• Mar 10th 2011 at 11:49AM
  • 31
Back in April of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon burst into flames and sank into the sea. For months, clean-up crews worked to contain the oil that spewed out at a rapid rate. In early May, President Obama announced that no additional deepwater drilling efforts would commence until measures to prevent the recurrence of this type of disaster were in place. Well, last October, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced that deepwater drilling would resume.

Now, as oil prices continue to climb, Salazar says that he hopes to approve a "significant" number of offshore drilling permits. On Monday, The U.S. Interior department approved drilling at a deepwater well co-owned by Noble Energy and BP. Salazar told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee that:
There are other deepwater permits that are pending and the ones that will go out the door will hopefully be the templates that will allow us to move forward with an additional, significant number of deepwater permits.
The funny part is – if you can find the dark humor in all of this – that even though Salazar is intent on increasing deepwater drilling efforts, he admits that expansion is unlikely to impact world oil prices:
We do not produce enough oil in this country to influence price of oil because it's set in world markets.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu agreed with Salazar's statement, claiming that expansion in offshore drilling would have no near-term impact on oil prices.

[Source: Reuters | Image: mikebaird – C.C. License 2.0]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well a subject like this was always going to bring out the cranks, ranters, and conspiracy theorists!

      MarK_ BC, Meet Dan, Dan meet Mark, you two guy's should be cell..sorry, Soul Mates!

      The US economy not going to crash and burn, the sky will not turn to blood and the Apocalypse will not begin.

      But this time 'round when theres a spill, don't blame the oil company. These are the increasing risks of high risk drilling!

      The era of cheap oil is over! Not in a spectacular Armageddon type drama but a long slow inevitable decline. The really unpleasant truth is that outside of nuclear, no really efficient renewable technology is ready quite yet to replace oil and fossil fuels. .

      No conspiracy theories please! No Utopian ranting! It would appear unlikely at this stage that any individual technology is available. So we must make do with several imperfect solutions.

      Until these eventuate, we must still sustain the 6 billion human economy on the oil infrastructure we have, and as we replace it where we can.

      No magic bullet, no heroic last days, just hard work and perseverance! The sort of thing the US used to be the best .

      Oil is too valuable for other uses to waste on energy production.

      Incidentally, ever thought why the middle east hates the US? Before the mid-1950's every middle eastern nation admired and supported the US. What changed? Oil? Nah, that was always there and the middle east was proud to sell oil to the US. So what changed, Quo bono?

      US support for the expansion of the state of Israel, brought the US into conflict with the middle east. Rightly or wrongly, the hatred and resentment grew with Islamic resentment. This led to a policy of US military expansion around the world.

      I have supported every US led initiative, including Vietnam, but in the end, the US needs to turn away from being the world's Sheriff. Like Gary Cooper found, most of 'em ain't worth it!

      The US must led it's allies in the impending trade and resource competition against the growing power of the PRC, India, etc.

      Americans should remember two quotes from a much maligned President, "The business of America is business." and "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." -- Calvin Coolidge

      Wasting money on foreign adventures with the military playing by one-sided and ridiculous rules, is pointless and achieves little more than despair from US friends and contempt from US enemies.

      The US must invest to be the planets saviour. By harnessing the US and Western allies intellectual and creative resources, the US can gain universal support by achieving a comfortable and confidently secure post-oil world.

      This sort of leadership and admiration will prove economically stronger than any temporary advantage other power blocks may possess and render their military just an expensive waste of resources.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Same thing is going to happen. Eventually the GVT will allow deep water drilling. And a decade or so later, when the regulators are sipping mojitos with ABC Petroleum Co. something is going to happen. As it always will. People will lose focus.

      The question we need to ask ourselves, is it worth it? I know I drive to work every day in a conventional vehicle (ok it is fuel efficient, but so what), and unless someone tells me a realistic way that I can get there, travel at my own leisure, and have the independence of a car without one, nothing is going to change. Our infrastructure cannot handle it. We are a society (and culture) built around the car.

      Its not out fault, most of America's growth was built around the fact that there was at least 1 car in the household. It does not change the fact that we are dependent (not addicted, thats a misnomer) on oil.

