And Here We Go

From CNN…

President Bush will announce Monday he is lifting an executive order banning offshore oil drilling, the White House said.
If President Bush can persuade Congress, more oil rigs like this one off Canada could appear off U.S. shores.

If President Bush can persuade Congress, more oil rigs like this one off Canada could appear off U.S. shores.

The move is largely symbolic because there is also a federal law banning offshore drilling.

Bush has been pushing Congress to repeal the law passed in 1981.

8 Replies to “And Here We Go”

  1. History will absolve him. And rather quickly too as these things go.

  2. I have to say I agree with Dubya – I really don’t like the environmental objection to oil drilling. I agree of course that there are large ecological costs, and I certainly think (for a variety of reasons including this one) that moving beyond oil/coal as fuel is a Good Idea.

    However, as long as oil is being used, it has to come from *somewhere*, and I can see no reason whatsoever why it mustn’t come from the American coastline or from Alaska. Ecological damage, after all, is ecological damage wherever it happens, and Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the North Sea have precious ecologies as well. Now Alaska is a special case, because there the idea is to drill inside a wildlife reserve, but that objection surely cannot apply to such large parts of the American coastline.

    I think the opposition is saying in effect that the US will use an obscenely large fraction of the world’s oil resources, but will refuse to accept any of the ugly environmental costs that come with that lifestyle. That’s not ethics. That’s not conservationism. That’s elitist NIMBY arrogance. It reminds me of nothing so much as Larry Summers saying that the West ought to preferentially pollute in the third world because there the costs are lower.

    * I realize that mine probably isn’t the argument Bush is making. If people had to oppose policy any time the policy-makers’ objectives differed from their own we’d have a very weird politics

    * I think my position doesn’t care *how much* oil we consume, and so isn’t affected by calls to greater fuel efficiency or renewables research etc. For >any

  3. (sorry, post got cut off)

    For any amount X of oil consumed, there has to be a cost borne, and I see no ecologically based ethical principle that would justify the US not bearing its share.

  4. I think one of the concerns is that offshore drilling is proposed for, among other places, near the Florida Everglades — a blanket ban prevented that, with the ban lifted it would have to be fought on an individual basis. And while you make good points about “the cost is going to be somewhere”, D, NO somewhere should include an Everglades somewhere — it’s an incredible ecosystem which is already way too hammered.

    The other problem, however, is that this is going to be used as a further excuse for inactivity on moving us off oil and to other resources. “We have more of an oil supply coming online” will be in the backs of the minds of voters more than the fact that this supply is nothing more than a band-aid. And it panders to the assumption that oil HAS to come from somewhere, because we WILL keep using it, and will need it that much.

    I would rather push for a default assumption of “let’s not stripmine the planet for every last drop before we change technologies.”

  5. Hasn’t anyone considered the potential consequences of offshore exploration and drilling on all the offshore dump sites of munitions, chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear waste? What’s going to happen when they start vibrating the ocean floor to detect oil?

    I have reports from at least a half dozen world organizations and countries that recommend we “do not disturb these sites” – not even with vessel traffic overhead. The military can’t even locate the majority of dump sites. They say there are hundreds. The military has some idea of where they should be, but the weapons aren’t there.

    No, they haven’t sunk into the ocean bottom – research studies using similar containers off Texas, Louisiana and Martha’s Vineyard indicate that containers become partially covered, then are uncovered by currents and storms.

    Further, if we are only now dealing with WWI weapons washing ashore, imagine what better shape the WWII weapons are in.

    Professor Roy Wilkins of the University of Hawaii – Manoa is currently undertaking the first legitimate study of a munitions dump site off the Wai’anae Coast (also known as ordnance Reef). His first study in 2007 located and filmed a bit of the site. He now has a $6 million dollar grant for further research to determine whether the munitions should be removed or left in place. I anxiously await those results.

    The idea of offshore exploration for oil leaves me with the eerie feeling that the Aztec people knew more than we did when they predicted the end of the world in 2012. I’m frightened and I would like help from everyone out there who cares – contact any and all the Senators and Representatives you can think of to caution them – Not with my fear, but with an intelligent approach to our energy problems.

  6. Is he really banned it? But I don’t think they considered potential consequences of offshore exploration, about the waste as Annie mentioned above. More oil explored, more money. what will happened to our next generation? Is there anybody thinking about it?

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