Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on the 'wisdom' of offshore drilling

So, let's just pretend that offshore drilling will bring up huge amounts of oil for America. Let's just pretend that, and forget about whether the oil companies will reduce their profits by increasing supply so that there's additional excess capacity.

Let's now focus on one of the ridiculous arguments being raised in favor of drilling.

Right now (the argument goes), we are giving money to people who dislike us. Why shouldn't we give it to American oil companies, instead?

That would be a good question, if oil existed in limitless supply. But it's not limitless, and someday, probably soon, we'll hit the production peak. And at that point, every single barrel still in the ground will become much, much more valuable. We'll have pulled up every easy barrel of oil, and have to start drilling for the harder-to-get stuff.

So, what the Republicans are actually arguing is that we should use up our oil reserves now, in favor of saving more oil for people who don't like us... so when peak oil hits, they have that much more oil still in the ground. This would vastly increase the value of those remaining reserves.

Of course, this problem is easy to notice, if you think about the problem as a problem, and not as a wedge issue to use to influence an election.

That this problem hasn't been discussed shows you which way the Republicans are looking at this, doesn't it?

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