Thursday, June 19, 2008

Environmental President? Ha!

Well, forget the notion that George W. Bush will be remembered as an environmental progressive. The sweeping motion to create hundreds of thousands of acres of maritime preserve has apparently been abandoned; at least I haven't heard any news about its passage. Instead, it's been replaced by a call for new offshore drilling to add to our nation's oil reserves. This is a wholly unneccessary endeavor, since the major oil companies are already sitting on thousands of 68 million acres of land, covered by signed lease -- oil-rich land that is being held for speculative purposes, presumably to be used to keep profits up if it becomes necessary. In addition, any oil discovered by new drilling off America's coasts, besides being environmentally risky, very likely won't show any influence on aggregate supply or retail gas prices until 2030.

This should teach us never to elect an administration that is as beholden to industry as Bush and Cheney.

(No links for this post; information is from a presentation by Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA] at a meeting of the Democratic Women's Leadership Council, broadcast yesterday on CSpan.)

Another factoid, from Rachel Maddow: the U.S. consumes 25% of the world's oil. We produce 2% of the world's oil. Even if we were able to increase our oil output by a factor of five (not likely, since all our refineries are already operating at capacity), we would still be able to produce only 10% of the world's oil -- while still consuming 25%! Seems to be time for some new thinking...

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