Newt answered that question…

I love it when I’m ahead of the curve.

A few days ago I pondered the following as part of this post:

It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of push there is for something along the line of the ”drill here, drill now, pay less” campaign that got Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions group on the map.

Lo and behold, in my weekly update on everything Newt I read this:

As we see gas prices inching higher again, we think it is time for the return of Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less to fight the Obama administration’s war against American energy.

That’s why we’re re-launching Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less with a brand new website.

Please visit, sign the petition, and tell your friends, family, and co-workers about our effort.

The new website also has a number of tools to help our nation to drill here and drill now. You will be able to use the website to get key facts and information about the importance of domestic drilling, contact your Congressman and Senators, write a letter to your local paper, and get a “Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.” bumper sticker for your car.

It’s just a slight variation of domain name from the 2008 effort, but the idea is the same. (It even leads to the same site.) Even after Congress allowed an offshore drilling ban to expire later in 2008 we haven’t made much progress in the last three years thanks to the occupant of the Oval Office.

As many recall in the 2008 campaign, the conventional wisdom six months out was that high gas prices could become an issue in that November’s election. Instead, we ended up pretty much with Tweedledum vs. Tweedledee as the Presidential race insofar as energy policy was concerned (Sarah Palin did the most to keep the drilling issue alive, but she was only a vice-presidential candidate) and the steep decline of the economy in September of that year actually make a difference in the respect that oil and gas prices returned to a more affordable level – therefore, the issue went by the wayside in discussions about TARP and bailouts.

At the moment, we stand even further away from the 2012 elections – needless to say, a lot can change in the course of a week, let alone 20 months. A week ago when I wrote the NozzleRage post, the Fukushima nuclear plants were intact and the Japanese were living life as normal – in the Japan disaster’s wake the price of oil plummeted sharply.

Even so, it doesn’t mean we should abandon efforts to secure our own supplies. While some say we have but a tiny percentage of oil reserves, they conveniently forget that much more is locked away by shortsighted federal restrictions on land use. American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard recently opined:

The administration is well on its way toward creating higher gasoline prices for Americans.

To get more oil and gas, we need more access.  Placing more government lands and waters off-limits and forcing companies to focus on areas that may show little promise even if already under lease will not solve our energy challenges.

The best thing the administration can do on gasoline prices is to encourage greater oil production and greater fuel efficiency here at home.

While I’d personally prefer the market set fuel efficiency standards, I agree with Gerard on the idea of encouraging more drilling. For example, the Bakken Formation in North Dakota has an estimated 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil – ramping up production there could easily make a dent in the 616 million barrels of oil we imported from the Persian Gulf in 2009. Even better, oil shale in Western states could hold up to 1.5 trillion barrels of oil. With that, we could fill up our Ford Explorers on the cheap for years to come and break OPEC’s back.

All it takes is some people with the stones to tell the environmentalist wackos to pound (oil) sand. Unfortunately, we don’t currently have that leadership in Washington and it may be ten years or more before this bears fruit – remember, we have to get rid of activist liberal judges who place the interest of critters over creators.

So we may be stuck with high pump prices for now – but the groundwork needs to be done for future prosperity. What we said three years ago still holds true – drill here, drill now, and pay less.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.