<They need a framework in which to conduct their free enterprise, or the results will be ugly.>I think most fair minded people would agree with that. Yet as a country we have often eliminated very tangible sources of energy without ever considering tapping them with very reasonable safeguards put in place. The anwar area in Alaska was deemed untouchable, even though a very small percentage of the land would have been impacted. The hysteria was as if they were considering setting up operations in the middle of Disney World. I have every confidence that a decent amount of oil could be extracted without causing any LT harm to the environment. Further, Anwar is not exactly a tourist destination. Another argument against it was that it alone would not solve our shortage of self produced energy. It was also put forward that it would take a good 10 years to see any meaningful flow of new oil. Both points were true. So what? When we as individuals get into a tight spot, we look at both sides of the equation. We look for ways to boost our income while simultaneously looking to cut back on expenses. If something helps us along, but does not solve the entire problem for us, we do not discard it. Cumulatively, we don't drill in anwar, off the west coast, off the east coast or in shallow waters in many places in the gulf. While there are many rigs out in the Gulf, a lot of them are not active. The owners of them tend to go where they can make money from their people and equipment. Being idle for large blocks of time is not profitable. It is nice in theory to say we will keep an area in pristine condition. Yet there is a price to be paid for doing so. Brazil has many new drilling projects going on off their shores. I have no idea how strict their structure is, but they are doing it and benefitting from it. That is much more the norm than what we do (or don't do).Every energy source has its share of negatives attached to it. Risk management is a basic for any successful business or person. Instead of saying NO so often, we should strive to maximize the use of our natural resources while also ensuring that we do so as safely as possible. But for some reason, the policy discussions are seldom framed that way. There are what almost 7 billion people in the world? At some point certain resources and the demand for them can reach flash points. Technology can help by allowing us to get more results from fewer resources. Yet the sheer number of people in the world should ensure that we will have a hard time staying ahead of the curve.B
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