Dry Hole Energy Policy

Arctic drilling will do nothing to lessen the need for imported oil, says Philadelphia Inquirer editorial.

Published: 22-Feb-2002

Here's a guiding principle for U.S. senators as they begin debating energy policy next week: The United States cannot drill its way out of dependence on foreign oil.

Americans are rightly concerned about that dependence, especially given the links between some oil-rich countries and terrorism. While prices are low and supplies plentiful now, Middle East instability could cause painful fluctuations in the future.

But President Bush's myopic focus on increasing domestic supply won't secure America. It ignores geology. Sixty-five percent of the world's oil reserves lie beneath Persian Gulf states. Even if a well were sunk at every known domestic deposit, the United States would still have to import the bulk of its oil.

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