BP Oil Spill

The Santa Barbara Oil Spill, And The Shell Arctic Ocean Permit

The issue of oil drilling and exploration has reared its ugly head once again, with the disaster off of Santa Barbara, California, on its way to a massive disaster affecting the Southern California coastline, including the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Already, the estimate is that 105,000 gallons of crude oil have been spilled by the oil leak, killing wild life and destroying the ecosystem in that area.

And yet, just days before this latest energy disaster, Barack Obama has authorized Shell Oil Company to drill in the Alaskan Arctic, an area that is mostly unreachable in case of an ecological and wild life disaster if an oil spill or leak occurs.

Obama has been, generally, outstanding on many aspects of environmental issues, but on the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, he has made a major mistake, which needs to be fought in court, particularly with the later example of another disaster now in the Santa Barbara, California area.

Obama has done a lot of good, but it is alarming that he would give in to Shell Oil and the energy lobby, when we have plenty of sources of domestic energy already, and seem to forget the need to start the move away from polluting oil and coal toward alternative energy resources.

The BP oil spill of 2010 still reverberates, and now the Santa Barbara oil spill, and so it is time to say NO to Shell on drilling in the Arctic Ocean in Alaska!

Congress Approval At All Time Low: What It Means

A new poll shows that only TEN percent of those polled have a positive view of Congress in 2012.

The Gallup Poll showed the unbelievable reality that Congress has a lower rating than BP during the Oil Spill, or Richard Nixon during Watergate, or banks during the banking crisis of 2008.

This could mean, in theory, that we could witness a wholesale removal of members of both parties in Congress in November, but that is really highly unlikely.

The fact that many Americans are unhappy with Congress as an institution does not mean that they do not like THEIR member of Congress, and most members routinely get re-elected, particularly in the House of Representatives, with a higher chance of defeat in the Senate races.

Also, reapportionment of seats, which occurs once in a decade, will probably promote less turnover since boundary lines change. And since a substantial number of members of Congress are retiring, some of them are leaving because they see the handwriting on the wall, as the saying goes!

More than incumbents losing who do not retire, is the question of whether the Republicans can retain control of the House of Representatives, and whether the Democrats can continue to control the Senate.

What seems most likely at this juncture is that we may see a switch in party control in both chambers, as the Democrats only need a 25 seat gain to take control, and there is great discontent with the Tea Party Movement membership in the GOP, which has made life miserable for Speaker of the House John Boehner and his party.

And the likelihood is that the US Senate will see a Republican takeover, needing only four seats to accomplish that.

This will present a new scenario for President Barack Obama if he is re-elected, but it is a more normal situation to have a Democratic House and a Republican Senate historically, having occurred from 1911-1913, 1931-1933. and from 1981-1987. The present opposite party control in the two chambers–a Republican House and a Democratic Senate–has NEVER happened, and seems to have proved to be less able to accomplish ANY cooperation as a result!

First Anniversary Of BP Oil Spill: Nothing Has Changed!

A year ago today, the BP Oil Spill, the worst in US history, began in the Gulf of Mexico, and no one has paid the price of criminal responsibility, and nothing has been done by Congress to deal with the dangers of future oil spills, as corporate America continues to “own” the Republican Party, and even many members of the Democratic Party, as well!

The economy of the Gulf States has been harmed long term, and the environmental damage to wildlife and the water supply is impossible to measure completely, but it will last for years!

Oil drilling is going on, and we are told that this kind of situation will never happen again, but there are no safeguards, other than trust, which is hard to take seriously as a solution!

The odds of any Congressional regulation of the oil industry is nil, and we continue to see our environment destroyed in the name of capitalism and profits, so the future of energy and the environment remains one of no likelihood of any major change in policy!

The Energy Crisis After Japan And The BP Oil Spill

The crisis over future energy supply has ratcheted up as a result of the Japanese nuclear power plant disaster, after the fifth greatest earthquake ever recorded, which also caused a massive tsunami in northern Japan.

This, plus the British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico make it very obvious that the United States is faced with a major problem with no easy solution.

Can we really expect nuclear power plants to be safe enough with the danger of a nuclear accident as at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, and the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet Union in 1986?

Can we really find a solution to nuclear waste, finding an appropriate location in our nation for an extremely dangerous supply of material that no one wishes to have in their state boundaries?

Is Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee correct in saying we should not turn against nuclear power because of Japan, because after all, we don’t turn against airplanes because of a plane crash? Are these two tragedies, a nuclear disaster in an earthquake zone, and a plane crash, equivalent?

The answer to all of the above is obviously NO, and when one realizes that if there was an earthquake in California or New York or many other locations, millions upon millions of people would be in harm’s way, and unable to evacuate out of the danger zone!

Nuclear power cannot be the answer to our energy crisis in the future, and we had better learn from what has happened in Japan, but will we, since the motivation of profit governs everything that politicians consider, including public safety!

Meanwhile, however, it is obvious that the BP Oil Spill demonstrates that we have to be prepared to destroy wildlife, our water supply, our soil, in the name of having oil companies earn obscene profit in the name of their shareholders, instead of considering the danger to the environment and human beings!

The answer is that we must, somehow, utilize wind, water and solar power in the long run, and spend the investment money to make these cleans sources of energy the future!

If we could go into space and the moon within a decade, why can’t we invest in research to get away, over time, from oil, whether from oil drilling off our shores or supplies from other unstable countries; and also move away from nuclear power, before it destroys us completely in an earthquake disaster certain to come, at the least in California and the Pacific Coast, or in the Midwest, or even in the New York metropolitan area, all places where it could indeed occur!

The energy crisis requires strong, innovative leadership to think of the long term future, not just short term profits!