Drill Here, Drill Now, Sell Abroad
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sarah Palin popularized the “Drill Here, Drill Now” slogan, supporting expanded oil and gas exploration everywhere in the United States, regardless of environmental concerns, in order to reduce gas prices for American drivers. The “policy” didn’t take into account the fact that oil is a global commodity which meant that any oil extracted in the United States would be sold on a global market and only minimally affect the price at the pump for Americans.
Obviously, since the McCain-Palin ticket didn’t win, the “policy” hasn’t been implemented, though Obama did make an unfortunate gesture towards expanding drilling immediately prior to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Nonetheless, the phenomenon ignored by Drill Here, Drill Now is playing out in the oil markets today: oil extracted in the United States is being exported to other countries because of the tepid appetite for gasoline among American consumers and the exports are keeping gasoline prices high here in the United States. Even if we were extracting more oil, the same thing would be happening. Oil is sold were it can garner the most profit, not where it’s extracted, and expanded oil drilling in the United States won’t bring down prices at the pumps. “Drill Here, Drill Now” sounds great, but it’s really just a charade.