One of the greatest threats to America’s national security is her increasing dependency on foreign sources of oil. This serious national security threat, however, receives little attention in the national discourse. It’s simply not one of those sexy topics people want to discuss. The failure of politicians in Washington, D.C. to construct and enact a national comprehensive energy policy that features significant investments in production of more of our own oil, alternative energy sources, and more conservation is dangerous. The dearth of a national comprehensive energy policy places us at the mercy of many foreign nations that don’t like us very much. Yet, many of our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. are placing their personal agendas and the will of special interests above the nation’s security.
We must acknowledge that we cannot conserve our way to energy independence. We cannot create enough alternative energy sources to lead us away from our dependency on foreign sources of oil. Conservation and alternative energy sources are highly vital to our comprehensive effort to dramatically reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil—don’t get wrong. The reality is we’re going to have to become more aggressive in this country with more of our own oil production. This means we’re going to have to muster the courage to increase oil drilling and exploration within our country. Oil exploration and drilling can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Our nation has had the benefit of learning from the mistakes we have had in the past with oil spill disasters that we now have the technology and knowledge to prevent those disasters from happening again.
Researchers have found that we can greatly diminish our dependency on foreign sources of oil by 20% – 40% by drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. The majority of the people in Alaska support oil drilling and exploration in ANWR, but primarily Democrats in Congress are blocking us from getting the oil from this area. One of the great concerns is we could potentially do some harm to this pristine area of Alaska if we experience an oil spill. Additionally, most Democrats are worried about us disturbing the habitat of the wildlife that surround ANWR. We have the knowledge and technology to drill in this area in an environmentally friendly and sensitive way.
Our national security cannot be placed on the line because we are timid about an oil spill and what we might do to the habitat of surrounding wildlife in the ANWR area. When Americans are increasingly paying higher prices at the gas pump, you can thank most Democrats in Congress for these high prices because we could drill for oil in ANWR and dramatically bring down gas prices. More importantly, we could end the potential of having to surrender to the will of foreign nations just to keep getting their oil.
I encourage you to write to your Congressman and tell him or her to support oil drilling and exploration in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Tell your Congressman to create and enact a national comprehensive energy policy. Let your Congressman know that you’re concerned that the nation’s safety is compromised when we exponentially become more dependent on foreign sources of oil. Whether or not you agree with drilling for oil in ANWR, you cannot deny that we need a national comprehensive energy policy. Please begin to engage in more discourse about energy in America—beyond just gas prices and oil.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison