A few issues regarding the oil accident in the Gulf

From Evernote:

A few issues regarding the oil accident in the Gulf

I have not been following the coverage of this gulf oil spill very carefully, so maybe I've missed something, but it seems like there are a few things that aren't being talked about very much. First, what is being publicized well is the potential magnitude of the situation, and it seems like people are pretty concerned about the ecological damage that the spill could wreak in the coming weeks. A totally separate issue is the energy resources aspect of the story. No, this one platform isn't going to adversely affect the price of oil, and maybe that is why not many outlets have picked up this thread yet. This accident is a great example of the fragility of our energy infrastructure. It may also serve as a learning experience about the real cost of fossil fuels. We go to great lengths to extract oil from the Earth's crust, subsidizing the industry that does the extracting to the tune of billions of dollars. The purpose is to supply "cheap" energy to our society. This accident shows that it is hard to get at this cheap oil these days, I mean, who else gets to build floating cities in the middle of the ocean besides oil companies (and maybe some middle eastern princes using money from oil)? It is enormously expensive to construct these platforms, run them, and transport to oil to the mainland for refining. Now we also see that an accident can send thousands of gallons of oil spewing into the ocean, and into the fragile coastal ecosystems nearby. How much is it going to cost to stop the leak? How much to contain the spill? How much to clean up the coast? Who is going to pay? If the USA federal government pays, is that just another of these bail outs that the "tea party" is so upset about? And how many smaller (or less public) spills happen every year?

What is the alternative? Well, I would just like to posit that leveling the playing field might lead to a more secure, reliable, and cleaner energy infrastructure. Take away the deep subsidies that the oil companies get. Make them responsible for their actions, including paying for spills and clean up. Remove the archaic restrictions facing those seeking to build new nuclear power plants. Reward companies that supply local, renewable energy. I think taking these steps would lead to a revolution in the American energy landscape.

These thoughts can be extended by also considering national security. Wouldn't it be nice to stop supporting foreign governments that are, well, not exactly pro-America? I'm looking at you saudi Arabia.

Anyway those are just some considerations that are rolling around my head.
blogged from my iPad

UPDATE: Just saw this amusing post by D. Roberts: LINK.

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