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Offshore Drilling Moving to State Level – A Good Idea?

| Friday June 30th, 2006 | 1 Comment

coastalrig.jpgSo the house passed a law approving offshore drilling in the United States for natural gas and oil. What’s curious about this is the fact that it passes the responsibility to the state level. In other words, states that don’t want drilling can still keep it illegal, but states that approve of it get a hefty royalty when the drilling begins. Grist calls this a bribe to get coastal states to reconsider their traditional opposition. I think they’re absolutely right.
The thing that really bugs me about it is that the government continues to to absolutely nothing to encourage efficiency. By rewarding myopic companies with continued cheap fuel, the administration discourages innovation and promotes backward thinking business leadership. If we had already taken all the steps we could think of to use resources more effectively, then drilling might not seem like such a bad idea, but the fact is it amounts to nothing more than a hand-out to oil and gas interests, aka corporate welfare to people who hardly need it.
Still, with both Florida senators opposed to it, as well as California’s Governor Schwarzenegger it may not amount to much in those states, but you can bet states like Louisiana and Texas won’t have the leadership to keep it from happening. Either way, the bill still has to go through the Senate, where it may very well stop.

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  • Charles

    Saying that that some oil from ANWR or offshore may be exported or it wont lower gas prices is a very stupid reason for not drilling there! Take an class in economics. If we export a million barrels from ANWR and import a million barrels from somewhere else, it costs us nothing. If we import a million barrels and export none it costs us 140 million dollars! Research and development of alternative energy sources is great and we should do that, but as long as we are useing more oil than we are producing we need to drill as much as possible. If we end up with more oil than we need we can sell it to China to pay for all our imported lead painted toys!
    Democrats say drilling would not help because we wont get the oil for 10 years, a great argument they have been making for a decade – jay Leno