Monday, June 23, 2008

Selling Our Souls for Easy Oil

Let's talk a little reality about opening up our coasts to oil drilling. The reality is that there are roughly 70 million acres of leases already in the greedy little hands of oil companies that they aren't drilling. Why? It is expensive oil. It is in deep water and the costs to get it to market are very high even with prices at $135 or so a barrel. Guess what? Near in shore, shallow water oil is a lot cheaper to bring to market. Why should the oil companies dip into their record profits to extract the expensive oil in the leases they already own when it looks like the panic over high gas prices is going to release millions of acres of "cheap oil"?
From CNN :
The oil industry is correct about not hoarding oil, said Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit. With prices at $135 dollars a barrel, everyone is trying to pump as much as they can, he said.

But fearing oil prices will eventually fall, the industry is leery about making too many investments in the fields it has - many of which are in deepwater areas that can be pricey to develop.

Instead, they're holding out, hoping the government will open areas closer to shore that would be cheaper to work on.

Gheit hasn't seen the legislation proposed by Markey and others, but he thinks the government should revise the leasing process to encourage more drilling on existing areas before it puts more acres up for bid.

"Government agencies should hold their feet to the fire," he said. And oil companies "should finish what's on their plate before they do back in line."

We really need to keep coastal areas clear and free of the oil companies. Sure it is cheaper to drill but with the oil companies making record profits I don't see any reason they shouldn't invest in some of the deeper water resources before we commit our shores to the horrors of even a single spill. Of course the real answer is to invest in finding alternative sources for our continually increasing need for energy but panic and close in shore drilling is the last thing we need.

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