Let’s make a deal – we’ll “grow up” and consider the need to drill every bit of oil we can when you grow up and consider the need to be less dependent on oil.
Democrats are going to have to grow up. The oil-rich areas they want to leave untouched are accessible with minimal environmental disturbance, thanks to modern technology. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flattened terminals across the Gulf of Mexico but didn’t cause a single oil spill. As for anticarbon theology, oil will be indispensable over the next half-century and probably longer, like it or not. Airplanes will never fly on woodchips, and you won’t be able to charge your car with a windmill for some time, if ever.
Most of my objection to oil exploration doesn’t come from the environmental effects of the drilling itself (although that’s still a rather large part of it), but rather the frank admission of those supporting it that the drilling is being done in lieu of any rational plan to decrease oil use or pollution from fossil fuels. Supply-side energy policy – and that’s what this is, policy focused entirely on controlling costs through supply as if demand is simply an ever-growing beast – is, for all its supposed capitalist inspiration, anti-innovation and hostile to the idea of a new energy marketplace. The reasons for this are obvious – the bustling current marketplace for oil and the entrenched interests who don’t want to upset the applecart. But it really does make you wish one conservative capitalist would have the guts to stand up and say that the future of energy can be an American future for a better reason than our having some elk to drill around.
UPDATE: Did you know that by zero oil spills, the WSJ actually meant forty-four?
Image used via Creative Commons license from freewine.