March 3rd, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Mideast Turmoil: Time to drill for oil in Gulf of Mexico?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Violence in the Middle East has been driving the price of oil higher for weeks now. It has been more than $100 a barrel several times.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/03/03/art.oil.jpg caption="White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel."]
It's times like these that our addiction to imported oil comes back to haunt us. And it has gotten worse since the horrific BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico last spring, which killed 11 rig workers and dumped nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the waters.

Suddenly, virtually all drilling activity in water deeper than 5,000 feet was ordered stopped. The Obama administration has given no sign that drilling there would return anytime soon – at least not to the level it was before the BP spill. The deepwater ban was lifted last fall, but no new permits were issued until just this week. Monday, the Department of the Interior issued the first permit for a deepwater well since last spring.

In a column on Politico.com, publisher and businessman Steve Forbes writes that by freezing U.S. energy assets in the Gulf, the U.S. government is "fueling an energy crisis that could bring this nation to its knees."

An estimated one-third of the oil used in this country comes from the Gulf of Mexico region, he says. And by limiting our drilling there, we become more dependent on oil-rich nations abroad, Libya included.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the Middle East turmoil, is it time to again drill aggressively for oil in the Gulf of Mexico?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Andy in Lynn, Massachusetts:
No, leave the Gulf of Mexico alone; at least for now. Why not commit the country to finding alternative fuels? Why not create a NASA-like agency to produce alternative energy sources? But the sad truth is this: Big Oil owns our Congress, both parties. As long as corporations (oil companies), which do not have the ability to vote in elections, contribute heavily to both Democrats and Republicans, we will never have a national effort to solve our energy problems.

Steve in Florida:
For the life of me, I just don't understand all of you "drain America first" people. If we can, we should buy and use other people's oil and save ours in reserve. That way when the rest of the world goes dry or becomes really hostile, we'll have plenty.

Russ in Pennsylvania:
Does it matter? And isn’t the oil taken from the Gulf going to go to the highest bidder anyway, which could be China at this point? What a horrible government we have nowadays: Girl Scouts can't sell cookies without permits, and oil companies can't drill. Ron Paul in 2012.

Why don't you ask all the dead baby dolphins washing up on the shores of the Gulf?

Terrence in Big Spring, Texas:
No Jack, it is not time to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. What it is time to do is to step away from oil, coal, and natural gas. They pollute our air and water and poison and kill our animals, which many end up being our food. Its time we made the difficult choice of kicking our addiction to "Dirty Energy" and get on the path to "Clean Energy" that will ultimately be cheaper and help bring our debt down. In no uncertain way should we be drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pete in Georgia:
Drill baby, drill!!!!!! And quit pretending we live in a Disney movie. We don't.

Conor in Chicago:
Totally. Let's have BP and Halliburton do it. Should work out just fine.

Filed under: Middle East • Oil Prices
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Chad Hedrick

    Come on Jack....what's the diference on where they drill.....The big 3 are going to do what they want with oil prices to suit their own agenda and pockets. The oil companies are bigger than any government, and hold a 3-way monopoly. We can't bring them down, nor can we do without their poison, so what's the answer ? Electric cars ....Think not, they control the natural gas supplies that most power plants run on as well.....so we are all in trouble. Their wallets get fatter, and ours are non-existent.
    Thanks for the opportunity to vent,
    Just another thin wallet citizen of the
    United States of the Hopeless.

    March 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  2. john

    yes offshore deepwater drilling should resume immediately!

    i am a oilfield professional . the deepwater horizon catastrophe was caused by bp. their willful violation of industry 'safe drilling practices' are documented. their criminal–i repeat–criminal- violations caused the deaths of 11. the destruction of a v/expensive drilling rig, and the pollution of a large natural resource. this catastrophe would not have occurred with ANY OTHER deepwater operator.

    resume deepwater drilling immediatly! we need the energy. we need the jobs!

    March 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  3. William Nowack

    The only reason Obama's Interior Department issued the permit was because the federal judge gave them a time limit to stop delaying or face contempt of court. I thought Jack was an Obama worshipper; how dare he blaspheme by differing from his saint.

    March 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  4. Nick in Arlington, VA

    Heck yes it is time. That will create jobs for Americans.

    March 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  5. Ryan McEvoy

    Sure we should drill – as in 'we the people' – but we won't. Oil companies will drill in the gulf. Does anyone think that BP, Excon or whomever drilling in our waters does anything other than benefit those particular corporations? This whole argument about drilling here to reduce our dependance on foreign oil is somewhat bogus. Oil companies decide when drilling becomes economically viable. Somehow I doubt that they will simply drill and flood our country with cheap abundant gas for all. They will simply secure more oil fields for future extraction at $150 a barrel, and then bend us all over 'the barrel'.

    March 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  6. Steven Bracewell

    A Huge Hell No !!

    I am a resident of North Florida and I have seen the destruction of our beautiful Gulf Coast after the BP Disaster last year. The bottom of our Beautiful Gulf of Mexico is Dead. We are now having baby dolphins wash up on shore DEAD !! There are some things more precious in life than OIL !!

    March 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  7. emma

    Although drilling locally will appear to alleviate our short term fuel needs, is it worth the dangers involved and sacrificing our long term species' survival?
    Brooklyn, NY

    March 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  8. David

    Drill in the Gulf again?
    Why not! It's not like anything bad can happen. It's not like drilling in mile deep water is dangerous. It's not like we might spill a few gazillion gallons of oil in the Gulf. What could possibly go wrong?

