As long as we live in an industrial society, energy needs to be readily available. The price of gas, however, has increased to an average of $3.52 per gallon nationwide.
If we want to decrease our financial burden, we must elect a president who will address the issue swiftly and effectively by tapping into our own oil and natural gas reserves.
When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.89. Obama’s refusal to pursue affordable energy before alternative energy has had no positive impact on the state of energy in the United States. The situation will not change if he is elected for another term.
Though Obama has placed a sharp focus on reforming Wall Street for the improvement of the national economy, he has failed Main Street by largely ignoring the flaws in our current energy policy.
Putting off this problem any longer will have a direct impact on our lives. College students are the ones who will inherit even higher prices at the pump.
The last thing Americans need is unnecessarily high expenditures on gas in the midst of a significant financial struggle. Not only is it difficult to get a job, it is a struggle to fill up the tank to drive to that elusive interview.
Instead of kicking the can down the road with foreign entanglements and vague plans for alternative energy development, we have to push our next president to drill here and now.
Republicans are attempting to push through legislation for the construction of oil pipeline Keystone XL, which would stretch 1,700 miles from Canada to refineries near the Gulf Coast. Obama opposes the pipeline.
But domestic production of energy resources wouldn’t just reduce our conflicts abroad and drive down gas prices. It would create thousands of jobs here at home, from construction to engineering.
Critics argue against the pipeline largely on the grounds of environmental concerns. Though environmental risk should be considered, the more pressing issues are creating jobs and increasing energy independence, not to mention lessening the pain of going to the gas station.
The easier it is to access nonrenewable resources at home, the less money and focus that will be allocated to foreign conflict over such resources. The money and manpower we gain from scaling back the battle for foreign oil can be reallocated to developing alternative forms of energy for the future. Removing our dependence on foreign oil and allowing access to resources here will leave no excuse for pushing off progress in the area of alternative energy.
Energy will only continue to increase in importance, and there is no better time than now to reap the many benefits of a domestic energy industry.
Failing to do so promises a future of ludicrous gas prices, negating the potential for more jobs and long-standing economic growth.
Sarah Cueva is a sophomore majoring in Middle East studies and political science. Point/Counterpoint runs Fridays.