Energy policy should be a big issue in this election. I am a big believer in alternative energy and a big supporter of biofuels (I oppose the ethanol subsidy, rather I would end the tariffs on Brazilian ethanol and mandate that all gasoline powered cars in the United States be flex-fuel by 2012). I am happy to see that Obama has been talking about biofuels and he has come close to the Zubrin plan, though he has not mentioned it by name. Someone should, immediately, send Obama a copy of Zubrin's book "Energy Victory".
But for the foreseeable future, oil will still be important and it has to come from somewhere. Obama opposes drilling here, drilling in the Artic, and now his comments against tar sand oil. He also complains about the price of oil. His answer is to threaten the oil companies.
I do not think the oil companies are charitable institutions. They are businesses and their goal is to maximize profits. But maybe instead of demonizing them, they should be allowed to drill somewhere. Oil is going up and up, and most of what I read suggests that it is a bubble -- demand increases in China (which had been heavily subsidizing gasoline, increasing demand) in and of itself do not account for the increase. Uncertainty over Iran and Iraq play into it. But ultimately, it is the THREAT of future events that are driving the price. Allowing drilling the Artic or offshore might reduce uncertainty and allow prices to come down to a more reasonable level.
I am not suggesting that we will see $1.10 regular gas ever again -- I know that will never happen. But we need to reduce prices for no other reason than the fact that much of our oil money goes to places that are trying to destroy us -- in effect, we are paying for attacks against us. And drilling here and now, along with buying Canadian oil and getting shale oil regulations passed will give us the breathing room necessary to get alternative sources online (and also a few years so that a flex-fuel mandate will have time to operate). That is important, pushing for drilling now does not mean that alternative energy is forgotten. In fact, under Senator McCain's plan, there would be both. Senator McCain even calls for a flex-fuel mandate!