    March 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  9. t

    Very short term thinking which always revolves back to dependence on something that is not fully in our control. Better thinking would be to change the focus away from oil onto cleaner (and yes more expensive in the short term) solutions. This is a very difficult task given the economic influences on the political environment as oil agendas are strongly being pushed via political contributions/threats all the time. Note however, true costs and risks of oil are not reflected in the price and valid comparisons are never done by the pro oil folks.

    March 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  10. Mike

    Great idea... we should be drilling in the Gulf. Unfortunately all the drilling assets have left the gulf and are now in Africa and South America – so we can't drill even if we wanted to. Someone really planned ahead well. Oh.. by the way... BP and their fund is paying hotels and pleasure boaters, but anyone who is out of business due to the government moratorium gets zip. Nothing. I guess the people with yachts needed the money more than the people and companies who supported the oil industry.

    March 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  11. Guy King

    It is past time. Failing to drill and recover oil in our own territory is worse than shooting ourselves in the foot. We have crippled our citizens, our businesses, our own future with this failure. Certainly, other forms of energy must be explored but we cannot exist on a forced "time out" while we have no other workable answer. Drill, with substantial precautions, and get about the country's business of fixing the future while we still can.
    When will we learn to plan for emergencies instead of reacting to them?

    Submitted from Dallas, Georgia

    March 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  12. Sonny from Arkansas

    Yes Jack, We could also use the oil from the Alaskan pipeline.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  13. bob

    Definitely we need to tap all energy resources to make us as independent from dependence on unstable regimes as possible

    March 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  14. John

    Hi Jack:

    I think what everyone remains confused about is that if we had increased drilling the price of oil would still be going up. The Saudi's have already agreed to make up for any shortfalls caused by a lack of production in Libiya. There is no disruption in supply.

    I believe the U.S. currently fills the majority of our requirements for Oil from our own domestic production, Canada and Mexico.

    This is just the same old nonsense of traders and speculators using the mideast situation to drive up the price of this commodity when there is in fact no shortage. Another huge tax increase on the middle class. Only this tax finds it's way directly to the pockets of the rich.

    Where are all the boys who said raising taxes would be a disaster for our economy. They seem to think this new transfer of wealth to there pals is just fine. We need to look in the mirror, WE ARE THE ARABS.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  15. Richard Texas

    Oil companies no longer want to drill in America or off of it's coast. The government bureaucracy is a mess and the environmental concerns are far too great. You can issue all the permits you want to Jack but you won't find many takers. Drilling in America is a last resort for oil companies.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  16. Vince Gurzo

    Should we drill? Absolutely. We're the only country on earth that refuses to develop it's energy resources. Renewables are fine, but account for 4% of our energy needs.
    Ethanol takes more energy to make that it provides in fuel.

    Electric cars? with a 60 mile range? You'll drive 15 miles looking for a charging station. Hybrid cars with $10,000 batteries?
    All hail the Chevy Volt at $41,000. But, buy it's kissing cousin, the Chevy Cruze Eco @ $19,000 and get 40 MPG.
    So, Jack, make peace with it, it's petroleum fuels for transportation for the foreseable future.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  17. Valerhon

    Jack – what we need is to focus like a laser on alternative, clean, green energy. If this isn't the catalyst for an energy revolution, what will be?

    March 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  18. sidd--Iowa

    If we had started drilling years ago, we might not be in the shape we are right now........depending so much on those rich
    despots in the middle east

    March 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  19. Ken Davis

    I watched a clip on TV with every President since Nixon promising an energy plan to free us from outside dependence. None have delivered. Meanwhile, we pour arms, money and the lives of our service men and women into preserving governments in the Middle East in order to maintain "energy as usual".

    If we were to reduce oil consumption in the USA by 30% through the combined efforts of wind, solar, ethanol, conservation, natural gas and better milage vehicles, the price of gas would drop like a rock. We could produce enough gas along with imports from Mexico and Canada to satisfy our needs. The methods used for alternate energy and conservation would generate money in our economy. Nice to keep that money instead of sending out of the USA.

    Obviously, Big Oil pays off too many politicians with campaign funds and perks to make any meaningfull changes happen.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  20. Bob Clayton

    NOPE, Time to quit our oil addiction.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  21. John L.

    Hell yes, it's time to drill in the Gulf. Unfortunately, from the time drilling is started on a well to the time production starts, assuming oil is found, will be at least 3-5 years later. But, if we don't start now, we'll never see the added U.S. oil production that comes with it's commensurate added security and reduced import-based trade deficits.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  22. Don in SF

    Hey Jack, am I blacklisted? My comments never seem to make it. Anyway, I've always supported off-shore drilling. But we need to reinforce strict controls on safety and monitoring.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  23. bobster26

    this is great! I love it when -out with the old, in with the new. In other words, time to mass produce electric batteries and the auto grid. Here is somthing to work on: A geologocal map grid! time to dream big america . where is that great 'ol home spun spirit?... Let's show the rest of the world what made the future come a live. Spark and GO, A great rest stop on your journy to the future. So get busy America and think out-side the big box.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  24. George

    Hell no it's not time to start drilling in The Gulf of Mexico again. It's time to find alternative sources of energy. Oil is in finite supply and won't last forever.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  25. Sadee K, MI

    I've decided to take up residence in Canada. This country is a damn
    mess. With inept trying to run this government, it seems like the only
    sensible thing to do.

