Home Energy and Environment If Bob McDonnell Applauds Something, You Know It’s Bad

If Bob McDonnell Applauds Something, You Know It’s Bad


Ironically, as McDonnell makes his statement about offshore oil drilling, the wind is howling. The reason I say “ironically” is that it would be far, far better to focus our energies – pun intended – on developing offshore wind than on wasting time and money with the wild goose chase of “drilling our way to energy independence.”  Perhaps not ironic, but appropriate, about the blowing wind is how much hot air is being spewed around today about offshore oil drilling by people who don’t know the first thing about U.S. oil reserves, world oil markets, offshore potential, or the relative cost of other alternatives like energy efficiency and clean renewables.  If they did, perhaps they’d feel differently about today’s news, but god forbid they should make the effort to actually research this and think it through carefully. But no…

Anyway, let me just leave you with a few statements from environmental groups that express many of my thoughts as well.

*JR Tolbert of Environment Virginia says, “There is no need to threaten our beaches, wildlife and tourism with oil spills and pollution when we have much better solutions — putting cleaner cars on the road today that will dramatically cut oil consumption; shifting to plug-in cars powered by the wind and the sun that use little to no oil and investing more in public transportation.”  Tolbert adds, “At a time when we need to tackle both our dependence on oil and the threat of global warming pollution, this proposal takes us backward. More offshore drilling means more oil consumption and more global warming pollution.”

*Glen Besa of the Virginia Sierra Club says, “There are not only the risks of spills both chronic and catastrophic but also the industrialization of our coastal communities that would either debilitate or destroy Virginia’s coastal economy.” Besa adds, “For just the Mid-Atlantic area alone, the annual value of these sustainable activities is almost 4 times that of oil and gas extraction.  That’s $13.55 billion from industries completely dependent on clean beaches and healthy ocean waters compared to $3.7 billion from dwindling nonrenewable risky source that in Virginia’s case represents a mere 6.5 days of supply before it’s exhausted.”

*Eileen Levandoski of the Virginia Sierra Club says, “Encroachment in the Virginia CAPES operating area, where the Navy has maintained its opposition to Virginia drilling, would provide compelling reason for Navy to move its forces to states like Florida that protect offshore training ranges from drilling. The loss of Oceana jets means a net loss of 11,000 jobs, $773 million in annual payroll, and $452 million in annual local contracting.  This loss of jobs dwarfs even the most speculative of job creation estimates from Virginia drilling.”

  • Does that mean if we want to kill something you guys are doing we should just praise it?  

  • VA Blogger

    You have “drilling our way to energy independence” in quotation marks, as if someone said it. Who has actually said it?

    I don’t know of anyone who is opposed to alternative fuels. The question is how involved the government should be in creating it, versus fostering innovation in the private market through incentives. For instance, along with the off-shore drilling royalties bill, Governor McDonnell also signed a bill giving tax credits to jobs that are tied to the development of alternative fuels.

    In the meantime, while the technology is being developed and perfected in the marketplace and private sector, what is the harm of allowing other private entities from exploring for more oil—which is still heavily consumed in the U.S.?

    Are you saying that the United States lacks the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time?

  • pvogel

    We will have convently place albeit rusting  platforms perfect for wind farming

  • tx2vadem

    Who is going to build this offshore wind farm?  Virginia does not have a competitive electric market.  What incentive is there for VEPCO (dba Dominion) to build that?  Capital investments require rate relief under the regulated utility model Virginia uses.  But consumers are having a fit over any increase in their utility bills.  So, assuming that this is a good investment for VEPCO, what makes you think Virginia consumers are going to want to fork over the additional cost?

    • The fact is, wind turbines work fine in cold weather, but like all equipment (including for natural gas or oil production and processing), when it gets to Minnesota-winter-like temperatures (e.g., below zero), there can be problems.  Unless and until we can make machinery that works at 20 below zero just as well as it works at 50 degrees of 80 degrees, this will be a problem in general, but it’s most definitely NOT specific to wind power – that’s just more Faux News/right-wing Big Lie.

    • TomPaine

      This is what always happens when, Republicans cut the mental health budget!

  • Wind turbines don’t work in cold weather. The turbines in cold weather have to be heated by heat that comes from coal or some other means which defeats the purpose.

    Wasn’t Obama against it before he was for it?


    The announcement by the Obama is a sham and with every thing Obama says, there’s a catch.

    Obama made a meaningless announcement while the other wheels of obstruction to domestic energy production gear up to prevent any new production (more limits in the Gulf where they know where the oil is, same in Alaska). Another question is, will this ever get off the ground? Not if the enviro-marxists get their way.

    Who has standing to sue and prevent the actual production? Every damned environmental organization that has been suing to shut down production and refinement for the last 30 years, that’s who.

    Here’s a little arithmetic reminder, currently the price of oil is approximately 55% of the price of a gallon of gasoline. Most other costs, delivery, refinement, marketing and distribution, are pretty much fixed.

    This announcement from Obama is worth exactly what his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class is worth, not much.