Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Clinton on Arctic drilling: Right answer. Wrong reason.

Last week Obama allowed Shell to drill in the Arctic and Hilary Clinton disagreed. She tweeted: "The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”

That's the wrong reason. Of course drilling for oil does threaten the Arctic. As we saw in the Gulf of Mexico a bad spill can do huge damage that lasts for years. And  it would be worse in the Arctic.

But the key reason is that we DON'T NEED MORE OIL. Our fossil fuel reserves are already four or five times as much as we can ever burn if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. So, since we need to leave 80% of our oil reserves in the ground, money spent on finding more is money wasted. Money on which there must never be a return.

Obama's policy is like buying more salt when you already have a lifetime supply. Except that you or your heirs could sell the excess salt but there will be no buyers for excess oil.

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