Bob Murphy on obstacles to drilling in the Arctic

UPDATE: Very strange - I got this link by accessing Bob's publication list at IER yesterday, but now the by-line is gone and Bob informs me it's not his. It's still worth a read.

Here. This is the sort of thing that gets obscured in the hand-wringing after a disaster:

"Shell spent $2.1 billion for its tracts in the Chukchi Sea in a 2008 lease sale, and was prepared to start drilling during the summer of 2010.[v] But the oil spill accident in the Gulf of Mexico that April resulted in a moratorium on all offshore drilling, in both shallow and deep waters, by the Obama Administration.  According to Shell, there is less of a risk of a blow out in Arctic waters for two important reasons. First, drilling in the Arctic is in only 150 feet of water compared to 5,000 feet at BP’s Macondo well.  Second, the Arctic wells will tap into reservoirs that are under less pressure.[vi] This means that a blowout is much less likely and if there is a blowout, it is much easier to control in 150 feet of water than under the crushing pressure at 5,000 feet."

There is good reason to have a fossil fuel policy, but you do that with things that don't require planning production and allocation decisions for the market (like a carbon tax), not with ham-fisted regulation.