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Explosion does not signal end of off-shore drilling

April 29th, 2010 Comments off

There have been those in the last week or so that have found reason to link the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico to halting offshore oil production anywhere in the United States.
That’s way too much of a leap for me.
First, those oil rigs in the Gulf have been through a lot — hurricanes, high seas and more — and rarely show signs of wear and tear.
The offshore oil rigs off of America’s coasts have served the country well and will continue to serve their country for some time in the future.
What I did find interesting is that on the same week we are worried about an oil spill in the Gulf — which (as of this writing) is threatening to come ashore in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida — the Obama administration approved the 130-turbine Cape Wind  project in the Nantucket Sound of Massachusetts, and developers say they want to generate power by 2012.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision “allows our nation to harness an abundant and inexhaustible clean energy source for greater energy independence, a healthier environment and green jobs,” Cape Wind president Jim Gordon said.
What I do think is that we need to continue to be smarter about the energy we use and produce.
We all know that at some point we are going to run out of oil.
While they are needed now, offshore oil rigs aren’t there forever. Over the course of time, we will use less and less oil. That is just a fact. Why else would Exxon, Chevron, BP and others be investing billions and billions of dollars into finding more and better alternative energy solutions?
Wind and other alternative fuel sources can be used for as long as Mother Earth is a part of the universe.
But, to suggest we abandon offshore oil production because of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig is short-sighted and not practical.
The explosion was an accident that likely should have been prevented, but we have to move forward, protect our coastlines and be better at monitoring the safety of those rigs for environmental and humanitarian reasons.
This is a transitional stage in the energy world, and we will have get through it together.
There’s no place for knee-jerk reactions.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.