August 1, 2008

Pelosi Blocks Domestic Drilling Debate

Marc Comtois

Nancy Pelosi is blocking a vote, heck, a discussion, on lifting a ban on offshore drilling for oil. The talking points justifying her actions are out there. So are the polls indicating that a majority of the American people think we should do more domestic drilling, even while they recognize the benefits won't be immediate. Charles Krauthammer explains how Pelosi is exhibiting some cognitive dissonance on this matter:

Does Pelosi imagine that with so much of America declared off-limits, the planet is less injured as drilling shifts to Kazakhstan and Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea? That Russia will be more environmentally scrupulous than we in drilling in its Arctic?

The net environmental effect of Pelosi's no-drilling willfulness is negative. Outsourcing U.S. oil production does nothing to lessen worldwide environmental despoliation. It simply exports it to more corrupt, less efficient, more unstable parts of the world -- thereby increasing net planetary damage....They seem blissfully unaware that the argument for their drill-there-not-here policy collapses on its own environmental terms.

Of course, Pelosi et al don't think that the U.S., under Bushitlermonkeyboy would be "more environmentally scrupulous" than Russia or other countries, do they?

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I've asked this question here before and occasionally to enviro-weenies who haven't given me a good answer yet...

What's less environmentally friendly? Us drilling in ANWR or Iran using profits from selling us oil to build a nuclear weapon that either they or someone they sell it to will use?

Posted by: Greg at August 1, 2008 12:52 PM

1. Referring to The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and calling it "ANWR" - to somehow lump it with unpleasant Arab sounding names like Anwar Sadat - is disingenuous enough - please don't feign ignorance of this - most right wingers eschew the alphabet soup of government initials as too bureaucratic. Call it by its proper name, and remember that the area has been protected for years by both parties until the rapacious Bushistas took over. Are you afraid to refer to it by its proper name? Are you hiding behind the initials?

2. Calling people names does not create an atmosphere conducive to reasonable debate. Starting a conversation by calling someone an enviro-weenie is starting with a chip on your shoulder. It's no wonder you can't get a "good answer".

3. Raise your level of argument to a debate and you might get one. Resort to name calling and you'll just elicit name calling as a response. Perhaps you have no argument in the first place and you feel compelled to substitute bombast for rhetoric.

Here are some reasons to avoid drilling in the area that go beyond the very legitimate environmental reasons not to do so.

As a U.S. Energy Information Administration analyst declared earlier this month:
... the constraints on offshore drilling have little to do with the price of oil, but a lot to do with timing. Once the leases are available, it is a 5 to 10 years before you get to exploratory drilling. There is a tremendous shortage of drilling rigs and manpower. Plus, offshore drilling is so expensive, you don't want to make any mistakes. So you spend do a lot of seismic analysis to minimize your chances of a dry well.

And it is probably another five or more years from drilling your exploratory well to getting significant production from the area -- and that assumes you didn't dig a dry well. If you did, then you are probably going to be even more cautious. And all that assumes you have developed a pipeline infrastructure for delivering the oil. But the Atlantic Coast lacks such an infrastructure, so who knows how long it would take to get its oil?

Perhaps the above italicized quotes can serve as an answer to your question.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at August 1, 2008 4:17 PM

So because something takes time to finish, it shouldn't be started?

Of course, if BJ Clinton had approved the drilling 10 years ago when he had the chance, maybe we'd be pumping by now...

Posted by: EMT at August 1, 2008 5:12 PM


The move to protect The Alaska National Wildlife Refuge began in the early 1950s. This meant that it encompassed the administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush 41, and Clinton, and you jump on only Clinton. I'd say your political prejudices have clouded your judgment.

This marks you as an oil junky who needs a fix. Like most junkies you are beyond the reach of reason.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at August 1, 2008 5:39 PM

Greg, before we even get to the environmentally unfriendly use upon which oil revenue is spent (loose nukes), we should note that the United States drills for oil and refines it under some of the most environmentally friendly conditions on the planet.

Bring on the alternate energy sources. No one has any love of oil. The problem is, the alternates haven't arrived yet and it will be some time (likely a long time) before they do. Until they do, everyone who doesn't live in a cave 24/7 surviving only on wild grass and berries needs petroleum. And still so far, no one has satisfactorily explained why we must pay too much for oil until the alternates arrive.

EMT, good point. Except that even the ten years is a myth. My understanding is that it takes something less than six months to set up equipment, begin drilling and see the resulting crude.

Posted by: Monique at August 1, 2008 7:23 PM

I'd wager that even just the first steps of a U.S. search for/investment in domestic oil would lower oil prices worldwide. Call it the They're Serious Effect.

Of course, those who put their ideology over the lives that Americans are actually living see the current pain as withdrawal. Clearly, such as they are not watching their homes disappear or their chances of retirement (ever) dissipate.

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 1, 2008 7:55 PM

EMT, good point. Except that even the ten years is a myth. My understanding is that it takes something less than six months to set up equipment, begin drilling and see the resulting crude.

Ever watch Ice Road Truckers? This season they dismantled an oil derrick, moved it 80 miles over a frozen lake in -40 degree temperatures, and set it up again. With the editing it's hard to tell how long it took, but I assure you that the lake is frozen for FAR less than 6 months.

Posted by: EMT at August 2, 2008 12:41 AM

I'd say your political prejudices have clouded your judgment.

If you're trying to say that YOU'RE the objective one here, I'd suggest you'
re seriously lost. This is a news and politics board, not a humor forum.

Posted by: EMT at August 2, 2008 12:46 AM

The Gull Island field alone in Alaska contains 50+ years of oil supply for N. America.

Posted by: John McCain Forum at August 2, 2008 4:11 AM

We should dump oil and move to offshore windmills...

Oh wait. We have to wait for Teddy's tumor to wipe him out before we can do that. God forbid we get cheap and clean energy at the expense of the distant views of the rich.

Posted by: Greg at August 2, 2008 10:32 AM
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