Jane Van Ryan
Posted May 14, 2010
Bloggers throughout the country have been writing about the Gulf oil spill.
Some, including The Bear at The Absurd Report, have highlighted suggestions for the cleanup. Others have discussed the benefits and risks of offshore oil and natural gas production. Here's a sampling of some of the bloggers' comments:
In an open letter to his "friends in the oil industry," McQ at the QandO blog questions whether the oil spill plan for the Macondo well was sufficient. He also offers a suggestion:
In order to regain the initiative in the policy realm, it is critical at this juncture that the industry begin an immediate analysis of this disaster and the formulation of a critical "go to hell" plan. It may not answer all the mail when the inevitable political hearings begin, but it will demonstrate an engaged industry that has recognized the reality of the problem and is working proactively (and without Congress mandating solutions or increasing regulation) to provide a workable and timely solution should such a situation ever again occur. And that may also help allay the fears of some and stiffen the spines of others that are ready to abandon the effort to drill off-shore. Time is critical and off-shore drilling is vital to our national interest and national security. I'm sure the brilliant minds within the industry can come up with a contingency plan that will make the case for its continuance.
Rich Trzupek, who blogs at Big Journalism, inserts a heavy dose of reality into the ongoing discussion about Gulf energy development. He reminds his readers that the U.S. government doesn't control all of the drilling that could occur there:
...[A]n important point about the Deepwater Horizon tragedy has largely been lost among all of the justifiable concern expressed in the media: deep ocean, off-shore drilling is going to continue around the world, whether we like it or not, and it's going to continue in the Gulf of Mexico. Russia and China have signed deals with Cuba to tap the Gulf's riches and, since we don't actually own the Gulf there's nothing we can do to prevent that outside of our Exclusive Economic Zone which extends 200 miles into the Gulf in most places (less off of parts of Florida).
Steve Kijak at Rightside VA posted a link to an Investor's Business Daily article about a poll conducted between April 30 and May 5, during the early days of the Deepwater Horizon accident. As Steve explains, the poll "shows support for 'oil exploration and drilling in America's national territorial waters' at 59% and down just 5% from a 2008 poll on this subject..."
Michael Swartz at Monoblogue opines:
"Accidents will happen, but there's no reason to stop oil exploration after this tragedy. The record of safety is no longer unblemished but still exemplary, and on balance the benefits still outweigh the risks. Let's get oil workers back to work. "
Although the tragic Deepwater Horizon accident has changed the conversation about offshore energy development, it hasn't changed the facts. As government estimates show, this country will need more oil and natural gas in the future. Yes, renewables and alternatives will be an important part of the energy mix, but as long as 95 percent of the U.S. transportation system runs on oil, energy companies will need to find it and produce it where it exists, including offshore.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.