Chuck Norris

Dear honorable governor and friend,

I'm writing to ask you to reconsider your opposition to lifting the ban on drilling off the coasts of the United States. Though, of course, the congressional ban can be rescinded independent of your voice, you're still a heavyweight in one of the largest coastal states in the nation. I agree with what you said this past week: "California's coastline is an international treasure." But it's also a national treasure that can help to remedy our gas crisis.

A recent Gallup Poll discovered that 57 percent of people are in favor of drilling for oil in coastal and wilderness areas that are presently off-limits. Unfortunately, you and Congress continue to refuse to represent that majority; and it's only going to grow.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is from your state, said, "We cannot drill our way to energy independence." But I agree with Rush Limbaugh, who retorted: "Yes, the hell we can. It's that simple. And yes, the hell we should. It's that simple. Drill here. Drill now. Pay less. We're the United States of America. We can do it."

President Bush might not be the most popular politician at the moment, but he was right this past week when he said: "We should expand American oil production by increasing access to the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS. Experts believe that the OCS could produce about 18 billion barrels of oil. That would be enough to match America's current oil production for almost 10 years."

What most Americans don't realize is that there is an enormous amount of natural gas offshore, too, and with those prices nearly doubling during the past year from roughly $6 to more than $12, we can take some action there, as well, before another winter arrives and our heating bills go through the roof.

Arnold, my hope is that you are not being muscled by environmental thugs when the majority of Americans need and are crying out for your representation, too. We must be willing to lay aside our partisan politics and do what's best for Americans. Now is not the time to cater to the coral-reef crowd, especially when drilling is much more environmentally safe than it was in 1981, when the ban to drill was enacted.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.