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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Drilling in the Great Lakes

Blogger Dennis Byrne, writing in the Chicago Tribune:

Don't think there's no interest in drilling in the Great Lakes. Michigan draws the greatest interest because it (and parts of other Midwest states) is sitting on top of the Niagaran coral reef, believed to be loaded with oil and natural gas reserves. Just under Lake Erie is a trillion cubic feet of natural gas, waiting to be tapped. Politically, the idea might seem dead right off the bat. After all, who would dare violate the health and sanctity of the world's largest body of fresh water?

Canada would. And does. Yes, politically correct Canada, that one. In addition to the Great Lakes, Canada allows offshore drilling in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. (The People's Paradise of Cuba also is eyeing offshore drilling, some of it as close as 45 miles to the Florida coast, using techniques much less environmentally sound than American companies.)

…Michigan has several active wells tapping into the reserves under the lake using "directional drilling," allowing drilling on the diagonal, as it were, reducing chances of an in-water oil spill. (Environmentalists also oppose this technique.) Those wells were grandfathered in before the Great Lakes ban was imposed.
Byrne isn’t clearly taking one side or the other, although he does seem to think it’s inevitable (if prices keep going up). But he does say:

Just a few days ago, a Republican effort to open more costal waters to exploration was defeated on a party-line vote. "We are kidding ourselves if we think we can drill our way out of these problems," pronounced House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.).

Good thinking. With it, Democrats will get creamed in the fall elections.