Good economic medicine needed
Another way to stimulate the economy would be to expand oil drilling. Crude has dropped to around $90 a barrel on the news of the looming economic slump, but it is estimated that the U.S. spends about $1 billion per day more on oil than just two years ago. Meanwhile, we are sitting on billions of barrels in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and two trillion barrels in oil shale in the western U.S. and Canada. Drilling in one location is currently being held up for fear of the effect on polar bears. From the We’re-Not-Making-This-Up Files, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) wants to block drilling in the Chukchi Sea (OCS lease 193) until the Department of Interior classifies the polar bear as an “endangered species,” despite the fact that the polar-bear population is healthy and growing. In fact, the population of about 25,000 is nearly three times what it was 50 years ago. Lease 193 and ANWR together represent nearly $3 trillion to the economy.