Sunday, September 7, 2008

Drill here, drill now - not much better than nothing at all

In her RNC speech, Sarah Palin said "the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all." Of course no one is arguing that we do nothing, but more domestic drilling is pretty close to it. As Kurt Zenz House explains in an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

What we're watching is the thread of a decent argument--that when oil prices are very high, the United States should expand oil exploration and extraction--get oversold by liars and fools who cannot perform basic arithmetic...the NPC estimates that if the moratoria were completely lifted, by 2025, the United States would be extracting an incremental 1 million barrels of oil per day--or about 5 percent of current demand. The Energy Information Administration estimates that U.S. oil demand will increase by about 10 percent by 2025. Likewise, conventional crude extraction from areas not under a drilling moratorium is projected to more or less stay flat for the next 15 years. Therefore, even with a complete repeal of the drilling moratoria, U.S. oil imports will have to grow in both relative and absolute terms to meet business-as-usual demand.

So if more domestic drilling will not even allow us to keep up with demand over the next 15 years, then why were all those RNC attendees chanting and holding up "Drill Here, Drill Now" signs? Why are there several hundred "Drill Here, Drill Now" groups on Facebook, with thousands of members? Why is a "grassroots" group (chaired by former Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey!), advocating more exploration and production as the solution?

Perhaps the "Drill Here, Drill Now" crowd has been doing too much drilling with ice picks in their prefrontal cortex?

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