One of the correct assertions being made by the left in the current arguments over high gasoline prices is that even if we were to start drilling in ANWR and other domestic sites, that oil wouldn't get refined and into the domestic supply soon enough to make a difference in prices. Some estimates are that it would take 10 years for ANWR oil to make a difference.
There are some flaws to the argument, since the effect on oil futures prices might be registered significantly earlier.
But it is important to take this assertion largely at face value, understanding that the project of keeping new oil refineries from being built and putting the brakes on domestic oil production has been pursued by the left for more than 3 decades.
Conservatives are likewise to be faulted for not sufficiently encouraging free market approaches to developing alternative energy sources and conservation -- all are needed in addition to more aggressive development of traditional energy resources. It isn't as though we couldn't see this coming -- "this" meaning the eventual outstripping of worldwide supply by worldwide demand.
We didn't get here overnight -- and we won't get out of our current problems overnight. But the fact that it will take decades to undo the damage of decades of failing to develop our domestic energy sources is no reason not to get started.
Given the trends of recent polling data, $4/gallon gas appears to be what it takes to get Americans moving down the path to developing our domestic oil, coal, and gas resources. Approval for drilling in ANWR and off-shore is starting to approach 60%.
The time is rapidly passing when our leading Montana Democrats can pay lip service to traditional energy development while getting by with deferring to the environmentalist lobby in practice.