The oil spill in the gulf is a terrible thing for all concerned; which is everybody, in the long run. I really feel for those whose livelihood has been put at risk or destroyed.
In spite of that, I believe we should be drilling domestically everywhere we can, in spite of this major accident. We must have domestic oil and gas production to fuel this country while we make a reasoned transition to newer technologies (if possible). This is the only way to get there that will not wreck our economy. Going cold turkey on fossil fuels would destroy our economy almost immediately because of the higher cost (at present) of those alternate energy sources. They must be developed to the point that they are economically comparable to existing technologies; or people who cannot afford to pay for the higher cost alternatives will be hurt in the transition.
In fact, this is what Obama is trying to cause with Cap & Trade. He is trying to artificially raise costs for energy, to make “green” energy seem more palatable (and to generate income for his socialist policies). The down side to this is that those artificially high prices Obama wants to impose will hurt real people – unnecessarily. And the other down side to it is that those “green” energy sources have not been developed well enough to be equal to fossil fuels in practical use. Show me a practical electric car that can be recharged in the three or four minutes it takes me to refuel my current truck, for instance. “Green” energy just isn’t ready, yet. But Obama wants to force it through, anyway.
The correct solution is to make “green” energy compete with oil and gas – and get good enough to be competitive. Then, we can and will make a transition to it, without destroying our economy.
I want to point out that this current disaster in the Gulf has been made much worse because of the requirement that the platforms be so far from shore. This requirement was intended by environmentalists to A) protect the shore – which failed, and to B) attempt to make offshore drilling prohibitively expensive – which also failed. To be fair, the environmentalists mean well; but why do we drill where problems are difficult to fix when we could be drilling in much more accessible locations?
Instead, we have a major problem that would have been MUCH easier to control in shallow water – or even better, on land.
This is what happens when political, environmental or other factions control what should be controlled by common sense. There are huge amounts of oil and natural gas accessible in other places in the U.S. that are far easier to access than oil that is far offshore. And most of those locations would have way less environmental impact than what we see here. Because we can get to it, if there is a problem. And on land, a spill doesn’t have water as a means to distribute it.