Environment


Thursday, May 20, 2010, marks one month since BP’s oil rig exploded in the Gulf Coast, killing 11 people and unleashing one of the worst environmental disasters our nation has ever seen.

Since then, millions of gallons of oil have gushed into the ocean, poisoning marine life and threatening hundreds of miles of coastal waters, beaches and estuaries from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Florida Keys.

This is the clearest picture we could have of our failed national energy policy — which extends over many decades and administrations. Yet, shockingly, our elected officials in the Senate continue to drag their feet on enacting the policies that would bring the real change we need to shift our country from dirty to clean energy sources, while creating jobs and cutting our dependence on oil.

This oil disaster is threatening marine life and habitat in a region that accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. production of shrimp and oysters, as well as millions of pounds each year of red snapper, grouper, bluefin tuna and other fish. Fishing has been shut down from the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle — an area of 46,000 square miles, or roughly the size of the state of Pennsylvania. These closures are devastating to thousands of Gulf Coast families who depend on this bounty for their livelihood. Many of these people are still reeling from the trauma of Hurricane Katrina five years ago.

I am glad that President Obama announced that he would appoint an independent commission to look at the causes of the blow out and determine what we must do to prevent this from ever happening again. This is an important first step in addressing the national tragedy and coming up with real solutions to prevent future drilling disasters.

But it is not enough.

Right now, the Senate has legislation on the table that would help move us in a new direction and put America back in control of its energy future. The American Power Act, drafted by Senators Kerry and Lieberman, is not perfect– but it is a significant step toward cutting our dependence on fossil fuels, limiting carbon pollution, and encouraging businesses to shift to clean energy sources.

Unfortunately, the full Senate continues to stall — weighed down by too much infighting and too many special interests. That’s why we need the president to assert his voice and leadership by letting the Senate — and the American people — know that he is serious about getting clean energy and climate legislation passed this year.

Source: Huffington Post

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Mr. Spangler has created quite the stir amongst my social circle about alternative energy.  This caused one of my friends to insult Leo, which made me incredibly angry.  He gets a bad rap for ‘Titanic’.  I’m telling you, he will go down in history as the best actor of our generation, and certainly the best actor to ever appear on ‘Growing Pains’.  Sorry, Kirk Cameron.

I’m not sure why people are so opposed to looking for alternative ways to create energy.  When you talk about it in the political sense, I guess I would assume that this issue is something that would bridge the partisan gap.  It creates revenue for the alternative energy companies and the people who are invested in them, which is good.  It saves the companies and communities that invest in alternative energy millions of dollars, which is also a good thing.  And while it happens to be creating jobs and be more cost effective, it’s also good for the environment (while I do not believe that there is enough evidence to support man-made global warming, I do believe that it doesn’t take a scientist to watch a sunset from Dodger Stadium in LA and realize that it’s probably not good to breathe in that air).

When I talk to people about this, the issue that they seem to not understand about alternative energy is that it can actually be incredibly cheaper than traditional fuel. Now, that being said, I don’t expect every house to have its own source of independent energy in its backyard.  When you’re talking about spending federal dollars, that’d be absolutely ridiculous.  No one was expected to own a computer when they first made their way onto the scene in the 40’s either (unless you were a millionaire and happened to own an entire city block).  I’m not saying we should all live like the Dutch.  Although that would be pretty sweet, it’s just not practical on a micro-level yet.

However, if businesses and communities invest in alternative energy projects like biomass technology or community digesters, it is significantly more cost effective than traditional fuel based energy (and simultaneously good for the environment).  Companies like Wilson Engineering provide clean, renewable, and significantly cheaper energy technology.

http://www.wilsonengineeringservices.com/index.html

When you can actually show the fiscal sense that projects that companies like this provide, I’m unsure as to why you wouldn’t want to invest in that technology.

While I certainly don’t believe that human beings are the cause of global warming, I do believe it’s fiscally and socially irresponsible to not look for alternative energy sources when the technology is readily available.

And while Leo may not be an authority on energy policy, I think he’s more knowledgeable than this ass-clown:

Jesus.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

You know, I’ll never understand why people are so opposed to environmentalism. It’s not a political thing, folks, it’s a common sense thing. Treat the world poorly and it’ll come back and bite us in the ass. If you want to make it political, wouldn’t it be nice to free ourselves from our dependency on Middle Eastern and South American oil? Americans get pissed off that our President will bow to the leader of Saudi Arabia, but many Americans are too lazy and downright stupid to want to free ourselves from the country’s grip by investing in clean energy?

In the United States, we consume 21 million barrels of crude oil every day, the majority of it being imported from foreign countries! At 42 gallons of oil in each barrel, that’s 882,000,000 gallons of crude oil each day and 321,930,000,000 gallons each year. THIS IS RIDICULOUS AND PREVENTABLE. The latter is the infuriating part.

So, Mr. DiCaprio and some other Hollywood stars made a video to help push the Senators to pass the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act. If you want to read about the bill, here is an overview, here is a summary, here is a section by section summary, and here is the bill in its entirety.

Watch the video and the message is clear: either we in America are going to take the initiative and pave the way for clean energy… or another country is going to beat us to it. It’s time to get off your ass and do something. Find your state’s Senators by going right here and shoot them an email in support of this bill. It will only take two minutes and it’ll be well worth the time and effort.

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/349598&tbid=5624&p=1281&height=420&width=425]

Sources: 1, 2, 3