Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Update on Deep Water Drilling

The estimable Robert Samuelson has offered the best view of the BP oil spill that we've seen to date. In it he notes:

  • Offshore drilling had an impressive record of success and safety prior to this event. This includes so-called deep-water drilling.
  • The 5000-foot depth of the BP Deepwater Horizon well was deep but hardly the deepest around.
  • The well's failure fits well the usual human pattern of complacency bred by success.
We therefore offer that if BHO wants, we'll rewrite his speech to reflect this reality. Deep-water drilling is presently less of a pioneering effort than we had understood (along with a lot of media, we suspect). We think that the consequences are largely the same: not to demand that government, thought to be good, provide "expertise" to overcome corporate evil but instead to assess negligence and liability and then move forward with informed caution tempering soberly realistic calculation of the risks and benefits.

For that reason, we applaud loudly the President's lifting of his moratorium on offshore drilling. We sincerely hope that this means the crisis will "go to waste" for those who want to use it to "transform our oil-based economy."

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