Offshore drilling on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, an Interior Department hearing, held in San Francisco, April 16, 2009 -- That's a podcast I recorded between yesterday and today. The U.S. Department of Interior was given a parting gift by the Bush Administration in the form of a plan to expand drilling for oil in the outer continental shelf. You may remember that "Drill Baby Drill" nonsense from last year... well, they lost the election and then gave us the policy anyway.
That means the DOI is holding hearings about the policy proposal. And yesterday (April 16) they held a hearing in San Francisco. I wasn't able to attend but did watch the webcast.
All the politicians spoke very very strongly against oil drilling expansion. I think there's a bit of NIMBYism to this in that Californians have a lot of cars so the oil we use in California has to come from somewhere, and if we prevent oil drilling off the western coast that means we're pushing the drilling for our oil into someone else's backyard.
In any case the politicians spoke for two things: a) ban oil drilling, b) expand use of renewable energy.
They gave some very well reasoned arguments for this from several different angles. But there's a disconnect they didn't directly address. For the most part renewable energy produces electricity, and for the most part the vehicles around us do not run on electricity but on oil. Last time I checked you cannot pour electricity into a gas tank and burn it in an engine.
It underscores a need for electric vehicles. But these politicians did not make that explicit of a connection. They only discussed renewable energy.
The DOI is taking input on the plan.. http://www.doi.gov