As it should, and as we should, but aren’t. And look at one of those who is (in bold):
With reason to hope that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is being brought under control, it’s time to start thinking into the future. The Obama Administration is sticking by its ruinous deepwater drilling moratorium, when it would be better to take a hint from the rest of the world’s oil-producers. Their response to the Gulf disaster? Learn from it, and drill on.
Norway, run by the very model of modern environmentalists, announced a deep-water drilling halt until the spill is done. However, its ban applies only to new drilling, unlike the Obama Administration’s total ban.
Norway also announced it’s moving ahead with a deep water push into the Barents and Norwegian Seas, putting up 94 new blocks for drilling leases. Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen made clear he views the stoppage as temporary.
Brazil is accelerating its drilling pace, announcing it would spend some $200 billion the next five years to tap newly discovered offshore reserves at depths to 23,000 feet. State-controlled Petrobras, the world’s biggest deep water producer, recently struck oil three miles under Brazil’s sea—a reserve that could yield 380 million barrels of oil and natural gas.
Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has offered 31 new leases off his country’s coast that allow for wells at twice the depth of the BP Macondo. As recently as 2000, Australia was self-sufficient in oil and gas but its import costs are rising. The new leases reverse that trend.
“There is no intention by the government to scale back the development of the oil and gas industry in Australia,” Mr. Ferguson said. “It is important in terms of the nation’s energy security, jobs and the overall economy.” Maybe he’d consider a position at Interior?
… Many of these countries even hope to benefit from America’s politically motivated moratorium by bidding for deep water rigs now working in the Gulf. Brazil’s Petrobras is looking far and wide for deep water drilling rigs, with a goal of 60 by 2017, and it’s looking to sign long-term contracts with owners of rigs now idled in the Gulf.
Did you know who is a major investor to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in Petrobas? Imagine that. This has all the telltale signs of being a major poltiical payoff.