Brazil discovered only yesterday (November) that billions of barrels of oil sit in difficult water beneath a swath of the Santos Basin, 180 miles offshore from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The U.S. has known for decades that at least 8.5 billion proven barrels of oil sit off its Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts, with the Interior Department estimating 86 billion barrels of undiscovered oil resources.
When Brazil made this find last November, did its legislature announce that, for fear of oil spills hitting Rio’s beaches or altering the climate, it would forgo exploiting these fields?
That’s Daniel Henninger in his Wall Street Journal “Wonderland” column today, drawing enlightening comparisons between a serious approach toward energy policy (Brazil) versus a fundamentally unserious approach (Congress and the presidential candidates, both).
WASHINGTON — A House subcommittee on Wednesday rejected a Republican-led effort to open up more U.S. coastal waters to oil exploration.
Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., spearheaded the effort. His proposal would open up U.S. waters between 50 and 200 miles off shore for drilling. The first 50 miles off shore would be left alone.
But the plan failed Wednesday on a 9-6, party-line vote in a House appropriations subcommittee, which was considering the proposal as part of an Interior Department spending package.
Unserious. Profoundly unserious. And impoverishing, too.
NAM President John Engler issued a statement following the subcommittee vote Wednesday, which concluded, “Lawmakers who vote against expanding access to domestic energy supplies will be held accountable by manufacturers for higher energy prices, a weaker economy and fewer jobs. We look forward to the full House Appropriations Committee revisiting this important issue next week.” Full statement here.
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