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Drill Baby Drill: The Ultimate Shell Game

By LiberalChik

We heard it during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, the Republican National Convention and we’ve heard it ever since. “Drill Baby Drill” has been the mantra of the Right Wing fantasy that if we just drill enough in the United States, we can be free from foreign oil.

This is a flawed myth on two fronts. First, we could drill every hole in this country and never produce what we, as a nation, consume. And second, the oil that is drilled here, doesn’t stay here.

From American Progress: Even after the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, many politicians continue to insist that the United States must expand offshore oil drilling despite the huge health, economic, and environmental damages in the event of a blowout. They assert that this oil is essential for U.S. economic health and national security. For instance, two weeks after the BP disaster began, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated that the United States needs “more environmentally responsible development of America’s energy resources.” These are code words for more offshore oil drilling. More offshore drilling in the Gulf Coast region, however, may not do much to increase our energy security. A CAP analysis (.xls) of Energy Information Administration data found that a large portion of the oil produced in the Gulf Coast region is actually exported as finished petroleum products to other nations, and this undoubtedly includes some of the offshore oil produced there. Daniel J. Weiss, Jacob Abraham | May 6, 2010/http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/05/gulf_oil_exports.html

There is no magic super-sized oil tanker with USA scrawled on the side, containing only All-American crude reserved for All-American consumption.  Our oil is the world’s oil and the world’s oil is our oil. As with any other product, it all goes to the highest bidder and in turn, the American energy producers want to buy the cheapest oil, which is oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iran. This is simply due to the geology of the regions  and is not going to change.

The American oil business is a business like any other business, not to be romanticized as a savior to our dependence on foreign oil. They are in business for the same reason every other business is, to make money. Period. I would wager there is not one oil producer in the country that has ever asked the question, “Now where is this oil going?” or issued the statement, “Now I only sell my oil to American markets.” This is a capitalist country and there is no reason to believe the oil companies would or should operate in any other manner.  As Sarah Palin continues to shriek “Drill Baby Drill”, I wonder if she realizes she is advocating the nationalization of American oil producers? Somehow I doubt she or her faithful followers would be cool with that.

“Drill Baby Drill”.

Look at our gulf. Look at the destruction and death of eleven off-shore workers, sea life, coastal birds, the local fishing industries, the tourist business, an entire way of life; and not just for now, not just for a year or two, but possibly forever. Divers at the spill site have reported there is nothing alive under the water now. Nothing alive under the water now.

We played the shell game, wagering the Gulf Coast for the mythological prize of oil independence… and like any sucker that tries to beat the house… WE LOST.

See Steele Shill for Shell


  1. Steve
    June 12, 2010 at 12:57 am

    It’s weird how conditioned people are to think the profit motive is the greatest thing ever….despite all the painful, dirty evidence to the contrary.

    Capitalism is a great *part* of any economy but it is not more viable than communism or any other “ism” that relies on human integrity (or lack of it). In fact, capitalism fails because there is no integrity.

    In the centre of any system there needs to be a conscious, competent democratic consensus that thinks in terms of what is best for everyone and can act to enforce that view.

    Capitalism and the markets fail dismally precisely because they are selfish…and people lie and cheat. Communism fails for the same reason.

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