Barack Obama, this past Saturday, in Pennsylvania:
The same is true by the way on drilling because you are going to start hearing folks say “Drill in Alaska. You know, the Democrats, they don’t want to drill in Alaska, they don’t want to drill off the coast. ” Well, here’s the problem. We account for about 3% of the world’s oil reserves. We use about 25% of the world’s oil. We can’t drill our way out of the problem. It’s estimated that if we in fact opened up drilling despite the environmental consequences which are irreversible, but let’s say we decided You know what, we’ll drill in Alaska and we’ll drill off the continental shelf, its estimated that it would take five years before you saw any impact, in terms of actual world oil supplies, minimum, I mean, that’s optimistic. But even then, the experts estimate maybe you’d see four cents, three cents per gallon reductions. So then one of the questions we have to ask ourselves is, Is it worth it for us to damage the environment permanently that our children are counting on when we could obtain much bigger reductions in gas prices just by increasing fuel efficiency standards on cars to 40 miles per gallon for example.
Compare Obama’s pessimism about drilling and the time it would take to exploit known reserves (and the ability to locate new reserves) with his optimism about what more federal spending can achieve:
We will have spent by the time this thing is over well over a trillion dollars, one trillion dollars. Think about what we could have done with a trillion dollars. Think about, think about what we could have done if we had invested even half of that even a quarter of that into research into clean energy, developing new ways of transporting people, if we had tried to look at how are we going to create a new engine that doesn’t run on fossil fuels. Imagine that. Over the last five years, we could be in a position now where we could have perhaps sliced our energy consumption by a third, and if we had done that gas prices would be low because people wouldn’t be using gas.
Obama believes in science fiction solutions but not drilling. Drilling will take too long and produce too few benefits.