Unfortunately, offshore drilling is the logical next-step for oil exploration, but it is not a desirable action that we as a society should be taking to further the needs of our energy base and economy. Quite the opposite, we need to stop using fossil fuels and move toward renewable energy.
I believe that any kind of off shore drilling would be able to be implemented in a timely manner. The sooner that the USA is not dependent on foreign the better. The faster that we set up the drilling the sooner we are not dependent on the middle east. We should be able to put up a few stations and then eventually the rest. It will not be a quick process but it will pay off and will be a lot more timely than if we wait till we are cut off from oil.