Yesterday, President Bush called for Congress to end its decades-long moratorium on offshore oil drilling. When would this actually help reduce oil prices? Not any time soon (WSJ):
If the bans were lifted tomorrow, it would be at least seven years — and likely as long as a decade — before the first oil began to flow off the coasts of Florida, California and the eastern seaboard.
“Is it going to happen overnight? No,” said Dan Naatz, vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “Is it going to solve all of our nation’s energy problems? No.”
With a Democratic-controlled Congress and the odds-on favourite to win the Presidency, Barack Obama, opposing offshore drilling, environmentalists may not even have to put up much of a fight. But if they do, the offshore-oil-to-the-rescue timeline stretches further:
Environmental battles — likely given the strong opposition from many environmental groups — could delay the projects for years more. Already, critics of offshore drilling are preparing for a fight. At stake, said Holly Binns, field director for Environment Florida, “are what are considered the best beaches in the world.
(What’s that? There isn’t one? The Bush Administration should have started pursuing an alternative energy policy eight years ago? Well, we’ll all be OK when the global economy finally collapses.)