Just one week after Earth Day, a "spaghetti western" of climate news played out in three interweaving stories through the blogosphere: the Obama administration approved the nation's first offshore wind farm (good), the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is huge and headed to shore (bad), and American Power Act bill framework announcement was halted after one of the chief bill proponents pulled out (ugly). But, let's get the ugly over with first:
As the oil is pushed ashore by strong winds, booms are showing their limitations. We're glad to see federal military resources being brought to this slow-motion tragedy, but we're going to need more help, as this fragile ecosystem is hammered by the river of oil, still uncontrolled, coming ashore. Looking at the recent maps, it's clear Louisiana will take the initial brunt as weather brings the sheen and worse into marsh area to the East of the mouth of the Mississippi River, but we're receiving reports of sheen as far up as Lafitte on the West Bank of the river.
Hollywood couldn’t have written a stranger, more ironic script depicting our nation’s ugly, polluting and dangerous energy addiction. On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the world watched as the DeepwaterHorizon, the “technologically advanced” $600 million exploratory drill rig, sank into the Gulf of Mexico following an unexplained explosion two days earlier that killed eleven workers. The raging fire that followed the explosion burned for 36 hours before the entire rig broke apart and sank, exposing an open wellhead that officials now say may be leaking approximately 5,000 barrels a day from three different leaks. The rig was located 50 miles offshore from Louisiana and operated by TransOcean Ltd under contract to oil giant, B.P.
Along with the rest of the country, I am watching yet another environmental disaster caused by dirty energy. I have been extremely worried about the Gulf Coast over the last week ever since a British Petroleum off-shore oil rig exploded and sank. The site is now leaking 42,000 gallons of oil a day. My heart goes out to the families of the missing oil rig workers.
The roll-out of the climate bill originally planned for Monday was delayed once more this weekend after Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he would not move forward with the process until Democratic leaders assured him that the Senate would take up climate legislation ahead of immigration reform. On Monday the Senate is expected to take up financial regulatory reform.
This week’s roundup
features many different Earth Day-related stories. President Obama gave a speech in the
White House Rose Garden to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth
Day, in which he addressed many different climate-related issues. Senator Lindsey
Graham (R-SC), one of
the co-authors of a soon-to-be-unveiled climate and energy bill, gave an in-depth interview
to Politico. Finally, in more grave news, an oil platform off the
Louisiana coast exploded and sank into the ocean, highlighting one of the many
reasons we need to move away from dirty fossil fuels.