President Obama has said that drilling isn’t the path to cheaper gasoline. A rich deposit of crude off Alaska’s north coast not only says that he’s wrong, it indicates that energy independence is more than a mere fantasy.
When gasoline prices were spiking in March, the president said: “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices — not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.”
Each day, the U.S. goes through nearly 20 million barrels of crude. About half is imported. Just beneath the frozen Arctic Ocean on Alaska’s north coast resides an oil field that could eventually produce 1 million barrels a day — roughly 10% of what we import and a bit more than 5% of our daily consumption.
Shell will begin exploratory drilling this summer with the blessings of the hostile-to-fossil fuels, no-drill president, who has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline and sat on illegal off-shore drilling moratoriums. Apparently even he can’t bring himself to block what a New York Times writer, who has exhaustively reported on the Alaska drilling project, described in a recent blog:
“The plan,” writes Clifford Krauss, “offers the promise of greater national energy security, the thinking goes, and economic benefits for Alaskans.”
Just how fertile is this Alaskan field? Fortune magazine believes that “Come fall, the big news out of Barrow may well be America’s largest offshore oil discovery in a generation.”