Friday, June 25, 2010

Let's drill where it's safer

If the administration were truly concerned with limiting drilling to where it is safer, then they would drop their ideologically-motivated opposition to drilling closer to shore. It would be a lot safer and recovery from accidents would be a lot easier. Terry Anderson, the executive director of the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana explains how the environmentalists have pushed oil companies to drilling in the riskier deep sea.
Whether more exploration on federal lands would make the U.S. energy independent is debatable, but more onshore development would certainly be safer. In early June there was a blowout in western Pennsylvania. Did you see it on the nightly news? No, because it was capped in 16 hours. The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas production there, recorded 102 blowouts of oil and gas wells since the start of 2006, resulting in 10 fires, 12 injuries, and two deaths. None of those made the nightly news either. The largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope in 2006 was from a pipeline leak. It dumped only 6,357 barrels and had no disastrous impacts.

Drilling can be done with greater environmental sensitivity onshore. For many years the Audubon Society actually allowed oil companies to pump oil for its privately owned sanctuaries in Louisiana and Michigan, but did so with strict requirements on the oil companies so that they would not disturb the bird habitat.
But the greens are shut down any hope of expanding our drilling where it is safer and so the oil companies are left with the deep-water drilling which is a much riskier proposition.

Once again a liberal position is full of good intentions, but ends up with the opposite impact than they intended.