The Future of Big Oil

The deluge of oil in the BP Gulf disaster is matched only by the gush of stories it’s generated. Making sense of it all can be tough, but the occasional commentary makes the long-term picture clear.

One of those was the analysis offered by Deborah Gordon and Dan Sperling in Sunday’s Washington Post, showing why oil companies aren’t ever going to be serious about the renewables that 92 percent of Americans want supported.

Unfortunately, public sentiment doesn’t measure up against the $1 trillion Big Oil has invested in “established oil wells, refineries, pipelines, and service stations,” and politicians (our addition) in the United States alone.

Without any real incentive to change, these corporations will continue their lucrative search-and-destroy energy strategy, even as capturing and refining oil grows more dangerous and expensive.

As Gordon and Sperling wrote so convincingly, “The current situation in the gulf, where BP was tapping hot, high-pressure oil almost 3 1/2 miles below the ocean floor, is only a prologue to the saga of how complex and costly our oil habit will become, if left unchecked.”

The Post hosted a discussion Monday with the Gordon and Sperling, who promoted a price floor on oil “to level the playing field for clean alternative fuels.”

We agree and think Ms. Gordon and Mr. Sperling are on to something when they say the revenues created by such a price floor “can provide massive public investments in clean non-oil R&D.” If, as President Obama has said, this oil disaster truly is America’s environmental 9/11, then it’s time to get serious about stripping fossil fuels of their welfare recipient status.

SHARE WITH FRIENDS:  
        
          
Top
TEST Menu