Our opinion: Uncertainty proves we need more drilling, refineries

While we are, of course, relieved to see that the price per gallon of home heating oil fall by as much as $1.75 the past several weeks, we — and, we imagine, many of our readers — remain frustrated that in the past year or so prices rose so much, so fast, anyways.

As we have frequently editorialized, major parts of the solution are clear: The U.S. needs more domestic drilling. The U.S. needs to encourage development of refineries to produce both more gasoline and more home heating oil.

We have never been opposed to the development of renewable energy sources. We are excited by the news in Tuesday’s edition that offshore wind projects in California are taking another step forward. We want our energy sources to be diverse and not reliant on one or two resources, leaving the U.S. vulnerable to a magnified impact if costs for that resource skyrocket.

But part of having a diverse or multi-faceted approach to energy, especially in the immediate future, is to recognize and accept that oil and natural gas still play a vital role. Part of caring for the well-being of American families and the United States as a whole is to not abandon what have been reliable sources of affordable energy for decades before alternative energy is truly ready.

We can — as we have done for decades — continue to improve how we drill for oil and natural gas, to make it safer and reduce the impact on the environment. We can continue to fund research into and development of alternative energy, including solar, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric, so that we are less dependent on oil and natural gas.

But we cannot justify pretending that we can soon end our use of oil and natural gas, even as some insist we can use too little, too soon. The crushing impact on our friends and neighbors is unacceptable. The strain it places on the budgets of hard-working Pennsylvanians is unacceptable. We deserve and should expect better.


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