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Nightmare In The Gulf

Editorial for May 6, 2010

We see the environmental and economic catastrophe developing in the Gulf of Mexico, and are left to wonder how devastating this event will become.

An offshore oil drilling rig exploded on April 20, and 11 lives were lost. The disaster did not stop there, however, as officials soon realized there was a serious oil leak in the aftermath of the explosion and collapse of the rig.

News reports claim this could be worse than the Exxon Valdez tragedy in Alaska, but that seems blatantly obvious. In our view -- and this is being written on April 29 -- it is already far worse. With the tanker, there was a finite amount of oil spilled into the water. Here, the source is virtually endless, and no one is yet sure how to stop it. It's an environmental nightmare that is likely to have far-reaching consequences for our nation and, possibly, for the entire globe.

Ironically, on April 28, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar approved the nation's first major offshore wind power project. This particular plan calls for siting 130 wind turbines off Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It's part of a national "green energy" revolution that is focused much more on renewable sources such as solar, wind, and wave power and less on fossil fuels, i.e., drilling for oil. Bravo to the Obama administration for trying to find a better way to provide energy for our economy and our people.

Yet even with the oil spill disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, some in the Massachusetts area say they plan to file a lawsuit to try to stop the wind power project. It's unbelievable.

At some point, people have to make choices. Wind turbines are not going to create an environmental problem like we're now seeing off the shores of Louisiana. And is the sight of a wind turbine so offensive to some citizens that they would prefer having an oil rig instead?

People all around the world need energy to live and prosper, and there is no perfect plan that everyone will agree to. To those so willing to file suit to stop any energy development proposal, we can only shake our heads in anger and dismay.

And speaking of anger: Maybe this event will finally put an end to the "drill, baby, drill!" nonsense.

JB

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