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Should the U.S. continue offshore drilling?

By Cameron Smith  |  April 30, 2010; 4:16 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It's all about costs vs. benefits. If there were enough oil offshore to actually replace our foreign oil consumption I would say it *might* be worth the risk.
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Since the amount of oil offshore drilling can possibly supply represents less then 5% of our current needs, it doesn't even come close to being worth the risk to the environment and the coastal state economies that depends on the ocean environment.

Posted by: rpixley220 | April 30, 2010 4:41 PM

But they should concentrate on the area in front of Sarah Palin's house. Then it obscures her view of Russia and she won't be so aferd. Drill Baby Drill!!!!

Posted by: pv2bdrco | April 30, 2010 4:42 PM

Very simple comment. YES. Of the hundreds of well in the Gulf, only the US controlled ones are being forcibly halted. All of the foreign ran are doingjust that, running. A small ecological incident is what this really is. Move on to a solution, but keep the goods flowing.

Posted by: sausage696 | April 30, 2010 4:42 PM

If the US is "investing" then why is a PRIVATE COMPANY getting all the profits?

Just another case of socialized risk and privatized profit.

Obama is every bit as much a corporate stooge as Bush.

Posted by: solsticebelle | April 30, 2010 5:06 PM

Well, it may be a small spill as sausage thinks, but it certainly is sinking Marco Rubio's chance to be the next Florida Senator, so it's a big deal for both him and his $100,000 "tax-free" donors at BP.

Posted by: wmboyd | April 30, 2010 5:08 PM

Of course off shore drilling will continue, it's a viable business opportunity. It will continue until the costs outweigh the benefits from a business perspective.

What bothers me about this whole episode is that only now is the current administration coming under widespread fire for the recent decision to open more areas to drilling. This decision did not make drilling any more dangerous and risky than it was two months ago. Accidents happen, it's a fact of life. Could this particular rig been better equipped to prevent this disaster from unfolding? Probably. That should have been handled by regulations/ regulators before the accident. Closing down all offshore operations may prevent future accidents but it will force oil companies to focus on other areas to explore/ exploit and accidents will happen there as well.

Alas, the government that is deemed by many as "too big" will be expected to clean up this mess. It will be expected to enforce new regulations to prevent another accident in the future and this will require more revenue and larger government.

As a people we must soon realize that the size of our government must be appropriate to the services we expect. We'll have to get used to a bigger government or a messier world.

Posted by: tedventre | April 30, 2010 5:09 PM

No to drilling! No to nuclear power! No to coal! Let's all go back to windmills and candles in the dark. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | April 30, 2010 5:11 PM

@TEDVENTRE:
You are correct that the business costs will likely determine whether offshore drilling continues. What is the cost of destroying the Louisiana fishing industry? tourism? or even the fouling of the environment itself? While drilling isn't any more dangerous now than it was 2 months ago, that's not a defense. It was exactly this dangerous 2 months ago. Much like travel after 9/11 wasn't any more dangerous than before that day. Just new information we were aware of makes it 'seem' more dangerous.
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The environmental costs have never been included in the 'costs' of the business operation. It takes a strong government presence to put prices to these costs and regulate them into the cost of the resource.
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That is what the much maligned CAP and TRADE legislation is doing for the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Likewise the environmental cost of carbon fuels needs to be reflected in their price.

It currently isn't. But hopefully a disaster like this will start the national conversation we need to have about using these types of energy sources.

Posted by: rpixley220 | April 30, 2010 5:19 PM

Oil companies are more important than shrimpers and fishermen, just like poultry agribusiness is more important that those who make their living off the Chesapeake Bay.

Posted by: pepperjade | April 30, 2010 5:25 PM

Pepperjade is totally WRONG. Oil companies are NOT important at all! We should vastly expand the production of natural gas domestically and promote the conversion to its use instead of oil products. Home heating use of natural gas instead of oil and automobile use of natural gas instead of gasoline should be promoted. This is cleaner than oil and gas! And totally domestic!

Posted by: ltsigel | April 30, 2010 6:36 PM

Obviously, offshore oil production is NOT safe and certainly NOT environmentally friendly. And it is totally unnecessary!
The problem is the short cuts that the oil companies take that endanger the offshore production. Like BP neglecting to install the necessary automatic shutoff valve! They will pay and prove that oil is viable only by imposing on the rest of us!

Posted by: ltsigel | April 30, 2010 6:40 PM

There is great suspicion that the LEFT orchestrated the DISASTER via SABOTAGE because SHUTDOWN of the oil resource is WHAT THEY WANT, including the Oblowout Administration which wishes to CRIPPLE American exploitation of natural resources.

Obooma allowed BP to operate a rag-tag operation in the Gulf with inadequate equipment, not scaled to deal with the well-head pressures which were KNOWN to exist at the site. Only the Oblunder Administration, hellbent to become a Marxist kleptocracy, benefits from the disaster and must be the prime suspect in allowing a situation to develop where a blowout incident could advance their political agenda.

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Posted by: dumpbama | April 30, 2010 7:01 PM

I spent 8 years in AK in an oil support company. I lived there thru the Exxon Valdez days. If some of the facts I've read about this are true, this could be much, much worse.

Offshore drilling can be safe and clean if the US imposed some of the regulations that more progressive countries impose on the oil companies, such as those surrounding the North Sea. As usual, the "drill baby drill" mentality has made these politically tough.

I don't understand something: When the explosion occurred it was announced that this was an exploration operation, not production. There was no report of leak danger at the time, so I assumed it was not producing or was capped. WHat the heck happened?

Posted by: tjconnor | April 30, 2010 9:06 PM

This is not an environmental disaster, this is just another accident. Human beings accept this kind of thing all the time. Oil spills are commonplace. We care now but in a few months all will be forgotten and the offshore drilling will continue. We are insane. Humans are the most insane creatures ever to walk the face of the earth. We think so highly of ourselves but our level of stupidity is greater now than in centuries past. You see, we know the the things we do are insane but we just don't care.
Our millisecond on planet earth is almost over thanks to our own cruelty to our ecosystem, and our inability to move away from our antiquated instincts.

Posted by: bahbahwahwah | May 9, 2010 9:41 PM

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