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Sometimes I Wish That It Would Rain Here

Monday, July 14, 2008

to drill or not to drill or ...

I was listening this morning to a story on NPR about Bush's expected lifting of the executive ban on off-shore drilling. in immediate impact, this doesn't mean a whole bunch, since the legislative ban has not (yet) been lifted by congress. rather than discuss all the politics of this particular issue (e.g., the argument that off shore drilling won't actually affect gas prices), there were two aspects of the story on which I'd like to comment.

first, there was a woman from Alabama
saying that her state was doing its part in helping with the oil crisis, so why shouldn't Florida do the same. she went further, talking about how oil rigs are not all that disruptive. "...it's just interesting little blips on the horizon. It's just part of this area." people think that turbines for generating wind power are eyesores on their hillsides, but they will tolerate oil rigs dotting their horizon?

second, what really baffles me about this issue is that most of the coverage I've seen and heard treats the issue in a rather binary fashion, looking at arguments for and against off shore drilling. what I don't understand is why people aren't challenging the need for oil in the first place. rather than spending time, money, effort, labor, etc. on extracting oil from the Gulf of Mexico (which, by the way, is estimated to hold enough oil reserves to meet the US's needs for about six months), why not spend those resources on developing alternatives so that we don't need the oil to begin with? not only does this save us even having a debate about off shore drilling, but it actually does something to help reduce the causes of global climate change.

I'm certain there are other people making this argument. it just irritates me that, to my knowledge, it doesn't seem to get addressed in any of the major media.

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