Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Don't Drill No Oil Wells Near My State!!!

I have been amazed for years about the anti-drilling cadre in Florida. From Senators to Governors to Local Pols... They are opposed to seeking the very oil locally that we need to be less dependent on the Middle East.

Now, once again, the Bush Administration has floated an idea of drilling of Alaska, Virginia and Florida to produce our own gas/oil. It seems the Virginia folks are in agreement with the plan....Alaska should be after we funded their infamous bridge-to-nowhere.

Senator Nelson, the parrot of the antis, has already announced opposition....squawk, squawk!

Neal Boortz today covered the arguments quite well on his Nealz Nooz website....


It's looking like we're going to get a new push from the Bush Administration to increase our domestic production of oil. How? By expanding oil exploration within our own borders and in our offshore waters. Proposals are being floated (let's drive these into the parking lot and see if they dent any fenders) to allow drilling for gas and oil off the Alaskan, Virginian and Florida coasts. There are projections that successful exploitation of these oil-rich areas could allow us to not purchase one drop of oil from the Middle East for 10 years.

Oops! Wait just a minute here! Did I say FLORIDA? Why yes, I believe I did. I also said Virginia. But the politicians in Virginia are showing common sense on this issue. Can we expect the same from Florida? Probably not.

If you listen to Florida's Washington delegation you will soon see that Florida is simply not ready to step up and become a part of the solution. No doubt Florida's U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez will rant at high volume against the proposals.

Florida politicians will squawk about tourists seeing drilling rigs off the coast. Let's do some calculations to see if that is possible. There are any number of sites on the Internet where you can calculate the distance to the horizon. This information is valuable for boaters who might want to calculate the distance to some object at sea and to talk show hosts who have a point to make.

OK .. here's the science. The distance to the horizon in statute miles is the square root of "X." OK, that doesn't help much ... unless you know what "X" is. Well, "X" is the the height of your eyes above the sea, as measured in inches, divided by 0.5736. Got it? Well .. if that's a challenge, you can just click here for your distance to the horizon calculator. My eyes are about six feet from the soles of my feet. Enter that 6 feet and if I'm standing at the water's edge the horizon would be 3.3 miles away. That means that even with binoculars I couldn't see someone floating in the water 3.4 miles off shore.

OK .. so an oil rig is somewhat taller than someone floating in the water. Plus, if I'm a tourist in Florida I might be on the 20th floor balcony of my fancy hotel room in Sarasota. Now I couldn't find a horizon calculator that would allow me to input numbers for the height of an oil rig as well as my 20th floor balcony. No problem. Simple geometry dictates that you only have to combine the two and input that number for the person on the beach. So, let's go with 250 feet for my hotel balcony and another 250 feet for the height of the drilling rig. For those of you who attended government schools, that would be 500 feet. Just how far would that drilling rig have to be off shore for me not to see it. Answer ... 30 miles. Are there any proposals to put any drilling rigs within 30 miles of the Florida coastline? Nope. None. No serious ones anyway. The closest I have seen for any proposal is about 45 miles. So ... let's build a big hotel and see just what floor I would have to be on to catch a glimpse of that rig 45 miles out in the Gulf. Let's allow 12 feet per story. Fair enough? Let's round up some illegal aliens and a foreman who hables espanol and start pouring concrete. When do we send the illegals home? When we've poured about 92 floors. Does anyone know of a hotel that tall on the Florida Gulf Coast?

Golly! It looks like this concern about Florida tourists seeing all of those ugly drilling rigs and heading back to Connecticut are a little bit overstated, wouldn't you say?

And what about oil spills? Well, fact is that most of the rigs off the Florida Gulf Coast would be recovering natural gas, not oil A natural gas spill is not going to wash up on the beach. As for oil spills, modern drilling and recovery techniques make such spills highly unlikely. There is a greater danger of oil from the wreck of an oil tanker on the way to New Orleans or Houston than there is from a rig dozens of miles off the coast.

So what's the problem here? Ignorance, that's what. Many Floridians have come to accept as the truth the arguments about tourists seeing rigs while they're relaxing on the beach or the danger of spills, and it's easier for people like Florida's two Senators, Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez, to cater to the ignorance of the voters than it is to actually show some leadership in this matter."

Yes, I am often amazed how some arguments are just there...always...in spite of facts. "My mind is made up....don't confuse me with facts."

Lets stop the dependency on foreign oil in a safe, and workable way.....Stop the Insanity!