    D. Kisting

    March 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  26. Jacqee from Louisiana

    Jack I hate to say this, but this may be just what this country needs to wake up. We can build wind farms, we know how to make and use solar panels, we know how to make hybrid and electric cars. All we need is to do it.. Come on, we all know if we don't move forward its a step back.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  27. Bruce from Santa Cruz

    Definitely NOT.

    It's time to get serious about alternative energy and conservation. We have to wean ourselves off of oil. If we don't, I'm afraid that this country is looking at a potential financial collapse when world-wide oil supplies dry up.

    Drilling in the gulf simply kicking the can down the road. All it does is delay the inevitable switch to alternate fuels.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  28. Matt


    As usual, the American people want to sacrifice the planet for mere convenience. It is high time that America LEAD instead of FOLLOW, and we must LEAD the people of the planet to a better future. More risky drilling in the Gulf will end in the same tragedies as before.

    I know I'm beating a dead horse when I say this, but our addiction to OIL, not just foreign oil, is the problem. More drilling is not the solution. Can we please just find a better way to get from point a to b without burning irreplaceable resources??


    March 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  29. Chris

    I have to say that I think it's time, but I don't necessarily like it. If we are going to continue to use a non-renewable fuel source, I feel like we should be using what's closer to home and less expensive to defend, with fewer foreign diplomats involved.

    In the late 30's, the US provided oil to Japan. Now are are all panicked by developments in the Middle East, because it seems like someone could cut off our supply. If we have it here, I say we drill for it – but oversight needs to be in place so the industry is responsible and not unsafe and causing more Gulf disasters.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  30. Gigi Oregon

    No... it's time to use our own resources and change to solar, wind or nuclear power. This would also create jobs. It's time to take the power away from corporate America. And give a higher tax rate to those making over a million dollars a year. Who are exploiting the middle class.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  31. Jeff Brick- Ft. Myers Florida

    We needed to drill years ago. Our country is in decline, the less we have to depend on others , the better off we will be.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  32. John .... Marlton, NJ

    Drill baby Drill..... Here is they way I look at it ... To secure our sources of oil we spend considerable treasure and good will in the middle east and other places. Make no mistake the toll is very high, in dollar terms and in terms of lives, both soldiers and civilians and these costs are not acceptable.

    In comparison, when we drill in North America there are occassional accidents, usually environmental, but the costs in prespective don't compare .... aren't even close to the damage caused chasing oil around the world. ....... Unless of course you value ducks more than people

    March 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  33. Tad Pole

    I think we should drill by all means. We need to do everything we can, regardless of the dangers to the enviornment in order to keep the price of gasoline affordable so that we may continue to live the lifestyle that has allowed us keep this GREAT COUNTRY going.
    USA! USA!

    March 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  34. Kevin-Los Angeles

    I think it is time we got some free oil from Iraq.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  35. Rich

    No. Why do we have to drill aggressively. Why don't we spend money on wind farms and solar energy? Spilling wind and light won't hurt the local populations of the gulf.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  36. thewanderingjesse

    Damn right it is! As a graduate student in college money is tight, but nowadays it's even tighter due to inflated gas prices. Obama should open the oil reserves to 'redistribute' the wealth a little.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  37. steve

    Jack you have a short memory. Let's start a Manhatten project for non-carbon solutions that can create electricity, rebuild the power grid and buy natural gas from Russia in the meantime. Then the Middle East will slowly fade in the rear view mirror.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  38. melissa saban

    Yes I do think we should start drilling on us soil. Gas prices are outragous! I am in a 2 income household that earns less than $2500 a month. I have a child on the way and can barely make ends meet. Jobs are hard to come by that pay decent wages and the price of gas makes it hard to keep the jobs we have or even pay our everyday bills!

    March 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  39. Bill Wilson

    If drilling is reopened in the gulf,it won't help this country as the oil will be sold to other countries and this country receives no compensation for OUR oil.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  40. Durl Stephens

    Jack, Why are we still talking oil? Oil makes the super-rich in our country, RICH. We have too many other options but those RICH people will not make as much money if we use our other, more earth friendly options.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  41. michelle - san francisco

    it's time to think of other ways to feed our cars and our needs. Drilling anywhere is not the answer.

    funny how this conversation always pops at time of crisis and seems to fall into oblivion any other time....

    March 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  42. Karl in Mich

    Perhaps the question should be: In light of the Middle East turmoil is it time to take away the tax breaks and subsidies the oil companies make millions in profits off of and give those breaks and subsidies to the non-petroleum energy providers to bring the future of energy into the present a lot faster? We hear big oil claiming they are on the cutting edge of alternate energy research. Maybe it’s time to push them over the edge and make them put our money where their mouth is. In the many years it takes to get new wells producing, we could be well on our way to kissing our oil addiction goodbye completely.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  43. Sam from Va

    No Jack, drill baby drill is not an Energy policy we should fall to when the going get tough. This is just another opportunity for the US to be serious about creating an alternative fuel source other fossil fuels.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  44. Alex Wuori

    It HAS been the time to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, since before this entire crisis started. America should not have to be held hostage by OPEC nations just because they have large quantities of what has become the lifeblood of our nation. We should be able to have at least partial oil self-sufficiency. Hopefully this crisis in North Africa and the Middle East will prompt oil companies to take action and detach themselves from foreign oil.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  45. john christesen

    Ab solutely....we should aggressively promote drilling in the Gulf,
    in Alaska, off California, off New Jersey.
    We should build more wind mills.
    We should develop more natural gas supplies.
    We should bring oil down to $1.00 a gallon and see our
    economy rebound !!

