PJ Media

Can One Spill Shut Down Gulf Drilling?

In the weeks since the British Petroleum (BP) drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, environmentalists have warned that the ecological sky is falling. They assure us that the resulting oil spill, which is just now beginning to reach the shore of some Gulf States, is certain to bring with it a disaster of cosmic proportions.

One environmentalist in particular, the Sierra Club’s Michael Brune, has grown so hysterical that he’s decided to speak for everyone by declaring: “Americans are horrified.” And although “almost 40 years have passed [without] an incident” of this kind, Brune is certain the BP explosion proves “there is no safe way to drill for oil in oceans.”

In other words, in classic Rahm Emanuel style, Brune is seizing upon a terrible accident, turning it into a crisis, and then making sure that no crisis goes to waste. Therefore, as far as the BP spill goes, Brune hopes it can be used to end offshore drilling once and for all. And he’s getting help from groups like Oceana North America, which openly admits the silver lining in the oil spill is that it has “galvanized opposition to offshore drilling.”

On May 1, Louie Miller, one of Brune’s fellow Sierra Club comrades, did his best to further the feeling of crisis surrounding the BP explosion by proclaiming: “The genie is out of the bottle with this oil spill, and I don’t think I’m overstating the case by saying this is America’s Chernobyl.”

And not surprisingly, his solution to “America’s Chernobyl” involves banning offshore drilling altogether. Said Miller: “The risk associated with offshore oil and gas drilling or offshore oil drilling … [is] unacceptable … at this point in time.”

Have you ever noticed how liberals desire to be judged by open minds and met with understanding when their policies fail, while all the while they’ve zero tolerance for anything less than perfection in their political opponents? If so, you only have to remember they view “big oil” as an appendage of the Republican Party to know that one major spill in forty years is no better in their eyes than one major spill every two years.

They are inconsistent because it benefits their own agenda to be so.

Sadly, some Republicans are caving to the pressure brought on by these shame tactics. For example, on May 3, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger officially “withdrew his support of a plan to expand oil drilling off the California coast.” When pressed for a reason for doing so, Schwarzenegger said: “You turn on the television and see this enormous disaster, you say to yourself, ‘Why would we want to take on that kind of risk?”‘

Why do we take the risk? We do so because fossil fuels are the engine of our economy and without them, America finds herself in a self-administered chokehold.

Perhaps Schwarzenegger could learn a bit from Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, who’s moving forward with plans to drill off Virginia’s shores even as the Sierra Club and others are using the language of a crisis to stop him. In what has sadly become a novel approach in today’s effeminized political climate, McDonnell explained that “he does not want to postpone drilling [because of BP’s spill] but to learn from the accident” so as not to repeat it.

I forgot to mention that George Soros’ not-so-respectable bunch, MoveOn.org, is side by side with the Sierra Club and Oceana North America in this attempt to end offshore drilling. In no uncertain terms, MoveOn has launched “an ad campaign calling on President Obama to reinstate the ban on new offshore drilling.”

Now just in case these groups fail to secure a ban on offshore drilling, men like John Podesta and Joseph Romm are calling for more regulation of offshore oil platforms and more taxes on oil companies. That’s right, even though this spill was obviously the result of an explosion that took place on a BP platform, Podesta and Romm suggest all oil companies — Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, etc. —  be punished along with BP.

So there are two solutions to this crisis according to the liberal mind. The first is to ban offshore drilling de jure via a presidential order or legislative action. If they fail there, the second solution is to ban offshore drilling de facto by placing so many taxes, restrictions, and regulations on the oil companies that it becomes unprofitable to construct platforms from which to drill.

Either way, we as consumers lose because neither solution is really aimed at anything other than driving the price of gasoline through the roof, and forcing us out of our SUVs and pickup trucks once and for all.