29 June 2010

Drilling for only six days' worth of oil is absurd

As discussed in the May 28 article "Va.'s hopes for offshore drilling dashed," the disaster transpiring in the Gulf of Mexico has given pause to the pro-drilling fervor of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Unfortunately, McDonnell believes that investigation and temporary delay of proposed extraction off Virginia's coast is sufficient in addressing the failures of the oil companies like BP.

But as the spill in the Gulf enters its sixth week -- none of the efforts to contain the flow have succeeded -- it is clear that caution is not enough.

The Chesapeake Bay is especially vulnerable to the potential problems caused by offshore drilling. According to estimates, the oil contained off Virginia's coast would last for six days at the rate of U.S. consumption. The ecosystems and coastal economies must not be endangered nor sacrificed for less than a week's worth of energy.

I urge President Obama to take his actions further and ban offshore drilling in new areas such as the East Coast. Furthermore, the president should lead the charge for a clean energy economy and insist that Congress pass legislation to reduce America's unsustainable dependence on oil.


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