Friday, August 01, 2008

Offshore Drilling

Congresswoman Susan Davis, as I’m sure 434 other U.S. Representatives do, maintains a website. She has a poll on that site right now asking if one approves of drilling for oil in offshore California waters. With 13,476 responses as of this morning, 81.7% were answering that question “yes.”

San Diego is a hotbed of Republicanism in a Democratic state, but District 53 has been safely Democratic for some time. Ms. Davis is not only a Democrat, she is a rather liberal Democrat and has won reelection quite handily. And her constituents favor offshore drilling by more than 80%.

It has been well established that this drilling will have no favorable effect for anybody other than oil companies and a few employees who get jobs on and as a result of the oil rigs. It would not affect the price of oil for at least ten years, and even then only by a few cents per barrel.

As a solution to high energy costs, additional offshore oil leasing is like solving an alcoholic’s problem by giving him more liquor when he’s already holding a bottle in each hand. More liquor is not the solution, and he can’t even take the bottle you are offering him.

The oil companies can’t even drill on the offshore leases we would offer them, because the drilling equipment is not available, and won’t become available for at least five years. That’s just for the first rig. Not to mention the millions of acres of leases the oil companies have available to them now that they are not drilling in because equipment is not available.

In addition to the uselessness of it, additional offshore drilling is an environmental nightmare. In the aftermath of Katrina and Rita, notwithstanding the claims of the drilling advocates to the contrary, more than three quarters of a million gallons of oil and gas were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

George Bush, John McCain and their Republican acolytes are the only voices advocating offshore drilling. The media, for once, is doing a decent job of debunking their claims to the efficacy of that policy, but it is still running their campaign ads and reporting the news conferences advocating it. And more than 80% of CA-53 is buying what John McCain is selling.

Paul Krugman was interviewed on Countdown last night and commented that Barack Obama “was dismissive about offshore drilling when he should have been outraged.” I think that is exactly right. Obama tossed if off as “just the same old politics” when he should have been denouncing it as a deceptive, dangerous and destructive advocacy.

John McCain is attacking Obama, and Obama is merely dismissing him as some sort of cranky old man. I would not want to see him attacking McCain personally, but he should be attacking the policies advocated by McCain with which he disagrees. That would be a campaign worthy of listening to.

Offshore drilling is not “just the same old politics.” It needs to be fought.

1 comment:

  1. You don’t need new drilling equipment! Hasn’t any one heard of GULL ISLAND ALASKA?

    Wake up people! One of the single large oil reserves on the planet earth is locate at Gull Island Alaska in the late seventies. The GOVERNMENT told Arco and BP oil to cap the drilled well heads for some unknown God forsaken reason and to walk away. This field is there and ready to pump 2-3 million barrels a day, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOO the press and yahoo environmentalists want to put their own “Cap” on this saving grace.

    It was also believe that this find would put the kibosh government’s possible maneuver to nationalize the oil companies if oil got too high. Good ol’ Jimmy Carter…what was he thinking?

    By the way, you history majors need a review of the early seventies. The price of oil was about $18 a barrel, there were lines of cars…The oil companies released the info that the new technology could extract oil at 28-30 dollars a barrel from shale rock. More expensive then (a dream price to us now) but the very NEXT DAY the price of oil went down to 4 dollars a barrel. The oil cartels were panic stricken. Go figure.

    Just talking and doing SOMETHING drive down prices – it happens every time.