I pulled up at the gas station this morning and decided I would fill up my gas tank just as I did last week and avoid having to make more trips than necessary. I stood staring at the pump, doing the math and realizing I used to fill my tank, not too long ago, with 25 dollars or so. Today, I knew it would cost me about 60 dollars. However, something strange began to happen. As I grew closer to the 50 dollar mark the pump began to slow down considerably and when it finally did reach 50 dollars, it stopped. On the screen at the pump, a cute little note appeared. It read "limit reached." Disappointed but not surprised, I proceeded to put the gas cap on my car, grab my receipt and drive away. My car now had three quarters of a tank.
Is this the beginning? Does this mean that supply and demand are "real" issues? Does this mean every American should stop buying cars and resort to mass transit and bicycles? Or should we Floridians start lobbying for offshore drilling? While at the check out counter yesterday at the supermarket a group of people were discussing our governor's new stance on offshore drilling. Charlie Crist who has long been an environmental supporter is now having second thoughts and has become more open to the possibilities of domestic drilling. Considering the economic bind the state is in, the housing catastrophe, the rising fuel and food prices and the unemployment rate, only an irresponsible governor would turn the other way and pretend we can just "weather the storm." Everyone in that group at the supermarket yesterday was screaming...drill, drill drill. I am beginning to feel the same way.
I am not an environmentalist; I am a humanalist. (I just made that word up.) If you know me just a little, you know that I love and respect nature and all its animals, except cockroaches and mosquitoes. God's earth is precious to me in every way; however, our existence short term and long term is more important than anything else. At this moment and until someone can persuade me to think otherwise, I join my governor and ask that all Floridans seriously "consider" drilling off the coast of Florida.
What are the benefits of drilling?
- psychological message to speculators, oil companies and foreign countries, I believe, would bring prices down NOW
- independence from foreign oil in the future
- monetary incentive to states and residents
- new high paying jobs for American citizens
- increased political power for the US when it no longer fills the pockets of nations that support the killing of Americans
- strengthening of the US dollar
- investors "might" just return to the US and invest in "our" stocks rather than in foreign markets
Liz Claman at Fox Business interviews former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.