The Instigator
Azul145
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
wrichcirw
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Should we drill for oil in the United States?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
wrichcirw
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2012 Category: Economics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,755 times Debate No: 27663
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (6)

 

Azul145

Pro

Oil is a rich resource that I feel isn't taken advantage of. The United States would be much richer if we drilled for it.I have 3 main points to back up my argument.

(1) High gas prices
(2) Energy independent America
(3) Saves government funds

You have probably experience my first main point. Gas prices have gone up 40 percent in the last 4 years. The people we are buying our oil from are raising the prices because of middle eastern tension. We mainly get our oil from Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Each one of these countries has experienced difficulty in the last 12 years. Gas prices have gone up since them. If America drilled its own oil we wouldn't have to worry about all of this and gas prices would be much cheaper because of competition between companies. This leads me into my second main point.

America needs to be energy independent. Obama is shutting down coal plants and nuclear plants so we are low on energy. If we get oil and find ways for reusable resources then we will have more energy and energy bills will be less. Many people in politics agree with these ideas put the democrats won't give it there vote.

My last main point is drilling for oil saves our government funds. The government needs to pay for the oil itself and shipping from the Middle East to America. We are going through struggles with the Middle East so they will continue to raise the prices. If private companies are allowed to drill, gas prices will be lowered and we will even make money by shipping it to others. America has 3 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia and we must take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Thank you for your time and I wish my opponent good luck.
wrichcirw

Con

Thanks for starting this debate, this is a very interesting topic.

1) High gas prices

We buy our oil from many sources - in fact, the oil we import from Canada and Mexico is almost as much as from all of OPEC combined. [1] There have been numerous proposals floated, such as the Keystone Pipeline, that would allow us to import more oil from these local sources instead of from OPEC, yet for whatever reason the US has not done so.

Because such plentiful local sources are available, whether or not the US specifically drills for more oil is a moot point. The main problem is that US policy does not seem to discriminate where we get our oil. If our oil imports were derived from these local sources, oil and gasoline prices would more than likely fall dramatically, as we are the world's largest oil importer and consumer. Sure, drilling would also help prices fall, but it would be more prudent and more feasible to simply import more oil from local producers, and formulate a cohesive national energy policy. Much of the new finds in the US involve hydraulic fracking, and the jury is still out as to whether or not this is a safe practice. In Canada their sources of hydrocarbons involve less of this innovative but potentially dangerous technique. Better to import from them while we get all the kinks out of shale gas and hydraulic fracking. [7]

2) Energy Independent America

a) I also believe in an energy independent America, but not for the reasons you state. Regarding Obama and coal, "According to energy experts, the falloff in coal's share of power can be attributed mostly to the rise of cheap natural gas, rather than polices emanating from Washington." [2]
b) Reusable energy sources are simply not economically viable. [3] Only geothermal and onshore wind power have comparable cost structures to hydrocarbon sources, and sources of both of these types of energy are very limited. This is evident when looking at current sources of power generation in the US despite similar cost structures of wind and geothermal. [4]
c) The most feasible solution - short term and long term - is to cut US energy consumption. This is the optimal path to energy independence, and does not involve any additional drilling. Currently, the US consumes per capita more energy than any other net-energy-importing nation in the world. [5][6] This is not sustainable, even with more drilling.

3) Saves government funds

The government is not the largest purchaser of oil imports, it is the US consumer that is the largest purchaser of oil imports. Companies like Exxon and Chevron pay for the shipping of oil into the US, not the federal government. Therefore, saving government funds is a moot point for the PRO argument.

Just to reiterate, close to a majority of our oil imports are from Canada and Mexico. This can easily become a majority if we wished it to be.

Summary

Instead of drilling, a combination of a cohesive energy policy that discriminates between oil imports from local producers and OPEC, and energy conservation would be far more advantageous for the US to pursue. We already drill for enough oil.

[1] http://www.eia.gov...
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7]
Debate Round No. 1
Azul145

Pro

Yes we get oil from Mexico and Canada but we get more from the middle east. The keystone pipeline was not signed by Barack Obama and this would have tripled our oil imports from Canada. We actually have about 40% more oil coming from the middle east than Canada and Mexico combined. You may have your facts wrong about Barack Obama and his war on coal and nuclear power. The E.PA. is an agency he chooses to keep and they set up rules against it. Therefore Obama doesn't support coal or nuclear power. Reusable resources could be very plentiful but like you said the consumers don't want them. What you didn't say was that the science for it has not not been developed all the way. Once this developes, people will see that this will save them money and buy it. We have to fund the science first. The government does arrange trade for oil but they don't buy all of it like you said companies buy it too. If we drilled for oil gas would actually be much cheaper because companies would be competing for the lowest prices and best business. That is what capitalism is. Thank you
wrichcirw

Con

"We actually have about 40% more oil coming from the middle east than Canada and Mexico combined."

This is categorically false. The source I cited (the EIA) states that we imported 128mil barrels of oil from all of OPEC, and 117mil barrels of oil from Canada and Mexico for the month of September. We import nearly as much from North America as from the Middle East. It would be much easier to import more oil from North America than to continue to rely on Middle Eastern oil. This is one of a number of reasons why we need a cohesive energy policy.

"The keystone pipeline was not signed by Barack Obama and this would have tripled our oil imports from Canada."

We are in agreement here in that this proposal would be a better avenue towards getting America to energy independency. Such a proposal would hopefully be part of a cohesive energy policy for the US.

"You may have your facts wrong about Barack Obama and his war on coal and nuclear power. "

I cited a credible source - unfortunately, Obama's policies have been almost wholly irrelevant to getting America to energy independency. I consider this to be the primary problem, much more so than additional drilling. We need a cohesive energy policy MUCH MORE than we need additional drilling.

" Reusable resources could be very plentiful but like you said the consumers don't want them. "

This was not what I said. I said that renewable resources were not economically viable.

" What you didn't say was that the science for it has not not been developed all the way. Once this developes, people will see that this will save them money and buy it. We have to fund the science first."

This has nothing to do with more or less drilling.

"If we drilled for oil gas would actually be much cheaper because companies would be competing for the lowest prices and best business. "

Businesses ALREADY compete for the lowest prices in oil and gas. I don't see how additional drilling would change a business's preference for lower oil prices. They will want them anyway, drilling or no drilling.

Conclusion:
The main point is that there are other strategies that would be much more advantageous to implement for the short, medium, and long term than additional drilling, such as developing a cohesive energy policy and energy conservation. Judging from your rebuttal, you largely agree with my perspective.
Debate Round No. 2
Azul145

Pro

Good game. You win
wrichcirw

Con


Thanks, well played.
Debate Round No. 3
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Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Hello Azul145,

I guess one good turn deserves another. :)

I'm actually for drilling, but I will take the devil's advocate stance here. Good luck!
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
Azul145wrichcirwTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with pro and con in round 3. Con wins THIS debate however :) Could be a much bigger debate, this is a huge subject.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Azul145wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Azul145wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro must have reached a new level of awful to lose this debate.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
Azul145wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter TMR- Unexplained Source and Spelling Points.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
Azul145wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made a compelling argument, using sources, which pro conceded.
Vote Placed by The_Master_Riddler 4 years ago
The_Master_Riddler
Azul145wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro forfeited