Iain Murray of the free-market advocacy group, Competitive Enterprise Institute, reviews 2008 and finds it awash with economic foolishness, energy idiocy and global warming folderol, and the Conservative Party in Britain didn’t do so well, either. With respect to energy, he observes:
For one brief, shining moment, it looked like even this Congress would be forced to relax idiotic restrictions on oil exploration, but “Drill, baby, drill” was retired as the oil price collapsed and so we will have to go through the whole thing again on the next oil price spike, when we will be told it is too late to explore and drill (again).
“Drill, baby, drill” has been retired? Huh. We missed the retirement party.
The federal moratoria (executive order and Congressionally enacted statute) that prevented natural gas and oil development remain dead (i.e., lifted, not in place) for now. Yes, anti-energy candidates, including anti-oil company populists, gained in the November elections, but trying to reinstate the moratoria will still cause one heck of a fight (especially with respect to natural gas, we’d bet). With many coastal states like California facing budgetary disasters, surely some legislators and executive branch officials will recognize the benefits of OCS-energy revenue sharing.
Maybe Iain’s right on this and history will repeat itself again and again and again. (You know, all those arguments from the ’80s and ’90s: Don’t drill in ANWR. That oil wouldn’t flow until 2004 at least. There’s no point!). But, envisioning that optimistic, allegorical infant of 2009 taking the stage, we still say, drill, Baby, drill.