Why Drilling Offshore is a Bad Idea

I believe that Bush’s proposal to drill offshore is almost as bad as his proposal to increase ethanol content in gasoline. I see two major problems with his proposal:

  1. It will not help in the short run
    In the short term, gas prices will remain high. It takes time and tremendous capital investment to get a new oil platform up and running. It will take too long to build the platforms for it to impact gas prices this year.
  2. In the long run, increased production will lead to increased consumption
    As a modern industrialized nation, we need to work towards developing and utilizing cleaner sources of energy than petroleum. Just as individuals and corporations poured money into developing the petroleum infrastructure many years ago, this needs to take place with renewable sources of energy. Increasing production to lower the price of oil will delay the evolution of better methods for harvesting energy. As limited resources continue to be consumed, it will need to happen anyway. It is better that this happen sooner than later, otherwise the effects it will have on the global environment could be catastrophic.
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    • David

      There is no guarantee that off shore drilling, will lower the price. Speculators may continue to speculate. If we continue not to do anything, and we wait for 7 or 8 years for the infrastructure to be built, how high will gas prices be over the next 8 years?

      Why continue to suck the world dry of its natural resources, continue to damage the enviroment and not move forward.

      Instead of drilling for new oil, we should find out exactly why the gas we have is so expensive. every reason.

      We need bravery to create change.
      We need to move ahead.

    • It would seem to me that we have to do "all of the above" to improve our lot. People all too often focus on the "one best solution" when there are multiple "good solutions." Some of the solutions we can try are good in the short-term but not so good in the medium- to long-term. Conversely, some of our possible solutions have great long-term prospects but poor short-term prospects.

      We need a sensible energy policy. Right now, we have NO energy policy, unless you count the one Cheney and "Kenny Boy" Lay put together to gouge us in the first place.

      And don't say it didn't happen. How can it be possible that costs to the "oil companies" like Exxon and Chevron rise, yet they make HUGE (bigger than ever) profits, all the while saying they're just passing on the costs to poor little American consumers.

      It also doesn't help that the value of the dollar has eroded precipitously (don't forget, oil -- at least from OPEC -- is denominated in US dollars. Value of dollar goes down, price of oil, by definition, goes up).

      Why has the dollar eroded? Many reasons, but when this has happened in the past, you can bet your bottom dollar (pun intended) that the US government put some pressure on some countries to de-value their own currency.

      Bottom line: We need a government to provide incentives (not give-aways, per se) to businesses to supply more energy -- in various forms -- and to individuals to demand less. This policy needs to be comprehensive, covering tax breaks, rebates, negotiations with other countries, deals made with innovators. The works.

      And don't get me started on giving money to state sponsors of terror, who then use our money to kill us on our own soil. That ought to be enough to have gotten us a LOT farther down the road of energy independence.

      DAMN, we've had 7 years and WE HAVE DONE NOTHING.

    • I think it's a great short-term solution, because there are three factors causing the high gas prices, in my opinino:

      1. Not enough supply for a growing demand
      2. Too much dependence on foreign oil (over 70%)
      3. Speculators driving up the price, because they KNOW that the supply is not there

      If you start drilling off-shore, you reduce our dependence on the middle east and you smack the speculators in the mouth, because now they can't "speculate" the price to go higher when they know that supply will increase in a few years.

      About your second point, naive americans will never care what kind of energy they are using. We just want it and at a fair price. So, I don't think it will stop scientist and researchers from putting money and resources into alternative sources. they know that it is the future and they can make a ton of money by becoming the leader in efficient, abundant alternative energy resources. I think you should re-think your position on this.

    • @Intelligent person

      For being an intelligent person, you seem to lack an understanding of economics. The reality is that if oil is cheap, there is going to be very little R&D taking place in the field of renewable energy. Another reality is that if it is cheap, it will be produced faster and consumed faster as well.

      Maybe you have a point though. We should put an oil well in every nook and cranny and suck the earth dry as fast as possible so that we can have cheap gas for another 10 years. If we drill fast enough, we can use it all up even faster than current oil depletion projections (between about 60-90 years from now). If you think gas is expensive now, just wait until there are only a few decades of world supply left. You can bet your ass that we'll be researching and developing alternative energy sources by then, because the market will force it to happen since it will be cheaper than oil.

    • yeah right

      Re: You’re stupid.

      "Yes, we need cleaner and better sources of energy and we should continue developing and researching ways. But in the meantime, we’re still stuck with oil, and that’s what is going to be used for quite a long time."

      So you agree we need an energy source that does not cause economic crises whilst polluting the planet. However you're unwilling to take any steps to get there. And you'd prefer we destroy more natural habitats in order to further fuel cycles of consumption.

      It seems you're the stupid one.

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