To Drill or Not to Drill

Krauthammer: Obama 'fatuous'; Krugman: GOP 'intellectually bankrupt'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2012 10:45 AM CDT
This photo takeen Jan. 18, 2012, shows four oil pumps near a subdivision near Frederick, Colo.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
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(Newser) – The US president may not directly control gas prices, but Barack Obama's "disdain" for oil is still hurting Americans terribly, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post. Restricting drilling, vetoing the Keystone pipeline, and similar anti-oil moves are killing thousands of local jobs, hurting relations with Canada, and sending billions of dollars to Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Trying to develop alternative fuels of the future is a waste of time and resources. "Drilling is the single most important thing we can do to spur growth at home while strengthening our hand abroad," writes Krauthammer. High gas prices are "a constant reminder of three years of a rigid, fatuous, fantasy-driven energy policy that has rendered us scandalously dependent and excessively vulnerable." Full column here.

But calls for more drilling are just "intellectual bankruptcy," argues Paul Krugman in the New York Times. America is already in a "hydrocarbon boom," with oil and natural gas production on the rise, but that has not stopped oil prices from soaring. That's because increasing demand from developing countries and Mideast war worries "easily outweigh any downward pressure on prices from rising US production." The hydrocarbon boom has also had little effect on jobs—the 70,000 jobs gained since the middle of the last decade represent just .05% of total US employment. So why the GOP focus on fossil fuels? One, the oil and gas lobby. And, two, conservatives have no other ideas. "And intellectual bankruptcy, I’m sorry to say, is a problem that no amount of drilling and fracking can solve." Full column here.

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