Friday, February 27, 2009

Crude Stimulus

...Though two long-term bans on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf were technically removed last summer, the Democrat-led Congress now wants to reimpose limits. And Obama's new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently postponed new leases for offshore drilling that were greenlighted under President Bush. This is exactly the wrong way to go on energy, and President Obama would be wise to reverse course — especially if he's serious about "stimulus." He can boost America's energy self-reliance and help fund tomorrow's alternative sources, all the while creating real stimulus, simply by letting the oil companies do their thing. Vast amounts of energy lie right off our shores. Conservatively tallied, government data show 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in continental U.S. waters — enough to replace 20 years' worth of oil and gas imports. This is also enough to insulate the U.S. from a potential energy shock or 1970s-style oil embargo. But here's the great part for Obama: It's shovel-ready stimulus...IBD

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