    March 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  46. Bob D Morristown, NJ


    We are rapidly approaching the day when the amount of petroleum that can be extracted from the ground will fall short of the global demand, and prices will soar. Since there's only so much of the stuff in the ground, when that day arrives, will it really be in our nation's best interest to have exhausted even more of this finite resource from our own reserves?

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  47. Adam T

    Even if we drill on our own soil, our government lays no claim to the oil. It belongs to rich oil companies, and then into an auction system. If Forbes wants to advocate nationalization of energy resources, then he's got my support, but absent that course of action, drilling gets this country nothing.

    Dodge City, Kansas

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  48. Rob in Saratoga Springs, NY

    It's time that we truly invest in alternative energy, not go back to the oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill last year should have been a wake-up call to the downsides of our dependence on oil. If we truly want to have national security, we need to move away from oil as soon as possible. Until we've washed our hands of oil for good, our pocketbooks and sense of security will continue to take lashings when foreign problems occur.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  49. G

    Drill and you run a risk of another spill. How many spills have we had over the years?

    Don't drill and you run the risk of another energy crisis to which we have had many over the years and another one approaching.

    Neither decision is going to be a popular one. At this point I think the stability of the economy is probably more important.

    So drill away but continue to improve on safety as you do it.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  50. Jacquelyn in Missouri

    Jack, did we not learn our lesson last April? While oil prices are skyrocketing and we are feeling the pinch in our pocketbooks, the ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico is struggling to process the massive amounts of crude and chemicals poured into it last year. To say the very least, have you eaten any Oysters from the Gulf lately? If the drilling started today doubt those wells will be producing any time soon. We need to seriously look at long-range options, such as alternative energy sources, and declare our independence from oil, both domestic and foreign, soon or future generations will regret our rash actions today.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  51. Doug Burke

    Absolutely not! We need to get off oil, not drill for more. Aside from the trillions of dollars we spend killing people, taking their oil, and earning their hatred, aside from the insecurity of dependence on oil, burning fossil fuels is killing the planet. The technology is available - if we don't want to fry the earth with global warming, it's past time to go green.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  52. Dustin

    no its time we kept workin on clean energy and electric cars if anything should show u its time ,is when one of these mad men can't hold their power we pay at the pump

    March 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  53. Lindsey

    Absolutely. Not meaning to be insensitive to the families who lost loved ones, but freak accidents happen. There is not a single oil company in existence that would not take every precaution to avoid having another BP oil disaster. BP is still paying and lost a lot of money. The goal for any company is to make money, not lose money. By opening the gulf back up for drilling would be for the greater good of the American population. We have got to stop depending on foreign countries and start being an independent America which is what our country was built upon.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  54. Marty from Red Hook, NY

    Yes we should open up the gulf as well as Alaska protected areas, but with a caveat – create stiff penalties if during drilling or transporting of oil there is a leak of any kind, period. And I mean STIFF!!! Hold the oil companies that make millions of dollars accountable before a drill bit enters the ground.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  55. N. E. Segal

    The oil will still be in the Gulf when we develop safe effective means of extracting it. Like fracking for natural gas, the problem is that the bottom line of the investors doesn't take the environment into account. Maybe it's time it should.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  56. Benjamin

    Absolutely! I understand that we need to be focusing on alternative fuel sources, but until we find an alternative source we can fully depend on, and fully apply to our everyday needs, we remain in constant need of oil. Therefore, just as much as we're concentrating on future alternate sources, we need to focus on the primary source we currently need. If you ask me, we should have begun drilling years ago.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  57. Gregory

    NO! It is time to move forward on the long overdue efforts to use less oil and develop cleaner forms of energy. We have been promised this since 1973,

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  58. Matt

    It's time to aggressively develop alternate fuel vehicles and sources. But as long as there's big profits to be made by the oil industry puppetmasters who control the politicians, that won't happen.

    Saint Augustine, FL

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  59. Scott

    DRILL! It is insane to send money overseas instead of developing our own resources. Use an "all of the above" energy profile: Put wind power offshore the Kennedy compound, develop the new gas finds in the eastern half of the nation, reprocess used nuclear fuel and build new nuclear plants to power the incoming electric cars...how many decades does it take us to make these decisions?

    March 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  60. J R Roorbach

    No it is not time to drill more in the Gulf – for 2 reasons: 1) We need the pressure of high oil prices to spur the development of non-fossil-fuel technology; 2) We will always be able to use the oil that is NOT pumped now more intelligently in the future – that is not just burning it up driving huge cars all over God's green earth.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  61. mark in Las Vegas

    Yes Jack, but the US Government must be more involved with it. It has been proven by the BP leak that civilian industry can not be trusted to drill on its own without oversight.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  62. Joe from Florida

    It's obvious Obama is sitting on the sidelines hoping gas prices force the public at large to act like they are in Wisconsin and push his Green policies. He hopes the public's demands for solar, wind and hybrid cars drive the economy because corporate America can't see a profit in all of Obama's talk yet.

    Meanwhile, we go broke, the Arabs get rich and our economy tanks.

    If there is an upside to all this, I's really like to know.

