A Case for Exploration and Drilling

From The Economist:

Commodity prices are acting as regulators of global growth. The emerging markets are first in the queue for supplies because they are often able to use each extra barrel of oil or shipload of ore more gainfully. Their demand raises prices and lowers real incomes in the rich world, which gets crowded out. Rich countries had become used to unlimited access to cheap raw materials: prices had been falling for a century or more. Now there is competition for primary resources. Producers are benefiting and rich-world consumers are suffering, at precisely the time when they are also increasingly anxious about job security as China and India rise and rise.

True, but there is no reason why we can’t be both a producer and a rich-world consumer. We need an energy policy that encourages exploration and extraction of all commodities available, including oil. “Drill, baby, drill!” might be a cheap campaign slogan, and the belief that we can drill our way out of the problem is naive, but we are choosing to transfer our wealth to producers of commodities by choosing not join them. We could create both jobs and wealth quite easily with the correct incentives and regulations. Instead we choose Solyndra.

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Filed under Economics, Energy, Environment

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