Drilling won’t produce anything for years, we need to increase mileage standards, develop alternative fuels (wind! solar!) reduce our dependence on oil! The oil companies already have eleventy million acres of land to drill on! We can’t give them any more! And no, they can’t trade this lease for that lease… They leased what they leased! We are addicted to oil!

Given that drilling won’t produce any oil for some years, the alternatives suggested won’t produce any differences in that period of time either. This isn’t an either/or situation. It’s a both situation. Drill offshore and develop alternative fuels. We know fairly accurately when new, proven fields will produce. We have no idea when the alternatives will be viable or affordable.

Changing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is all well and good but only affects future new cars, it doesn’t affect the ~250 million cars that are already on the road in America. There is no magic wand that will suddenly make all the vehicles on the road comply with the new standards. Some of the ideas for developing alternative fuels are years away and are cost prohibitive as well. A hydrogen fuel cell car that costs more than a house is not going to go very far with your Average Joe.

Distances in America guarantee that the personal/family vehicle will be the main mode of transportation for years and years to come. I live in the exurbs of Chicago. The train downtown takes an hour and a half. For working downtown, that is the best option. But that’s downtown. Pretty much everywhere else, automobiles are best. There are some busses, but they don’t necessarily go from where you are to where you need to be. A trip that would take 20 minutes in a car going from point A to point B (45 minutes in “rush” hour) might take the hour and a half it takes to get to Chicago on the train or even longer. Especially since to get from point A to point B you may have to travel through points C, D, E, F, and G first. Kind of like having to travel through Davenport, IA to get from Chicago to Milwaukee…

We are addicted to oil and even if we can find another way to power our vehicles, we’ll still be addicted to oil. Oil is so much more than just gas and oil for vehicles, power, and home heating…

Petroleum is used in items as diverse as crayons, tires, golf bags, Vaseline, deodorant, Scotch tape, pantyhose, putty, life jackets, TV cabinets, ice cube trays, yarn, toilet seats, candles, hand lotions, shampoo, speakers, eyeglasses, tooth brushes, CDs, aspirin, detergents, shaving cream, toothpaste and thousands of others…

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