What will new oil drilling mean?

Offshore oil drilling platform

On Wednesday, President Obama announced plans to allow a few more areas in the offshore US waters to be open for drilling for oil and natural gas. This move may be surprising to some as this is a President that was supposed to be all about clean and renewable energy but, if you really listened to the things he said as a candidate before the presidential elections this should be no surprise at all.

Obama, before he was President mentioned numerous times that new oil drilling may very well be a part of the over all energy strategy. His opposition leans much more heavily on oil drilling and if it were up to them, other sources of energy would likely be much lower on the priority list, if on the list at all. At the same time, many of those who are in his party but are more left-leaning are unhappy about this announcement as they say that it will endanger animals living in those waters and will only increase pollution.

The fact is that this President understands that although drilling for new oil will increase pollution and is not his ideal choice, it is necessary right now as we continue to develop these new alternative energy options. As of now, none of the clean energy choices are developed enough or economical enough to sustain the majority of the economy- not by a long shot. It is true however, that the future does not belong to oil and therefore, it is crucial to invest heavily in renewable and clean energy alternatives. It is also true that by opening up new drilling areas it may slow down the pace of development of those new energy methods, but that is a necessary evil.

If there was a Republican President in office right now, it is almost a certainty that he/she would open up more areas to drilling, including some that really would threaten the local wildlife. Also, the investments and focus on new energy sources would be far smaller than under the Obama administration which would mostly likely hurt the US very badly in the future once these technologies become common place.

By allowing companies to drill in more places in the offshore US, it will help to reduce the dependence from countries that are unstable and unfriendly and that increased security outweighs the potential threats to some local wildlife and increase in pollution that this announcement may bring.

As is often the case, people who are too far to the left and right are not looking at the situation in a rational and logical way. Instead they look at one specific set of outcomes and do not do the important weighing of the pros and cons that are necessary to come to a correct decision. Thankfully, it appears that so far this President has done what is necessary to make good decisions.