    DRILL DRILL DRILL, and when we are drowning in domestic oil, comeback and talk to me!

    March 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  63. Aggie in California

    Jack, the major oil companies that drill OUR resources from the Gulf do not pay us royalties and they are not required to sell the oil that they drill to Americans in America, including foreign companies like BP. These same companies have paid ZERO taxes for years. They are now claiming that we owe them tax money, despite their huge profits, due to subsidies. Our environment is not the only thing that is being ravaged.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  64. Ken

    We have to start drilling NOW. Our economy cannot stand gas at 3-5 dollars/ gallon.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  65. Hilda Keene

    Drilling for oil is not the solution Jack. Remember what happened last year in the gulf? It took the oil companies a long time to figure out how to drill a relief well and while that happened, the spill just got worse and worse. It is time these companies are made to account? The drilling rules need changed. We need to know that there is not going to be another mistake like what happened the last time before we feel comfortable with the drilling. Let's face it, our cars are not fuel efficient and that is the problem. Actually, we need higher taxes on gas so that we can consume less of it. We can do with about 80% of the oil we are burning right now. What we need to ask is, do we really have to be that extravagant and consume as much oil as we are consuming right now? I don't think so.

    Bloomington, IN

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  66. Kerry

    If the president did lift the sanctions on oil drilling what guarantees do the American people have that the oil prices would drop? Most likely it would go to line the pockets of the already rich oil companies who don't pay taxes in the first place. Why would we want to risk our environment for them? What are we going to save, a few cents a gallon? Unless they drop substantially, I vote no drilling.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  67. Shawn Louisville Ky

    Jack Great Question

    i say NO. After what happened during the BP oil spill last year are we sure that we wantto take the chance again. look at the damage done to local economies as a result of the spill. what about all the oil that is inside the United states Under Ground. We need to consider the bigger picture and weigh the cost vs the benifiets.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  68. E. Moody

    YES, it's time to aggressively drill in the Gulf of Mexico–in fact, it's past time! Considering the instability in much of the Middle East, this should be a "no brainer".

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  69. Ray Rasmussen

    We must develop our electrical grid, get serious about solar/nuclear combination, it's the only way out of this mess. Electric cars need to be developed. We need responsible elected officials to assist us. Where are they?

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  70. Dennis

    We not only need to drill in the gulf, we need to explore and drill on our own soil. We also need to tap American ingenuity-where are the Edison's, Fulton's and Vanderbilt's of the 21st century! What is also lacking is a government with a backbone to encourage our quest to solve these problems.

    Dennis in Sycamore, Il.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  71. Zach

    Steve Forbes needs to wake up and smell the gas, and oil. The US is becoming overstuffed with natural gas, good for the economy, bad for the industry. Gas prices are less than half the rest of the world pays.
    So are our oil prices. While the Middle East crisis has the rest of the world paying around $112/bbl. we are about $10 less.
    As more onshore production of oil develops, as it is, from shale deposits, the US will reverse the trend to increased dependency on imported oil. In the light of onshore development, it is not likely we need to be aggressive about expensive offshore projects.
    So, Mr. Forbes, please wake up and smell the abundant US reserves of oil and gas from shale deposits.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  72. Austin Mead

    we should continue drilling in the gulf. there is always a risk in any oil drilling. but will open jobs up, lower gas prizes tremendously.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  73. Jack Edwards

    Yea drill in the Gulf the East Coast the West Coast All of Alaska and every other state that has oil We can then stop the cartel

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  74. cog in the wheel

    If by "drill aggressively" you mean ignore safety and environmental standards/regulations, then NO it will never be that time. I am all for energy independence and expect drilling in deep water to begin again, but only if we are able to do so without risking another catastrophe.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  75. Steve K from los angeles

    Absolutely, Jack. The less America depends on the middle east the better. Maybe then we can stop sticking our necks into the constant messes that pop up there, and the nearly 2 billion muslims on earth will stop hating us.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Benjamin

    Why don't we ask if the federal government is prepared to truly monitor and inspect drilling facilities in the gulf? Then I'll have a yes or no answer.

    Los Angeles, CA

    March 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  77. Linda

    Yes! Yes! Yes! What is the US fascination with foreign oil? We supposedly have more oil than any nation. What are we waiting for? Get real. Let's use our own oil. Forget the idealistic notion that we might ruin our country with drilling. We need oil! Let's use our own.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  78. Doug Gentile

    Hi Jack,
    Doesn't anybody get it??? It's time to get OFF THE OIL STANDARD! What's the difference if we are held hostage by a foreign nation or being held hostage by our own oil companies? Nothing. Besides a vast portion of our Gulf reserves are being mined by foreign companies anyway.

    There are alternatives...natural gas, biofuels, renewables, nuclear. Isn't it time to start thinking about our future logically and stop transferring wealth th the wealthy? THINK BABY, THINK!

    March 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  79. Jim H.

    It's not only time to drill in the Gulf, it's time to drill in Alaska as well. Unless we begin to tap the oil rich regions in our own country, the energy crisis will launch our country into an even worse recession. And thousands of jobs were lost when Obama told the oil companies to pick up there rigs and get out. The real question is: Why is the leftwing so eager to send our money to terrorist sponsering states in order to buy what we have right here in America?

