when Americans are being chocked at the pump to the tune of $4-plus a gallon.
The Energy Policy Research Foundation concludes that aggressive new drilling and development of our oil shale reserves and withdrawing 200 million from the 700 million barrels of oil in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve could cut costs 37 cents a gallon in a relatively short time. And that doesn't take into consideration the price reductions that would result in the market when oil price controllers realize they don't have an oil monopoly over us.
And if we are even more aggressive with drilling, we can drive down prices like a pile driver. More than 100 billion barrels of oil are available off the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts and under Alaska, and that's not counting the oil shale reserves across the Midwest that rival the reservoirs of the Middle East. They alone could satisfy America's need for gas for 13 years! But it's going to take those political pantywaists in Washington to get off their gas, get a little backbone against environmentalists (who now prevent 85 percent of drilling off our coasts), and pass an emergency resolution to drill here and drill now. Even President Bush consented before he left for Europe, saying domestic drilling will "give this country a chance to help us through this difficult period by finding more supplies of crude oil, which will take the pressure off the price of gasoline."
None of this will happen, however, until we, the people, demand these changes from our government