Offshore Drilling Moving to State Level – A Good Idea?

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.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.