30 April 2010


The American Scene | Pascal Emmanuel Gobry | Spill Baby Spill

The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has given rise to a small meme whereby people juxtapose images of the spill with the McCain/Palin campaign’s (now in?)famous slogan “Drill baby drill.” The implication is clear: this oil spill shows that the policies covered by “drill baby drill” are wrong, even reckless.

Here’s the thing, though: if you think this oil spill means “drill baby drill” is wrong, I assume this means you have a fabulous super secret plan to build a petroleum-free society? Because if you don’t, then your position boils down to “Oil spills are ok as long as they don’t happen near Americans,” which is pretty much the same thing as “Let them eat cake.”
Well said.


  1. So, the Green response to that is that this demonstrates that investment and development of green energy sources is necessary, and reliance on new drilling simply postpones the solution to the real problem. Just pointing out the automatic response to that argument.

  2. What do you mean by "the real problem"?

  3. The real problem being dependence on fossil fuels.

  4. OK. I think that Green response side-steps PEG's point though. Wether we have the current amount of domestic off-shore drilling or a greater amount we will still have some probability of spills. The only way to have zero spills is to have zero drilling globally. That might very well be the goal, but unless there's actually a plan to not only limit drilling increases in America but also stop all current drilling around the world, it's just wishful thinking.

    There's an analysis that says that more domestic drilling will inevitably lead to more spills, but I think that's simplistic. New drilling in America may be safer than older capacity in America or new capacity elsewhere in the same way that newer nuclear plants in France are safer than older Russian designed reactors like Chernobyl.