Even under the best of circumstances, America will need increasing amounts of energy as the years go by. We have a growing population with an expanding array of gadgets to power.
This year's biting cold, and the resulting power shortages in the South and Southwest, indicate that merely maintaining a comfortable standard of living will require more energy.
But certainly the energy issue becomes vastly more urgent should the worst occur: the collapse of the dollar, hyperinflation and/or political upheaval that forms a clog in the international oil pipeline.
The best answer to any crisis is preparation. So it makes sense to do what we can to become energy sufficient, right?
Yet, the Obama administration is doing the precise opposite: Rather than seek to increase America's energy self-sufficiency, the White House is blocking offshore drilling.
That might be foolhardy enough. But the administration is also doing it in violation of a court order.
The administration has actually been cited for contempt of court over the matter.
"A federal judge who struck down the Obama administration's initial moratorium on deepwater drilling in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill," writes the Associated Press, "is holding the Interior Department in civil contempt for what he called its 'determined disregard' of his order.
"(Judge Martin) Feldman chided the department for its 'dismissive conduct' after he overturned the department's decision to halt approval of any new permits for deepwater projects and suspend drilling on 33 exploratory wells.
"The department responded to Feldman's June order by issuing a second moratorium that its critics say was virtually identical to the first."
In doing so, the judge said, the Obama administration provided "clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt."
Contempt not just for the judge's order, either: for our energy and national security as well.
The administration's contempt extends to taxpayers -- who will now have to fork over attorneys fees to the oil companies suing the government -- and to the unemployed, particularly in the Katrina-ravaged Gulf of Mexico area, where jobs have been eliminated by the administration's drilling moratorium.
"We're losing good jobs and paying higher energy prices during a time when Americans are already tightening their budgets," Sen. Lisa Murkowsi, R-Alaska, said. "The turmoil in the Middle East and rising energy prices serve to highlight why the administration cannot continue to slow walk this process, ignoring Congress and the courts. Our national security and national economy are at stake. I applaud the court for holding the Interior Department responsible for ignoring the law."
We do, too. We just wish the national media wouldn't ignore this crucial story.
A suspension of offshore drilling after the gulf oil spill was prudent. But the Obama administration's flouting of the law in continuing the moratorium, and in contradiction to a court order, is the stuff of dictatorships. When did Hugo Chavez arrive in Washington?
We are a nation of laws, and this White House is breaking the law -- while harming national security in the process.
Second only to a national debt that could bring down the country, the Obama administration's biggest legacy may be an energy policy that is actually counter to vital U.S. interests.
If the federal government won't listen to the courts when ordered to open up drilling, why should the states listen to the federal government when it says not to drill?