Tuesday, May 10, 2011

House Republicans Advocate Offshore Drilling Bill

This week, House Republicans passed a bill that will require the Obama administration to expand offshore oil and gas drilling. Even though the price of oil is increasing, the push for more domestic drilling is (ironically) coupled with the report of record profits from the oil companies. In turn, these profits have been used for record buybacks of company stock.  Mother Jones contributor Kate Sheppard writes, “This spending spree comes not only as the gas price debate has resurged in Congress, but also as companies lobby to keep the $40 billion in tax breaks and loopholes that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats want slashed from the 2012 budget." The American people have been deceived by the lies of those who profit the most from the continuation of the country’s dependency on oil and their unwillingness to support the preservation of the environment for fear of losing revenue.

The most recent debates regarding the fight against climate change have been comprised of various strategies. The most promising, however, was proposed by David Roberts at Grist. According to him, the four strategies that could help fight climate change include a price on carbon, the deployment of existing clean energy technology on a massive scale, investment of large amounts of money in research and development, and investment in infrastructure. Right now, nonetheless, the United States is doing all of these poorly. 

It is irrefutable that our current way of living in the world is destructive. Unfortunately, at a time when the government should be pushing harder to protect the environment, they’re retreating from the protections already in place. On both the state and federal level, policy makers have failed to safeguard the environment. It is time that the nation’s leaders take responsibility for the current crisis and rally to mend the damage for future generations.

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