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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oil, Tsunamis, Ethanol -- Grim Notes

Two dozen tabs open on my browser—time to clear the cache and lament the ongoing disaster of our irresponsible energy practices.
  1. Scott and Megan at The Post revisit that amazing BP oil spill overlay map and find the great blob of careless greed stretching from Sissteon to Rapid City.
  2. Maybe mushrooms can clean up the BP oil spill. I'd certainly give that a shot before trying the mushroom cloud option.
  3. Fungus or nukes, the eggheads had better find a solution fast. If you think oily birds and beach tarballs are bad for tourism, try double exploding methane-triggered tsunamis.
  4. Maybe someone should have mentioned tsunamis to Judge Feldman before he overturned the federal moratorium on further deepwater oil exploration. One rig blowing up and spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico doesn't mean all such rigs are dangerous, does it? I susecpt such a conclusion makes more sense to a judge who has invested in numerous oil companies, including the outfit that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig.
  5. The solution is not magic mushrooms or more drilling. The solution is for us Americans to grow up, sacrifice for future generations, and get the heck off oil. That change will be slow and painful, but we Americans ca do it. At least that's what conservative commentator David Frum will tell you:
    We want to get the country off oil? Tax it. (Politicians may not wish to say it, but their advisers can at least think it.) Then liberate people to find their own best alternative -- and incentivize industry to develop alternatives that make sense at the new higher price. And be prepared to argue candidly and straightforwardly in the marketplace of ideas why this new tax is right and justified [David Frum, "Getting off Oil Easily Is a Fantasy," CNN.com, 2010.06.21].
    I'll make that argument. Tax oil hard. Game on!
  6. And for those of you thinking ethanol is the best way to get off oil, there's a strong argument that ethanol, via corn production and fertilizer runoff, has been contributing to hypoxia, algae blooms, and the massive "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico for years. But hey—that ongoing disaster is only the size of New Jersey.
And now I'm hopping in my car to burn three gallons of gasoline and ethanol to go to Brookings. I smell exhaust and hypocrisy.

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