In an attempt to reduce nation’s dependence of foreign oil, President Barack Obama is encouraging oil companies to begin drilling the thousands of acres of land they currently lease in the United States. Mr. Obama’s suggestion is similar to one made by Third District Congressman John Yarmuth in 2008.
In response to oil companies’ requests for increased offshore drilling rights, Yarmuth proposed a bill that would require the companies to explore and drill the land they currently lease or else lose their leases.
Mr. Obama’s proposal to relies on financial incentives, and Yarmuth says that may make it more successful. He supports the plan, but says alternative energy sources need to be explored as well.
“We know that fossil fuel—well, most people know that fossil fuel—is not the long-term answer to our energy requirements. But we also know that there are millions and millions of vehicles on the road that are going to rely on gasoline for a long time to come,” he says.
Domestic drilling is expensive and time consuming, and the new sources won’t likely reduce gas prices. Yarmuth says high gas prices are a concern, but pollution and the dangers associated with importing oil are pressing issues.