Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bad Faith

The link is to a discussion of the new regulations to be applied to Fracking, the longstanding but newly controversial practice of fracturing the walls and using pressure to get more oil and natural gas deposites out of old wells. This would seem to be as about an environmentally friendly way of getting fossil fuels as one can imagine, given that the well is already there. But it is being held up and stymied nonetheless by the Obama administration. There are two reasons. First, it is because they can. Since the new operation requires a new permit it offers and opportunity to block something by relying on the bureaucracy and without going to the legislature. More fundamentally it is about discouraging the use of fossil fuels. The ideologues in the administration want to shift the country long term from fossil fuels to alternative sources (as long as they aren't nuclear, of course). One way to do this is to make fossil fuels more expensive. Anything that restricts the supply of fossil fuels, even clean fuels like natural gas, is work on the side of the angels. One of the underlying problems in Washington is that there are some groups that will not admit to their real objectives and preferences. You cannot come to a reasonable agreement on how to do something safely if the other side is not really interested in safety but in getting right with the Gia.

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