IBJOpinion

DUNN: Let's utilize Indiana's energy resources

Peter Dunn
May 15, 2010
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Viewpoint Peter DunnRecent events in the Gulf of Mexico have placed considerable focus on the everyday contributions the men and women in the oil and natural gas industry make to help fuel and power our way of life. The Deepwater Horizon explosion is tragic, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the missing and injured workers, and others who may be adversely affected.

For some, this event has given great pause to the issue of oil and natural gas exploration in this country. However, while we keep in mind the lives affected, we must also consider the important role oil and natural gas play in keeping our homes and businesses functioning. We certainly need to prevent accidents like this from happening again, but in the meantime, we shouldn’t stop our search for more oil and natural gas resources altogether.

Responsible exploration is needed now more than ever before. The White House and other political leaders have noted that, despite this accident, we will need more oil and natural gas for decades to come. Producing our own energy helps increase the nation’s energy security, creates American jobs and generates revenue. President Obama remains committed to expanding offshore drilling as part of a broader strategy to solve the nation’s energy problems and strengthen our economic security.

Opening portions of the American coastline for offshore drilling was a great first step, but we must go further by looking beyond the coasts for additional energy sources. As we strive to identify additional options, it is important to note that oil and natural gas may be found literally beneath our feet right here in Indiana.

Experts believe land in Allen County, including Fort Wayne, holds significant amounts of natural gas, and Evansville has been a known source of oil for decades. It is time to take advantage of all opportunities to help Indiana create jobs and stabilize our economy.

For instance, expanding refining capacity here to process oil sands from Canada would give Indiana’s economy a $635 million boost by 2015, according to the not-for-profit Canadian Energy Research Institute. It would also create nearly 8,000 jobs between 2011 and 2015. Those are real benefits for a state burdened with a 10-percent unemployment rate and across-the-board spending cuts for education and other worthwhile programs.

Failure to recognize and take advantage of the oil and natural gas possibilities in Indiana would represent a missed opportunity to create the jobs, economic growth and energy security this country needs. It is time to get serious about targeting domestic energy sources. Doing so will spur recovery in Indiana and across the country.

I am a firm believer in the importance of alternative energy; however, I also believe that responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas can make sense for Hoosiers.•

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Dunn is an independent, Indianapolis-based personal finance expert. He is the author of two books, “60 Days to Change” and “What Your Dad Never Taught You About Budgeting.”

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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