Local survey: Drill for oil and do it now

Local survey: Drill for oil and do it now

Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 6:53 pm
By: John Brannon Messenger Staff Reporter

By JOHN BRANNON Messenger Staff Reporter A classic example of what Americans are doing to adjust to soaring fuel prices is what Bobby Scott has done. For a long time, the Martin man commuted five days a week to and from Union City, where he works at Cal-houn’s Spotting and Loading Service. He still commutes, but he’s made a major change in how he does it. He bought a 1983 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle and parked his late model Chevrolet Silverado pickup. “I get about 40 miles to a gallon as opposed to 10 or 12 with the Silverado,” he said. Scott was one of several people The Messenger contacted in a random interview. High fuel prices are undoubtedly much on the mind of John Q. Public. Of the many people contacted in the survey, only two people declined to participate. The two questions asked were: • Do you support offshore drilling along America’s coast for new sources of crude oil? Tuesday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a barrel of crude traded at $137. Pump prices vary from $3.75 a gallon to $4 a gallon for gasoline, and $4.52 to $4.64 a gallon for diesel fuel. • How have you been affected by the soaring price of gas and diesel? Two voices Scott said offshore drilling should be allowed. “If it would help, I say go for it,” he said. “Every little bit would help. These high prices are hurting me. I say drill in Alaska, too (in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge). We’ve got to have some help somewhere down the line.” Tim Johnson of Troy agrees. He said if offshore drilling would help lower prices at the pump, “go for it.” “What I want to know is, are they going to drill in Alaska? I don’t have a problem with it, if they do,” he said. “If it’s done right, it won’t hurt the environment. We have got to do something. I’ve got to where I can’t afford to buy gas any more. I may have to go back to horses.” Raymon Douglas of Union City poses a rhetorical question. “When’s the last time you heard of an oil spill? I say drill offshore and drill in Alaska, too,” he said. “My car gets 30 miles to the gallon. But I’m still spending twice as much for gas as I used to. I feel for the people who have to drive 30 or 40 miles a day just to go to work. It’s hurting them. It’s cutting into their paychecks.” Others sound off Others lending their voices to this critical issue include: • Tommy Jerden of Hornbeak “Yes, drill offshore,” he said. “This thing has hurt me real bad. I have to pay more and it costs more to do anything. How long can we go on like this? I don’t know. Something’s got to give.” • Jerry Cunningham of Hornbeak “I don’t see why not (drill offshore),” he said. “We need some kind of relief. Tractor fuel is out of sight. I’m a cattle farmer. Everything you do costs more. If it doesn’t get any worse than it is now, people will make it. They’ll adjust. But if it keeps going up, everybody will be in big trouble. I worry about the people living on fixed incomes. It’s not only gas, it’s food, too.” • Alice Green of Troy “I say yes. We have to do something. We can’t depend on anybody but ourselves,” she said. “We ought to use any resources we can get our hands on. The prices (of fuel) are killing me. I went to the grocery store, spent $46. I put $6 gas in the car and parked it until I left for work.” Ms. Green had one silver lining in her Tuesday work day. Her son, Sean, a 2008 graduate of Obion County Central High School, called from Parris Island, S.C., to say he’s OK. Sean, a Marine Corps recruit, left Sunday for 13 weeks of boot camp. • Bobby Johnson of Troy “If it would help the situation, yes, drill offshore,” he said. “We should do it as long as we don’t mess up the environment. Put some safeguards in place to protect the environment. I just shut my car down. I don’t drive as much as I used to.” Johnson is a retired Goodyear associate. • Spencer Maloney of Troy “I think we should allow offshore drilling. We ought to explore Alaska, too. It might help lower gas prices. We use a lot of diesel fuel on the farm and diesel keeps going up and up.” • Lyn Maloney of Troy “I would support offshore drilling if they would be careful about it. As long as they take precautions, I don’t have a problem with it,” he said. “There used to be a time, when we put a crop in, that fuel prices weren’t a factor. You just didn’t figure in fuel prices. Now, we count every trip to town. Instead of running to town every time we need something, we go and do four or five things in one trip. We went this morning and made five stops.” • Clifford Clark of Paducah, Ky. “Drill it. Do it. Do it now,” he said. “We service convenience stores and truck stops. We are paying twice as much for gas and diesel as we used to. A lot of this can be attributed to politics and the upcoming presidential election. The Democrats got control of Congress. They said they were going to take care of business. They said there’d be lower prices, lower taxes. Well, you see where we are now. So much for the Democrats’ bright ideas. We ought to give it back to the Republicans. They couldn’t do much worse than what we have now.” • James Daniels of Troy “We ought to be able to drill, not only offshore but in Alaska, too,” he said. “Diesel fuel is costing us four times what it did eight years ago. It’s doubled in price the last four years.” Daniels is a bulldozer operator. • Bill Dickey of Troy “I say yes, drill for it offshore and anywhere else you can find it,” he said. “We have got to have some relief.” • Jerry Wayne Butler of Obion “I think we ought to drill for oil anywhere we want to,” he said. “If the tree huggers get in the way, shoot ’em. Shoot ’em all. We are drilling for oil everywhere else in the U.S.A. But you know where it’s going? To China. Prices aren’t going down because Bush and Cheney own too much interest in (the oil industry).” Published in The Messenger 6.25.08

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