Keep drilling to help meet our energy needs

As unimaginable as the Deepwater Horizon accident was, it hasn’t changed the fact that this country still depends on oil and natural gas for its energy needs, for millions of American jobs, and for the livelihoods of families and businesses from coast to coast – especially those here in Mississippi. The spill also hasn’t changed the reality that global demand for oil and natural gas is increasing and that alternative energy solutions, no matter how advanced, can’t satisfy the world energy demand on their own. Therefore, continuing to develop oil and natural gas makes sense now and in the years to come.

The rig explosion and subsequent oil spill has undoubtedly cast a shadow on offshore drilling and the oil and natural gas industry. But beyond this, knee-jerk reactions to the accident – from Washington and elsewhere – could worsen our overall energy and economic outlook. Any consideration of a complete ban on additional offshore development is na•ve and misguided thinking.

Placing a ban on additional offshore development is akin to placing a ban on job creation and economic development. However, in the wake of this accident, it’s understandable the legitimate concerns that many people have about offshore drilling, and the disappointment that many feel toward the oil and natural gas industry.

Clarion-Ledger
Merle Flowers
6/20/10