The offshore drilling scam

I don’t have a settled position on offshore drilling for oil, whether it’s in Canada, the United States or Nigeria — my gut says don’t but my head says in most cases, why exactly not? — but I think it’s clear that brand-new exploration of any kind is no short-term fix to the U.S. energy shortage. As Marc Gunther, one of a thousand sources I could have cited, puts it:

Citing US EIA reports, Rick and Andy say that 200,000 barrels per day by 2030 of extra output from additional outer continental shelf drilling represents a mere 3% increase in projected US production in 2030 and only a 0.2% increase in global output in 2030. The Department of Energy says the projected price impact of opening up additional outer continental shelf drilling in the US is “insignificant”. If McCain knows that (and he should), he’s being a cynic when linking offshore oil drilling to price cuts.

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