Sarah Palin is not the VP of the United States but we can still drill, baby, drill. Although President Obama and some Democrats have hinted at reinstating the ban on offshore drilling and implementing restrictions on oil shale development in the West, nine Republican members of Georgia’s congressional delegation are on the offensive – emphasizing the need for more domestic energy supply. Yesterday, they wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to reconsider any plans to halt energy production in America:

Dear Mr. President:

We write in regards to recent news reports that your Administration is considering ordering a hold on an executive order issued by President Bush to allow offshore drilling in previously banned areas. These same news reports indicate that the Department of Interior will rescind a plan to develop oil shale fields in the western United States. We respectfully write to ask that you not reinstate an executive moratorium on offshore energy exploration and production and that you not rescind the Department of Interior plan for oil shale exploration and recovery.

Environmentally responsible offshore oil and natural gas exploration and recovery, as well as oil shale exploration and recovery, are essential components of a comprehensive energy policy that will enable the United States to become energy independent. Exploration and recovery of these resources is critical to our national security and economic wellbeing. We believe allowing for exploration in these areas is also consistent with your priorities of economic growth and environmental protection.”

Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss as well as by U.S. Representatives Jack Kingston, Tom Price, Lynn Westmoreland, Phil Gingrey, Paul Broun, Nathan Deal and John Linder all signed the letter.

Since gas prices have fallen from record levels in the summer, drilling has taken a backseat to concerns over the economy. Allowing and expanding safe domestic energy production will not only help in keeping prices low but it will also help stimulate the economy. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis

analyzed the economic effects if domestically sourced petroleum increased by 2 million barrels per day, and it found that such an increase would expand the nation’s output–as measured by the Gross Domestic Product–by $164 billion and increase employment by 270,000 jobs annually.”

All without the help of the federal government. It’s a marvel what the private sector can do for the economy and for the people, if we let it.

 Update: Jane Van Ryan goes to the streets to ask Washingtonians about President Obama and energy policy.  The bottom line: people support drilling.