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Headlines Lie

January 03, 2012 J

Americans who don’t read past the headlines can sometimes be led astray, or only get part of the story. That’s why legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey delighted his legion of loyal listeners by taking the time to clue them into “the rest of the story.”

This news story provides an excellent case in point. The headline will be seized-on by some to argue that there’s no demand for more domestic drilling, because the U.S. is now, suddenly, an exporter of certain fuels. But a look beyond the headline tells a more complicated story.

We’re temporarily exporting certain types of refined fuels because the economy is in the dumper and our vehicles have become more efficient. Most of the domestic energy boom we’re enjoying is in natural gas, not oil, which has little impact on the energy we burn on the road. There’s a global market in oil, meaning that military saber-rattling in the Straits of Hormuz, combined with wider regional instability caused in part by this President’s feckless foreign policy, will impact the world price and what we pay at the pump.

Don’t be misled by the headline: America is still hooked on oil imports. And while we can’t necessarily “drill our way out” of that situation, responsibly developing more domestic energy resources, and building the Keystone XL pipeline to Canada, will enhance energy security and price stability over time.

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