I have lots of Democratic friends. I saw a few of them yesterday, and guess what? They suddenly want to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
They saw the gasoline prices yesterday at $4.10 a gallon, and something clicked. They got beyond the Democratic gospels about an untouchable Alaskan holy land. They got beyond their hatred for ExxonMobil.
“It’s obvious we need more supply,” one Democrat told me. “I don’t see why we can’t get it from Alaska. What harm could it do?”
Another Democrat said, “The Chinese have more than a billion people, and they all want to get off their bicycles. If they’re going to keep bidding up oil prices, something’s going to give. I’d like to keep my car. We need more oil of our own.”
No oil to invest in. They know ExxonMobil is making a filthy killing in this energy crisis, but what galls them even more is the knowledge that ExxonMobil can’t spend any of its $40 billion in profits to find American oil in the most obvious places.
They know that, if ExxonMobil is making $40 billion a year skimming off the top of Saudi, Russian and Venezuelan oil shipments, about five times that profit is going to Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela (and Iran indirectly), draining the U.S. and boosting some rather unsavory dictators and other deadly mischief-makers.
The most obvious untouched American oil field is ANWR. My Democratic friends want us to start drilling there now, immediately.
Off-shore, nuclear, shale. My Democratic buddies also want U.S. oil companies to start exploring for oil in promising off-shore locations, like the area off Florida where the Chinese and Cubans are drilling for oil at this moment.
And nuclear power plants. These suddenly focused Democrats want lots of new nuclear plants, built even safer than the old ones. And they want our vast public lands in Colorado and Utah open to experimental drilling for oil shale.
I have the feeling these Democrats are the same Democrats who nominated Barack Obama for president. They want change. They want American energy independence fast. That they’ll vote for.