Obama opens up off shore drilling. Seems like a pretty reasonable plan, increase hybrids (I’m assuming someone has done the math here and that they work long term), and explore/exploit what we can locally.
The Obama administration has made a lot of rational moves over their tenure. I’ve been impressed (Afghanistan excluded – but maybe I’m wrong). I wish that they could have gotten more on health care, but what are you going to do.
I think many people were upset because it was touted as the solution to high priced oil, not necessarily that drilling was wrong (though some believed that too). It’s now being sold as one of many steps, along with increased efficiency, to ease oil supply/prices which makes a lot more sense.
The big hubbub in Dubya’s day was over drilling in ANWR, which apparently has been a political tug-of-war for almost 3 decades now. Environmentalists oppose it, oil companies support it - no surprise there.
My beef with the Bush administration over ANWR was not that they wanted to open it to drilling, but that they were disingenuous about how big of an impact it would have on our foreign-oil dependency. [All the more shocking because of how totally unprecedented that sort of misdirection was for them.] USGS estimates there’s over 10 billion barrels worth of recoverable oil in ANWR. Sounds like a lot, and it is - for the oil companies who would make hundreds of billions of dollars off of it. But U.S. daily oil consumption is over 20M barrels a day. There’s not enough ANWR oil to fuel the U.S. for even a year and a half - if you could somehow pump all that oil out at once, that is.
EIA estimates that peak production would hit 600K to 1.9M barrels per day after a couple of decades. The best-case plausible scenario is ANWR oil would meet ~10% of our current daily oil needs once it hit peak production in 20 or 30 years until it ran dry. And odds are peak production would not hit that upper bound, so let’s pretend that 1M barrels per day is a more realistic estimate; that’s only 5% of our daily consumption. One could argue every drop helps, but that’s not a long-term solution to our energy needs, that’s just a short reprieve, IMHO.
AFAICT, Obama isn’t pitching moar drilling!!1! as a panacea, so I’m fine with it being an option on the table - as long as it isn’t the only thing he’s planning.
Were the states red because they’re oil states or were they oil states because they were red? Moot point for decades now. Not a huge shocker that states with significant oil reserves see a lot of benefit from big oil and tend to align with the big oil party.
Sure catering to them might shift them a bluer tinge but the theory that this is a primary goal is stretching quite a bit. IMO it’s all about energy policy and broader economic policy with any poll gains being unlikely gravy.
I’m sure this has already been answered, Robert, but as to why this is “OK” when Obama does it is because it’s part of a package. Under the Bush administration, what rankled me was when oil prices rocketed, the only solution was “Well we need to drill more!”. This was made worse by them grossly misrepresenting how much of an impact such drilling would actually have an oil prices.
I don’t have problems with domestic drilling as a transitional step towards energy independence. The infrastructure for fuel cells, electric cars, etc just aren’t in place yet so we need something in the meantime. But conservation can have as big, if not bigger, effect than throwing up some more oil rigs around the US. Calling for more drilling while doing nothing for reducing oil consumption either through conservation or alternative energy sources is just irresponsible.
I think the public at large also expects a heavily regulated implementation from the Democrats and a ‘throw the barn doors open to free enterprise’ implementation from the Republicans regardless of the facts of the matter (haven’t read the specifics yet so I can’t comment if that’s an accurate portrayal or not at this point). Mostly this is based on historical precedent.
Whew. I was wondering where Huzurdaddi was going to fall on this issue!
Anyway, seems like most of us sane folks are fine with the drilling since we’re excluding the baby seal breeding grounds or whatever, as some others noted. And I’m glad to see energy policy start to get some attention since the legislative part of HCR is done with.
Of course, this will get exactly zero public thumbs-up from the Republicans, as they’ve made it very clear that the political nuclear option (metaphorically, not as in nuclear energy) is the only one they’re interested in. So fuck 'em. I still like Obama’s energy policy as stated in the campaign, and this is definitely putting his money where his mouth is, as it were.
I’m crossing my fingers for “party splinters and later reforms with rational people providing a sane right-leaning party”.
To be honest I don’t really give a fuck as long as we keep the crazies from making any more decisions on a federal level. If Kansas wants to be run by insane fundies, that’s their problem. Likewise, Bachmann can’t really do much harm as a backbencher in a minority party in the House.
People were not so much up in arms about offshore drilling, but more about the way that the Bush administration (and the GOP in general) was pushing offshore drilling as the solution of all of our energy woes, eliminating the need to worry about conservation or alternative sources of energy. While it may well be in our interests to exploit these reserves of oil, even the most optimistic estimates fail to put the available amount anywhere near enough to make much of a dent in our reliance on foreign oil.
The ANWR oil reserves are a similar red herring, for whatever it’s worth. Even if we could extract all of the oil there in a day, the total amount estimated to be there would not be enough to last us even a year.