America's Love/Hate Relationship
BY DENNY BANISTER
From media reports, you might think the Gulf of Mexico is turning into La Brea Tar Pits. The oil is reaching wetlands and beaches, killing sea gulls and pelicans and putting people dependent upon the Gulf for their living out of work. It is all very sad.
Nearly everyone is playing the blame game, with British Petroleum in particular and ‘big oil’ in general taking most of the heat. Some of the statements you hear in the reporting of the disaster vilify ‘big oil’ as if eliminating them would solve the problem.
Americans love big cars with big powerful engines. The only time small cars come into vogue is when there is a threat to the fuel supply which translates into skyrocketing fuel costs. Once fuel prices stabilize for a period of time, we turn back to bigger cars and trucks again.
The oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is tragic, and we should do everything possible to fix the problem and prevent it from occurring again in the future. Doing away with off-shore drilling, however, means doing away with the biggest reserve of crude the United States has.
With more federal lands off-limits for oil recovery, the elimination of off-shore drilling would put us totally at the mercy of foreign oil. This not only makes for very expensive fuel, but gives those foreign sources the ability to shut off our oil supply at will, which is a huge threat to our national security.
America has a love/hate relationship with oil. We want big cars, trucks and SUVs with V8s, and plenty of cheap gas at the pump with no threat to the fuel supply. At the same time, however, we do not want ‘big oil’ drilling off our shores or near our homes. The truth of the matter is – we are all “big oil.”
Denny Banister, of Jefferson City, Mo., is a retired broadcaster from Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.
An editorial column from the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, Cut to the Chase may be used as an op-ed piece or letter to the editor.