In 1980, I was ten years old and Captain and Tennille climbed the charts with “Do That To Me One More Time”.

In 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Coastal Plain of ANWR could contain up to 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

(Sadly, I knew more about the Captain and his lady than I did oil and natural gas in 1980.)

Today is different.

America has changed our musical tastes since then. Changed our clothing styles, our hairstyles, our jobs, where we live, what we drive, what we eat. Most importantly, we’ve changed (and grown) our dependency on foreign oil and energy.

The one constant during all this though is we haven’t drilled in ANWR.

Maybe it’s because the environmentalists still hold those little muskrats (or caribou) dear to their hearts? Who knows?

I do know one thing: gas prices weren’t $4 a gallon in the 80s and MAYBE if we had drilled then, we wouldn’t be looking at $4 a gallon now. Or maybe if we had pushed for energy alternatives almost 30 years ago, we wouldn’t be sending billions of dollars overseas.

Sure, to the cynics the Drill Here, Drill Now movement screams of more political pandering. To many Americans though it’s common sense. And if there’s one thing I feel we need more of in politics, it’s common sense.

Last week I put two simple maps on the blog to show what exactly everyone’s been talking about.

Many argue drilling in ANWR will have negative effects on the region. I would argue (as I’ve read during research) that particular argument is similar to saying an airport in Greenville would have a negative effect on the state of South Carolina. That’s the relative sizes we’re talking about.

I won’t bore you with statistics. At this point, if you’re not on board with America exploring onshore/offshore drilling you never will be.

I’ve learned (in life/politics) that if statistics support your position – they are valid. If statistics oppose your position, they are erroneous and biased.

Such is the case in state government with the cigarette tax, or better yet, income tax reductions to spur growth, school choice, and other “progressive” ideas so that we may actually move our state forward instead of waiting 30 years when situations are even more dire than now.

Like those important items in South Carolina, oil exploration and enery independence require action. Congress must act now that Bush lifted the White House ban on offshore drilling. Congress must do what they should have done years ago. If they don’t, we’ll be right back here singing the blues again.

Kinda like we are with many issues in state government.

Take time today to email your Congressman about this important issue and, please, email me anytime on state issues important to you.