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February 27, 2012

Drilling Doesn't Work

Gas prices are going up. Shocker. The presidential campaigners are attacking the White House. Another shocker.

The country's pro-drill faction is at it again, predictably recycling the old and tired talking points that they've repeated for decades. It's the case of this industry rep in the video, who recently joined Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune on CNBC to talk about gas prices.

Brune hits a home run at about six minutes in, which the segment's host, Larry Kudlow doesn't really anticipate. Brune's point? More drilling does jack squat for gas prices, because price volatility rests on speculation and global markets. We can drill all we want. But instability abroad, in places like, say, Iran, will continue to drive price volatility so long as our energy infrastructure is oil hungry.

"We operate on a global market. Like it or not, we cannot drill our way out of this gas crisis. We can't drill our way out of the next crisis. The only way to avoid this situation from repeating itself in the future is to have a more aggressive, prudent, plausible plan to reduce our dependence on oil," Brune says.

If industry reps were really for consumer relief they'd get behind the president and endorse an aggressive mile-per-gallon standard by 2025, which would save drivers thousands of dollars over a car's lifetime. In other words, it would do more than any Arctic pipeline could ever do. 

As much as the industry, and its friend Larry Kudlow, would like Americans to believe it, drilling to death the North American continent to achieve energy independence is not possible.

"Even if we produced all our own gasoline, we'd still not be independent of the world price of oil because oil is what's called a fungible commodity," says Kenneth Green, an environmental scientist at the American Enterprise Institute --  a group not exactly known for its liberal rhetoric -- in this interview. "If the world price of oil goes up because of a crisis in the Middle East, or any other reason, our prices would rise accordingly."

-- Brian Foley

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