Paul  Weyrich

There has been much talk of late in Congress about the need to begin drilling our own oil. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reported a poll which indicates that 57% of Americans now favor drilling and 42% want to keep the oil reserves for future pristine beauty. The poll represents a dramatic shift from radical environmentalism. Despite such, a House of Representatives committee voted against a resolution to permit drilling off U.S. shores. Apparently, with gas over $4 per gallon, Americans are getting the picture. Sure, we can't completely drill our way to energy independence. However, it is becoming clear that Saudi Arabia has the better end of the bargain.

Apparently, we have more oil in one of the locked reserves than that of Saudi Arabia. In turn, we are subsidizing Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez funds leftist guerrillas in neighboring states. Our funds have also enabled the Russians to rail against American defense and foreign policies.

Iran not only wants to harm Americans but has promised that Israel will be destroyed. These nations build weapons with our money and so it goes.

True, we purchase oil from Canada and Mexico but why should we line their pockets when we have our own oil and its extraction would create thousands of domestic high-paying jobs. Senator James R. (Jim) Inhofe, who almost single-handily has exposed the fallacies in the hysteria over global warming, is now the leading proponent of drilling here, drilling now. So what kind of reserves are we looking at? Inhofe says the Outer Continental Shelf would yield 14 billion barrels of oil. ANWR would yield 10 billion barrels. Rocky Mountain Oil Shale in Colorado, Utah and maybe Wyoming would yield two trillion barrels. Now ever since the first oil was extracted from the ground in Pennsylvania in the 1850s to the present, we have used one trillion barrels of oil. Finally, by the preserving of access to Canadian oil sands 179 billion barrels of oil would be available.

This does not include the recently discovered oil reserves in North Dakota. We yet do not have a reliable measure of what is there but some engineers estimate that we are talking about at least 50 to 100 billion barrels of oil. We have been told for years that we will be running out of oil any year. That is utter nonsense.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Paul Weyrich's column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.