It was no surprise that one of the main focus in last week’s Republican convention, especially during the speech of the vice presidential nominee (and current Alaska governor) Sarah Palin, is the need for oil drilling.Here’s an excerpt from her speech while the crowd chanted “Drill! Drill! Drill!”:
“Take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we’ve got lots of both [oil and gas]. Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”
Palin also calls for more pipelines, nuclear plants, clean coal, and of course the need for alternative energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc.Although not with the same energy as Palin’s speech, the same theme was said by McCain regarding the need for drilling and other alternative energies.
“We will drill new wells off-shore, and we’ll drill them now. We’ll drill them now. We’ll — we’ll — my friends, we’ll build more nuclear power plants. We’ll develop clean-coal technology. We’ll increase the use of wind, tide, solar, and natural gas. We’ll encourage the development and use of flex-fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles…”
As my colleague John Richardson said in his blog, there’s hope yet for SUV sales and over-sized Americans that can’t even walk to the end of their drives…If we continue to drill for oil and gas, I wonder if that will distract the urge for energy companies to instead invest more in technology to make alternative energy resources such as solar, wind and geothermal cheaper? If we found more oil and gas in this great nation of ours, what’s the incentive for Americans to choose hybrids? to build solar and wind materials for electricity generation?Like what the author Thomas Friedman said in his new book “Hot, Flat and Crowded”, he’s not against drilling but what he is against is making this option the center of the US government’s focus.Here’s a nice excerpt from Meet the Press when Friedman was being interviewed by Tom Brokaw last Sunday.
“What would happen if the Saudi, Venezuelan, Russian and Nigeria observers were up in a sky box in that Xcel Center listening to the crowd chant, “drill, drill, drill”? What would they be doing? They’d be up there leading the chant. They’d be saying this is great. America isn’t sitting there saying, “Invent, invent, invent new, renewable energy,” they’re saying, “drill, drill, drill.”“It would be as if on the eve of the IT revolution, the revolution of PCs and the Internet, someone was up there standing and demanding, “IBM Selectric typewriters, IBM Selectric typewriters.” That’s what drill, drill, drill, is the equivalent of today.”