Your Turn: Oil and Courage Do Mix

We asked you to Consider This, and you did.  Now it's Your Turn.
A fellow Raycom General Manager, Jim Wilcox, shared his thoughts...

Those of us in middle age and beyond remember what the younger set will hopefully never see: cars lined up by the dozens, waiting for gas that isn't there.

That was 1973, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, decided they'd teach America a lesson for backing Israel in its conflict with its Arab neighbors in the Yom Kippur war.

Well, it did teach us a lesson: that we were way too dependent on mid-east oil. Now a quarter century later, the situation is no better; some say worse.

It's not that America doesn't have a LOT of petroleum. The problem is that we can't get to it.  Why? Because radical- and very powerful- environmentalists have our Congressmen and Senators scared to death of being branded 'polluters.'

Environmentalists have persuaded Congress to prevent exploration and production on most of the outer continental shelf, and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, what you've heard referred to as AN-WAR.

Now these areas might be dry -- or could contain reserves as huge as Prudhoe Bay, which in the early 90s, produced almost 25% of all U.S. oil. Experts say that there may well be a trillion barrels of oil trapped in shale in a field that runs from the lower mid-west into Canada. Can't touch that either.

We could go on about the hand-wringing by environmentalists about the Alaska pipeline, which they said would destroy the caribou.  Well, the pipeline is warm in winter, and decades later, the caribou are more numerous than ever.

No one wants a polluted planet, but our leaders have allowed a tiny minority to add to what we all see is a huge problem, greatly of our own making.

It's time- frankly, way past time- for Capital hill to 'man-up' and pay more attention to truckers on the verge of bankruptcy and families struggling to fill up the mini-van than they have to lobbies who seem to think that the world would be a great place, if not for all these pesky humans.

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