Should the US allow more oil drilling?

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.

Nick Cimarusti | Daily Trojan


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.



5 replies
  1. nope
    nope says:

    The Keystone Pipeline is being advocated for by a Canadian energy company. Profits and jobs once the line was done would largely be in Canada. Also, as a deeply uninformed person, Sarah, you should probably not declare that the environmental concerns should take a back seat to energy production. You do not live in the areas that would be affected and I doubt you’ve even been there. As a Midwesterner I am not okay with the building of a pipeline through some of the most beautiful land in this country.
    Also, several organizations that have looked in to TransCanada’s jobs numbers have found that they are either greatly inflating or out right lying about them. Neither seem like a good reason to do what they want.
    How about we invest in efficient, fair public transportation, and LET GAS PRICES REFLECT HOW MUCH PETROLEUM ACTUALLY COSTS. Keeping prices low only encourages the idiots who drive hummers and Escalades, THEY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY PAY THE PRICE AT THE PUMP IF THEY WANT TO DRIVE THOSE CARS.
    That said we need to provide subsidies to lower income people so they can still afford the transportation to the places they work.
    As usual Sarah can’t make a logical argument, so she goes to the standard talking points of the Republican Party. I would welcome the Daily Trojan getting a conservative opinion writer who is smart and/or articulate, but I guess I’ll just have to settle for knowing the conservative voice on campus is not well represented.

    • Reggie
      Reggie says:

      Nope to Nope;

      The Canadian press has complained that the pipeline will employ only a dozen or so workers in Canada, while creating hundreds of jobs in the U.S. I assume this response is advocating government control of pricing, and any microeconomics student three weeks into a course would be able to discredit the disastrous consequences associated with this suggestion. It is the high price of fossil fuel that has driven additional exploration and extraction, so that we now have more proven reserves of oil than ever in the history of man. More importantly, it is the high prices of fuel that is making it possible to fund alternative approaches to energy, including nuclear, solar, and wind, among others.
      Back to the Keystone pipeline — I wonder if the author is aware there are thousands of miles of pipelines, decades old, now carrying fossil fuels across the country, making it possible to heat our homes. Whether we want solar, nuclear, or wind energy, or other sources, we will always find that energy is inherently dangerous, and at some point we must nevertheless place our trust in the technology.
      I wonder who has so much credibility that they would be believed if they claimed that it is possible to build a pipeline that will not harm the flora and fauna along its route? My guess is that no one has that much credibility for some people — including the reader who had so little awareness of the facts that s/he had to resort to ad hominem attacks on the article’s author.
      Energy is a “wicked problem” because we cannot agree on the causes of the problems, and are therefore going to find it impossible to agree on a workable set of solutions.
      As for me — I am with the author — a well-presented article that contains a tidy summary of the key points. I assume no one would advocate a return to biblical levels of technology — and it is risk and experimentation driven by a market that have created a world in which people live longer, enjoy more leisure time, and enjoy safer environments than ever in the history of mankind.

    • Jack
      Jack says:

      Nope, I guess it’s OK to think this way but to actually write it for all to see is a bit silly. Your response to an argument based on your selfish fantasies completely discredits any argument you were attempting to make. So you don’t want a pipeline so we can tap into our own reserves and create jobs and save our citizens money at the pump because…….it’s not going to be pretty for you to look at and because several organizations(unnamed for a reason) say the reports are lies??? You think a guy buys a hummer or Escalade because gas prices allow it and thus we should have higher prices??? You want to give lower income people money so they can get to work because your fantasy plan doesn’t allow them to make enough money for gas???
      Wow, you got it all figured out and for the right reasons

  2. kafantaris
    kafantaris says:

    Iran is in a critical dilemma. On the one hand it wants to show the world all it’s got and put it at ease, while on the other hand it fears that such show ‘n tell will give its enemies a roadmap to bomb it.
    Saddam Hussein faced a similar dilemma ten years ago. Though he wanted the world to know he had nothing to hide, he also wanted to bluff his archenemy Iran into believing Iraq still had WMD.
    Bluffing did not go well for Saddam, and it might not go well for Ahmadinejad.
    But since the price tag for ridding Saddam proved high, we ought to reflect what we are asking of Iran now. On the eve of a threatened attack, we are asking it to take us to the depths of its arsenal and show us all it’s got.
    Such great expectations are a sign we have been talking to our friends too long and are in need of a broader perspective. Exactly when was the last time we asked Pakistan, India, China or Russia to show us their arsenal?
    “But those countries are not advocating the destruction of Israel.”
    True, but Israel is not a thorn on their side either.
    Surely, however, we can see beyond the hyperboles and figure out their underlying purpose. Or have we forgotten that not all Iranians are thrilled with Ahmadinejad?
    He sure hasn’t.
    Nor has he forgotten that that his countrymen hate Israel even more. So he tells them that Israel will be wiped from the face of the earth. Expectantly, this nonsense unites them against a common enemy. It even becomes a diversion from the misery and isolation brought on by his anachronistic regime.
    Quite clever work by Ahmadinejad — and not a rial spent or a bullet fired.
    So why are we letting the crazy talk about destroying Israel get us all worked-up — to the point of turning the world topsy-turvy again.
    Can we not plainly see the machinations of an unpopular regime trying to hold on to power?

  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    Great argument! I completely agree that Keystone would have been greatly beneficial in solving our energy problem. Oh well, until 2012…

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