Thursday, July 24, 2008

Drill Now, Drive Later. Much Later.

Some regions of the Outer Continental Shelf are protected from oil and gas drilling. Some people think we ought to be drilling away in these regions. Slate notes this 2007 government study on the market impact of increased drilling.

First, timeliness. Assuming that leasing begins in 2012, the study says that expanded drilling "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030." Eighteen years.

Next, price. Even in 2030, when significantly more oil is flowing, "any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant."

So, if we start today, we can have no effect on prices as early as 2026. Let's do it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Virginia, The Swing Commonwealth

It's early, but a poll shows McCain and Obama in a dead heat in Virginia. The state is very much in play, and it may go to the Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since LBJ. McCain is going to have to spend time and money here if he wants to hold this traditionally red state.

Not that this is a surprise. Northern Virginia skews liberal, the state is 20% black, and the odds are very good that Virginia will soon have two Democratic senators.