Kenneth B. Medlock III, fellow in energy studies at the Baker Institute, expands a previous FAQ about rising gasoline prices and writes an op-ed about why the moratorium on drilling in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) should be lifted
Gasoline prices are the most widely covered petroleum product price in the media. We often see stories in the media that ask the question, "Who is to blame for high prices at the pump?" The anger expressed on the local news by the gasoline station patron who is upset about the price of gasoline as he fills up his large, low-efficiency sport utility vehicle is almost comical, but his anger is not entirely misguided. The fact is that no single party is to blame for high prices, and understanding why prices are so high is not simple. Thus, it is important to ask, "What can be done to reduce gasoline prices?" It is imperative that policy be designed to produce sustainable long-term solutions, regardless of what is politically popular.
Why we should lift restrictions on the OCS
As the price of gasoline reaches unprecedented highs, Americans have begun to actively think about ways to lower fuel prices. Recent government statistics indicate 2007 saw the largest year-on-year decline in miles driven since the late 1970s. Record-high crude oil prices are the primary reason for record-high gasoline prices, and a confluence of factors is responsible for the recent run-up in crude oil prices. One important factor behind the strength of oil prices is the expectation of inadequate future oil supply. This has led to a debate regarding the removal of drilling access restrictions in the OCS.
Medlock has also been featured as an expert on the debate website of Opposing Views, Inc. He takes a stance on the question, "Should the U.S. Allow Offshore Oil Drilling?"