Mayumi Terao/istockphoto


Recently on Focus Earth Round Table, ABC News Host, Bob Woodruff, welcomed Jeffrey Kupper, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Energy, and Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst from Oppenheimer & Company to discuss the recent appeal to congress to lift the ban on offshore drilling.

The most important two questions brought up were number one, is offshore drilling really going to provide any relief? It is certainly not going to be a quick fix to the oil crisis, as most would estimate it will be as many as ten years before we would start to gain some headway.

Number two, shouldn't we use that valuable 10 years time to put towards the research of alternative fuels? Isn't drilling for oil just a small band aid on what certainly is a much larger wound.

And the simple answer to both is "yes"...

Kupper reasoned that currently the U.S. is on the right federally funded path to finding an alternative fuel source. "The department has committed over $1 billion to?second and third generation biofuels (and) alternative fuels," says Kupper. "It's taken us a long time to get into the current situation that we're in and it's going to take us some time to get out of there."

In the meantime, while we wait, Kupper urged that we need to work with what fuels we've got, which is unfortunately primarily oil and natural gas for the time being. Gheit, chimed in stating, "Either we should produce more (oil) or we should use less?and the best solution is to do both."

Both Kupper and Gheit agreed that the most perverse activity would not be so much the drilling for oil itself, but rather having waited so long to start. The government knew 35 years ago what we were up against and did nothing. What is it going to take to get the US to take action?

The most interesting thought that came out of this discussion, is while everybody is busy hoping the gas prices will drop, if and when they do, will this all just be swept under the carpet again until the next oil emergency?

We've seen some of the greatest amount of change during these $4.00 a gallon prices, so hopefully this has stirred enough souls to get something done. But the jury is still out on whether drilling for oil is as much of a solution as it is an excuse to continue with the problem at hand.

...and the debate rolls on!

This post was inspired by Planet Green's show, Focuse Earth.