Offshore drilling could be more placebo than cure

Image by Flickr user Shereen MImage by 20080814oilandwater.jpg Oil and water don't play nice.

The risks of offshore drilling; South Carolina's oil viability; if more drilling land is needed; and the politics behind the move: All are no small topics, but the Charleston City Paper does a solid job of addressing them in an effort to find out what they mean for us as residents of the South Carolina coast.

Burning oil rigSmoobs
Read more stories on this subject in our oil drilling topic page.You'll get no firm answers out of their piece, but it does give the sense that offshore drilling is more of a risk than an a cure for $4 gas.

They certainly give the topic its due, setting aside nearly 3,000 words. And, generally we like to prep folks before shooting them over to another article, but there's no practical way to do it with this beast. So I'll simply say: go read it.

The one thing I didn't see in their article? How high gas prices not be a matter of raw supply or demand, but have to do with the weak dollar. The International Herald Tribune said back in May:
But even as the presidential candidates debate whether to cut federal gas taxes this summer and legislators look at other ways to ease prices at the pump, a harder-to-control factor is emerging as a main reason behind the increase in energy costs: the sinking dollar.

The Tribune then goes onto explain the complicated cause and effect process, and conclude that imposing trading restrictions on crude might be worth a shot.

Regulating stock trades would sure be a lot easier to try before dropping oil rigs off our coast.