I’ll have to hand it to you Greenies – you *almost* had me
As a long-time visitor to the beautiful white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, from Gulf Shores, Alabama all the way across to Destin and St. George Island, Florida, I have been mighty upset over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The prospect of ravaged fisheries and spoiled beaches was infuriating to me, and I have sure let everyone hear about it. I could not believe that BP didn’t have an “if all else fails we can do this” plan, and as the cameras showed the oil spewing into the Gulf, I could hardly bear to look at it.
Billion dollar fines? Heck yeah. Jail? Let’s give it to ’em. Drilling anywhere near the coast? Hell no.
Until I actually started thinking about it.
First of all, anyone who doesn’t bike, paddle or walk to work, plus grow their own food and make their own clothes should STFU about the spill. Now. That includes me. Oil is the fuel that is used for transportation, and if there were any other alternative we would have found it when Jimmy Carter had us all buying gas on odd and even days. Everywhere we go, whether jetting off to a global warming summit or hopping in the van to take the kids to the very beaches that are in danger, requires oil. The fishermen who are suffering now need oil to run their boats, and all the products we buy require oil to make their way to our stores. Our national defense, our commerce and our way of life depend on the availability of oil. Period.
Second, the response from this administration has barely risen to the level of a playground on its best day. Instead of mature leadership and problem solving, as Vladimir noted in his excellent post on the subject, we got torches and pitchforks. Again. Is this the third time? Fourth? Sure – tough talk sounded good to everyone until we realized that it wasn’t terrorists who flew airplanes into buildings whose throats were going to receive our boots or whose asses we were going to kick – it was a reputable company with real American human beings who work hard and were ten times more horrified about what was happening than we could ever be. Eleven of those human beings died bringing us the oil we require, and they and their families have been at least forgotten, and at worst demonized.
How about getting in a room with experts from BP and saying, “Guys, we can’t stop this spill, but you can. All the resources of the government are at your disposal at a moment’s notice. Tell us how we can help, because like it or not, we are in this together.”? Not a chance. Can’t let a good spill go to waste, can we? Let’s get the Titanic guy to call BP, then whine about how they wouldn’t use his vast knowledge to plug the damn hole. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Leftists whine that Obama can’t wave a wand and make the oil go back into the hole, while insisting that George Bush should have made the flood waters of New Orleans recede or at least pilot a boat into the streets to pick everyone up. They can’t understand that sometimes things can’t be planned for or foreseen – some events are truly unprecedented. For instance, at one time we thought that remaining calm and granting hijackers their wish was the way to handle the situation – now we know better. The notion that BP was somehow willing to risk billions of dollars by ignoring safety precautions that would cost fractions of a percent of the eventual figure is absurd. The proposition put forth by blowhards like Senator Markey, (D) – Some Northeastern Rust Bucket Liberal State, that BP has been running their operations in some massively fraudulent manner is absurd to anyone who knows how corporations work (which probably explains his position).
Last, the drilling moratorium. I have kids that attend public schools, and every single year there comes a time when their teachers lazily and stupidly punish the entire class for the actions of a few. All this does is turn the good kids against the teachers, and allows the bad kids to punish the teachers and the good kids any time they feel like it. Of course, this only happens when there are actually bad kids – even the laziest teachers don’t punish the entire class if, say, one kid had an accident that he was deeply regretful for and was doing everything he could do to correct.
A lazy, stupid, knee-jerk response is par for the course for this administration, and the moratorium serves as a poor man’s Cap and Trade until the real thing can get done. We should learn what we can from this event, use it to prevent or minimize future deepwater accidents and spills, and move on. Punishing an industry and more importantly, the good and decent people who work for that industry, is the absolute worst thing that can be done. It is only a matter of time before this administration’s thugs come for all of us who dare make a profit, so we might as well stand now while we can.
I don’t know a lot about this oil drilling stuff, so you almost had me Greenies. Almost. Then a little common sense kicked in. Sorry for your luck.