The Bush administration has saddled the American taxpayer with trillion-dollar debt because of an ill-conceived war and an energy policy that benefits big oil companies.

Now President Bush wants the American taxpayer to believe that the only way out of the dilemma of skyrocketing oil prices is by drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

What the taxpayer isn’t told is that this country has a vast resource of shale oil in the Bakken Formation that is extractable with new technology.

The Bakken Formation lies in Saskatchewan, Canada, into the U.S. in North Dakota and Montana. Canadians have been extracting shale oil for several years. It can now be done relatively cheaply.

According to the U.S. National Geological Survey, utilizing that area could yield billions of barrels of oil, and with other energy sources, such as wind power, geothermal energy and definitely conservation, U.S. oil companies do not need to drill off the coast of Florida or in Alaska.

This nation could become independent of the stranglehold the Arab oil cartel has on this country.

Heide Noel, Lisbon

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