Here are some links to detractors to drilling offshore. They include news stories about Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore as well as another site that is filled with total distortion. Pelosi has the red herring of claiming that there are millions of acres that the oil companies hold drilling leases that are not being used. One second her supporters will claim that the oil companies are greedy and now she thinks that they are not drilling where it is far cheaper to get oil than offshore. If there were reserves in those areas they would be drilling their, don’t ya think madame speaker?
In another instance, the democratunderground site claims they have facts that suggest offshore drilling makes no sense. One of their items claims that in the areas that Sen. McCain wants to drill, which does not include ANWR, there are 19 billion barrels of oil. They claim that means at current consumption it would all be gone in 2.5 years. What morons! The wells will not produce 7.6 billion barrels of oil per year. The rate will be far less and it will add supply to the global market. They claim ANWR wouldn’t come on line until 2017. Nonsense. It took far less time to develop the North Slope. They show a chart of fuel and oil prices during the Bush Administration. Bush has called on more drilling for more supply for years and Congress has punted. Had the Congress agreed to open up areas for drilling, those supplies would be in the world market today.
They make a clever switch. They use hurricane Katrina as an example of the environmental hazard. And there is a risk but that risk is minimized. Remember, the oil companies lose money every day that a rig is not producing. I read in USA Today that Chevron pays over $450,000 a day just to lease a deep water rig and their total investment will be several billion dollars before it begins producing. An exploration company just paid $700 million for one rig! And that’s before they move it into place, put people on it and begin operations. Nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars up front. So they have a vested interest in keeping the rig working and without spills. Every drop spilled is money. For Katrina it says this: “113 platforms totally destroyed, and – more importantly – 457 pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10″ or larger diameter. At least 741,000 gallons were spilled from 124 reported sources (the Coast Guard calls anything over 100,000 gallons a “major” spill).”
Notice how they switch from barrels to gallons. Why? Because a barrel is 42 gallons and would make their number smaller. So, 741,000 gallons translates into 17,642 barrels. That doesn’t grab your attention as much, now does it? And divide that into 124 sites, and suddenly you are talking about 124 spills of an average of 142 barrels per site. I would say that given the amount of destruction, that is an amazingly low number and is a testimony to the safety features that are used and in place. Perhaps that is why they didn’t mention a single site that was a “major” spill….none of the 124 perhaps didn’t fit the criteria? Otherwise, that would have been trumpeted, n’est pas?
What no one tells you is the dirty little secret that Cuba is aligning with China to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. Yup…if we don’t get it, then others will. Heres the story you haven’t heard about.
That get you asking questions? How about this? India, Canada and Spain will also be drilling. And guess what? According to this CNN story, US oil firms were invited to bid on the contracts but were prevented by the US Congress from doing so. If we don’t drill offshore, someone else will. That’s the bottom line. Ask yourself if you would rather have foreign companies getting the oil and natural gas or US companies? US companies pay taxes to the government. The individual states gain millions in revenue and will get even more in 2017 when they will be able to collect royalties from production originating in their territorial waters. There is a suggestion that these other countries will also employ new technology that allows them to drill at an angle and collect reserves closer to the US coast, in US territorial waters. The anti-drilling people don’t tell you all of this, do they?
The biggest thing with all of this is that I don’t think anyone is averse to developing alternative energy sources. The major oil companies are right in the middle of that and in some cases are the leaders in development. Exxon is a leader in developing a better battery for electric cars. Royal Dutch Shell has an entire division dedicated to alternative energy. I’ve seen one of the biggest wind farms in the world near Calgary and it’s owned and operated by Shell. They are energy companies. Texas is putting up windmills on their offshore rigs. But, it takes time to develop that stuff and in the mean time, we need affordable energy.
Al Gore seems to think that a trillion dollars of investment from the private sector over the next 10 years is out there ready to go. But, if you stop current energy use or make it economically nonviable, that capital will evaporate and the economy deteriorate. We will need oil for a long time as the other sources are developed. Right now, it is the most efficient energy source out there. The amount of energy extracted per unit is far in excess of other technologies at this point. That may change. But until it does, we will need it to maintain our way of life and grow for future generations.
Again…just like global warming…this issue needs to be depoliticized. The folks listed above need to quit being whiners and work toward realistic solutions. They need to concede that we need oil for the foreseeable future. The opposition needs to acknowledge that the national security and economic stability of the nation will require an adjustment from a fossil fuel based economy and help work toward the massive and lengthy change for the future. Market forces will determine the much of the speed of that change but having some incentives and policies that help lead toward that direction would be beneficial, not only to the economic stability of the nation, but also in reducing pollution…including water pollution which no one wants to talk about but is probably the biggest danger we face yet do nothing about it.
When you find out the facts though…NOT drilling makes no sense. As long as other countries think it makes sense, then all we are doing is allowing wealth to be transferred to other nations, some of whom are our adversaries and we are ceding even more control over our own future and the future of our children.