My Word for May 18, 2001

As you probably know, the Bush administration is out pushing its energy plan.

If you haven't heard this before, I'm in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) — big time.

I've actually gone there, and looked at the hole in the ground that's fueled so much speculation.

You can't tell much from looking at a hole in the ground, and you also can't tell a whole lot more by talking to geologists, because everybody's got a different guess.

However, lots of these experts think there is, more or less, the same amount of oil in ANWR as in Prudhoe Bay.

And the Prudhoe Bay supply has — so far — lasted us 30 years.

I went to ANWR because of the Gulf War. I wanted to see the wildlife reserve that was so precious that we'd rather send Americans off to Kuwait to kill Iraqis — and maybe even get killed by Iraqis — rather than punch a hole or two in our own territory.

That was when we drew a line in the sand at two bucks a gallon.

We'd send half a million Americans to fight in the desert over two bucks a gallon.

Now, what's the number? It's gotta be over $3 dollars, don't you think?

And are we still willing to send young Americans off to war rather than drill for oil under our own Caribou?

The energy secretary says an area the size of an airport in an area the size of South Carolina is all it would take — that's the ratio of drilling area to total ANWR.

I've seen it myself, and I think he's right. I can't believe that land is so precious that we'd rather send our young people off to fight to protect our source of oil in some other country.

It's stupid ... and that's my word.

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