Drill, Baby Drill… I Say Grow, Baby Grow!

So Governor Barbie loves leading her pep rallies with the usual chant of Drill, Baby Drill.

Sexual pun aside, is there anyone else who finds this little ditty completely offensive?  I mean, if she wants us to drill, I’m sure there would be a few folks who would gladly oblige.  Hell, if she changed all of her political views, got rid of the annoying mid-west twang, stopped winking all the time and would actually answer a question, I might reconsider my position, so to speak.

But let’s take our mind out of the gutters for the moment and discuss the drilling issue for real.

Do we need to become independent of foreign oil?  Yes!  Do we need to find cleaner burning fuels and alternative sources of energy?  Big yes!  Do we need to drill?  Maybe.  Maybe.  We might actually need to do it.

Do we need to be completely callous, ignore the environmental impact and cheer drill, baby drill?  I think not.  We need to approach this whole thing in a serious, somber and open minded way and certainly do not need to drill of the most pristine and beautiful coastlines or in a wildlife refuge wilderness.

And I’m sure we can find a dentist who would love to drill Palin… with no Novocaine!

Here is something odd… my right wing cousin and I agree on something else… Hemp.

He says:  “If they are real serious about bio-fuels they need to start planting hemp. Yes, I said it, we need to be growing marijuana. You may not know this, but we used to make tons of stuff out of Hemp. For example, canvas comes from the word cannabis. Kentucky was built on hemp grown to make sails for the US merchant fleet in the 19th Century. Hemp was also used to make most of the paper in the US. 

Hemp is the most efficient plant for the production of ethanol in terms of tons of biomass per acre and it is easy on the soil.  Time to toke it up. Wouldn’t it be nice if the highways smelled like a rock concert?”

I agree all the way.  So forget “drill, baby drill…”  Say it with me people… “Grow, baby grow!  Grow, baby grow!”

The following info. comes from the Sierra Club. Think of me as their bitch… or their shill… My cousin does not agree with a lot of their thoughts.  But make up your own mind and send me some opposing info. Facts not fiction!

Even the Bush administration admits offshore oil drilling will do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices today, tomorrow, or even two decades from now.

According to the Energy Information Administration, a branch of the federal Department of Energy, it would take at least a decade to bring new leases into production, and twenty years for them to reach peak production. Even then, the oil would amount to a drop in the bucket on the world market and would have a negligible effect on gas prices.

According to the Department of the Interior, the number of drilling permits on federal lands has doubled in the past five years while the price of gas almost tripled. More drilling does not mean lower prices.

In fact, oil and gas companies currently hold leases to 68 million acres of federal land and waters — an area the size of Nevada — that are producing nothing. Oil production on these lands could cut U.S. oil imports by more than one-third.

Almost all Americans are affected by high gas prices, and the price of oil has become one of the hottest political issues. Many people want action. The oil industry, with the support of right-wing political forces, are exploiting this concern to push for unfettered and unregulated access to America’s coasts, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and wilderness for drilling. If you read the fine print, even the oil industry concedes that drilling will not lower gas prices significantly in the short term or long term. But they are gambling that, in a crisis, the fine print gets lost.

Data from the Bush administration’s Energy Information Administration shows that efficiency measures alone could save far more oil than can be found off our coasts.

There are many solutions to our energy crisis, but drilling isn’t one of them. By ending subsidies and tax breaks to big oil, we can give tax refunds and low-income energy assistance to hardworking Americans to help offset the rising cost of energy. The Sierra Club supports more efficient vehicles, more transit choices, and sustainable bio-fuels.

Long-term solutions will pull us out of the energy crisis we’re in, create jobs, stimulate our economy, and help fight global warming. These solutions include:

  • a new generation of cars getting 50 to 100 mpg, with electricity coming from renewable sources
  • liquid fuels from sustainable, cellulosic bio-fuels from native prairies, grown in places where they don’t need fertilizer and pesticides
  • high performance, carbon-neutral new homes and offices, and aggressive retrofitting plans for existing structures
  • low carbon electricity sources like solar, wind, geothermal
  • smart-growth communities where we get much of our transportation energy from our legs and don’t need to travel so far to work or play

Contrary to claims by the oil industry, there is no safe way to drill our coasts. Where there is drilling, there are oil spills. Offshore drilling operations are also vulnerable to storms. The Coast Guard estimates that during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, roughly 9 million gallons of oil were spilled. And the pipelines, development, and infrastructure that come with drilling scar beaches, disrupt marine life, and undermine coastal tourism and fishing economies.

The places Big Oil wants to open to drilling have been deemed so special that Congress and consecutive presidents — including George Bush, Sr. — have protected them under an Outer Continental Shelf drilling moratorium since 1981. But in July 2008, President George W. Bush lifted that moratorium, leaving only one layer of protection for our coasts.

First, we need to embrace common-sense ideas like the Senate leadership’s Consumer First Energy Act, which would make sure the oil industry is paying its fair share, crack down on speculators, put our economy back on the path to prosperity, help end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels, and fight global warming.

We need to use less oil, which means better fuel economy and a shift toward renewable energy. If we break our addiction to fossil fuels and shift our national policies toward clean energy like wind and solar power and efficiency measures, we can grow our economy and reduce our oil consumption.

A serious national commitment to renewable energy could create more than 800,000 new jobs for American workers, and make us more energy independent.

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