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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gas Rationing Has Arrived

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?
  1. psychological message to speculators, oil companies and foreign countries, I believe, would bring prices down NOW
  2. independence from foreign oil in the future
  3. monetary incentive to states and residents
  4. new high paying jobs for American citizens
  5. increased political power for the US when it no longer fills the pockets of nations that support the killing of Americans
  6. strengthening of the US dollar
  7. investors "might" just return to the US and invest in "our" stocks rather than in foreign markets
I am sure there are many more benefits as I am sure there are countless disadvantages as well. What do you think?

Liz Claman at Fox Business interviews former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.


  1. Yep, we need to drill it's inevitable, so we might as well start. We need to protect our wilderness, and wildlife, of course. However, with precautions in place, we HAVE to drill.

    China has the leases in order, and they will be drilling off the Florida coast soon, and frankly, I don't think they will be taking as many environmental concerns in to consideration as the US will.

    If nothing else, of course there are many benefits,it will show other countries that we are serious about, and able to take care of ourselves.

    Also, we need to start putting more money into, and researching alternative fuel sources.

    Good post! :) It really got me thinking.

  2. I don't know what the right answer is any more. If we drill in wildlife preseves it messes up the ecosystem. The fuel would only last like 10 years if this were done. The President is pushing for this. My problem is that
    1. It's going to kill animals
    2. An enviromentally friendly solution should have been rushed because of the war.
    3. Because of the past 8 years I'm not sure of the validity of all these reports on oil shortages.
    I have lost a lot of my trust in the system and I think that's a sad thing because I love this country. Oh, and humanism is a real word

  3. While I love our environment, I always support our own drilling since our demand for oil and gas is so high. Smaller countries in Europe may say that our gas price is cheaper but we are such a huge consumer market. I believe we should enjoy a cheaper price. Just compare how much more we are paying for gas as compared to the price in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. I also support alternative energy generation.

  4. The problem is that the oil companies already have leases on federal land and are NOT drilling on them. According to a hearing aired on c-span last week, and covered by CNN a couple of days ago, only 4,000 out of 17,000 previously released "grids" are actually being used in the gulf coast.

    Why aren't they drilling?

    Apparently, the oil companies want to be able to buy up the leases, and then not use them. Why should they? They're the ones benefitting from these high gas prices.

  5. and her Mom said,
    I have a differing opinion and I don't want us to start drilling in Alaska or in any other area that is still a wildlife habitat, preserve or a place of natural beauty and remains unspoiled by us.
    Just in my 50 plus years on earth, I have seen so many things of beauty lost in the name of man.
    I don't have the answers. I care as much as others about people and their needs but I think we should begin by trying to live with less. So many of us are consumers beyond the necessities and so many of us like to "live large." I have reevaluated my life, cut way back and have tried to become a more careful consumer. My RV is parked and will not be driven and I no longer just run into town. Yes, money is tight and a worry for me as our economy changes but we are being forced to examine just why we live the way we do. Not a bad thing when you think about it.
    There is also the speculation in the oil markets that is driving up the prices so I agree with the other poster that this shortage may not be as grave as it is made to seem.
    I'm sure the reasons for drilling are compelling but I remain staunchly on the other side.
    There's nothing I love better than a good and gracious argument of all sides of an issue. Thank you!

  6. Thank you all for the visits and the very passionate and thoughtful comments.

    As a "humantalist"- a play on the word environmentalist and an attempt at being funny- I say again as a humantalist my first concern is with the human beings that inhabit the earth. You all bring up excellent points for and against drilling.

    Sara, my friend, I especially respect the way you have noted your position on the matter. I agree that your reasoning deserves much thought as well. Conservation and responsibility are a must, not just to save energy and provide a better future for the ones we leave behind, but to provide ourselves with a more balanced life. Waste of any kind is unacceptable for me. Living above our means is terribly unwise and destroying the earth and its creatures by no means should ever be our goal.

    However, the United States of America is unlike any other country in the world. We are great because we are different. Capitalism, free markets and democracy have made this nation the most envied country in the world. In our short history we have accomplished great things because great men and women seized opportunities. If our people and our economy suffer, the rest of the world will suffer even more in a domino effect.

    To live wanting less guarantees no incentive for seeking greatness. When we stop seeking greatness, we stagnate, stop progressing and die. That is not what I want for my country.

    Do I want to live with less? No. I do not. I want to live with more. The question is "more of what?" Perhaps we should all be asking ourselves this.

  7. We do need to expand the places we are allowed to drill. Every other country in the world is doing it, so if we don't either invite an alternative energy source and put it in place fast or start drilling we will be left in the dust. We can drill without any major harm to the environment if we do it smart. I think we need to be focusing on hydrogen and other fuel sources more then we are today too. We will run out of oil, and if that day comes before we have an alternative fuel source, the environment will be the least of our concerns. First there will be world war over fuel, probably involving nuclear weapons, which will be way worse then drilling. Then there will be mass food shortage, and the infrastructure we have built our lives around will fall. Think about this, all our farm tools and equipment runs on petro, we don't have the supply of horse drawn plows and tools to do things without oil. This is an extreme situation, but if the debate continues and nothing gets done it could be reality.


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