Oil and coal worker fatalities aren't worth limited energy savings

offshore drilling and new coal drilling not worth the lives lost
offshore drilling and new coal drilling not worth the lives lost

Exactly one month ago, President Obama announced that he will proceed with offshore oil exploration as part of his broader energy plan. In addition to funding the development of alternative energy sources like wind, solar and biofuels, the plan will open up a chunk of the Atlantic coast of the United States, from Virginia to Florida, along with much of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, for new oil and natural gas exploration.

However, drilling here and drilling now, as the phrase goes, can't literally happen "now." And it won't by any means put a dent in the expected hike in our gasoline prices this summer, or next winter's home heating prices, or the following summer's gas prices for that matter.

Additionally, even when it's discovered and drilling begins in all of the areas detailed in the president's plan, the Interior Department estimates that there's only a 3-year supply of oil and a 2-year supply of natural gas in those areas. My question is obviously: what then? This frenzy of offshore drilling fever doesn't seem to match the relatively limited supply. And it seems like an awfully big risk for a very short-term boost in resources.

Regarding "risk," the president said something a few days after his announcement that I'm sure he regrets today.