Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jonah Goldberg argues the case against biofuels. They aren't the only choice we have, of course, but trying to replace petroleum with methanol will take distilleries on a huge scale, with quite a bit of waste material. Goldberg makes the point that modern agriculture can do quite a bit more damage to the oceans than the oil spills that occur about once per 20 years around the world.

I'm not sure that's a good defense of offshore drilling, since it isn't really necessary. We have huge reserves of hydrocarbon fuels under the ground in this country, in the form of coal, oil shale, and gas, but mining these upsets environmentalists and they have become hugely powerful in politics and the news media. Because the Gulf Coast isn't the home of a lot of the beautiful people who fund liberal politicians and environmental groups, offshore drilling has found a home there contributing billions to our national economy and creating thousands of well paying jobs. Being far off shore, these platforms aren't nearly as likely to create NIMBY opposition.

But the BP spill, as predictable as clockwork, has given impetus to new calls for a stop to all offshore drilling. Of course, that won't stop more offshore drilling in other countries where we will continue to buy our oil.

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