The Messy, Messy Cost of Oil

bush_kissweb.jpg“Drill, baby, drill” made a sure-fire applause line during the Republican Convention. But now we’re seeing one side effect of off-shore drilling. Because of our addiction to oil, and our official pampering of Big Oil, the fishing, tourist, and other industries on the Gulf Cost are suffering big-time.

Accidents do happen. This oil spill, the Exxon Valdez–those are aberrations, accidents that only rarely occur. But when they do occur, they wreak havoc.

The answer, of course, is to develop alternative energy sources. We wasted eight years under George Bush, whose policies always, ALWAYS, did the bidding of Big Oil. He did zippo on the energy front. And if Republicans regain control of the White House, the oil industry will once again get everything it wants.

For energy reform, we unfortunately must depend on Democrats. Scary, but true. I hate the idea of having to depend on Democrats for anything (or Republicans, for that matter), but it’s true.

The current BusinessWeek tells about all the excess energy Germany has from wind power, which generates 8% of the country’s electricity (compared to 1% in the US). During the past eight years, German doubled its wind-power capacity, while the US twiddled its thumbs and kept bowing to Big Oil. Germany’s problem is figuring out how to store the excess electricity. the Scandinavian countries have pushed big into wind power, too.

I wish Obama would start pushing nuclear power, which seems like the best longterm solution. It’s clean, dependable, safe, doesn’t hurt the environment. Of course, if we had a Chernobyl meltdown, I’d be writing something different. But for now, I’m sticking to nuclear power.

Under Obama, we are at least talking about Green Energy on a number of fronts–wind, solar, electric cars, a more efficient power grid etc. We need to get some things going strongly before the Republicans regain control and default back to blowing wet kisses to Big Oil.

“Drill, baby, drill” is not the answer. It’s a finite resource which will run out someday, and squeezing the last drops out of the oceans and ground will get increasingly costly, messy, and dangerous. This oil spill won’t be the last.

Years down the road, the Last Man Standing with coveted oil reserves will be Arabs or Iranians. We’ve gotta stop being in their debt.

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1 Comment to "The Messy, Messy Cost of Oil"

  1. Tom Datema

    I’ll remain cynical of most politicians.

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