Our Country endures a huge Trade deficit, a horrible percentage of which is Oil and Gas importation. The Bush and Oil industry desire to drill in the Alaskan Reserve seems dubious, as the Reserve represents proven Oil reserves which can only appreciate in value over Time, making Alaska the true Strategic Oil Reserve. Drilling technology will only improve over time, and the Government should be funding new Energy technologies of all types--a far greater need than the Proscription Drug law in a period where the Private sector can still finance their Drug needs (just barely). Our real long-term need remains Energy sourcing.
There are Short-term improvements which can be made:
1) A Federal law stating American new Make cars must meet the highest Fuel Consumption standards anywhere in the World, which are currently being met by their own domestic car industry. Failure to meet these standards shall be a fine of $1000 per mile per vehicle produced under the mileage rate of the highest Fuel Consumption standard.
2) A Railway law which refunds the rail system, especially the rail car complement. The Law should dipulate that sunken and covered Track should run in the center between all Interstate lanes (two lanes--for alternate direction simulataneously). Railway cars should be designed to accomodate one or two Semi Tractor-trailers, along with Sleeper and Lunch cars. Quick-time loading and unloading facilities are to be built at every major city along the Interstate routes, and twenty car maximum train length alongside of insistence of a train heading in each direction every four hours(or upon full booking--meals and sleeping compartment free with the freight charge). Total Funding--$3 trillion over a decade.
3) Geological survey of all closed Oil fields with intent to determine if they could be reopened utilizing new technologies at Cost competitive with World Oil Prices.
4) Fund search for a new Gas substitute formed by industrial process from modern waste carbon. Landfills could be recycled, and weeds and excess foliage could be used ( the Author once suggested algae tanks in the Oceans).
5) Use of City block central Hot Water heaters run on cheap fuel, and built on projected usage, with connection with other Block heaters to cancel downtime.
Each of the above measures have a potential of canceling one-tenth of the foreign Oil and Gas imported at the minimum, and can cut the potential Energy bill much further. Long-term energy policy must develop a Gas substitute culled from the surface--whether sewage, waste products, or grown Carbons. The Author is enamored of a liquid plastic computer-dispenced through carbuation, which could get 300 miles per pint. lgl