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Offshore Drilling, What it Really Means

President Bush caused a stir when he lifted the ban on offshore oil drilling Monday, Keith Johnson of the Wall Street Journal writes.

Johnson says the announcement lends itself to two readings. On one hand the decision is meaningless until Congress reverses its own moratorium limiting offshore drilling, which has been renewed annually since 1982. And Democrats, who have control of Congress are still outraged at the idea of offshore drilling.

On the other hand, even if offshore exploration and production in the U.S. began this year, it would still take many years to come to market and represent only a small amount of global output.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says expanded offshore drill may knock off a few cents off a gallon of gas years from now.

Johnson warns that while President Bush’s move won’t affect physical supplies of oil, it may affect the psychology of traders.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada addressed these concerns and responded to the president’s announcement by saying that he hopes a bipartisan bill targeting oil speculators will be introduced by his congressional colleagues by Wednesday.

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2 thoughts on “Offshore Drilling, What it Really Means

  1. Yes, it’s true that it might take several years to see positive results from increased domestic drilling. It’s equally true that a do-nothing Congress has consistently dragged its collective feet on any action that would alleviate the current problems. Between them and environmentalists and their powerful lobbies we’ve let much time and many opportunities slip away. What never seems to be mentioned is the fact that alternative energy sources will also not offer immediate relief. It will take years before the technologies are viable and/or affordable. In the meantime, we are creating further problems for ourselves in other areas – witness the food shortages -in our zeal to promote ethanol and other plant based energy sources. Congress needs to grow up and act like the adults we elected them to be. They’ve gotten even more useless…and I didn’t think it was possible…since the Democrats became the majority.

  2. Even if the lifting of the ban was to make a difference right away, it would still not alter the fact of Peak Oil and the fact that oil will run out soon and that we need to switch over to other alternatives before it does.

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