Photo Credit: Eric Gay, AP from MSNBC.
I’m an ardent fan of the great outdoors. I run and bike on
nature trails. I’m the family recycling nut. My favorite vacation destinations
are Zion National
Park, The Grand Canyon, Glacier
National Park, and Bryce Canyon.
I love lakes, rivers and the ocean.
Career wise, my first job with BNP Media was as an editor on Solar Engineering & Contracting
magazine. I am a big fan of our two all
green brands, Environmental Design +
Construction and Sustainable
So you can appreciate why I was distressed to learn via
MSNBC that the oil spill in the Gulf Coast is bigger than the slick caused by
the Exxon Valdez (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37353392/ns/gulf_oil_spill/?GT1=43001
) and is now the worst in U.S. history.
At first, media coverage focused on the fiery accident and
tragic death of the oil workers. Soon after, coverage shifted to the ongoing
environmental impact, accusations of poor emergency response, and who is to
blame. Federal support of offshore drilling has turned into efforts to curtail
I certainly understand why environmentalists are outraged.
No one wants to see such damage, some of which might take decades to reverse.
Fisherman, shrimpers, and resorts are being severely impacted.
Clearly, this oil spill is a mega disaster.
And yet, I am hoping that our righteous anger doesn’t cause
elected officials to make emotional or political decisions that could hurt the U.S.
in other ways. Banning offshore drilling would lead to greater dependence on
foreign sources and higher prices for gas and oil products, thus increasing the
cost of doing business in the U.S.
A good first step is to take an analytical approach to this
mess. So I was encouraged when I read this oil leak analysis (www.economist.com/science-technology/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16160853&source=features_box_main
published by The Economist
steps BP Oil is taking to fix it. It was good to see coverage that focused on
cause-and-effect, rather than name-calling and finger-pointing.
I know what some of you are thinking. Why not simply ramp up
our energy conservation efforts and develop alternative energy sources so we
can be done with off shore drilling?
This approach was popular in the early 1980s when the Carter
administration set a goal of generating 20% of the country’s energy through
renewable sources. Unfortunately, the conversation rates of those sources were
not cost-competitive then, and as far as I can tell, most are not competitive
on a major scale today. I wish they were.
This blog reaches engineers, designers, manufacturers,
architects, consultants, contractors and many other pros who are all smarter
and more technically savvy than me. I would love to hear your reactions to the
oil spill and how we should move forward.
Post your comments to this blog or email me at fauscht@bnpmedia