Offshore Drilling: Cleaner Than Mother Nature
Fear of oil spills is a poor Democratic excuse for energy poverty.


Deroy Murdock

Thanks to the curvature of the Earth, these operations can stay out of sight. Rep. John Peterson (R., Penn.) proposes new drilling, but at least 50 miles offshore, well past the 12 miles beyond which the horizon hides oil equipment from the eyes of surfers and beachcombers. At 50 miles, moreover, spills that might occur would be as far from shore as Philadelphia is inland.

Critics also dismiss offshore development since its benefits supposedly would take ages.

“You wouldn’t see any full production out of any oil drilling off the coasts until 2030,” presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama claimed June 20 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Illinois senator added: “It will take a generation to reach full production.”

Currently mired in red tape, Chevron’s Destin Dome field off Florida could produce within four years. Southern California deposits could yield within five to ten years. Besides, as Confucius said: “The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is now.”

America is like a vagrant who shakes a tin cup, pleads for change, and yet refuses to touch his $1 million trust fund. Before President Bush flies back to Saudi Arabia to beg sheiks to open their spigots, the United States should rely on our own offshore oil and gas. The fact we can do so more safely than ever leaves the Democratic Congress no excuse not to stand aside — now!

Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.

© 2008 Scripps Howard News Service