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Tags: oil

If They Can Drill, So Can We

Tuesday, 09 December 2008 03:07 PM EST

A couple months ago, during the presidential campaign, the slogan "Drill, Baby, Drill" became popular and for good reason. We had an an election and oil was at $147 a barrel.

Now, the chants of "Drill, Baby, Drill" have long subsided. The price of oil is now testing lows of $40 per barrel. The election is over, and we have elected Barack Obama, someone who has strongly opposed offshore drilling.

However, where the United States is slow to realize the value of offshore oil, other industrious nations are now seizing the opportunity.

According to energy officials in Brazil, the Chinese government wants to loan Petrobras, the state oil company, $10 billion to develop new offshore oil fields off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

China and Brazil, two burgeoning economic superpowers, are joining forces to do something that we should have done a long time ago — drill.

However, it's not just China that is looking to help develop offshore drilling in Brazil. The United Arab Emirates, a Japanese consortium, and several Canadian banks have all approached the Energy Ministry in Brazil on different ways to fund and secure drilling rights, partners, and contracts.

Where is the United States? Why aren't we getting in on the action?

The sad reason is America is no longer on the cutting edge of business, technology, and innovation.

We have outdated automobiles, imported computers, and are struggling to keep up in an advancing global economy.

The United States is not only missing out on offshore drilling in its own backyard in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the northern Alaska coast, but now the rest of the world has clued in and we are not even part of the action.

Now, some might argue that drilling in ANWR won't necessarily solve our energy problems and that it wouldn't immediately help U.S. oil production.

But the America I know leaves no stone unturned.

The America that I know would be exploring every single avenue to find the best possible solution to any problem.

What people fail to talk about is that new technology will be needed to drill in places like ANWR, as well as other deep water offshore sites around the country.

Technology usually has multiple applications. So when new techniques and equipment are developed for deep water offshore drilling, those techniques and technologies usually benefit other areas of U.S. industry.

This is not to say that those techniques and technology can't be sold off to companies in other countries so that they can use them in their offshore drilling.

There are many pros to drilling in ANWR.

It could provide 1 million barrels a day for 30 years, roughly equating to 5 percent of U.S. daily consumption.

Newer drilling technology has reduced the environmental impact. Just look at the success of Prudhoe Bay.

Also, drilling in only 2,000 acres of the 19 million acre ANWR site could create as many as 700,000 jobs and create $10 billion in rights revenue for the federal government, which could help the federal deficit.

People need to understand that even at $40 a barrel, there is still a tremendous amount of money to be made in oil.

Brazil's Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said investment in Brazil through deep water offshore drilling would not be hurt as long as oil prices stay above $30 per barrel

That means that oil, the commodity that a couple months ago was selling for $150, could drop an additional 25 percent from $40 to $30, and it would still be attractive for investment purposes.

Many of us know that at some point oil has to come back up. The United States has inflated its currency too much for oil not to go back up.

Not to mention that we still have our favorite buddies: "Gambling" Ben Bernanke, and Hank "the Bank" Paulson, who plan on driving the federal funds rate below 1 percent and giving trillions of dollars more to banks in addition to the $7 trillion that has been used as a part of the bailout.

I'm sure that all of that activity will be good for inflation and our economy's overall health.

With all of the factors in play, eventually oil must come back up.

As energy becomes a bigger crisis, the tides of opportunity are slowly dwindling down.

Yet, even though we have been late to seize the opportunity, the ship of offshore drilling has not yet passed us by.

There is still time.

And to borrow a mantra from another slogan of the 2008 campaign, "Yes, We Can."

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A couple months ago, during the presidential campaign, the slogan "Drill, Baby, Drill" became popular and for good reason. We had an an election and oil was at $147 a barrel. Now, the chants of "Drill, Baby, Drill" have long subsided. The price of oil is now testing lows of...
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 03:07 PM
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