Want to promote ocean biodiversity? Increase offshore drilling.

Put this on the list of “I thought people knew this already:” offshore oil platforms are havens for marine life.

The original plan, mandated by federal environmental “experts” back in the late ’40s, was to remove the big, ugly, polluting, environmentally hazardous contraptions as soon as they stopped producing. Fine, said the oil companies.

About 15 years ago some wells played out off Louisiana and the oil companies tried to comply. Their ears are still ringing from the clamor fishermen put up. Turns out those platforms are going nowhere, and by popular demand of those with a bigger stake in the marine environment than any “environmentalist.” Every “environmental” superstition against these structures was turned on its head.

Marine life had exploded around these huge artificial reefs: A study by LSU’s Sea Grant college shows that 85 percent of Louisiana fishing trips involve fishing around these platforms. The same study shows 50 times more marine life around an oil production platform than in the surrounding Gulf bottoms. An environmental study (by apparently honest scientists) revealed that urban runoff and treated sewage dump 12 times the amount of petroleum into the Gulf than those thousands of oil production platforms. And oil seeping naturally through the ocean floor into the Gulf, where it dissipates over time, accounts for 7 times the amount spilled by rigs and pipelines in any given year.

The article compares Lousiana’s offshore marine environment with Florida’s (which has significantly more restrictions), and notes that the former is generally healthier than the latter’s, particularly when it comes to reef development. This should not be particularly surprising, given that oil companies have two positive incentives to preventing pollution around their sites. The first is, of course, that if they don’t the environmental lobby will do their level best to gut them; the second, possibly more important reason is that every drop of oil spilled is one drop of oil that cannot be sold. And oil is valuable, so maintaining a clean rig that doesn’t leak or corrode will maximize one’s oil-extraction potential. At least until you get to a situation where it’s not profitable to keep the site clean, but that only happens when maintenance costs threaten to wipe out profit, and the only real way that this could happen when it comes to oil is if somebody pushed the tax burden too high.

And, really, what nature-hating idiot would think of suggesting that? Continue reading Want to promote ocean biodiversity? Increase offshore drilling.

On the Specter switch.

I have nothing really to add to either this or this, except to note that:

a) I’m not particularly surprised;
b) The Republican primary in PA next year just got a lot more straightforward, while the Democratic one is now going to be significantly less so;
c) The Democrats are rapidly running out of reasons why they can’t pass their hearts’ desires.

And, oh yes:

d) Elections have consequences, and we’re about to have a year and a half of some. Please keep that in mind in November 2010.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Half the country thinks that Congress has rigged the system.

Rasmussen has a poll out that argues against the “people hate Congress but love their own congressman” meme.  Essentially, that explanation is beaten out 2-to-1 by “the fix is in:”

…23% believe members of Congress get reelected because they do a good job representing their constituents.

However, 50% believe the high reelection rates result from election rules that are “rigged to benefit members of Congress.” It is worth noting that the word “rigged” is a strong term included in this survey question. The fact that half the nation’s voters believe the election rules are “rigged” is a testament to the high levels of distrust in the country today.

28% aren’t sure, which is probably too high a number for comfort either way.
Continue reading Half the country thinks that Congress has rigged the system.

Today is my son’s birthday.

He is two today.  No picture, yet, as he is still blessedly asleep.

I will spare you a cutesy child-themed day – you don’t want me trying to warp fiscal policy or zombie haiku so that it fits any more than I really want to do it – but if you have kids they’ll love this book:

…and it might keep you sane, as Terry Pratchett is hardly a cruel man.

No, Tycho, they never get any better…

…and most of the people that are making you aghast are probably legally able to vote. Frankly, if YouTube, gaming, and/or online newspaper comment threads didn’t exist naturally we’d in the political ‘sphere would have to subsidize them… because I remember what life was like before the really messed-up people had those places to go.

It wasn’t pretty.

Moe Lane

PS: I can’t really have a public opinion on the entire trachea thing.

PPS: Child’s Play rocks.

PPPS: Gratuitous Penny Arcade link.

*Second* flyby photo shoot now being ‘reconsidered.’

[UPDATE] And welcome, Instapundit readers. Did you know that bacon sandwiches cure hangovers?

(Updates with sources saying White House plans for a second photo shoot in Washington, D.C. being reconsidered)

Italics mine.

Background here; video here.

And to answer Glenn Reynolds: You think that they were actually thinking?

How droll.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

Bacon sandwiches cure hangovers?

There is apparently nothing that bacon cannot do. Via AoSHQ:

Bacon sandwich really does cure a hangover

A bacon sandwich really does cure a hangover – by boosting the level of amines which clear the head, scientists have found.

You see, this is the kind of science we need more of. Bacon-themed science.

Moe Lane

[PS: Laptop replacement drive now in its final stages:]