"Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee;
and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings
of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under,
blessings of the breasts, and of the womb." - Genesis 49:25
It is no secret that I am rooting for Sarah Palin to run in 2012 for the presidency, a fact that is a constant source of amusement and debates in my all-Democrat family. So when my child asked me, "what excites you about a Palin Presidency?", I didn't need a second to reply: energy independence.
I do not see Sarah Palin as a caped-woman or someone with a halo above her head but I do believe that her stance on most issues besetting the country is very informed and spot-on. Her unapologetic advocacy for responsible resource development, especially on drilling for oil, does have genuine credibility as she has first hand experience as Chairperson of Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Alaska and as governor of her state. Energy independence after all, as she often talks about it, is deeply entwined with our national security, economy and the environment.
It is exciting to think of the wide and far-reaching effects of energy independence in many facets of our lives. Our anemic unemployment rate, which currently stands at 9% for April 2011, would get an immediate boost. Opening up 8% of ANWR alone is projected to create up to 735,000 jobs, the multiplier effect of which is just enormous. A steady paycheck for one American worker means money going into mortgage or rent, thereby lifting up the country's distressed real estate market. It means money going into food and service industries. It means money that will pay for local, state and federal taxes, which in turn fund our schools, roads, libraries and social services. Opening up just 8% of ANWR will have such an economic impact that will not be limited to the fifty states of our union but will also be felt by the rest of the world. Because when America is prosperous, the whole world benefits from the generosity of Americans and their profensity to spend their dollars whether on tourism, imported products and services and charities.
Energy independence ensures our national security. The discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia literally transformed the nation of tents and camels into one of the most powerful and influential in the world. Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries control in their hands the spigots of oil that powers our cars and industries. The flow of oil from these spigots also determine how much we pay at the pump, for the prices of all products that are, in one way or another, touched by petroleum, or what car and how we drive. As former President George Bush said, "America is addicted to oil". Sadly, our addiction to oil also funds the terroristic activities of some people who want to do America harm. Intelligence reports confirm that some of these oil profits end up supporting causes and activities of terrorists who want nothing but the downfall of America. 9/11, suicide bombings, attacks on Western military bases and personnel all have oil stains on them. By pursuing energy independence, America can drain the money that finances all these terrorist groups and cells. There is just no other way around it. We need to produce our own energy supply.
God has promised us a life of abundance and surrounded us with gifts of sustenance - in the seas and in the lands, both above and underground .But we must be willing to develop them. With smart, appropriate technology we can extract them responsibly and prudently. As with any industry, accidents do happen and environment concerns should not be casually dismissed. We owe it to the future generations that natural resources remain as clean and safe to sustain their livelihoods and lifestyles. In the face of each misstep or disaster, we need to be wiser and more cautious. Uncle Sam does have the responsibility to make sure that laws and regulations on resource development and explorations are followed to the letter and inspections are done on a regular basis. But by restricting our ability to be energy independent, Uncle Sam is also giving away our freedoms and our ways of life. A question that I have posed in the past will always ring true: if a 500- or 5000- car pile up happened on I - 5, do we shut down the whole interstate highway? Obviously, no president would issue such an irresponsible order as that would shut down our economy. Instead, investigators and inspectors should be out there to make sure that the same accident does not happen anywhere else. We need to balance our need for energy supply and the protection of our natural resources.
When it comes to energy independence, Sarah Palin is right. Drill, Baby, Drill! Right Now!
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