Warner & Webb Tag-team a Lift on Oil and Gas Exploration Ban


    Cross posted from Article XI

    Who needs Sarah Palin when Virginia has its very own proponents of “Drill, baby, drill” in the form of Jim Webb and Mark Warner? Notwithstanding the fact that drilling today wouldn’t start producing benefits for some time to come, the tendency to concentrate on fossil fuels distracts our political representatives from seeing the bigger picture: renewable forms of energy are the future. The argument often follows, among others, that renewable forms of energy aren’t economical enough at present. If we take this claim to be true for the moment, it might well be because government subsidies have gone to environmentally devastating forms of energy like the fossil fuels instead of renewable forms of energy (as if Big Oil and Big Coal and Big Gas needed more money).

    I can’t think of one form of energy that’s in widespread use right now that has not received some form of government subsidy to “get the ball rolling.” But the tepid investments in energy sources like wind and solar are simply not enough to bring these renewables to scale in a timely fashion. It is as if there are some special interests who are opposed to the widespread use of renewable forms of energy in America!

    Of course, there are such groups in America, groups who would rather poison the American people and exterminate the natural world as we know it (or used to know it) for a profit. But my concern isn’t simply that of someone who loves the natural world intrinsically. It is a practical argument that takes into account the harmful economic consequences that environmental devastation has had, is having, and will have in the future for America, a form of devastation that has been fueled (sorry for the pun) by nonrenewable forms of energy.

    Still we wait and hope for the best. Maybe our rational and scientific minds will find the magical solution to this dilemma. Maybe the “American spirit” will figure out an ingenious method to pour more poison into our rivers and atmosphere without the environmental and human health repercussions. That might be what Senators Warner and Webb think; otherwise their actions bear little rational justification.  

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