By Climate Guest Blogger on Jun 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Although the BP oil spill seriously threatens those who live along the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. intransigence on climate change threatens the entire world; a fact that is causing rising anger around the world. Yet the U.S. Congress continues to resist action on climate change on the basis that it will harm some U.S. economic interests, while ignoring our duties, responsibilities, and obligations to others to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to the U.S. fair share of safe global releases. For this reason, while the BP oil spill can be rightfully be understood as a disaster, U.S. Congressional inaction on climate change must be understood as a huge moral failure leading to an even greater disaster.
Our guest blogger today is Donald A. Brown is Associate Professor for Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law at Penn State. He blogs at ClimateEthics.
Only after Republicans retire from Congress can they deliver a blunt assessment of the extremists who have seized control of the Grand Oil Party. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, wipes the floor with Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), as Think Progress reports:
Yesterday, Florida Senate candidate Marc Rubio (R-FL) waffled on the dangers of offshore drilling even as his state’s beaches were being destroyed by the BP oil disaster. “I hope we reach a point where we don’t use any petroleum,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “but in the short term, the truth is that America has to increase its domestic energy production.” Rubio said that he only wanted more deep-water drilling “if it can be done safely,” but then claimed that it’s “being done safely all over the world”:
So now you’re talking about deep-water drilling. And I only want to see it if it can be done safely. And that’s why it’s so important that we study why this happened. And if you tell me we’re going to have to put up with a couple of more of these, of course not. But can it be done safely? There is evidence that it can be done safely. It’s being done safely all over the world.
Rubio’s claim that drilling “can be done safely” only holds water if one ignores BP’s catastrophic blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the catastrophic Montara blowout in Australia last year, and the litany of deaths, pipeline ruptures, leaks, spills, tanker collisions, fires, and mechanical failures that occur every year in every corner of the world being drilled for oil and natural gas. Quite simply, the evidence proves that offshore drilling isn’t safe. Sadly, no amount of study or preparation can reduce the risk of catastrophic drilling accidents — Nassim Taleb’s “black swans” — to zero. Rubio is in dangerous denial.
Rubio also attacked one of his opponents for the Senate, Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), saying that “he was one of the leaders of the ‘drill, baby, drill’ chant just a couple of years ago when he was hoping to become Senator McCain’s vice presidential choice.” Ironically, while Crist did flip-flop on his stance on offshore drilling from opposition to cautious support to opposition again, it is Rubio himself who appeared in advertisements for Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future, repeating the slogan “Drill Here, Drill Now.”
By Climate Guest Blogger on Jun 24, 2010 at 9:46 am
The drumbeat of public support for comprehensive clean energy and global warming policies beats louder every day. The latest Wall Street Journal-NBC Poll found overwhelming support for comprehensive clean energy legislation that includes carbon pollution reductions. It also registered that cleaning up the BP oil disaster and energy reform is the number two priority of Americans. Finally, it registered another drop in support for the expansion of offshore oil drilling.
By Climate Guest Blogger on Jun 24, 2010 at 8:08 am
Rep. Joe Barton’s (GOBP-TX) apology to embattled BP CEO Tony Hayward for the government’s efforts to ensure compensation for Gulf coast residents last week highlighted two competing visions of government. The first is the progressive vision, that says government should aggressively champion the public interest, holding massive corporations accountable. The second, Barton’s, is the reflexive conservative embrace of big corporations.
GOP state senator Randy Brogdon (OK), who is the “tea party favorite” in his race for the Republican nomination for governor in his state, indicated that he fully and absolutely endorses the second vision. TP has the story of the another member of the GOBP .
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