Before we delve into this question, we must first understand the history of the mess we are in with regards to the oil price spike.
I was recently attending a discussion by a representative of the gas and oil industry who covered the topic of oil output versus price, and why the oil/gas price spike began.
He began by showing a chart, representing the fixed price of oil based on supply from US wells.
He then made a comment that has to be retold: After Katrina and Rita, we have not been able to open up our Gulf of Mexico wells.
That was the key. The oil industry's inability (or unwillingness) to open those wells due to fear of continued storms (and the low cost of oil at the time to cover any future losses) created the first artificial spike in the oil and gas prices. Since then, subsequent drop in oil production in the middle east and throughout the United States has driven the prices higher yet.
Now Congress is being asked by President Bush if they will allow continued exploration off the coasts of the United States.
I say, let them. They should not have been stopped in the first place... assuming they have adequate protection for marine life and against spills, especially in sensitive areas.
Not to mention that the very oil that the US is unable to drill due to Congress, China is drilling. That is right. China is drilling off the coast of the United States with the help from Cuba. China is tapping into the United State's oil fields while we sit by and do nothing. There is something wrong with that picture.
There is one other problem with the oil crisis that must be spoken. In watching congressional hearings on CSPAN (yeah, I am one of the few who actually watch that channel), I noticed that the oil executives had a common theme (let us develop). They wanted to be able to explore and build new refineries... that comment struck a chord with me. Are the oil monopolies holding Congresses feet to the fire by way of artificially high fuel prices to get access to these additional fields?
If so, this is criminal. You are putting the very life of the country in jeopardy for your own gain, which I amount to holding the US hostage for a ransom. If this is, in fact, the case, I hope to see a drastic hammer falling in favor of the US people.
Until such time that we can sort this mess out, let us open the capped wells in the gulf, and continue drilling in new offshore fields.