    Jim in Jacksonville, Fl.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  80. Mike Eisenfeld

    Let's drill natural gas wells at Timberfield, Forbes' 40-acre estate in Far Hills, New Jersey. I'm sure that a little noise, constant traffic, fumes and an industrial zone for the next 50 years won't impose on the wealthy lifestyle.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  81. Jay Bee

    just look north , we have alot of Oil in the ground , just need that pipeline going south

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  82. Alan Unroe

    Hell yes, we should be drilling in the Gulf. Why do we sit by and let the Chinese set up deals with countries like Brazil. That oil is on our side of the world and the Brazilian gov't has sought our interest in it and also in their excess sugar derived alcohol ethanol. I do believe that the current political powers that be in the US want oil to go sky high. We have 3 Saudi Arabias in Shale in this country and Shell for one has already stated that it could be recovered at 35 dollars a barrel. Pretty soon the Russians will be drilling the oil we won't in the Artic Ocean and the Chinese might even venture into our Gulf areas if we don't ...they could team up with Mexico.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  83. Tom Rosenberger

    Jack, a year ago the media was after Obama because of the spill. So to prevent another one, the admin has been creating new rules and regs and enforcing them. God help Obama if he authorizes resuming drilling at the same level and there's another spill. Forbes can't have it both ways. Either we drill safely with inspections, or pay $5 a gallon.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  84. Hugh Messenger

    Given that oil is a globally traded commodity by private companies, producing more oil from the Gulf doesn't insulate the US from the economic impact of price fluctuations driven by unrest elsewhere in the world. If Libyan oil disappears from the market, the price of Gulf oil goes up – that's simple supply and demand, in a futures based commodity market. If we want to create a nationalized oil company and regulate sales of Gulf oil to ONLY the US, then yes, producing more Gulf oil might make sense from an economic viewpoint.

    - hugh
    Hugh Messenger

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  85. joe brodner

    it's time we moved oil off the stock exchange as the only people who profit from high prices are speculators who drive up the prices for no substantial reason other than it might disrupt oil deliveries and for drilling in the gulf if done safely and not only for quick profits it would help every one in the world not just a select few

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  86. Barbara

    Deep well drilling had successfully operated in the gulf for many years without incident. The surprise to me came when I realized it was a British company in control of the Deep Water Horizon. If new permits are going to be issued in the Gulf, let them be issued to American companies, so we can be responsible for both the operation and product possibilities. Let's turn this economy around and lead the world again...buy American, drill American.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  87. Frank Angelo

    How about aggresievly switching to renewables. If our government could pass a bill that clearly puts us on a path to energy independence, it would deflate the speculation in the oil markets and offer relief in the short term. Good luck with that!

    Mt Holly

    March 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  88. Colin (NJ)

    While it may be necessary to continue to use oil in the near future, every day we refuse to make a true effort at implanting an environmentally sound future is going to cost us exponentially in the future. Unless we as a society sink to a level where we allow the government to drill in our National Parks, the United States has already reached its peak oil production. While there is plenty of oil out there, it is now costlier and more hazardous to obtain as the Gulf oil spill showed. The World could reach peak oil sometime in the next decade and that will cause prices to soar. Now is not the time to drill more aggressively, but rather to move aggressively toward a green future.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  89. Barbara from Middletown, NJ

    Deep well drilling had successfully operated in the gulf for many years without incident. The surprise to me came when I realized it was a British company in control of the Deep Water Horizon. If new permits are going to be issued in the Gulf, let them be issued to American companies, so we can be responsible for both the operation and product possibilities. Let's turn this economy around and lead the world again...buy American, drill American.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  90. Jon Buder


    No, not if we want to break the cycle of constant stupidity. Since the 1970s, the US has known that our depoendence on oil is bad for business. Somehow we go from the Mid-East oil to Gulf oilL and then back whenever there is a crisis in that location. It's time to make a major investment in alternative fuels, infrastructure and technology for a different propulsion methodology. If we drill now in the Gulf, we are setting ourselves up for another spill and more dependence on Mid-East oil again. Get the cycle of stupidity?

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  91. J.L. Ward

    The largest oil reserve in the world...the Baken reserve....underneath Montana, N & S Dakota. President Bush gave the go ahead to drill on Aug. 8, 2005. No oil has been extracted...why not?

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  92. Roman, Butler, Pa

    Jack, I get totally irritated at the stupidity of a country hooked a drug called oil. I read where a biologist surveyed 2600 miles of the Gulf floor and was disgusted what she found. Oil has done nothing but destroy lives and families. Mazda has a car that runs on water. If I was Warren Buffet I'd be talking to Mazda.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  93. Tom Rosenberger

    Jack, a year ago the media was after Obama because of the spill. So to prevent another one, the admin has been creating new rules and regs and enforcing them. What would happen if Obama authorizes resuming drilling at the same level and there's another spill? Forbes can't have it both ways. Either we drill safely with inspections, or pay $5 a gallon.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  94. Kyle in Maryland

    No, until the oil industry can prove beyond a doubt that they can drill in deep water without an incident like deepwater, they should not be allowed to drill. Yes, gas prices are up, but that's no excuse to recklessly start drilling in the gulf again. Fossil fuels are finite, and it's time Americans come to grips with the fact that they cannot keep consuming them like they always have.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  95. Jeanne Douglas

    We import oil from Canada in a greater amount than the Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East combined! No this is not the time to drill again in the Gulf of Mexico. This precious region is the source of fresh seafood, home to many endangered birds, fish, and mammals. People who want drilling again do not live in this region and do not care if we ruin this beautiful spot on the Earth! Please, let's wait until better environmental protections are in place!

