Personal virtue

Charles Krauthammer wonders:

Here's my question: Why were we drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place?

Ooo, Ooo [note–how does one write that Horshack noise?] pick me: "because oil, an increasingly scarce, difficult to procure, and fundamentally dangerous commodity must be the basis of our energy policy."  Or perhaps I could put this another way:

 Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not the basis for a sound energy policy

That's Dick Cheney, mocking the idea that our energy policy (in May of 2001) ought to consist entirely in fossil fuel procurement.  Anyway, it's echoed in Krauthammer's attitude toward environmentalism:

Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

That's right.  Blame those same environmentalists who have been saying, for quite a while now, that "conservation" (only one aspect, by the way, of the view mocked by Cheney–no one argued that conservation was the basis of a sound energy policy) is a public virtue–precisely because of spills such as these.  

*made some minor edits.

4 thoughts on “Personal virtue”

  1. One might add here that shallower drilling does not preclude environmental disaster. The Ixtoc blowout of 1979 was in 200 ft. of water, and took something like nine months to stem. Rachel Maddow did a nice side-by-side comparison the other day:


  2. That's right Gary.  Nor does carrying all of that oil around (in whatever conveyance) preclude disaster–cf. Valdez, Exxon.

  3. Here's my question:  Why has administration after administration been so cozy with oil that they allowed deep drilling without fundamental safeguards?  Is it that administration after administration works for big business?

    Canada has deep wells.  But their oversight ensures not one but two lines. 
     
    Here's my other question:   Why has the Obama administration left a foreign corporation in charge of safeguarding the United States coastline?
    Obama claims his administration has been in charge from day one.  It appears he is fibbing.
     
    Well okay, just one more question:   If 17 nations have offered assistance and BP has responded to 2 offers, how does that put the Obama administration in charge of the proceedings?

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