At first blush I didn't much care for the response that we "can't drill our way out of" high gas prices, but then I read the full text of Sen. Obama's remarks and was somewhat mollified. But then I thought for a moment, and I was back to thinking the remarks are wrong:
"If we reduce our consumption of oil, that's what will reduce gas prices, the presumptive Democratic nominee said in a one-on-one interview with The Post-Crescent during a campaign stop in Kaukauna.
"There's really no other way of doing it."
"We can't drill our way out of the problem because there's just a finite amount of oil out there and you have got increasing demand from countries like China and India."
Ok, so what's my beef. Well for one thing, back when I took my Econ 101 class from a Marxist I learned that both a decrease in demand and an increase in supply will lower cost. So to say that a decrease in consumption (i.e. demand) is the only way is flat wrong. But I was temporarily molified by his modifier that there's just a finite amount of oil out there. And then I thought and realized that there is just a finite amount of anything out there (wherever you draw your boundary since ultimately the Universe is a closed system) so really the only time that makes any sense is if you are currently up against a limit in your ability to increase supply.
Are we there? No way, not with all the oil in the US that is politically out of reach, and the refining capacity we don't have because of political considerations, and the inefficiency in the government oil producers which control most of the oil right now, we could increase supply without much difficulty. So in the short term, i.e. my lifetime, we can in fact "drill our way out of it". In the long term, the economics of something else will make more sense than oil and we will switch over to that. Again and again.
So while I wait with anticipation for solar energy to get cheap and efficient enough to power all our energy needs, I say drill away.