George Will is still fighting the battles of years past. In The Gas Prices We Deserve, Will says the US would be a much rosier place if we had simply started drilling in ANWR 13 years ago.
Specifically, he insinuates that not doing so was tantamount to “taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline” today. Then he goes on to talk about how safe it would have been:
ANWR is larger than the combined areas of five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware), and drilling along its coastal plain would be confined to a space one-sixth the size of Washington’s Dulles airport….Of the more than 7 billion barrels of oil pumped offshore in the past 25 years, 0.001 per cent — that is one-thousandth of 1 per cent — has been spilled.
We’ll take him for his word on those facts, although their veracity could (and should) be debated. But what’s ridiculous here is that this is the best solution Will could come up with even if he were able to roll back the clock 10 years.
What does Will NOT do in his fantasy time machine? Invest in alternative energy. Develop an intelligent, sustainable energy policy. In a column about how drilling in ANWR a decade ago would have been our last great hope for low gas prices, he completely ignores the investments that could have been made in renewable energy over the last decade.
The strong point of his column? Will admits that begging the Saudis and OPEC for more oil is pathetic.