Why this issue is a red herring and is designed to persuade the ignorant to capture votes:
1) There are 172 US offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and 26 off of southern California. These rigs cover 77.3% of the known reserves or 68 billion barrels where drilling is already allowed.
2) The estimates of offshore oil reserves in areas where drilling has not been allowed amounts to only 18 billion barrels.
3) The untapped oil in the gulf would be extremely difficult and expensive to obtain. Most of it is under a mile of ocean, 1 to 2 miles of granite and a mile of salt. It would cost more to produce than it would sell for. In order to make this possible, the government would have to extend to oil companies subsidies and tax breaks. If you factor that in, we'd actually be paying more for the oil than we would have to pay if we just bought it on the world market.
4) The 18 billion new offshore reserves would amount to just over 2 years of US oil demand. This added supply would take 10 years to obtain and only affect global oil prices by less than a nickel.
5) One spill on the level of the Exxon Valdez would cost as much as several billion dollars to clean up, not to mention the possibility of ruining a coastal habitat for a generation.
So, don't be led by ignorance, red herrings, or the super stupid TN GOP.Reminder: McCain, his staff, and other conservatives repeatedly lied by saying that no oil was spilled during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Even LA Republican Governor Jindal was clueless about the oil spills created by Katrina and Rita. The Minerals Management Service reported that 113 oil platforms were “totally destroyed” — a total of 124 offshore spills. The US coastguard, which is responsible for the marine environment, said more than 6.5 million gallons of crude oil had been spilled - one of the worst spills in US history.
The fact is that Democrats want to see more domestic drilling where leases are already held.
House Democrats are pushing legislation they say would spur oil drilling on already available lands in Alaska, the West and the western Gulf of Mexico. Reserves in shale and land areas in the west hold far more productivity than new offshore drilling.