From an editorial in the Sheboygan Press:
We don’t yet know the final solution to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so we surely don’t know the final cost of the cleanup and the restoration of the fishery and the beaches.
But what we should know by now is that offshore oil drilling will have to be more closely monitored in the future. We should also know that we have to make a deeper commitment to reducing our dependence on oil — foreign and domestic.
The Disaster in the Gulf, as the now nearly two-month-long oil spill is being called, should be the wake-up call of all wake-up calls. It should spark bold action — in the offshore drilling regulatory process and in weaning the U.S. from oil.
President George W. Bush said in 2006 that the U.S. was “addicted to oil.” Yet today, we remain as hooked on oil and gas as we were then — and, like any addiction, it can be destructive. We are seeing its effect now in the Gulf of Mexico.
Although the U.S. needs to reduce its reliance on oil, there is no way to go “cold-turkey.” Our economy relies heavily on transportation — delivery of goods and services and people getting to and from jobs.
Oil, along with coal and natural gas, is also used to generate electricity and heat our homes. Many of the consumer goods we use have a base in petroleum.
In recent years, due mainly to the slowdown in the nation’s economy, the demand for oil has slowed in the U.S. It is still growing in much of the rest of the world, particularly China.
But rather than simply returning to oil as the main source of fuel, there needs to be a plan to move the U.S. economy forward while also reducing the use of oil. We’re taking baby steps today to find alternative sources of fuel. It’s time to think giant leaps forward.