The Oil Spill – Making Lemonade of Lemons

Today, President Obama got tough on oil companies in a meaningful way. He first called for a rollback of tax breaks for oil companies. Oil companies are making tens of billions in profit off the backs of Americans by gaming the tax system then doing it again at the pumps. It’s shameful and it ought to end.

He also called on us to move off our dependence on oil. In addition to the usual talk of renewable energy, Obama suggested increasing fuel efficiency, increasing use of natural gas, and pursuing nuclear power. While it should have happened sooner, it is refreshing to see him attempting to take lemons and make lemonade. Of all the negative consequences of the oil spill, it would be nice if just this one positive thing would come out of it: we move to cleaner alternative energy, particularly renewable.

The expense of dealing with the negative consequences of fossil fuels (much of which is hidden) merits investing our money on clean alternatives that are less costly long term. It will take time and it will take money, but many worthwhile investments do.

President Carter challenged America to make the move decades ago and if his call had been answered, our generation would hardly know what gasoline is. But special interests took over followed by Ronald Reagan and the rest is history.

Again, we find ourselves with the opportunity to change history. Will our children look back in thirty years and say “If only…” or will they look back and say “Thanks.”

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