America is over a barrel
By Sen. Jeff Merkley
I bought my first car, a 1962 Falcon, in 1976. That car and I had a lot of adventures, but the best part was that in 1976, gas only cost 60 cents a gallon. This month, we’re paying $4.00 at the pump, six times the price in 1976.
The high price of gas threatens our economic recovery just as Oregonians are starting to get back on their feet. Families are paying $50 and $60 to fill up, and America is spending over a billion dollars a day on foreign oil which creates a grave national security challenge. Some of the dollars that we send overseas for oil end up in the hands of our terrorist enemies — making this the first modern American war in which we are funding both sides.
There are those who say we can simply drill more, to produce more domestic energy. But that strategy would accelerate the depletion of American reserves and make America more dependent on foreign oil in the long-run. The United States only has 3 percent of the world’s reserves, but consumes 25 percent of the world’s annual oil production.
Further, whether we pay 60 cents or $4 per gallon, the gasoline we use is a serious threat to our planet. Scientists estimate that any carbon level over 350 parts per million will create serious global warming problems. We hit that level 25 years ago and the results are obvious: retreating glaciers, melting icecaps, higher ocean acidity, dying coral reefs and more powerful storms.
So what can we do about our dysfunctional energy policy and the resulting economic damage, national security risks and carbon pollution? We must make a serious change in our energy policies to end our addiction to foreign oil. The good news is we don’t need yet-to-be-invented technology; we just need strong political will.
Click here to download Sen. Jeff Merkley's plan for oil independence and read more about this issue.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.