The Latest On: Oil
What's happened in Congress during the last two weeks on energy and drilling issues could send us several major steps backwards on the road to a clean and prosperous energy future.
As I write this, Congress—instead of passing measures to further increase fuel efficiency and reduce oil demand—is capitulating to the "drill, baby, drill" drumbeat. At midnight, two critical moratoriums will lapse: on offshore drilling and oil shale development in the West. At the same time, crucial tax incentives for wind and solar energy have yet to be renewed.
Earthjustice has been accused of being many things, including preferring birds over people (which reminds me of a fine old quote. Charles Callison, a stalwart of the Audubon Society, was once asked whether he liked people or birds better. He said, "I like the people who like birds.").
On Wednesday, Congressman John Shadegg (R-Arizona) attacked Earthjustice in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, and called on Congress to prevent environmental organizations from suing to prevent expansive offshore oil drilling. Here is the response from Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen.
Many of us, self included, have long lamented that environmental issues never play much of a role in presidential elections. I firmly believed that if Al Gore had stressed some of those issues in 2000 he'd be the one now winding up his second term. John Kerry likewise, maybe.
Well, now we've got a campaign where the environment and energy are front and center and we’re getting hammered.
Long before global warming came along, fossil fuels were bad for humankind, sez Michael Stermer, a professor and author who laid out his theories this week for the Los Angeles Times.
Stermer blames non-renewable fossil fuels for the world’s unending political/economic turmoil of the last 500 years.
The Energy Information Administration is the official energy statistic keeper for the US Government. Here is what they recently said about opening up the outer continental shelf to new oil drilling.
The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.
There was a piece in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle that said that people are abandoning their cars in favor of buses and trains in unprecedented numbers and that the experts say the shift may be permanent.
The reason is high gas prices, of course, and that corroborates what some of us have been saying for years—that gas prices should be high, for this very reason. This is painful for some people, no doubt about that, and someone should figure out ways to help them, but overall this is definitely the proverbial silver lining.