It would seem that everyday there is another issue on which opinion is evenly divided down partisan lines. Healthcare has pretty much gone away and now it is all about the Arizona Immigration bill which ranks about 100% on the outrage meter. However, this issue is going to linger for a while and perhaps it would be best to focus our attention on the massive amount of oil gushing forth in the gulf of Mexico. The oil spill is like a four alarm fire at City Hall whereas Immigration has typically been a slow burning building on the outskirts of town that the local population only cares about once in a while.
And as usual this problem has become super political when it really shouldn’t be. The Left is shouting “Drill Baby Kill” and the Right isn’t saying much since they have highly endorsed drilling for oil off the coasts and like to demonize environmental causes. I’m not seeing anything on my Google news reader which supports this catastrophe and only Rush is really on the attack saying that Liberals might have blown up this rig (man he has really gone off the deep end).
However, this should not be a political issue and both the Left and Right should put politics aside and find a solution. The fact is that there are tremendous amounts of oil rigs that are very safe and have operated safely for many years. The technology continues to improve and I would say that the oil companies have done a pretty good job at limiting these types of disasters.
The fact is that we need the oil companies to provide us with this dark liquid because until we find a way to replace oil entirely these companies provide a valuable service.
What I take issue with however is the politics surrounding the industry. The Left seems to ignore the fact that for the moment the US needs oil. The Right wants to ignore all the dangers and risks associated with drilling. I really wish both sides would quit bickering and for a calm rational debate without all the spin and PR wizardry that is employed to try and change opinions to one side or the other.
One such PR campaign is Chevron’s “Will You Join Us?” This places the burden of limiting pollution from oil directly on the consumer. They say that the consumer should just use less and they are correct. They also spell out what they are doing to increase efficiency which is also good. However, I had to laugh when they spoke about studying the migration patters of Sea Turtles to keep their drilling operations as clean as possible.
Drilling for oil in the ocean is anything but clean. While I was in Saigon I had the great opportunity to meet many oilmen and learn more about their industry. The Oil business is like the wild west in some of the shenanigans they get up to but would almost seem expected. I mean, these guys dig for black gooey stuff by digging big holes, they are not teetotalers who really give a hoot about Sea Turtles, that is just to improve public opinion.