Offshore Drilling, Perhaps

In Politics on September 16, 2008 at 5:30 PM

According to this article by AP writer H. Josef Hebert, the House has begun moving toward a vote that would end a drilling moratorium on offshore drilling that has been in place for more than a quarter century. This should have been done years ago, but it has consistently been blocked, for some unknown reason.

What we don’t need is a limitation on where we are allowed to drill. Many Republicans are displeased with the Democratic proposal because most of the offshore drilling sites would be out of bounds; we would not be much better off by their proposal. Drill now, even though experts agree oil production will not happen immediately.

According to an article in the International Herald Tribune, there is an enormous amount of oil and natural gas reserves just 50 miles off the coast of Florida. 60% of Floridians advocate offshore drilling. That’s a pretty significant jump. High gas prices will make you think about your priorities. Here’s an excerpt:

An increasing number of Floridians side with McCain when told that the candidate advocates expanded drilling to drive down prices, said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research in Washington. According to a Mason-Dixon poll conducted over the summer, at least 6 in 10 Floridians now support drilling.

The Democrats are crafty folk, and want to make their efforts look good to the American people, but they are just throwing us a bone. An article in the Dallas Morning News states the Democrats hope to tie new drilling to measures that would strip oil companies of tax breaks and require electric utilities to use more wind and solar power. Here’s a snippet of the article:

Democrats hope to put Republicans on the spot by tying new drilling to measures to strip oil companies of billions of dollars in tax breaks and to require electric utilities to use more wind and solar power – President Bush has repeatedly threatened to veto.

Ms. Pelosi also has crafted the bill carefully to limit new offshore production. Waters within 50 miles of shore would be off-limits. States could choose to drill between 50 and 100 miles but wouldn’t get a share of oil royalties for taking the environmental risk.

What do you think? Should we drill now? I don’t want to give the impression drilling is the only solution, though. It would be in our country’s best interest to pursue other forms of energy: solar, wind, and other forms coming on-line now. It will take a concerted effort to bring relief to Americans in this time of high gas prices. Don’t laugh, but I am of the opinion gas could be sold for $1.00 per gallon, and the gas companies would still be making a profit. That’s just me, though.

  1. Drill now – this is crazy. It is political nonsense.

  2. You make some very valid points, Ron. Drilling certainly isn’t our only solution, but we need to drill to buy us the time to do what we should have done years ago. We need to find other sources of energy.

  3. @ Indian Lake Papa: Thanks for your comment, although it is confusing to me. I’ve read many of your comments on other blogs, and have not seen one like that before. Which sources quoted in the post were “political nonsense?” If we don’t drill, we most certainly won’t get more oil. As mentioned, I don’t believe drilling is the only solution, but is, rather, a part of a much needed energy initiative.

    I am not trying to be ugly, but am trying to understand your point. If more areas had been opened for drilling years ago, is it possible we would now be enjoying the benefits of increased oil production? Just curious.

  4. The sad part about all of this is that the Democrats are trying to make us believe they are caving and are going to allow us to drill, but only past the 50 mile limit. The fact is, drilling past 50 miles will not do us much good. Most of the oil we are after is well within that 50 miles. So, they are playing political games and trying to make themselves look good. One thing they still have to do is to get it past the Senate and with Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn there is little chance of that without a great amount of debate.

  5. True. Americans from coast to coast are ready for some gas price relief. As so many have already said, oil is not the only answer, but it certainly is a big part of what we use for energy.

    It is beyond belief how some government officials continue to block legislation that would allow us greater access to a valuable source of energy.

  6. I don’t think we should drill off our coast here in FL. I know I’m in the minority, but we’ve got to ween ourselves off of oil sooner or later…

  7. eb, I agree with you about weening ourselves off oil dependency, but until we do, let’s get what we can. I don’t know anyone who likes paying nearly $4.00 per gallon, when it should be no more than $1.00. There are already some rigs off the shores near Panama City, if memory serves correctly.

    There are many oil by-products our nation uses every day, from plastics to carpet. Many believe alternative energy sources are viable options, but we need to drill for oil here so we aren’t so dependent on foreign oil.