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  96. Steve: California

    Frankly, I can't afford this stupid hybrid cars, so when and if the prices reach a level the common person can afford without paying 9% interest on a $30k car, NO ONE is going to run and buy these cars even if gas reaches $10 a gallon.

    We are broke now, later we will be rioting in the streets like Egypt.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  97. Jack Dempsey

    Jack , I've been called a Oil Addict one time to many . What choice do we really have ? What serious steps have been taken to Change anything? I'm 55 Years old and have heard this Crap since I started driving in the early 1970's. Is drilling for more oil any where really the answer? It's time for this country to find other ways to solve this problem and stop calling the American People Addicts! Jack From Nice, Ca.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  98. Richard Texas

    Jack you ain't seen nothing yet. Oil is going to continue to go up in price and people are going to have to adapt. Then and only then will we get off the oil merry go round. People are reluctant to change and they will only change when it costs them too much not too.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  99. Rick Harkley

    The US imports most of their oil from their largest trading partner, Canada. No turmoil, no unrest, great freindly neighbours, Alberta has the largest reserves of oil in the world. Pipelines are being built to take this oil south to our neighbour, the USA. Americans don't hear about these things. The US government continues to import oil from the Middle East for who knows what reason. Canada has what the US needs, a ready, steady supply of oil for the next 100 years. Americans need to wake up.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  100. ron

    is it possible to allow more aggressive drilling in the gulf only under the condition that participating oil companies be forced to funnel unprecedented percentages their profits toward the development of renewable energies. seems otherwise, were just perpetuating the problem.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  101. Myles from Calabasas

    Any idea or plan that lessens our interest in and dependance on the Middle East is a good one. The thought of an America free of political concern and interest in the Middle East makes me giddy inside.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  102. David Cozart

    The US should use all the energy resources at it's disposal. This includes drilling, building pipelines, and refineries in the gulf, in Alaska, and all other areas that are practical. We should push wind, solar, ethanol. While at the same time designing urban areas for public transportation and pedestrian traffic.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  103. Bill in South TX


    We want to pay British Petroleum our dollars. Heaven forbid we would build and buy economical Fords & Chevys or build wind generators and solar collectors. Those would only create jobs for Americans but, not gobs of cash for the oil speculators. Don’t forget about gas. We can pollute most of the country with deep rock fracturing to collect gas.

    We can always import sea food from China. The chemical preservatives work pretty well most of the time.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  104. Ben Pace

    Yes, it is past time that we need to aggressively drill in the gulf and everywhere else that we feasibly can. As a nation & world, we are overly dependent on oil. As long as we recognize that and aggressively work toward other forms of energy, that is ok. What is not ok, is continuing to put the nation in harms way by relying on foreign supplies as we currently do.

    Ben Pace

    March 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  105. Claudia in Houston

    Agressively drilling for oil in the Gulf is important but tax payers aren't willing to bear the costs while big oil companies get the largest proceeds and screw us at the pump.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  106. Chris Boehm

    The bar has been raised for companies drilling in American controlled waters. Working for the world’s largest drilling supplier, I have seen firsthand the efforts made by the platforms and the drill ships in the Gulf complying with the new rules for drilling. It’s time to get back to work and give these floating hotels something to do before the all leave for foreign waters. Let’s get away from "Not in my backyard" attitude or get used to the higher prices.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  107. John

    It's past time, and believe me, people along the gulf coast will remember the ban on drilling in the deep water, and why can't we drill in shallow water? The fishing boats leave Pensacola, Fl. and head out to the oil wells in Alabama's waters, fishing is great around oil wells. People will remember this on voting day, We need to drill in other parts of our country too, if the middle east is taken over by extremists, they could ban oil to us, or cut the flow so that we could be hurting much worse than we are now.

    John, from Alabama

    March 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  108. Eddie from Colorado

    We may need to drill very carefully, but we need to accelerate alternatives. Gas prices go down, and people buy SUVs. Gas prices go up and people buy small cars. Right wingers seem to shun and snub hybrids thinking nobody wants them (Limbaugh). I bought my Camry Hybrid four and a half years ago at less cost than the gas version, thanks to State and Federal rebates. I have had NO problems with it and I get anywhere from 36 to 46 MPG, depending on conditions. On a grand scale more Hybrids and other alternatives like Biofuels could stem the need for aggressive drilling. Let's quit thinking 0 to 60 in warp speed, and think how many gas stations we can pass up.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  109. josie rebol

    NO, NO, NO. When the oil companies are forced to meet safety standards, then we can think about it. Right now, we've got to think of the ocean life. What's more important? The food we get from the ocean or profits for the oil companies who send their oil to other countries, anyway? I'm thinking of those dead baby dolphins and God only knows what else is going to die because these people are so greedy they don't care about anything but themselves. And who knows what we are eating that is coming from the contaminated ocean? Learn to drive smaller cars or take a bus.

