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June 12, 2008

VDH: The Moral Case for Drilling

He sounds so much better when he says it.

The wealthier and better-educated seem less concerned about gas prices.

From my informal conversations, I'd go even further: The wealthy, especially political liberals, also like that high-priced gas translates into less burning of fossil fuels by others and will help accelerate research into alternative energies.

But what these elites don't seem to realize is that the energy policies they advocate are paralyzing almost everyone else - and that the truly ethical and environmental solution would require embracing positions long considered anathema to traditional liberalism.

The debate in Congress over more refineries and nuclear-power plants; drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts; and developing oil shale, tar sands and liquid coal has been a predictable soap opera: Grasping Republicans supposedly wish to enrich energy companies, while idealistic Democrats want only to protect the environment. But those stances, hatched in the days of $1.50-a-gallon gas, should be revisited in light of different moral considerations.

One is fairness to the poor and middle class. Like it or not, radical environmentalism appeals to an elite not all that worried when gas prices rise or electricity rates go up - since fossil-energy use goes down.

But a paradox is that most environmentalists think of themselves as egalitarians. So, instead of objecting to the view of a derrick from the California hills above the Santa Barbara coast, shouldn't a liberal estate owner instead console himself that the offshore pumping will help a nearby farm worker or carpenter get to work without going broke?

Obviously.

But that argument will cut no ice. The liberal mindset has difficulty dealing in anything other than gauzy feel-good abstractions. As has been snarked, liberals love "the masses," but tend to hate actual people.

In this case, they love "the masses" and will demonstrate their love by saving the earth for them, despite the fact that actual people are hurting.

Hey, maybe all those poor and working class people will one day take a trip to the scenic wasteland of ANRW's shit-ice coastal plain, and they'll thank liberals for keeping the eyesore of a single 2000 acre (out of 19 million acres) oil field out of their eyeline.

And besides, they have a vested interest in the economy grinding to a violent halt in time for the 2008 elections. They know they can only benefit from a full-blown recession, and that no one will ever question them about engineering just that.

Via Hot Air's headlines.


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posted by Ace at 03:53 PM

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