“In 1985, only 25 percent of the oil we used was imported while 75 percent was produced domestically. Today, those numbers have flipped as we import nearly 70 percent of our consumption needs” (Gossett). “[Yet] a recent Congressional study concluded there are 68 million acres of federal land already under lease to oil companies – all siting idle” (Moore). Furthermore, some argue that oil is just a short-term plan that is distracting the American people from their real goal: investing in clean fuels. Oil prices have reached a point that we're in need of an immediate solution. This begs the question to be asked; do we drill in the offshore Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) or not?
In an article by Lewis Gossett, he explains that our economy cannot continue without oil and gas and that even though we might, in the future, have alternative fuels, our current need for oil calls for action now. By choosing not to lift the moratorium on exploration and drilling, our enemies continue to financially benefit from the U.S.'s daily consumption of 20 million barrels of oil. Furthermore, 700 billion dollars is a severe price to pay countries that “wish us economic or physical harm” (Gossett).
Although the vast need for oil is unanimously agreed upon, many oppose drilling in the OCS because there's a sizable amount of acreage already being leased by oil companies and not being utilized. Since there's no specific reason the people pro offshore drilling want to drill in the OCS, why can't everyone just be happy and stick to drilling in the already leased out areas? Additionally, doing so would avoid the biggest pollution risk involved with offshore drilling: transporting the oil back to shore either by pipeline, barge or tanker.
Instead of focusing on offshore drilling in sensitive areas, we should be thinking about both short and long term solutions to the energy crisis. “Energy conservation, for instance, has shown to be more effective at lowing oil and gasoline prices....