    Where would be a good place to drill? I do believe there’s plenty to be had, but we’ve got to get started. Just a thought

  8. A moratorium that has been in place for 25 years through several ( mostly Republican) governments) must have had a decent reason to be put into place.

    I’m of the opinion that the current call to repeal it has more to do with everyone’s ( American’s) self-interest and hip-pocket relief than any more logical local and world wide considerations.

    That smacks a lot of ‘being of the earth, not on it’ to me.

    I didn’t think that was what Jesus wanted us to do or be?

    I hate the greed of major Oil companies and cartels. before Hurricane Katrina Struck the offshore wells in the Gulf i did a little research on my own country’s off-shore drilling – i found that in 2000-2002 a particular company y extracted crude oil and pumped it to the refineries and oil depots for AU$4.00 a 42 gallon barrel ( at the time that was roughly $3.00 US) Admittedly this was not taking into account all exploration costs but given the billions of barrels every well can produce Oil production costs are now a ridiculously low proportion of the price we all are paying at the pumps.

    The sale of oil by stockbrokers as an investment, instead of a commodity to be utilised, is a major factor in the $150+ price spike earlier this year. The release of those supplies they are finding themselves ‘stuck with’ is part of the reason the current price is back under $100 a barrel. it should be closer to $30, as production costs have not increased significantly in the past 7 years.

    The point i think is being forgotten though is… the cheaper it is the more we use = the more CO2 produced = greater suffering for your kids and the rest of the world.

    Oil companies ACTIVELY engage in destroying the ability of people to introduce new technologies that compete with them and reduce their massive annual profits.

    It saddens me that so few people see that or do anything about it for the common good.

    i don’t believe He is smiling right now at the way mankind behaves while so many suffer without a voice.

    just some of my thoughts.


  9. need to throw a wrench in here…a few weeks back travling through Ohio, I saw with my own eyes what exactly are the wind mills Al Gore is pushing…

    Oh my! I really could have got past the ugliness…but it was windy…and more than half were not working…so I hope that gets better for them…alot of money if mechanically they don’t work…

    Did I pay for them?

  10. eb,

    We certainly need to wean ourselves away from using so much oil, but if we do not do something to help prices in the short term, our economy is going to continue to go south in a hand basket. Admittedly, we should have already been doing something about our dependency on oil, years ago in fact, but until we get enough people in Congress that will actually do something instead of voting for a do nothing energy bill, we are fighting a losing battle.

  11. @lovewillbringustogether: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments. You do have some valid points. I would submit a question in response. What country does not do things that would be in its best interest? In other words, if the majority of American people want to drill in order to drive down prices, should we not have the right to do so with our own land?

    You said: “The point i think is being forgotten though is… the cheaper it is the more we use = the more CO2 produced = greater suffering for your kids and the rest of the world.” Hmmmm. Honestly, that sounds like Al Gore speak for global warming. I absolutely agree with your statement about cheaper and more use, but the part about children suffering is rather confusing to me. How does that work?

    Again, thank you for writing your view, and you are certainly welcome here.

  12. I’m for cow-methane gasoline powered vehicles.

  13. I had also thought about wind powered vehicles, with an endless supply of hot air coming from Washington.

  14. Thank you for your welcome Preach. 🙂

    All countries have the right to do what is of benefit to them – where the effect is limited to their own boarders.

    Just because one has the right to do something however, rarely means what we do is Right. No country has the Right to create destruction of other’s basic human rights for self-interest, you would have to agree?

    As for More CO2 = misery and suffering for your kids….?

    Can you remember the last time the polar icecap melted? Are you able to find ANY period in history when CO2 levels have risen as they have in the past 200 years without being PRE-ceded by a similar rise in the earth’s global average temperature first? (the answer is ‘no’ to that last q in case you wondered.

    WHY has the CO2 level increased so rapidly in so short a time?

    Because of man’s use of fossil fuels! Simply that.

    So what? well higher CO2 levels USUALLY means more plant growth, more plant growth means more conversion of CO2 to oxygen for us to breath and the planet remains in ‘balance’ – the VITAL balance all life on Earth depends upon.

