In an article on the debate over offshore drilling, the NYT told readers:
“while candidates have sparred over the reasons for rising prices, there is little disagreement over the call for more drilling, onshore and offshore.”
The NYT should have also told readers that there is almost no disagreement among economists that drilling everywhere all the time offshore will have almost no impact on the price of gas in the United States. The reason is that we have a world market for oil. The additional oil that might come from offshore drilling is a drop in the bucket in a world oil market of almost 90 million barrels a day.
It is unlikely that drivers would even notice the difference between a policy where we told the oil industry that it could drill wherever it wants and pay no attention to the number of people it kills in the process or the resulting damage to the environment and local economies and a policy where we banned all new offshore drilling.
Over the next 2 years the difference would be virtually non-existent and even after 10 years it is unlikely to change the price of gas by more than 2-3 per cent.
The media should point out this fact to readers and that politicians who claim otherwise either do not understand the oil market or are being dishonest. It also would have been worth reminding readers that politicians of both parties receive large campaign contributions from the oil industry.
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