Today is a good day for an energy policy reality check. Because today we are in a place where the environmentally responsible choice is lighting a giant oil slick on fire.
And that really is the best option available to us right now. That’s how bad the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is. It is yet another horrifying example of the broken—and I would say morally bankrupt — energy system that Americans remain shackled to thanks to republicans and democrats alike.
As a reminder, here’s what President Obama had to say one month ago when he announced expanded offshore oil drilling:
…we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place.
Can someone please remind me why exactly do we need to move beyond the “tired” debates?
I’m not tired of those debates at all. In fact, I think we’re just getting started!
Eight days ago the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded. Eleven people are missing, presumed dead. The rig is hemorrhaging
42,000 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf. The resulting slick is 40 miles wide and 80 miles long. And it’s moving toward a wildlife refuge, people’s homes, and a lucrative shellfishery. All of which means that the best option we have—the best option for the environment, I mean — is lighting an oil slick on fire.
Super. Just as long as we move beyond the tired debates.
UPDATE 5/5/10—I’m informed that burning an oil spill may not be the most environmentally responsible choice. One Northwest company, Xextex, based in Issaquah, Washington, deploys an oil-sequestering textile that is, apparently, far more environmentally benign. I can’t personally vouch for it (endorsements from others are here), since I’ve never seen it in action and don’t really understand the industry anyway, but it does seem like exactly the sort of thing we should be considering right now.
[Image is from Wikimedia Commons and is in the public domain.]
It’s now 210,000 gallons a day.
Eric de Place
Soclr,Duly noted. Turns out it’s 5 times as big as previously thought.
Reality check? The reality is that shutting down our offshore operations would mean we buy more from offshore operations in the Red Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Brazilian waters, as well as more from the Canadian tar sands. Reality is it took 9 years to get Cape Wind approved, and the Mojave solar farm is indefinitely held up because of a few tortoises. Reality is a gas tax at European levels (which we need) wouldn’t get 30 votes in Congress. Reality is that people who lobby for effective population control measures are quickly labelled as nazis.
The reality is the complacency and apathy the general public feels towards environmental protection/conservation/restoration/justice, flies in the face of the genuine urgency that is made evident by events such as this. How many of us are taking steps to end our reliance on our? A group of early adopters that we are. I own this spill as do you.
Has anyone considered that the explosion was deliberate, just consider the profits when gas prices go through the roof. Nationalize the oil companies and develop alternate sources.
We had to drill deep in the Gulf because the off-shore oil reserves (that are much shallower than the Gulf) are in Alaska and the Pacific Coast and are off limits.That said, we’re going to have to continue drilling because our entire economy is based on oil. Alternatives have yet to become economically-feasible.
Some time ago, I really needed to buy a building for my business but I did not earn enough money and could not buy something. Thank God my brother suggested to take the personal loans at trustworthy bank. Hence, I did that and used to be satisfied with my sba loan.