    Problem! the massive increase in Human population we have undergone over the same time as we massively increased fossil fuel use means far more land is being used by man for agriculture/commercial/residential use around the world than ever before which means vast amounts of Jungle are lost to us. Result – far less CO2 gets converted to Oxygen and the level of it increases. Resulting problem? This airborne CO2 stores more of the sunlight we get which heats up our planet.

    Icecaps and glaciers melt.

    Cold water from the melting icecaps inhibits warm currents circulating in our oceans and makes the sea-level rise. (not so much from the North Pole since this is just floating ice (water) but when it happens at the South Pole…. Whammo!

    Galveston just got wiped out by Hurricane Ike – if the ice cap melts in Antarctica you can say goodbye to the entire island Galveston is built upon – it will no longer exist – permanently!

    Scientists have dramatically UNDER-estimated the rate of polar melting – it is ALREADY happening far sooner and faster than they expected. Global warming is no longer just a theory – it is Fact. and a worse one than predicted.

    WE could have slowed it down and stopped SOME of the effects if we had all ‘acted’ sooner… but we love our cars too much – and our coal fired power stations and the raping of jungle forests for cheap wood and palm sugar plantations.

    And your Kids will be living with a legacy you never in your worst nightmares wanted to have then live with.

    And so many still people don’t have the remotest clue. Or even seem to care. They try to pretend it’s a joke and not happening and certainly nothing to do with ‘me’.

    America wanted to be ‘Great’. Now the countries with five times your population want what you have and ‘nothing’ will stop them. China will soon have more car ownership than your country. India is heading that way. America wants the whole world to copy it and be ‘like us’ – ‘Free’ Free to complete the rape of this planet’s resources and watch it ‘die’ before their Kids will.

    2050 is NOT going to be a very nice time to be alive.. massive refugee migrations from lands either under seawater or having no fresh glacier water in their rivers – no acrigultural water to grow crops!

    You want suffering… do nothing for twenty MORE years and wait.

    It will be right on your doorstep.

    Ike and Katrina have cost your country tens, if not hundreds, of billion$… their cousins are going to be bigger and more often on your shores.

    Suffering has already stated, not just overseas.. but ‘at home’ – where it really hurts!


  15. @lovewillbringustogether: Again, your comments were well prepared and thought-provoking. Thanks. I know there is much data supporting your claims, and many people are living in fear because of it.

    There is also much data to the contrary. I’m just not sure the Lord is going to allow His creation to destroy His creation, if you know what I mean.

    I am definitely with you on the need to not only pursue alternative energy sources, but to embrace them, as well. While riding home from Orlando a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I saw a Ford (?) with some sort of alternative energy advertisement on the sides. I believe the car was experimental, using hydrogen as the fuel. See, it can be done if we would only try. Some countries are using compressed natural gas to fuel their vehicles. There’s many resources we can use in place of fossil fuels, but it will take time to ween ourselves off oil dependency.

  16. Am glad we have points of agreement – they can allow for bridges of understanding and wisdom to be built upon.

    I have looked at data both ‘for’ and ‘against’ the arguement – and as someone with a strong grounding in science i can say that the arguments ‘for’ i am unable to find many faults with the data and conclusions (generally more fault with conclusions than with the data!) whereas the arguments against, they are almost laughably easy to show to be poorly based in logic. This is generally because they focus on way too ‘narrow’ examples where there own understandings have been stretched beyond their ability to see ‘the big picture’.

    Case in point: the website you linked implies that because this year there was ‘more’ polar ice than in 2007 that the (few) scientists who said there was a probability that there would be no ice at the north pole in that year do not know what they are talking about and the global warming theory is bunkum. That we are safe (for another year, clearly).

    The Author completely disregards the TREND of polar ice melting.

    He incorrectly infers that because satellite navigation has only had records for 29 yeras that this ‘record low ice cover’ is nothing to be concerned about as 29 years ‘means nothing’.

    The fact that explorers have looked for the ‘North-West Passage from Europe, over Canada to the Pacific Ocean for as long as man has navigated Canadian waters and never achieved it shows that the 2007 year when it suddenly became the object of several nation’s invigorated exploration and discussion shows that this is a far more long term trend and serious issue than the website considers it.

