BP oil spill pollutes Obama energy speech

June 16, 2010

The United States needs a long-term change in its energy policy. Right now, it needs oil to stop gushing from the broken BP well into the Gulf of Mexico. Barack Obama tried to tie long and short together in his first Oval Office address. But the White House will struggle to get Americans to focus on the future as long as the spill continues.

The president certainly gave it his best shot. He argued that the BP  mess is more like a persistent epidemic than a one-time natural disaster. The moral of the analogy is two-fold. First, America must be patient in dealing with the oily mess in the Gulf. Second, the disaster should encourage a national shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.

But for the American people, the future sure looks a long way away. A government panel announced the same day as Obama’s speech that as many as 60,000 barrels of oil are flowing into the Gulf every day. That’s double last week’s projection and way above the early estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.

It is almost two months since the explosion which started the leak, but Obama could not offer a quick solution. There were only plans for cleanup, including harsh words on how BP will pay, and prevention — and a potential clean energy future.

The president’s green dreams may turn into a nightmare if Republicans smash the Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The spill, which is slowly eroding the president’s popularity, makes such a rout ever more likely.

Still, some polls suggest a national willingness to make economic sacrifices for the sake of kicking the oil addiction. And the first step need not be too expensive. A new study from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that one proposed energy bill, which includes a carbon emission trading scheme, would cost the average American household only about $100 a year.

So Americans might be amenable to the president’s long term message — after the crisis is over.

Comments

Good article. It ends on an optomistic note which is refreshing, contrary to the
people who condemn, shout drill baby drill and have no plan, except to just get the far right, doomsday people, seats in Congress to try to destroy President Obama.
Wel, they may get a big surprise. We Democrats are not giving up so easily!

Posted by liberated | Report as abusive
 

Honestly, it’s hard to see how the oil spill could politically benefit Republicans. They’ve been so rabid with their “drill, baby, drill” that no sane person will trust them to fix this mess.

Posted by alflanagan | Report as abusive
 

One of the lessons from this oily mess is that oil from these risky off-shore wells cannot have the same price as oil pumped from not-so-risky wells. In some way or the other, the price of risky oil should reflect the externalities of its extraction. This would lead to a more sober consumption of fossil-energy.

Posted by hedagi | Report as abusive
 

I think both parties are so full of their own interest they should be replaced. A real optimistic view would be that they got together and found a way to stop the leak and insure that this will never happen again. Anyone that stands behind either party with pride, is a fool. The only way we all win is if we start standing together. Give up your self interest.

Posted by ThePup | Report as abusive
 

As im sure the author and the commentators here…bashing republicans and their ‘drill baby drill’ slogans….are surely giving up their gas consuming vehicles,eliminating their usage of plastic in all forms, have already spent the 50 thousand dollars US to retrofit their houses with solar panels,inverters, and wind turbines…..

or….could it be…they are too busy talking out the other side of their mouths about how this country ‘needs an energy policy’.

Lead by example…..when you speak and do nothing…you are a hypocrite. Pure and Simple.

I would be the author and his wife….drive the standard soccer mom suv, have 4000 sq ft mcmansions and still use incandescent bulbs in their lighting.

The REAL REASON you folkes are against ‘drill baby drill’ and soooooo attacking BP and oil companies that DARE to drill offshore…is they are doing it HERE instead of the middle east.

IT is a VERY simple case of NIMBY (not in my back yard) OF WHICH Californians are VERY Guilty…and the rest of the country is catching up….fast.
Its time to look in the mirror before posting how EVIL the Republicans are…and saying to yourself….”Just how much oil do i consume in a day, and where does it come from’.

All those offshore platforms provide amercian jobs, in case you have not noticed….and this Current President, seems hell bent on NOT doing a single thing to create employment in the United States during his first (and only) term in office.

I really pity the blind in this nation….’ie the liberals’, because they never seem to be able to SEE whats right in front of their face. Especially, when they drive to and from wherever they are going, then Denounce oil.

Posted by JayWx | Report as abusive
 

Bummer is that at 70,000 psi they cannot put anything
in these near volcanic pressures. Plus the big news
is that the pipe is eroding from the pressure; instead
of a two inch wall, supposedly it is now down to less
than an inch thick.

Once the pipe is eroded, then the rock wall will start
to go. The bonus is that the hole is in a 1 to 3 trillion
barrel reservoir that extends to Chile.

Sayonara

Posted by Satori | Report as abusive
 

I think the leek could have already been stopped

they could use the same method they use to raise ships

put somthing in the line long enough it should stop when the bag or thing are infalted

Posted by RodneyinAl | Report as abusive
 

Tony Hayward being used as a scapegoat by what sounds like, at times, a kangaroo court or inquisition, as the Daily telegraph put it, is neither edifying or constructive.

The grotesque posturing, the disingenuous cant and the hypocrisy together with the harsh, demeaning and bullying invective that spouted from the likes of Mr Waxman, did nothing but harm parity, sureity and justice.

It’s obvious it is now a personal vendetta, and that the dangerous part now is that Hayward has been made ‘other’ and vulnerable to the lynch mob mentality.

Using Hayward as a scapegoat, amongst all the oil deals, corruption and rank double-standards, turned this grilling session into an absurd theatre of cruelty.

Hayward is neither a murderer or a bad guy, in fact, and this is perfectly plausible for those who know what they talking about, he is a brilliant, caring and very human man.

It is not good enough to allow hidden and occluded agendas to dislocate fact and replace it with fiction, innuendo and personal abuse.

What Hayward was put through in that kangaroo court was a shamefacedly dreadful example of theatrical posturing and buck passing: the die was cast and the victim, a la Salem witch-hunt, had been skewered.

Posted by TheTruthIs | Report as abusive
 

So now today the witch hunt has moved on to its next phase. This is McArtherism by any other name. Mr Hayward is moved from the job of managing the disaster and replaced by the Managing Director and is brought back to the UK. As such he takes a break and goes sailing with his son but the far reaching tentacles of the bitching Senators have tracked him down here and now critiscise him taking a break. T

Posted by GROCK | Report as abusive
 

So the witch hunt has now moved on to its next phase. We now seem to have a touch of McArthyism in that even though he has been replaced from managing the day to day oil leak activities by the Managing Director and returned to the UK the far reaching tentacles of the senators have reached out and tracked him down. He has taken a break and gone sailing with his son. The first break since the disaster happened. Now they critiscise him for this. Is he not entitled to a break? Do they not take a break even in the middle of a crisis.
When I

Posted by GROCK | Report as abusive
 

So the witch hunt has now moved on to its next phase. We now seem to have a touch of McArthyism in that even though he has been replaced from managing the day to day oil leak activities by the Managing Director and returned to the UK the far reaching tentacles of the senators have reached out and tracked him down. He has taken a break and gone sailing with his son. The first break since the disaster happened. Now they critiscise him for this. Is he not entitled to a break? Do they not take a break even in the middle of a crisis.
When I was in Industry and worked long hours on a project in crisis I was always told by my powers that be that a break is essential in order that a refreshed mind bring new and better ideas to solve the crisis.
This is now an issue of hounds baying for blood no matter what and they have become the judge,jury and executioner before evidence of guilt is known. Shame on the US.

Posted by GROCK | Report as abusive
 

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