We Are Addicted to Oil
President Bush, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 31, 2006, declared that "America is addicted to oil" -- a remarkable admission from a lifelong oil man. This past week it occurred to me just what an appropriate metaphor "addiction" is for the current energy crisis.
The price for a barrel of oil was in the neighborhood of $60 when the president gave that address. On Aug. 1, it closed just over $125 a barrel -- down from its high of $147.27 on July 11. George Bush and John McCain's answer? More oil!
This is classic addiction reasoning. Bush and McCain are like addicts in an intervention pleading for one last fix and swearing they'll check into rehab in the morning.
Even conservative think tanks concede that drilling off the continental shelf and in the Arctic won't produce a drop of oil for seven to 15 years. They further concede that the effect of that drilling on world oil prices would be minimal at best. McCain doesn't contest those facts, saying only that the prospect of drilling will make Americans "feel better."
That's going to be a pretty empty feeling when we quickly realize that drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas can't cure our addiction. It can only keep us sick longer. It's the cry of a junkie pleading for a "last fix." It's the familiar sound of politicians playing us for fools.
Kevin Smith, Aberdeen
More like this story