Keep Drilling

Niraj Chokshi looks at the consequences of banning offshore drilling:

As the rigs move away, the nation's reliance on importing oil increases. That means increased activity among transport vessels, which have been responsible for most of the oil spilled since the mid-1900's, according to numbers compiled by professors at the Tulane Energy Institute.

They found that 61 percent of all oil spilled came from vessels, while only 16 percent came from rigs...Between 4.9 million and 5.9 million tons of oil has spilled since the mid-1900's, according to the Tulane data, and 3.2 million to 3.3 million of it came from vessels. "We have a much worse safety record with tankers than we do with drilling rigs," Professor Smith said. Although, in North America, 49 percent of oil spilled has come from rigs, with 43 percent from vessels and the remainder from other sources.

Plus the safety record in places like Nigeria is much, much worse.