Is it just me, or does anyone else miss the “dun-dun!” music at the beginning of Sam Waterston’s statement to the Environment and Public Works subcommittee today? Waterston didn’t appear at the hearing today as a Hollywood actor but as an activist for Oceana, the organization founded by Ted Danson to protect the waterways of the world. Waterston doesn’t just want a stop to the drilling that produced this accident, but to all offshore drilling. He doesn’t mention, however, how the US will power the television screens that tune into his show and the vehicles that allow him to fly to Washington to blast exploration:
Guess what? There is no such thing as a risk-free venture. Somewhere between the Moon landing and today, the US has become so risk-adverse as to handcuff its vital interests in energy production. The Gulf spill is awful — and I agree with Bruce McQuain at QandO that the lack of a “go to hell” plan for deep-sea exploration should have been addressed long ago. Instead of jury-rigging solutions with no idea of their effectiveness, this kind of potential disaster should have had a technological solution prior to drilling at 5,000 feet.
However, just as firmly, the US needs to get its energy from its own resources. Can we afford to suspend drilling operations off-shore? Not for long, and not while we’re blocking exploration on land, such as in ANWR and in the shale areas of the interior West. Will Waterston and Oceana back exploration on land in exchange for a temporary moratorium for off-shore drilling? Somehow, I rather doubt it.