Drill, Baby, Drill -- Not
Phil Reisman, the mad genius of the Journal News, takes on the recent suggestion that Long Island Sound would be a good place to drill for oil, in today's column, here. Tongue in cheek, obviously, Phil writes:
"Drill, baby, drill!" should be shouted across the placid waters from Pelham Bay to Bridgeport. Where to begin? Hmm. Ah, how about a few hundred feet off Premium Point?
After joking around a bit, he quotes me, of all people, making the point that Long Island Sound is owned by New York and Connecticut, and it's just not rational to think that either state would allow drilling, assuming that there's oil there in the first place, which is assuming a lot:
Tom Andersen, a former newspaper colleague of mine who authored "This Fine Piece of Water: An Environmental History of Long Island Sound," said even if there were oil out there, it would be a very long shot that drilling would ever be allowed.
"One serious point is that Long Island Sound are not federal waters," Andersen said in an e-mail. "Any drilling in the Sound would have to be approved by whichever state the proposal happens to be made in.
"Given the states' recent, admirable performance critiquing, reviewing and then rejecting the proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal in the Sound, it's unimaginable that they would even consider drilling for oil."
Given that the candidate who proposed drilling in the Sound is the longest of long shots, criticizing the proposal is shooting fish in a barrel. But in this case it's worth taking the shots, just to make sure no one takes it seriously.
And also just so you don't think I'm a complete dunce, the email I shot off to Phil said, "... Long Island Sound waters are not federal waters." He must have made a transcription error and quoted my email as, "... Long Island Sound are federal waters."