Like a Chicken With Its Head Cut Off

That is always the image that comes to my mind when I look at another example of failed energy policy in the US.

Recent headlines have included the Obama administration awarding billions in loan guarantees to the nuclear power industry, the Obama administration allowing oil companies to begin drilling in federal waters off the east coast, and the Obama administration’s approval of the Cape Wind offshore wind project.

Here is what the NY Times stated in its Cape Wind article:

But the project is hardly shovel ready. Several regulatory hurdles remain, and opponents of the wind farm have vowed to go to court, potentially stalling Cape Wind for several more years.

So, this is the first offshore wind project in the US and it probably won’t even start construction “for several more years.”  Meanwhile, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, England, Spain and Scotland have been in the business of producing power from offshore wind for more than twenty years.  Far from providing hope, the federal approval of Cape Wind illustrates clearly the failure of US energy policy.

And now we have the oil rig killings and blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP’s $1 billion deepwater rig self-destructed.  The wellhead will not be shut off for “months” and the contaminated Gulf waters are now measured in thousands of square miles.

And the US has recently killed dozens of coal miners in its coal industry.  Yesterday, Ken Ward pointed to testimony given by Kentuckian Wes Addington in the US Senate.  Ken quotes from Addington’s testimony:

The Massey Disaster at Upper Big Branch now becomes synomymous with death in the coal mines like the four recent disasters before it: Crandall Canyon, Darby, Aracoma and Sago.

All were preventable.

Five coal mining disasters in barely four years is not only a crisis, it is a national disgrace.

Finally, I come to a blog post that touches on all these subjects, and more.  It was the inspiration for this post.  Here are the first two paragraphs from that post at Firedoglake:

During the 2008 elections we were inundated with industry-inspired chants of “Drill now, drill everywhere, but drill, baby drill.” Both Presidental candidates essentially embraced this.

At the time, we were repeatedly assured by the oil/gas industry and their supply-side apologists in both parties that modern off-shore drilling technology was safe, that environmental safeguards are/would be scrupulously observed, and that off-shore oil spills hardly ever happened or could be easily contained. None of that was true.

The Cheney administration energy policies, with the support of Democrats in Congress, and now the Obama administration, have led us to our current disaster (disasters) of an energy policy.  PATH and TrAIL are logical outcomes of the destructive choices US political leaders have made, and continue to make.