Planet Gore

Stop Drilling Now So U.S. Can Maximize Revenue Later

So argues Richard Revesz in Forbes:

With thousands of barrels of crude still pouring into the sea after BP’s disastrous oil spill April 20, the downsides of offshore oil drilling have become all too clear.

That doesn’t mean that we should never extract the natural resources under our oceans. But it does mean we should wait until we can extract the highest possible price at the lowest costs to make sure Americans are being compensated for the enormous risks we take on when we allow drilling.

The Gulf Coast gusher is likely to make opening more of the Outer Continental Shelf a political no-no for a while as BP attempts to contain and clean up what’s being called the largest environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez. But even in the midst of this panic, some are still calling for more drilling. And President Obama has to contend with the fact that he threw his support behind expanding leasing just days before the pipes on the Deepwater Horizon rig busted.

Waiting for higher prices and better technologies might be the best policy–and good politics.

The choice of whether to drill is not a one-time decision; saying no to additional leases today does not preclude us from allowing them in the future. So the decision can be thought of as an option, a resource we can take advantage of at the time we think it will benefit us most.

The rest here.

I don’t agree and the argument leaves out any talk of what high oil prices do to the economy as a whole.

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