This month, Wayne Nash offers a commentary on ways to solve the country's energy problem.

Imagine you are a farmer in a simpler time. You raise your crop, feed your family and your mule, and save some seed for next year’s crop. In those days of less complicated lives, it was common to help neighbors in trouble – barn-raising, quilting bees, that sort of thing.

Imagine that you had a pretty good year, and managed to put up something for next year. Now, suppose that your neighbor had a serious problem. His kids are hungry, his mule is thin, and he’s about to starve. After a few questions, you find out that a disaster has befallen him. Say, a meteor struck and wiped out his entire crop of dental floss, or some such. You naturally might think, “The guv’mint will help out.” Eventually, a guv’mint troll shows up and tells your starving neighbor, “You can’t eat your way out of starvation.” A comment like that sure makes me glad to pay my taxes!

In a situation like that, any good neighbor would be glad to help out. Ma cooks him a big ol’ dinner, and loads his wagon with canned goods and enough seed to plant next year’s crop. You don’t plan to feed him for life, just until he can get a new crop in.

The point of this parable: We don’t have to provide aid forever, just until things get better. Since I get paid by the word, I took the long way around to pick on our leaders who say, “You can’t drill your way out of the shortage.” That seems to be the stock comment anytime the idea of opening up more land – or sea – for drilling comes up. That makes about as much sense as telling your neighbor that he can’t eat his way out of starvation. Of course you can’t, but you can help him through a tough time.

If you buy the peak oil theory, you understand that, of course, we can’t keep drilling and producing forever – there only is so much oil in the ground to be produced. But, if you have any common sense, and an attention span longer than the next episode of “American Idol,” it’s easy to understand that we can drill our way out of a short-term problem. As in my parable, I don’t suggest that we feed our neighbor forever, just until the next crop comes in.

The next crop, in our case, is a practical, economical, workable, energy source. This will take time. All the liberals say, “Of course it will take too long, so there‘s no use in starting now.” Funny thing is, these are the same people who intone with voices of authority, that it will take 10 years to 20 years to bring new oil on-line. These are the same people who say that we need to invest in projects that have been tried for 40 years, and still haven’t produced anything significant. If I go along with that reasoning, it will take 10 years or 20 years to give Brian, my beautiful, brand-new grandson a good education, so I shouldn’t even start.

A lot of these alternative energy projects have been around for 40 years or 50 years, and have yet to make anybody any money. Maybe it’s because the technology isn’t there yet, or they just don’t work.

Solar power? I’m one of those strange people who likes to run my lights at night when the sun is not shining. Wind power? Pretty good idea as long as I don’t have to see it. Typical NYMBY (not in my backyard) attitude. Maybe we could put some windmills in Congress, but that would probably overload the grid.

Nuclear power? Holy cow! There’s no way we can have the cleanest, least polluting, most productive power source available, because the people don’t understand it.

There are some people in Congress who say that the oil companies are sitting on 68 million acres of leases that they should be drilling. It doesn’t occur to them that a lot of these leases were part of larger blocks, and there isn’t any oil there. That is the reason that they don’t want to open any more leases – the oil companies haven’t drilled enough dry holes yet!

Those of us in the drilling industry know that we’ve got every rig we can stand the derrick up on, and can find crews for, drilling. We want to drill in places where we have some chance of making a productive hole. There isn’t much point in burning bits on dry holes.

Some people say that opening up new areas won’t change the price for years. That’s funny because, the other day, the president announced that he was doing his part to open up more leases. The price of oil went down $10 in two days. Since the president can’t pass any laws and this was all for show, imagine what would happen if the mental midgets in Congress actually did something? As far as running the country, a musician or beautician could do better than a politician. (Kinky Friedman said that.)

Bottom line: Drill here, drill now, pay less.