NIMBY For Me, But Not For Thee*


The Washington Post has an interesting editorial today about President Obama's curious oil drilling policies—it's OK to drill, baby, drill, offshore just so long as it's not along U.S. coastlines. As the editorial notes [PDF]:

WHEN WAS the last time an American president stood before an audience in a foreign country and announced that he looked forward to importing more of its oil? Answer: Just over a week ago, when President Obama joined political and business leaders in Brasilia in hailing the fact that their newly discovered offshore petroleum reserves might be twice as large as those in the United States. Americans "want to help with technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely, and when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers," Mr. Obama said….

As for offshore drilling, Mr. Obama's enthusiasm for punching holes in the ocean floor off Brazil is hard to reconcile with his decision, announced Dec. 1, to keep the waters off the East and West coasts and the eastern Gulf of Mexico off-limits to exploration indefinitely….

…it is tough to reconcile with U.S. eagerness to "help" Brazil pump oil off its coasts and ship it here. U.S. companies, enticed by government loan guarantees, are already lined up to sell Brazil drilling equipment and services. Forget the implications for U.S. dependency on foreign sources. What does this posture say about American regard for the natural environment outside U.S. territory?

The editorial also tabbed this contradictory Obama policy—it's OK to import oil from Brazil, but not ethanol.

*Of course, that's what NIMBY means.