"Environmental Chic" and the Gulf Oil Spill

Charles Krauthammer's column in the Washington Post [thanks to Soccer Dad for the link] points out the sad irony in the circumstances that contributed to the Gulf oil spill, opening with the question of why we were drilling through a mile of ocean to begin with:

Many reasons, but this one goes unmentioned: Environmental chic has driven us out there. As production from the shallower Gulf of Mexico wells declines, we go deep (1,000 feet and more) and ultra deep (5,000 feet and more), in part because environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic coast off-limits to oil production. (President Obama's tentative, selective opening of some Atlantic and offshore Alaska sites is now dead.) And of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Some will take issue with Mr. Krauthammer's pragmatism (paraphrase: we'll always have catastrophic oil spills, so why not make sure they occur in less sensitive areas?) and I think he's minimizing a couple of immutable realities of the industry (oil is where you find it, and the "easy" oil has been found), but his point is nevertheless valid. By forcing oil companies to explore in areas where the environmental and economic effects of [inevitable] mistakes are magnified, those who claim to be advocates for the environment have actually done it a disservice.

Of course, logic and reality have never been the Environistas strong points. Some of them are the same people who object to wind farms off the coast of New England because they'll spoil the view.


You've done a great job! It even shows well on the iPhone. You are a master of simplicity without making it look "simple" if that makes sense.

You can see why I appreciate simplicity. ;-)

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on May 28, 2010 8:02 AM.

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