Friday, April 02, 2010
Drilling announcement mostly symbolic
I'll give Barack Obama a certain amount of credit for announcing that certain tracts on the Outer Continental Shelf could be opened to oil and gas seismic exploration and drilling. Although there's little chance any drilling will actually occur there anytime soon, he certainly has taken heat fro0m much of his base, and he had to know it was coming. It took me a while today, with help from Jerry Taylor of Cato, just what the legal status of his announcement is. As I understand it, it's an amendment to the moratorium he reinstated when he became president (see here for more of the history). It's more politically than geophysically calculated (of course), slated off the shores of states where it's likely to be popular and not off California, where it's not so likely. Jerry Taylor thinks it's his way of saying "I care" as gasoline prices rise this summer. He's probably right.