Ten days ago when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded it appeared that not many were concerned about the possibility of a massive oil spill like the one we are seeing today. I found it odd, that there seemed to be far less preparation for such an event. Time will tell if the administration and BP acted appropriately. For now, we are staring at an environmental nightmare.
As the oil spill starts to reach the Louisiana coast, we are just beginning to realize what kind of impact this spill will have on the wildlife, ecosystems and the economy of that region. Of course the anti-domestic drilling forces will, for the short term, score a tremendous victory. How can they not? With each passing day, week and month we will see the physical evidence of the risks to offshore drilling. This spill has the potential to make the Exxon Valdez spill look like a mud puddle.
This is why I find it pretty brave for Sarah Palin to step up and continue her mantra of drill baby, drill. Already, the left is beginning to mock her for her continued push for domestic drilling. It is a very easy thing to do when the evidence is currently on their side. However, there are some powerful truths to Palin’s argument.
Alaskans understand the tragedy of an oil spill, and we’ve taken steps to do all we can to prevent another Exxon tragedy, but we are still pro-development. We still believe in responsible development, which includes drilling to extract energy sources, because we know that there is an inherent link between energy and security, energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom. Production of our own resources means security for America and opportunities for American workers. We need oil, and if we don’t drill for it here, we have to purchase it from countries that not only do not like America and can use energy purchases as a weapon against us, but also do not have the oversight that America has.
We need the oil! This is the unshakeable truth we should not lose sight of as the whole Deepwater Horizon fiasco unfolds. Yes, there are real risks to offshore drilling. No one can deny that now, but we must not deny the fact that even if a new energy source was discovered today, it would be decades before that new energy source can fully replace oil, until then oil is what we need. We can continue to delude ourselves that buying oiling from dangerous regimes won’t backfire on us someday. We can continue to delude ourselves that that our national debt is not at the breaking point and we can afford wild fluctuations in oil prices. We can continue to delude ourselves that letting less developed nations irresponsibly extract oil for us is somehow saving the planet. Or we can put our emotions in check and face the stark realities before us. We need the oil.
So as the Deepwater Horizon nightmare unfolds, let us suppress the obvious emotional responses to the devastation. Instead let us go forward with clear thinking and a true understanding of our economic and political realities. We can learn from this fiasco how to make offshore drilling safer. We can learn from the fiasco how better to protect our environment from such accidents. We can learn from this fiasco our energy needs come with risks. The current economic and political realities of our energy situation leave us little choice.
Via: The New York Times
Via: Rachel Maddow