The energy-independent future that never was
Bernie Sanders, the only democratic socialist in the US Senate, says that the single most important lesson we can learn from the ongoing oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is that drilling is not the answer. Sanders also calls for a stop on offshore drilling and says that the USA must transform its energy system.
In light of the BP oil disaster Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promptly withdrew his plans on lifting a 40-year moratorium on drilling off the California coast. Earlier Greenpeace have called for an offshore moratorium in the USA and have asked President Barack Obama to cancel Arctic drilling plans. Schwarzenegger should of course be complimented for taking back his support for any new offshore oil drilling plans. But isn't it a bit sad that an â€œunprecedented environmental disasterâ€ has to take place before anyone cares to realize the dangers of offshore oil drilling (or nuclear energy)?
But then again this might just all be nice talk from politicians and legislators. It will be interesting to see if they will continue to talk about ending offshore drilling and transforming the nation's energy system even after the media storm have calmed. Somehow I doubt it. After all, the current oil spill is nothing new. And we shouldn't forget that the Gulf disaster is only unusual for being so near the US. Elsewhere in the world Big Oil rarely cleans up its dirty mess. And the Western media rarely cares about it.
But one might say that Barack Obama have called for the transformation of the US energy system long before the oil disaster in the Gulf. And yes this is true. In late 2008 when the failing auto industry was the hot topic of the day Obama said that this is "our pattern" and it has to be broken:
But then again, this is also nothing new. As Jon Stewart shows the last eight presidents in the USA have all gone on television and promised to move America towards an energy-independent future.