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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: The Obama Administration's Drilling Ban

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Obama Administration's Drilling Ban

Two articles, both from the Wall Street Journal address aspects of the Obama administration's drilling ban.  The first, "No Specific Timeline for Ending Drilling Ban, Regulator Says," written by Stephan Power, quotes Interior Department official, Michael Bromwich, who said that the drilling ban which is set to expire November 30 will not be reconsidered until at least mid-September, and that the ban threatens up to 20,000 jobs and has resulted in millions of dollars of lost wages.

The second article, "The World Drills On," which appears in the Review and Outlook column notes that Norway, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, all countries with governments sensitive to environmental issues that are continuing and expanding deep water drilling.  Countries less sensitive to those issues, like Brazil, are expanding production as well.

One has to question the rationality of U.S. policy that alone sees the Deepwater Horizon spill as representing a new unmanageable high risk threat to the environment rather than an unfortunate low probability, high risk event.  One also has to question the commitment to reducing carbon emission of many countries that for years have complained about our lack of commitment.  If less oil is produced, less oil will be consumed. 

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