      End of rant....
        • 4 Years Ago
        "unless someone tells me a realistic way that I can get there, travel at my own leisure, and have the independence of a car without one, nothing is going to change"

        You can get a Nissan Leaf, a Chevy Volt, or A Toyota Prius with an aftermarket plugin battery kit. Beyond this, if applicable, you could put solar panels on your roof to charge it. Or even maybe a wind turbine if it's suitable.

        Yesterday I went to Bellingham airport In WA state and noticed a new wind turbine set up next to it, powering a vehicle charge station. I think it was one of the 10 kW models. It was blowing like stink.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gah, this is just ridiculous. Despite admitting that it's a pointless endeavour, they're still going to devote huge effort and resources towards this instead of renewables.

      This picture, courtesy of 2008, says it all...

      • 4 Years Ago
      i think its the best decision given the circumstances...dislike it or not oil is part of our industrial economy with out it we would collapse society..
      • 4 Years Ago
      "President Obama announced that no additional deepwater drilling efforts would commence until measures to prevent the recurrence of this type of disaster were in place."

      So... What measures has the Federal Government taken to prevent another cock-up?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The National Oil Spill Commission established by the President published its report January 11, their discontinued web site is http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/ According to http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/plehner/gulf_commission_says_systemic.html , "a dangerous combination of failed industry management and failed government oversight" caused the disaster. The report has sound recommendations for changing oversight, making NOAA the lead safety agency, an independent safety and environment office, reforming the Minerals Management Service (since renamed), etc. But it's hard to tell which if any of these recommendations have come into effect, or whether oil industry lobbying has watered them down.

        Here's a recent letter to the editor about "what we are doing to fix the problems" from someone at the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "President Obama announced"

        That answers your question right there. He's a politician. His lips moved. 'Nuff said.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm on board with this. And it is nice to see them be honest and say that it really won't affect prices. The AM radio airwaves are filled with charlatans that say the lack of drilling permits caused the oil price rise . . . it hasn't. It just isn't much oil.

      In fact the amount of oil produced domestically HAS INCREASED during the past 2 years due to gulf oil and crude oil extracted from the Bakken formation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tropps in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantamo Bay still open, millitary tribunals, tax breaks for the rich, Corporate bail outs, bail outs for the banks, and more offshore drilling. Change you can believe in?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well if they are going to allow it, then we should increase the lease price. The US taxpayer owns the mineral rights to that offshore oil, so we should be getting significantly compensated. Oil price goes up, but we keep the lease price the same, so Oil companies end up making more money selling our oil...

      Maybe a better idea would to have the US Government drill for the oil the US taxpayers own under US waters and land... Then we could at least reduce the deficit, even if it makes an inconsequential impact on oil prices and price at the pump. And the US government is more likely to follow its own regulations and safety procedures than some oil company.
      • 4 Years Ago
      World oil prices do not necessarily determine pump prices. The refineries in the gulf are currently paying 15 -20% premiums over world oil prices. A larger domestic supply that is available to gulf and east coast refiners will certainly reduce costs for the consumer.

      Every barrel we don't bring in from somewhere else is a win in my book.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Expansion of offshore drilling may not help oil prices much but it will help the trade deficit quite a bit. Money that we send to Venezuela/etc goes to the states.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you look at the actual volumes involved, it could, at best, affect the trade deficit by about 2%. Unless America drastically reduced its oil consumption.

        • 4 Years Ago
        That's what I heard too, this oil gets sold on the international market, it isn't necessarily kept in the country.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Only if the wells are American owned. This one is half BP, for instance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GoodCheer, you make a good point, but I'd much rather have my money go to my friends in Europe than my enemies in the middle east.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ....... and what percentage of the workers on these rigs are American, would you say ...... hmmmmmmm?
      • 4 Years Ago

      Well, hurry it up and get all the devil's black blood out of the earth so we can get to using renewable energy on the remainder of the swiss cheese planet this one will become.

      Part of me wants to rip out the 4 cylinder engine out of my car and not drive it until it has an electric motor in there..

      Other part of me wants to get a very clean, modern v8 car and drive it liberally, hoping to accelerate the oil shortages so that we can get on with using clean energy.

      Very. Frustrating.
      • 4 Years Ago
      200,000 barrels a day, at future price of $130/barrel and calculate standard oil company profit of 10% and you have $2.6M profit per day. Seems like a good thing for the oil companies. Of course at that price $/gallon gas will be high.

      Renewables would be a nice alternative, but we need better storage.
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