Solving the energy crisis: You decide

As Americans grapple with record oil and gas prices, politicians facing angry voters have offered up a variety of solutions. Tell us what you think.

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Expanding domestic drilling
Supporters, mostly Republican lawmakers, say the United States has vast untapped oil reserves right here at home -- mostly in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off the East and West coasts.

It's hard to say just how much oil is there, but estimates compiled by CNNMoney.com from various government agencies indicate crude oil production could be increased between 1 and 3 million barrels per day. The U.S. currently produces about 5 million barrels of crude a day, while worldwide production stands at around 73 million barrels.

Opening these areas to drilling would cause oil prices to fall immediately, proponents say, as oil traders would fret less about future production. They also say it would lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Critics -- along with the government's Energy Information Administration -- say any price drop would take years to materialize and be minimal at best -- maybe 2 or 3 cents off a gallon of gas.

Moreover, they say focusing on more oil drilling misses the point: The country should be figuring out a way to use less oil, not drill more, and that it's counterproductive when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


NEXT: Limiting Wall Street money into oil markets
Last updated September 25 2008: 3:43 PM ET
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