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Sounding Off: Time to end oil dependence

May 28, 2010|By Wyland

Today we see the impact of inaction on the part of our political leaders to have the courage and vision to end offshore oil drilling in U.S. waters. As I recall, we voted for change in 2008. The kind of change that invests in the future and not in the destruction of the planet that has been happening around the world. We can't go back in time and make the oil companies and politicians do what they should have done in the first place to avert the ever-worsening Gulf oil spill disaster. But this catastrophe may finally ignite an all-out war against fossil fuels and other energy sources that poison our air, land and sea.

We know the health of the planet is tied directly to human health. And yet we continue to compromise this connection. The promise of clean energy made by the Obama administration at the outset of the campaign was hopeful and inspiring. But as usual in Washington, the powerful lobbyists with money and influence have neutralized a very real chance at change and polluted the goodwill and support for a new beginning on green energy initiatives.

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So where do we go from here?

It's very simple. Money and resources that support alternative energy should be our highest priority. The oil companies that are destroying our planet should be held accountable with 100% of the monies invested in an all-out campaign to bring together the world's greatest minds to solve the energy crisis now and forever. Even after the BP disaster, oil company officials still cling to the concept of the relative safety of offshore drilling. Yet even a "safe" rig spews 90,000 tons of drilling fluid and metal cuttings over its lifetime. Oil delivery by tankers, obviously, is even more risky.

But this isn't about a lesser of two evils equation. We can no longer allow big money to sabotage the effort to once and for all get off oil. The consequences of further inaction are too great. Our water, land, wildlife and climate are all at risk. We may never have another chance in history to seize this moment to create an environmental renaissance for future generations. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and think that our government alone will solve this problem. It will require every citizen in a united effort for real, true and lasting change. It will require us to pay greater attention. To actively get involved. To understand the complexities of our environment and finally come to terms with the real impacts that mankind has on this planet.

If we truly care about our future — and I believe we do — we will take the necessary steps, uncomfortable as some of them may be, to ensure a clean, safe, habitable world for future generations.

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