- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2013

How can we put 140,000 Americans to work, lower our unemployment rate, cut our manufacturing costs, lower gas prices dramatically, become energy independent and get out of the Middle East, where we are despised by virtually everyone? Drill, baby, drill.

According to our government’s Energy Information Administration, we extracted 225,000 barrels of crude oil a day out of the Bakken Reserve in 2010. Most analysts think that number could go up to 1 million by 2020.

There are more than 88 billion barrels of oil and 400 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Outer Continental Shelf that is off-limits to our development through 2017. Why?

The Bakken and Outer Continental Shelf represent just a portion of our natural resources wasting away while our economy is on the brink of disaster. We consume 19 million barrels of oil a day and buy more than half of it from foreign countries, most of them anti-American. Come on, Congress, use that magic bullet.

DICKIE BENZIE

Charlotte, N.C.