Today’s announcement that President Bush is revoking the Executive Order banning drilling in the Outer Shelf got me thinking. Assuming Congress follows the President’s lead and removes its moratorium on drilling, what impact will this have on alternative energy development? While promising, these new sources can only provide roughly 10 years of oil supply at today’s consumption level and slightly shy of four years of natural gas. Furthermore, it will be many, many years before production from these now-banned areas would reach the market. While useful, these reserves do not negate our need for alternatives to petroleum. Having uncovered this large bandaid, will we continue on blindly ignoring our head wound? I would hope that rather than seeing these reserves as a solution to the problem, we would use these newfound reserves to satisfy our needs while we develop alternative fuel sources. Think stopgap, not cure.
I will do some research on this topic and see who else has considered this issue. Should anyone know of reporting on this topic, please share it through the comments feature (registration not required).