By Gabe Rozsa
Oil and Gas Drilling – “Drill Baby Drill” v. “Energy Tax.”
As a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Obama Administration issued a moratorium on further drilling until improved safety requirements were in place. While some permits have been issued since then, the pace of exploration has been significantly slowed and members of both parties from the Gulf Coast, except Florida, have pushed for more drilling to stimulate jobs and restore the economy. The White House argues that oil and gas production is up significantly with higher production rates in the U.S. than ever before and that our dependence on foreign oil is down. However, much of that increase in production is on private land where Federal permits are not required or as a result of new drilling practices like fracking that allow more oil and gas to be recovered from existing wells. Also, lower imports may be due to the decline in fuel consumption because cars are more fuel efficient and a down economy that has put a damper on business and recreational travel.