Monday, June 7, 2010

Hoboken Journal Editorial on Fossil Fuels

I am reposting this comment as an editorial to generate a possible discussion thread on the issue of fossil fuels in light of the Bob Menendez press conference today and the BP off shore drilling disaster that has impacted the Gulf of Mexico.

I personally feel that in the US the price of gas is way too cheap. It should be taxed much more more to encourage development of renewable resources and the sooner this is done the better. Since fossil fuels are finite, the current standard of living we all enjoy is not sustainable in the very near future relying on fossil fuels the way we currently do. I do think that President Obama has eaten some serious crow by giving the go ahead for more off shore drilling and then having the BP disaster happen so soon in the Gulf afterwards. Instead of "Drill Baby Drill it is now "Spill Baby Spill". That would be funny except for the catastrophic damage the BP spill is doing to the Gulf, fishing, the environment, other industries in the area, and in particular that state with a Superbowl winner, an exorcist performing Fundamentalist governor Bobby Jindal that seems to be shat upon by a higher power, Louisiana.

I think Obama was trying to be a realist when he approved the offshore drilling but something must be done  to accelerate the market and give it more incentive to find solutions sooner rather than later. The war in Iraq and other strategic oil war areas has not been factored into the price of gas not to mention the environmental impact. Menendez's legislation is a start but in my opinion more is needed to turn the US into the number one producer of alternative energy. I am cognizant of the effects a higher gas tax could have on the economy in supposed recovery. Perhaps the best way out of the recession is to innovate our way out and make energy renewal like a mission to the moon or the Manhattan project without the bombs but perhaps viable fusion or a combination of many sources.
Feel free to share your thoughts below and as always it is OK to disagree with the said editor on this issue. Just because I am advocating an aggressive stance on this issue doesn't mean I am a "giant Sasquatch commie" as one obnoxious poster called me last week in live chat (I still get a chuckle out of that one). I still realize the value of individual talent and market forces to solve many scientific problems but Government can set the tone through programs (such as NASA which has enabled many commercial spin offs) and tax policy which can change corporate and consumer behaviors. Cap and trade, tax incentives, research grants all need to be explored to bring about real change. Out of the box thinking is encouraged.