Monday, August 04, 2008

To Drill Or Not To Drill

"For 200 years we've been conquering Nature. Now we are beating it to death."

-Tom McMillian

Offshore oil drilling. First John McCain was against it, now he is for it. At one time Barack Obama was against it, now he is for it. Isn't it funny how the lines blur when a vote is at stake? Damn the truth and the environment, lets give the people what they want. Fools.

Now, I will admit up front I am completely partial when it comes to the subject of offshore drilling. I am now and forever against it in any form. I am a California girl, through and through, and I love, and at times, live for the natural beauty of the California coastline. Have you see it for yourself, other then in pictures? The beauty of the Pacific ocean, in itself is a little like glimpsing Heaven I expect. Add to it the sea birds, wildflowers and the shoreline and it beccomes heaven on earth, at least to me. I can't imagine my life without it.

In November of 2007, we in the Bay Area got a wake-up call, when the containment ship, the Costco Busan struck the Bay Bridge, which resulted in a whole in the side of the ship and the emptying of 58,000 gallons of dirty oil into the San Francisco Bay. Four days after the spill occurred, I took a ride along the shoreline in Berkeley, Emeryville, and Point Richmond. As I walked along the water's edge, I could see the sheen in the water, and large clumps of crude oil as it came to rest on the sand and rocks.

I waited for weeks, as shoreline, after shoreline was closed due to the contaminate, and I followed along on the news as it reported on the deaths of sea birds and other marine creatures, which had either ingested the oil or in some cases completely covered in it. The environmental impact was significant. Not only did the spill harm the natural life of the bay, but it took money from the pockets of crab fisherman, who were now banned from their occupation, due to the toxin that was now in the bay. And that was the result of a 58,000 gallon spill.

I have done my research, and I am sorry, but it simply isn't the answer to the problem. If the ban on drilling in protected areas was lifted tomorrow, we wouldn't see any lower gas prices for at least 19 years. 10 years! But that isn't what politicians would have you believe. Recent polls indicate that more and more Americans would be open to the idea of offshore drilling, if it would show us all some relief at the gas pump. The plain truth is... it won't. It's a fact.

But what would happen if we vote for offshore drilling would do is give Obama and McCain the power to make it look good. To make it appear as if they were doing everything they could to break us free from these outrageous gas prices. Everything except maybe, possibly, holding the oil companies responsible for their record windfall gains. It's a fact the oil prices have been artificially driven up in recent months by everything from our relationships in the middle east, to Bush's inability to deal with Saudi Arabia with any backbone what-so-ever, and market speculation. What needs to happen is we need to hold the oil companies, and the politicians that pander to them accountable.

There I said it, how about some good old fashioned accountability? Remember that? Sure you do. Think real hard. That is that thing that forced Bill Clinton to take responsibility for the blow job heard round the world. Since that time accountability has been forgotten, but it can come around again, if you and I refuse to be taken in by all the election year noise. That's right accountability can be the new "got away with it" if we send a clear message, and then mean it, that we are finished with "promise you anything" politics. I don't know about you, but I am damned tired of this crap. I am tired of the band-aids America puts on its problems. It is what has led us to where we are right now. Willing to once again, take the short cut, if it will bring us anything resembling relief. There is a gun to our head, and we are willing to let them pull the trigger, as long as the pain stops. But that's just my opinion, so, now I want to hear from you.

Opinions, Opinions...

Why does America continue to subsidize big oil companies? Are you in favor of offshore drilling? What do you believe is our best course for relief from these outrageous gas prices? What would your plan be? Do you believe that technology has made offshore drilling safe enough for the environment? Where do your concerns lie?

Interesting Reading On The Subject...

Subsidizing Big Oil (Union of Concerned Scientists)

Worth The Risk? ( USA Today )

The Facts About Offshore Drilling (Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal Constitution)


Photo Series Taken In November 2007

Aftermath of the Cosco Busan spill in San Francisco Bay

Emeryville, Berkeley, Point Richmond, California


Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely ~ in Texas there are already hundreds of capped oil wells just waiting to be pumped and used...they shut down when Carter did the OPEQ (spelling?) agreement. There are wells a plenty for natural gas already in place in this state yet no one will use them (the capped oil wells) because of the agreement that Carter made. Talk about the BIG oil companies? I bet the majority of them in TX are in Bush's back pocket (as well as Cheney's and quite a few other people) there are so many here it's scarey. They run over the working class with no respect whatsoever. I don't know if you know anything about "mineral rights" as far as a person's private property are concerned in this state, if you haven't check it out. Gotta go but believe me I could go on and on LOL. Blessings to the 3 of you** Teresa

Steven said...

I'd forgotten how intense your oil slick photos were. Powerful images.

I'm mixed on expanding drilling. I'm like dipping into oil reserves that will be needed for future generations. Like spending social security trust money. We won't drill our way out of the energy crisis. It's a fixed resource and once it's tapped, it's going to be used.

Alternative energy is the only sane route. Auto makers fought mileage standards and said the market should dictate prices. Well the market spoke and the car makers were asleep thinking the SUV would be around forever. I have zero sympathy for GM and Ford for pushing poor fuel economy autos on consumers.

The faster we move off fossil fuels, the better. It'll be painful for many companies but it needs to happen. We can't drill our way outa this situation. We can only move to alternatives to gas and oil.

TJ said...

Can we escape the webs we weave?
Living in New Mexico that was a life's experience with oil wells and drillers.
There is a bunch of "Jed Clampets" in the south west.
Your photos are as dramactic as our situation...great entry.
Love TJ

Patrick said...

Tried leaving this the other day, but I got some weird error...

Anyway, even if there was magically some way to make sure that NO accidents happened at all, we're still looking at 10 years before we see the full impact of new drilling, and we're only postponing the inevitable when it comes to getting that much closer to running out of oil.

We should take that time -- it'd probably take just as long to get a real benefit out of renewables -- and plan for the long-term future and help the environment at the same time. If we make a serious push on alternative energies, and start making real plans to cut back on oil, I suspect gas prices won't take 10 years to start dropping.