Perusing the environmental news of today for something that I wanted to blog about, I was faced with a whole lot of depressing politics, plenty of angry news about energy from both sides of the fence, and what I might call on the natural gas front a “big fracking mess.” New York continues to move towards allowing expanded natural gas extraction in critical counties, and the political winds are not looking good for regulations that will keep those processes in check.
That’s not to say it was all bad. There was some positive information tossed in there: the solar energy market is expected to double next year, according to the Wall Street Journal, and CNN is reporting that tidal farms offshore of Scotland are taking big steps towards being a renewable energy source.
Despite progress on some fronts, there are still plenty of people here in the U.S. that are beating the “Drill, baby, Drill!” drum. Certainly the explosive growth seen in North Dakota because of expanded fossil fuel extraction is part of this, but another major player is the continued economic recession. Persistent across the minds of Americans seems to be the idea that somehow, more domestic drilling will mean fewer dollars at the pump. So much so that we seem willing to risk precious other natural resources (water anyone?) to get there.
Dan the Man has attacked this problem before, but I on this one, I’m going to pass you over to my friends at the energy-blogging-powerhouse that is Grist.org. (I don’t actually know them, to be honest, but I wish I was their friend!) In his piece “Big Mystery: U.S. oil production hits 14 year high, gas prices not at 14 year low,” Phillip Bump lays out the entire picture. Using some graphs that are worth at least a thousand words to illustrate his key points, his summary quickly and effectively displays to readers why drilling and gas prices aren’t actually related.
So, the next time someone tries to argue that limited U.S. drilling, regulations, Barack Obama, what my co-bloggers had for breakfast, Dan in a Bikini, or any other domestic factors are the reason why prices at the pump continue to go up, I’d point to this article for a good demonstration of why that’s not the case. The big picture is, as usual, a lot bigger than what we’re doing here at home.