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.