Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Insanity of Drill, Drill, Drill

Now, while the Democratic Convention has all our eyes riveted to the TV, I was looking at other news in the Houston Chronicle today and noticed that with the incursion of Hurricane Gustav into the Gulf of Mexico, oil speculators drove up the price of crude oil nearly 3.5% in one day.

From The Chron:

“‘The question is whether it hits northern Mexico and southern Texas, or does it head for the big production areas’ of the Gulf, said Chris Jarvis, president of Caprock Risk Management LLC in Hampton Falls, N.H. ‘We're going into the peak storm season.’”
So while Republicans (and some Democrats) are screaming “Drill here and drill now” (the “here" being the Outer Continental Shelf) we have an approaching hurricane where the mere chance that it takes aim at offshore platforms drives up the price of nonrenewable oil and natural gas.

This is just crazy.

The false claim that drilling in the OCS will bring down gasoline prices at the pump is made even more false, if that is even possible, by today’s oil speculation market which cashes in on the slightest chance of a oil supply shortage caused by a hurricane.

Hurricanes are newsworthy but there should be no surprise here if one of them takes out an offshore production platform or two. And that the oil speculation market reacts as it does to news that is as thin as this is, merely underscores the need to close the Enron Loophole – the loophole that allows oil speculators to have too much control on the price of this commodity.

Instead of “Drill here, drill now,” as Republicans (and some Democrats) are saying, wouldn’t it be a safer and saner activity to launch an all out assault on developing alternative forms of energy (as other Democrats are saying)? Isn’t that the best use of our scientific resources? Let’s keep that oil in the ground for our grandchildren and their children. There isn’t any more oil being made that we can access for maybe another 2 million years, so maybe we should be a little more forward thinking.

But no, that won’t happen. Know why? It took me this many words to communicate a fairly complex thought about mindless exploitation of nonrenewable energy. It took a lot of time to write it.

I can’t reduce it into a sound byte like the Republicans (and some Democrats) do when they shriek from the rooftops: “Drill Here! Drill Now!”

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