Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Drill Baby Drill Update

Bad news for Florida environmentalists: the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 13 to 10 to open the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for gas and oil drilling.

The committee voted 13-10 in favor of Sen. Byron Dorgan's (D-N.D.) plan to allow leasing as close as 45 miles from Florida's coast. It also allows leasing in a gas-rich region called the Destin Dome off the Florida Panhandle that is even closer to shore.

The drilling amendment vote was part of the committee's ongoing markup of a broad energy bill.

Dorgan said the measure should be part of a bill that also addresses alternative energy and efficiency. "I am interested in doing this to increase production," Dorgan said.

The problem is this wouldn't increase production. Offshore oil production would take 5 to ten years to get online.

"It's foolish to sell it as a short-term solution to high gas prices," said Mike Rodgers, of the PFC Energy in Washington. "Opening offshore drilling would have no impact whatsoever on gas prices today."

The truth is there isn't that much oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University found 90 percent of recoverable oil in the Gulf taken by energy companies. Only 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil is left. Another 14 oil barrels is too difficult for rigs to get recover.

The Nicholas School showed how Congress cooked the books at adding unrecoverable oil into their report. Check out the image below. The world is running out of oil. We need to start dealing with that reality.

Sen. Bill Nelson is concerned how more offshore rigs will effect military operations.

“ The operative policy and law of the United States is to use much of the eastern Gulf of Mexico as the last remaining training range for our military pilots. Give that up to the oil boys and you sacrifice national security. Meanwhile, gas prices fluctuate wildly because speculators, who behave like condo-flippers, are allowed to buy and resell oil contracts. Until we stop that, we’ll continue to be gouged at the pump. Congress ought to be looking at that, and at a real alternative energy program - instead of trying to put oil rigs off the world-class tourist spots all along Florida’s coast. ”

Nelson brings up more oversight on oil contracts. Very interesting.

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At June 10, 2009 2:35 PM , Anonymous Joe said...

This is a terrible idea - drilling will not lower gas prices, nor will it make us more energy independent. What it will do is threaten our beaches, our environment, and our multi-billion dollar fishing and tourism industries.

Good thing Florida has a champion for its coasts in the Senate in the form of Bill Nelson. If you care about the welfare of Florida's beaches, then join Progress Florida in standing up to Big Oil and urging Sen. Nelson to do whatever it takes to fight this outrageous proposal: http://progressflorida.org/page/s/fightdrilling


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