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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another conservative-sounding RJT editorial

The Racine Journal Times has surprised me a couple of times lately. This time, the topic is drilling for oil. I’ve bolded a few passages:

We must drill. There’s no getting around that idea. It is true that there will be no immediate effect on gasoline prices because developing a new oil field requires up to a decade, depending on which projection you accept. But it’s also true there is no projected date by which the nation’s energy needs will be met by forests of wind turbines charging plug-in hybrid autos, or acres of solar panels boiling liquid to drive generators, or some other scheme.

It’s true that there is an environmental risk from oil spills, and we need to make sure that penalties are certain and quick, not delayed for 20 years as in the Exxon Valdez case. Yet government data show that offshore oil and gas development contributes about 2 percent to the petroleum in the North American marine environment, the same amount as comes from recreational boating.

The fact is that there is no short-term substitute for petroleum, and there is also the fact that the greater our domestic supply the less we will be at the mercy of the political instability which is endemic in the Middle East and which is now appearing in the Caucasus region containing Georgia and important energy transport routes to western Europe.
They’re not saying only drill. They’re saying drill, and keep working on other stuff.

That’s a great position.

P.S. Do I have to disclose that I interned at the RJT in the Summer of 1997 and freelanced for them into 1998? Whether or not I do, I guess I just did.