    Taking a RECORD low year and then saying because the next year a new record has not been set (when the conditions are actually VERY close such that it easily COULD have) is just very BAD logic and such posters deserve all the derision you can pour down on them – they certainly do not need to be considered as the ‘equal’ of the overwhelming scientific opinion and demonstrable facts.

    The argument that since 1997 was the ‘hottest year on record’ the earth is no longer being ‘warmed’ is a similarly trivial and ill-informed one. Basing any argument on a single year of data as the base for comparison is very poor math/logic.

    If you want a simple version.. go back to the site and look at the PINK line in the top two photo’s… that is where the ice has AVERAGED over the last thirty years of satellite observation. Both years are way below that; the temperature average over those thirty years is increasing – as is use of fossil fuel and CO2 increase (not only in America) which means the ice will get less and less ( with small variables from one year to the next -weather is not a steady direct change but a trending pattern, the trends are NOT good and will not ‘return’ as they did when Nature determined CO2 levels and not man.

    WE (all humans – not just those in our city/town) do more damage than we allow for, thinking we have survived this long without major problem, so we can go on ‘forever’ – well – we can’t.

    By all means look for evidence that proves those you don’t personally know ‘wrong’ (or even those you do know!) 😉 But please… don’t rely upon someone’s evidence simply because it sounds like what you most want to hear.

    Search for Truth, not ‘smoke being sold as gold’.

    I admire your faith, that you Hope He would not let mankind destroy the earth.

    He Won’t! (we can’t – not even with all the nuclear bombs that America refuses to rid itself of).

    What He will let Man do – and indeed has always let him – do is make his own bed and lie on it.

    If that bed gets very uncomfortable and billions end up dying and starving and at war because of the way we foolishly and selfishly use His Creation for other’s greed and gain… it might just be His way of teaching us His lessons.

    The Hard way since we don’t often follow or listen well to the easy one.

    Sometimes, it is wise to Fear the Lord… and what men can do to men… in their ignorance and pride.

    I’d like for us to all earn our lesson sooner – rather than later, – i just don’t often get my wish!

    Thy Will, not mine, be done.


  17. Well said. Now understand, I’m not convinced regarding Al Gore’s global warming message – his because he’s the one who brought it to light with such vigor. BTW I had to laugh when only a few short months ago, a summit on global warming had to be canceled because the weather was too cold. The story was on our local radio stations; I believe the site for the gathering was New York City.

    Science is not one of my strong suits, admittedly. The site I linked was one found on my first Google search, and there are tons more. There is a WordPress blogger whose site is dedicated to exposing the truth about this subject; I’ll find it sometime and post it for your perusal.

  18. I am happy to read any information concerning what MAY potentially be ‘the beginning of the end’ for mans’ current lifestyle (at least the western one – few nations in Africa or Asia or even South America live as we are fortunate enough to do).

    I TRY to do so impartially but when i detect ill-logic and poor understanding of the science (including by ‘scientists’ themselves who are such ‘experts’ they fail to adequately see a world existing outside of their own sphere of intellectual ‘rigor’) i find myself being unmoved by their argument and tend to discount their poorly formed opinions.

    The science can be and often is confusing and sometimes seemingly contradictory; this i understand well, but logic is not the exclusive right of a scientist and it is up to us to use it for wisdom. Common-sense and logic may lead to opposing conclusions… i trust logic far more than ‘common’ sense.

    Mine is not always perfect – i tend to find it exceeds most though 🙂 (He is the Perfect logician! – through Him our eyes may be opened to Truth)

    Looking forward to hearing more from you and if you ever wish to know more – please ask 🙂



  19. You wrote “I am happy to read any information concerning what MAY potentially be ‘the beginning of the end’ for mans’ current lifestyle (at least the western one – few nations in Africa or Asia or even South America live as we are fortunate enough to do).” Perhaps I missed it, but you did not state why that made you happy.

    That was pretty good about your logic exceeding most. Glad I’m not in the “most” camp. 🙂 You are absolutely correct about the Lord; He is perfect and it is only through Him the eyes of our understanding are opened.

    I look forward to a time when the Lord will set up His kingdom on this earth, but until that day arrives, we must go about our business, occupying until He comes.

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