Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Mistake on Drilling - UPDATE

Long time commenter on this blog Road Dawg asked me privately what I thought about our nation's drilling policy, because I had never really addressed it on these pages. The fact is that I had always thought that we couldn't drill enough to have a significant impact on the price of oil world wide. As a result, even though I didn't personally believe the drilling restrictions we've suffered for decades were appropriate I didn't think it was a worthy issue, because it just made our side look insensitive to the environment but didn't change the price of oil anyway.

I still believe that our own drilling won't have much effect on prices, but it has become clear that I was missing something more important. Jobs. Drilling in North Dakota and the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline, if it were built, means jobs for Americans. It was a mistake on my part not to acknowledge that part of the equation, especially when unemployment really took off in 2009. Further, I might even be wrong about the economic impact. It seems that all of the natural gas we are bringing up out of the ground is having a huge impact on its price.

So I have to give props to Mr. 'Dawg on this, and thank him for pushing me on the issue. Now let's drill baby.


Shale oil in the U.S. can be a huge source of new jobs. Steel mills and chemical plants and maybe a million jobs could be created from a boom in drilling for this type of oil. See Industry Week.


  1. Link forthcoming.


  2. Natural gas is a different critter because it is harder to transport. You need pipelines. So the market tends to be more local. Here in Denver natural gas was very cheap because we had a glut. They recently connect to a national pipeline network and because the market grew, the value of the gas went up, along with our winter heating bills.

  3. Thanks Bdaddy, I have also been pushing on the issue of de-funding those who mean us harm. As Sarah sez above, "security".


    Every time we hear about oil prices rising when the supply remains the same, the cause seems to be, "speculation". Either there is turmoil or unrest in the mid-east or there is going to be a shortage due to a hurricane, the supply doesn't seem to be short, but speculators are driving the price of oil, irrespective of the supply. I feel if there is speculation we will get off our liberal butts and drill, the price may go down.