Drilling and Morality

Apparently at $4/gallon of gas if you are still against drilling in the US you are morally bankrupt.

Why? Because in times of crisis it’s the poor that get hurt the most and you can’t be moral unless you care for the poor. Something like that.

In the past I have counseled against opening up ANWR and ripping apart the western states going after shale until we’ve put to use the cheap Middle Eastern oil. Save ours for us later when we’re really going to need it. (yes, now that sounds morally bankrupt to me if you care about the world at all!)

You can’t really just let the free market decide when it’s time to find more oil because oil isn’t really directly related to the free market. Prices are controlled by OPEC and prices are influenced and affected by the US military paid for by taxpayers. There is no real cost analysis of the price of pollutants that are paid for by everyone and there is no real knowledge of supply.

At $2.50/gallon of gas the big truck/suv sales were still climbing. Particularly for city dwellers who’s biggest haul is a load of leaves to the dump. At $2.50/gallon of gas the size of housing was still growing with huge open spaces needed to be heated with …. you guessed it, oil.

At $4/gallon of gas people are just starting to make lifestyle changes. Changes that say “there is a cost to this resource and we need to pay attention to it”. Are the poor hit the worst. Yes. Aren’t they always??

I’m not so cold as Barack Obama who wants prices to continue to ride, albeit more slowly. But I do believe that alternative and yes cleaner forms of energy will not be invented until it’s cost effective to do so. Subsidized oil doesn’t play fair, so yeah – I’m ok with waiting until now to open up drilling in places like shorelines and ANWR.

But yes, $4/gallon seems to be the tipping point when behavior starts to change. Am I for regulating behavior? Hell no. But I don’t see how drilling in Alaska to sell oil to Japan would have been a good thing 5-10 years ago.

So I stand by what I’ve said. Morally bankrupt or not. I’m not so naive to think that writing the bill automatically opens the pipelines. It will take time. And during that time people can get serious about our wastage of resources. And yes we all do it. Including the poor.

Terri, “the morally bankrupt elitist”, has offically said it, it’s now time to start opening up the US to oil exploration.

8 thoughts on “Drilling and Morality

  1. Did you read the Krautheimer column in the Wash. Post on Friday? Made a lot of the same $4 tipping point points, but instead of talking about drilling talked about how to keep gas at higher than $4 with a gas tax so the extra money would stay here and could be used for alternative energy exporation. (I think — it was almost a week ago aI read it!)

  2. Here, here, could not agree with you more – while it would be nice to save the pristine ANWAR, what good is it if this country bankrupts, people are starving and going cold for lack of fuel. China is drilling oil wells 50 miles off the Florida coast (that is our oil) but we can’t get at it because the wackos have got Congress in their back pocket. I ask – who has the technology to drill in a manner more environmentally friendly 50 miles at sea – the US or China (who could give a rats backside about any environment) – the wells are still there only they are not ours. Congrats to all those greenie, environmental wackos.

  3. “Our oil”? I’m pretty sure it’s in the high seas or we’d be at war with them.

    I did read that Krautheimer column. I laughed because my $4/gallon was just a made up number in my head that he took too. I disagreed about a bit about the tax. The tax maybe ought to be there to pay for all those other bits that aren’t taken into consideration. ie the military or asthma or oil spill disasters or nature preserves without wells on the. It was a good column though.

    It’s what’s needed. Brainstorming ideas of what to do. Bottom line is we’re all a bunch of lazies. And at $2.50/gallon there isn’t a one of us with the gumption to go figure out the answers.

    Lefties want “carbon taxes” and universal agreements to cut global warming taxes until it comes to individually taking responsibility. Righties just want to keep business running and the world/nature/things shared by everyone be damned.

    Neither is the answer to the long term problem of reliance on the Middle East and Venezuela for things that we need here.

  4. Yes – our oil – go drill 50 miles off the coast of China and see whose oil that is. The fact remains, the US govt. has been negligent in it’s pursuit of alternative enery since the oil embargo of the 70’s. There are vehicles in Iceland running on geothermal energy, Brazil runs on sugar based fuel, and we do have the technology to overcome this but because the majority of our elected officials are more concerned with reelection than responsible governing we are at this point.

  5. I’m too big a hippie to believe we get to own everything especially when we negotiated it away years ago and decided everyone owns the seas. Just because China may react differently doesn’t make it different.

    I don’t blame our elected officials. We get the govt we deserve. And there is no official reason why promoting alternative forms of energy would be bad for them. Instead, people, civilians, this population has had it easy for a long long time and we don’t make it a priority.

    We don’t want to adjust our lifestyles. Instead we want the govt to “do something about the price of oil”. “Now!”


  6. I agree with most of what you say we have had it easy and we do get the govt we deserve BUT these people are supposed to be “leaders” and they clearly are not. Alternative fuels have to be mandated, if not who would invest in stocking them. The govt is powerless to do anything about the price of oil now but they do need to have the forsight to prepare for when we really get over the barrel. (pardon the pun)

  7. Mandated?

    As in when the bad guys forced Iron Man into the cave and said “make me a weapon”?

    I don’t think so.

    And the govt did have the fore site to create the strategic reserve. Is $4/gallon high enough to open that up? Are we over the barrel now?

    I don’t think so and that’s where Hansen would think I am immoral. Prices are just now where people are going to a) do things themselves b) call on the govt to do things.

    This blog post was my call.

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