    Spanish Fork, Utah

    March 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  110. Cathy Church

    This is a slanted question–there are more options. I would agree with drilling ONLY if a portion of the proceeds went toward renewable energy production, and ONLY if we don't subsidize the high profit margin of the oil companies. We should take the money that is given to support oil and use it to support making us independent of oil.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  111. Jeff

    We should not drill aggressively, we should drill responsibly.
    Full disclosure, I own Diamond Offshore.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  112. Jim B, Keeseville New York

    Absolutely yes, it is our oil not BP’s. Moreover it would be best to move forward with production of solar & battery powered autos. We have the technology but we are held hostage by large oil companies that are blocking production.
    Jim from Keeseville, NY

    March 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  113. Bob in Houston

    Since the Republicans have blocked President Obama's attempts to cut subsidies from big oil companies, I think now is a good time to enact Sarah Palin's energy policy "drill, baby drill." Without good, hard-working people standing up for the American oil industry, who will protect the $1 trillion in profits they made in the last ten years? I think that, since the crisis in the Middle East, it is time to start investing in nuclear power; if we don't, we will be importing the technology from China in 15 years.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  114. Charles

    Yes but at the SAME time increase wind and solar and CNG vehicles. The Gulf will help some but it alone is not the answer.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  115. Alexi

    As much as it seems that drilling in the gulf is a terrible idea, you need to ask yourself, is our economic progress worth losing over someone else's civil war? The government has many safe guards in place after last summer, it's a risk worth taking, the only other options will ruin us.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  116. Frank A.

    The oil companies will gouge the American public as long as the Republicans hold any branch of government.
    $3.30 per gal. completely justfied just ask Boehner.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  117. wally in sw fl

    dear jack:tho the drill baby drill crowd won't care,why not use the abundant resources we already have?perhaps it's too cheap-it's natural gas.it's everywhere,it's coming out our ears.the aussies mandate it in taxis.any where there is a fixed base it would be easy=local delivery etc.no big infrastructure problems. wally k

    March 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  118. Renee Peoria,Ill

    It's not just about our dependence on foreign oil, it's about our dependence on oil period. The oil companies use a lot of their money and all their clout to push back the drive toward alternative fuels; shortsighted. There is only so much oil on the planet, at the rate we're using it oil companies will be out of business by the turn of the next century; sooner if the demand in countries like India and China continue to rise. It doesn't matter how much we drill or where. Sooner or later all the wells will run dry. Our civilization as a whole will be facing a catastrophe if we're still oil driven when that time comes. If we had been listening to President Carter 30 years ago, we wouldn't be having this conversation now.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  119. Robert

    Oil is not the solution, it's the problem. We do not need to turn our country into a giant oil field, we need to stop using oil. It's damaging to the country to use, it's damaging to the country to get. Oil is the past and the current situation should push our country to get off oil altogether, not drill for more.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  120. Aaron Seattle

    WHY do we have to drill any more at all??? We have the technology, folks, to bring the Middle East to ITS knees by developing our own sustainable resources here at home! We will always need oil, yes, however we would not need it in the quantities consumed if we were smarter with our energy resources and infrastructure and its utilization thereof. This whole oil "problem" really stems more from America's lack of ingenuity, invention, and will power than it is people in the Middle East fighting for their rights and freedom.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  121. Blair

    Have we forgotten what happened just last year? The tourism industry in Florida hasn't. If one Gulf Coast state decides to open drilling and there's an accident, all of them have to pay.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  122. Bedford, TX

    The oil companies are costing the American public dearly and seem to be the only ones living the American Dream now. Make them pay the taxes they owe us first, drastically drop oil prices in the USA, then we can talk oil leases.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  123. Chris Donat

    I think drilling in the Gulf in not necessary. Lowering prices mean exporting from friendly nations with a cheap transport price, and Canada is the best example. They have the second most oil reserves in the world next to Saudi Arabia. Canada has a historic friendship with the US and transporting across the border is much cheaper than shipping oil half-way across the world.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  124. JImm

    Why...anything drilled in the gulf goes on the world market. It would represent a small increase in production and would not change prices. Its time to find other sources of energy.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  125. Bob

    I don't think so. For those who understand, the risk of destruction is just too great. We still do not know the long term effects of the last oil spill nor do we know how to prevent another spill. I know that for the crowd who wants cheap gas for their SUV's, destruction of the environment is not high on their list of concerns. For the majority, we will continue to assess the risk, look for alternative solutions, purchase fuel efficient vehicles, and vote against political leaders who want to resume high risk oil drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  126. William DeWerff

    Every statistic I found, says 1/3 (32%) of the oil we PRODUCE comes from the Gulf. However, the U.S. consumes 20 millions barrels of oil per day, while we produce less than 10 million barrels per day. Since you can't get blood from a stone, it would seem we have a consumption problem.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  127. Chet Krcil

    We should have started last fall. Only idiots think that the green revolution will solve our energy needs. The free market will determine when and if wind and solar will provide any meaningfull energy without ruining the economy. Every green job created eliminates 2 non-green jobs. Just ask anyone who is familiar with what happened in Spain.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  128. marxistrkc

    There has been no shortage is oil or even a threat of one since the crisis began. Oil will not be drilled in the gulf of Mexico because current situations are too profitable. It's going to be very interesting but none-the-less surprising when oil companies post profit for this year and are higher than expected. Capitalizing on other people's tragedy, now that's original.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  129. Joel Kelly

    Sure and why not Jack? There's not much left alive down there anymore anyway, and what's left is contaminated beyond repair.
    How much worse can it get? (please don't answer that)

    March 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  130. Cathy Church

    We will never become independent of oil until we HAVE to. If we open up drilling in the gulf, we just put off a little longer the necessity of renewable energy. We keep dumping our acidic Carbon dioxide into the oceans, we keep adding pollutants to the air and the water. Only the highest prices for oil will make short sighted people wake up to the need to change our ways.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm |