The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Opinions on the Oil Spill and Response

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted June 14, 2010

Editorial and op-ed writers are using the power of the pen to explain their displeasure over the oil spill and response.

While most demand a faster and better spill response, a few acknowledge that quick legislative fixes and knee-jerk administrative actions won't lay a proper foundation to a secure energy future. Here's a sampling:

The New Orleans Times-Picayune asserts the administration's drilling moratorium was based on politics, not science, and it asks the president to reconsider it:

"The administration is still defending its moratorium, saying the measure simply hits the 'pause' button on drilling to evaluate safety measures. But the moratorium soon will turn into a 'kill' button for thousands of Louisiana jobs, as rigs poised to relocate overseas could take up to two years to return."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch notes that the spill hasn't stopped the country's "thirst for energy," and it cautions against taking an "alternative energy alone" approach. The newspaper says:

"The only realistic approach is a holistic approach: on that embraces conservation and renewables and fossil fuels and nuclear power--and that pours resources into research and development of the next generation of power."

Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr. observes in The Wall Street Journal that government is incapable of dealing with the oil spill crisis:

"Government response to crises once they occur is slow and inept. All this is not because either Republicans or Democrats are in power, but because big government doesn't work. It can't deliver on its promises. Big government overpromises and underdelivers. In reaching to do more, big government accomplishes less. That is not an ideological statement, but an empirical observation."

Jeff Jacoby writes in the Boston Globe that despite the catastrophe in the Gulf, "life without oil would be far, far worse." He reminds his readers:

"Americans consume oil not because they are 'addicted' to it, but because it enriches their lives, making possible prosperity, comfort, and mobility that would have been all but unimaginable just a few generations ago...oil-based energy improves human health and reduces poverty--it makes life longer, safer, and better. Addictions debase life. Oil improves and expands it."

And finally, Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer in today's USA Today says his company is striving for openness and transparency, and adds:

"The Deepwater Horizon incident, and the oil spill that has followed, is a terrible tragedy for the families and friends of those who lost their lives, and for the people living in communities all along the Gulf Coast. It should never have happened. We're working around the clock to stop the flow of oil, protect the shore, clean up the damage and restore the Gulf Coast. We also want to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again."

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.