President Obama is Right: We Can't Drill Our Way Out

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2011) – Consumers are paying at the gas pump for Mideast unrest, and Big Oil wants to cash in. President Obama set the record straight Friday, making clear that we can’t drill our way out of this mess.

Following is a statement by Deron Lovaas, federal transportation policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“The president got it exactly right.

“U.S. oil production is essential. It cannot, though, shield us from global price and supply shocks that we can't control. We can't drill our way out of this. We must break our dependence on oil.

“Here’s why:

“We consume 26 percent of the world's oil; we produce 7.5 percent of world output. We have less than 2 percent of the world's known crude oil reserves. Drill, baby, drill? Nearly 60 percent of the world’s producing oil wells are in the United States - more than all other countries combined - according to the latest data from the Oil & Gas Journal, the industry guidebook.

“About 30 percent of U.S. oil production comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Last year the Gulf produced a record 1.64 million barrels of oil a day. That’s 80,000 barrels a day above 2009 levels. For the year, that's nearly 30 million barrels more than were produced in the Gulf the year before.

“The ‘drill, baby, drill’ crowd needs to bone up on its arithmetic.

“The rest of us need to break our dependence on oil. Let’s keep producing from our half-million oil wells while we get serious about boosting energy independence.

“Increasing average fuel efficiency standards to 60 miles per gallon by 2025 would save nearly 3 million barrels of oil per day by 2030 – and save consumers more than $1 per gallon at the pump.

“Providing more public transportation options would help save commuters, on average, $850 per month. And getting more electric vehicles on the road would reduce gasoline use dramatically – and keep Americans from being held hostage at the pump by big oil companies and foreign countries.

“As House Republicans prepare to hold hearings next week on soaring gas prices, members of Congress would be wise to heed President Obama’s calls for solutions to increase energy efficiency and break the country’s dependence on oil instead of just limiting consumers to the empty and outdated promises of more drilling.

“It's time for Big Oil and some in Congress to stop misleading the public about what more drilling can do, and instead push for real solutions to soaring gas prices.”

For more information, see:

Deron Lovaas blogs: Taking Three Big Steps to Cut Imports and Shield Us From Gas Price Spikes and Drilling: U.S. Has Been There, Done That

Roland Hwang oped on AOL News: We can’t drill our way out of high gas prices