Everybody’s talking about the Big News of the moment, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from a drilling disaster at an offshore rig operated by BP.
Obama speechified the other night, not really saying much of anything at all other than trying to politicize the event to advance his “alternate energy” agenda.
Now, in all honesty there’s not much the government can or should do. This is an industrial accident – accidents happen – and the government’s job is to get out of the way of the mitigation efforts. If there are financial consequences for which BP is liable, those determinations should rightfully be made in the courts, not the Oval Office.
But Obama simply can’t help himself, any more than a chicken can keep from clucking. He can’t let “a crisis go to waste”, when there are political axes he can grind.
So, naturally, he’s appointed a “panel” to “investigate” the spill. You can read about it Here, but the salient point is this: the panel is “short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about ‘America's addiction to oil’.”
In other words, a bunch of finger-waggers and nags.
Here are some facts; a little “inconvenient truth”. Seventy percent of the oil extracted from underground or under water is used to power transportation, and no "alternative energy source" is going to replace that usage in the foreseeable future. You can't power aircraft with batteries; we're not going to be running our cars on solar power. Even "hybrid" technology still requires gasoline-powered engines, and battery cars have a very limited range before requiring recharging that takes hours.
The only reason that high-risk extraction like the BP rig in the Gulf is even necessary is because of the insane policy in this country barring on-shore oil extraction. We have the largest oil deposits in the world in the Rockies and in shale – exceeding the deposits in the Middle East – but we're barred from utilizing them because of the environmental fanatics, forcing higher-risk projects such as the BP rig that blew. Nothing ever developed by mankind is perfect and risk-free. The Titanic sank; the Challenger blew up; this rig is leaking oil. Too bad.
You want safer oil development, and less "dependence on foreign oil"? Open up our domestic on-shore fields to development. We have enough oil on our own lands to make us energy-independent well into the next century, and a net-exporter country if we so choose.
Instead, we’re going to be barraged with the usual drivel from all the usual suspects about how we need to “wean ourselves” from our dependence on oil.
I guess that means weaning ourselves from cars, trucks, aircraft, ships, and just about every other means of transportation. Don’t forget, that’s where 70% of that oil is used.
Gee, won’t life be wonderful when we’re back to walking, or hitching up an ox to a cart?