June 7, 2006

June 7, 2006

Are we really serious about becoming energy independent? Are we?

I know you may say -- of course, look at the emphasis placed upon ethanol and biodiesel. Isn't it the President's policy to end our dependence on Middle East oil? Yes, but I don't think the Congress gets it. We cannot afford to be in a position where a group of unreliable, hostile countries can hold us hostage.

That's where we are today.

Iran threatens us with an oil cut-offand the price ofcrude shoots up. We could not get out of Iraq even if we wanted to. A terrorist government there could cut off our oil. Also, we depend on that crazy Communist dictator in Venezuela for oil. Can we really count on Saudi Arabia for the long haul?

This is a serious situation. And yet, the Congress can't find the votes to open up drilling in ANWR. Drilling legislation was passed in 1995 and President Clinton vetoed it. The Congress and certain states refuse to allow drilling off the coasts of California and Florida and a host of other places. However, there will be drilling about 60 miles from our shore. It won't be us. Cuba is teaming with China to drill off the Florida coast. There are millions ofacres offederal lands in the U.S. where we could be looking for oil but they are off limits. Our refusal to go after the oil that we have is irresponsible.

We have to fight the environmental lobby every step of the way. They are against coal -- too much greenhouse gas. They are against nuclear -- too dangerous. Against wind -- kills too many birds.

A lot of people complain about $3.00 gasoline, but $3.00 gasoline is the only thing that seems to get our attention. I hope the price stays there. Maybe, just maybe, then the Congress will get their head out of the sand.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.