Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Putting the Lie to the "Drill, Baby, Drill" Myth...

Back in July, I caught an interview with Canadian journalist Naomi Klein, in which she discussed, among other topics, energy poicy. About halfway through the interview Klein laid out why lifting the congressional offshore drilling ban would, in fact, not lower oil and gasoline prices. It's an issue I hadn't understood very well up to that point (truth be known, I still don't understand it all that well), and it was quite an eye-opener. One of her arguments against increased drilling revolved around the industry's practice of stockpiling and trading drilling leases as a means of controlling prices on the world market. This is, of course, only one facet of one side of a complex argument, but I found it a fascinating one nonetheless. As the debate over drilling emerges as a major point of contention in the current presidential race, on the face of it the logic of increasing the supply of oil to put downward pressure on gasoline prices would seem fairly straightforward. The reality of it, naturally, is much more complicated and as it turns out, largely counter-intuitive.

I would try and explain it here, but there's no way I could do justice to the complexity of the subject. Antonia Juhasz, of the Institute for Policy Studies, on the other hand, can. She made the rounds on the interview circuit today, appearing on both Fresh Air and Democracy Now. I highly recommend following the links and having a listen to her take on all of this. Then tell everyone you know whose vote may actually be swayed by the "Drill Here, Drill Now" argument to check it out as well.

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