Just drill, baby!

Obama's call for expanded offshore drilling in U.S. sends a mixed message to green energy investors.

So the Obama administration has proposed to open the Atlantic coast from Delaware to northern Florida for offshore oil exploration. That’s up to 167 million acres of ocean floor.  And now that the pesky polar ice cap is melting away, the entire northern slope of Alaska can open for business, up to 130 million acres.

Heck, the administration gave Copenhagen the old college try, so I guess it was time to appeal to all of President Obama’s Tea Party followers. Time to drill, baby, drill.

The extra oil will make such a difference for America. Alaskans will get a little extra in their annual petroleum dividend check. That will come in handy for those that have to relocate their homes because of sea level rise and permafrost melt associated with global warming and greenhouse gases.

Of course, all of this American oil will help us quickly move to the green energy economy many of us have been clamoring for. I’m sure the U.S. will get right on it once we’ve drained all our offshore and onshore resources (don’t forget shale!). As my Dad always used to say: Waste not, want not! (The rallying cry may have led to the Gold family addiction to massive burritos.)

Oh, and our green energy policy will really take shape after we’ve maximized ethanol production in the Corn Belt. And built a bunch of new nuclear power plants. Yes, I know they are great on CO2 emissions, but do you want the spent fuel storage facility near your house? On Guantanamo? Or the old site of Yankee Stadium? (Sorry, I’m a Dodgers fan.)

We’ll be a green, low-carbon economy that won’t be messed with, unless of course the EU and China leave us in the dust by the time we get around to taking seriously the need for a renewable-energy transformation.

At least move the EPA out of the Department of Interior. That way, when Administrator Lisa Jackson takes another run at a real climate change plan with Congress in the next few weeks her agency won’t be saddled with the hypocrisy of opening up coastal waters for pollution and habitat destruction in the name of energy security.

Starting up fights on offshore oil drilling takes us in the exact opposite direction of where this nation needs to go to seriously deal with greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

And perhaps more importantly, how serious can investors take the administration’s promise to move America to a green-energy economy when offshore oil drilling, mountaintop mining, clean coal and oil shale extraction are at the forefront of the energy policy and subsidy discussions?

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One Response

  1. And here is the first official Republican response, illustrating why this is a pointless Charlie Brown and the football routine, or at best Salvador Dali Kabuki:

    “House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) dismissed the president’s plan as not going far enough in opening up U.S. waters for exploration.

    Obama’s decision “continues to defy the will of the American people,” Boehner said in a statement, pointing to the president’s decision to open Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters, while leaving Pacific and many Alaskan waters largely closed to exploration. ”

    (from “The Hill” ).

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