Save the fishes! Drill offshore

It has been gospel truth among California’s wealthy and powerful environmentalists that offshore oil drilling is an assault on Mother Gaia. Despite the existence of rich offshore oil deposits that could generate billions in tax revenues annually, new oil drilling has been forbidden for decades. It all stems from the 1969 offshore oil leaks that led to beaches coated in goo, and rescue efforts to save birds coated with the gunk.

But in the decades since then, drilling technology has improved, and besides, it turns out that nature is able to recover from oil spills far more rapidly and completely than expected. After all, oil naturally leaks into oceans from undersea deposits, and there are biological mechanisms in place to mitigate the damage, even without the sophisticated countermeasures that have been developed. See the remarkable recovery of Prudhoe Bay from the Exxon Valdez accident.

But now comes news that offshore oil platforms actually promote the development of marine life. A lot. Jonah Goldberg writes at Townhall:

Never let it be said that Mother Nature doesn't appreciate irony. A new study led by researchers at Occidental College and the University of California at Santa Barbara has found that the oil platforms dotting the California coast are fantastic for sea life.

In a 15-year study, researchers found that the ecosystems that build up around artificial rigs host 1,000 percent more fish and other sea life than natural habitats such as reefs and estuaries. The California rigs outstripped even famously rich ecosystems such as the coral reefs of French Polynesia.

It’s science! Are the greenies going to be science-deniers?

According to Jeremy Claisse, the lead author of the study, the reason rigs are particularly beneficial stems from the fact they're so tall. A skyscraper from seafloor to surface apparently lends itself to a very rich ecosystem. The fact that it's an oil rig is, of course, irrelevant.

Claisse, of course, wants his study to be used to justify offshore wind farms. But of course, wind farms chop up migrating birds, including protected species such as bald eagles. And when the wind doesn’t blow, they are useless. Good old petroleum and gas, however, are reliable.

 

It has been gospel truth among California’s wealthy and powerful environmentalists that offshore oil drilling is an assault on Mother Gaia. Despite the existence of rich offshore oil deposits that could generate billions in tax revenues annually, new oil drilling has been forbidden for decades. It all stems from the 1969 offshore oil leaks that led to beaches coated in goo, and rescue efforts to save birds coated with the gunk.

But in the decades since then, drilling technology has improved, and besides, it turns out that nature is able to recover from oil spills far more rapidly and completely than expected. After all, oil naturally leaks into oceans from undersea deposits, and there are biological mechanisms in place to mitigate the damage, even without the sophisticated countermeasures that have been developed. See the remarkable recovery of Prudhoe Bay from the Exxon Valdez accident.

But now comes news that offshore oil platforms actually promote the development of marine life. A lot. Jonah Goldberg writes at Townhall:

Never let it be said that Mother Nature doesn't appreciate irony. A new study led by researchers at Occidental College and the University of California at Santa Barbara has found that the oil platforms dotting the California coast are fantastic for sea life.

In a 15-year study, researchers found that the ecosystems that build up around artificial rigs host 1,000 percent more fish and other sea life than natural habitats such as reefs and estuaries. The California rigs outstripped even famously rich ecosystems such as the coral reefs of French Polynesia.

It’s science! Are the greenies going to be science-deniers?

According to Jeremy Claisse, the lead author of the study, the reason rigs are particularly beneficial stems from the fact they're so tall. A skyscraper from seafloor to surface apparently lends itself to a very rich ecosystem. The fact that it's an oil rig is, of course, irrelevant.

Claisse, of course, wants his study to be used to justify offshore wind farms. But of course, wind farms chop up migrating birds, including protected species such as bald eagles. And when the wind doesn’t blow, they are useless. Good old petroleum and gas, however, are reliable.