More drilling won't lower high gas prices

March 17, 2012

Gov.Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column on American energy independence is flawed in several respects ("Road to energy independence goes through ANWR and Keystone," March 11). He argues we need to drill for more oil, construct a distribution pipeline and open up more offshore wells.

But the fact is that today the U.S. is awash in crude oil, in greater quantities than ever in our history. The problem isn't a shortage of crude oil but our limited capacity to refine it into gasoline, which has led to shortages and high prices.

The oil industry has been putting refineries in mothballs and devoting a smaller share of crude to the production of gasoline and a greater proportion to refining other products. The fact that the industry is now sitting on millions of acres of oil leases without having started any drilling on any of them argues against the need to award more leases.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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