Recession Rekindles Off-Shore Drilling Discussionby Tim Manni
Extraordinarily high gas prices were the catalyst behind the off-shore drilling debate that surfaced during the Bush Administration. Eight months later, the topic has resurfaced for a different reason — the recession. Oil executives testified before the House Natural Resources Committee today in Washington, claiming that off-shore drilling could create an estimated 76,000 jobs.
Just as President Obama’s economic recovery plan received criticism for lacking an immediate impact, the same is being said for off-shore drilling:
Even under the Bush plan, new leases for areas that had been blocked off would not have been available until the 2011-2014 time period. Energy industry experts have acknowledged that it likely would take five to seven years for oil to be produced from new leases.
The process seems even less likely due to President Obama’s dedication to renewable energy:
He [Obama] said his budget proposal to be released on Thursday will invest $15 billion a year on wind and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal and American-built cars and trucks that are more fuel efficient.
Despite its inability to provide an immediate economic impact, should off-shore drilling be re-considered in order to generate thousands of jobs and billions in revenue?