Options w/ More Mileage than ANWR

Ned Farquhar, a regular columnist for the Albuquerque Journal, is one of my favorite punching bags. His stances on most issues are predictably left-wing and rely on the coercive power of big-government.
A recent column of his, “Four Options with More Mileage than ANWR,” remains stuck in my crawl. In his article, Farquhar expresses his opposition to drilling in ANWR on the grounds that the area would produce “only” a million barrels a day and “only” reduce our reliance on foreign oil from 65 percent to 60 percent. Considering that the US uses approximately 20 million barrels daily, I’d say that it is well-worth drilling on 20,000 acres of frozen tundra (half the size of the District of Columbia) in a wildlife refuge the size of South Carolina.
Obviously, drilling in ANWR alone is not the answer to all our energy needs and “energy independence” is not a reasonable or relevant goal, but we are reliant on oil (not addicted as Farquhar would assert) and we have to drill for it somewhere.
But, Farquhar believes otherwise. His preference is for (1) electric cars which are not on the market yet (and rely on some other energy source like nuclear) and hybrids which still use gasoline. Clearly, this is at best a partial option for the future. (2) Farquhar predictably pushes renewables which he admits generate less than 2 percent of our energy. He claims, apparently using a magic wand, that we can up that to 25 percent by 2020. (3) Use bio-fuels. Again, it sounds nice on paper, but can we really ramp up production to necessary levels? (4) More efficient vehicles (using government mandates). Again, no details are necessary and individual preferences are ignored.
The ironic thing is that with oil at $130/barrel, the market, not government bureaucrats, is the most powerful force acting on behalf of efficiency. Demand for fuel efficient cars and hybrids has skyrocketed. Now, most Americans are unhappy with current fuel prices, but if Farquhar and his friends in the environmental movement have their way, fuel prices will go up and freedom will drop. It couldn’t be any simpler than that.

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