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'Time to Get Serious About American Oil'

Gov. Sean Parnell of Alaska writes in today's WSJ:

The revolution that began in Tunisia, spread to Egypt, and is now dramatically unfolding in Libya is far from over. The events in North Africa and the Middle East threaten to push the price of oil well above $100 a barrel—and make the importance of oil to America's security clearer than ever.

Over the past several decades, we have allowed ourselves to become dependent on oil from unstable regions that are hostile to our nation. The United States relies on an open Suez Canal, the security of which has been funded by our tax dollars for decades. With gasoline prices surging, and manufacturing and transportation costs rising, the rising cost of goods will soon impact every American, putting our economic recovery at risk.

The U.S. imports more than 63% of its oil. The time is now for our federal government to re-examine its current policy—which severely hampers domestic oil exploration and development—and to learn from our recent history.

In the 1970s, the OPEC embargo led to long lines at gas stations, with families waiting for hours to buy gas for their cars. Rationing was enacted, and Americans fought each other for a gallon of gas. The power of OPEC was indisputable.

One of the most significant outcomes of that embargo was the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. Americans knew we needed to develop domestic energy to balance the power of cartel oil. For 40 years, oil from Alaska has allowed our nation to stand with some degree of energy independence. Building that pipeline on American soil was prescient.

Millions of American jobs are directly tied to our energy production. Even as the energy sector necessarily diversifies, oil will continue to be a key piece of our national energy profile for many decades.

And yet Alaska and the Gulf states have been blocked from developing America's oil by politically driven federal policy, much of it aided by misinformation. If Americans wonder what our economic Achilles' heel is, they need look no further than the federal regulatory system that delays permits for domestic exploration and production.

The rest here.

Greg Pollowitz

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'Time to Get Serious About American Oil'

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