Obama Launching ‘Ocean Initiative’ – Too little too late?

The LA Times has a story on the new Ocean Initiative of the Obama Administration. While the task force has been out thinking this new way of protecting the oceans over the last year, the administration has gone from supporting oil drilling and further drilling off the coasts to dealing with the worse oil spills near US shores in history. An entire swath of environmentally sensitive water and shores, including approx. 40% of our shrimp harvest nationally has been destroyed, along with thousands, if not tens of thousands of jobs. Now we get a series of recommendations that ” would not create new regulations or immediately alter drilling plans or fisheries management.”  This will ultimately end up with regs created that will affect us here on the Straits and Hood Canal.

This new set of regs would establish a kind of ocean zoning. My immediate reaction is, ‘so how exactly would that have helped prevent the disaster that is unfolding in front of our eyes in the Gulf?” What really changes? Zoning creates places where oil can be drilled, the well blows, and all the other locations still get trashed. I will await more info on how this is to be implemented.  The notion that somehow we are going to set aside “environmental zones” in the ocean seems ridiculous on its’ face. The ocean doesn’t have “zones”. What spills  in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas when it comes to the ocean.  Does this mean we are going to let certain zones get trashed and somehow keep it all intact? Ridiculous on it’s face.

But this is how the sausage gets made, in politics. We’ll now have years of meetings to discuss the changes, which have been discussed for years already. We then will  have to adopt to this new rules process and see if any further gains in environmental protection can be gotten from them. And in the meantime, no one is seriously being asked to change their lifestyles to support less use of oil. We are subsidizing all sorts of silly activities, but really getting things to change is really hard. And of course the oil industry objects to it saying it’s unworkable. It’s time to ask them to stand down, as they have caused enough destruction in the last six months to last many lifetimes. Just ask the shrimpers in the Gulf.

Read the story and think for yourself…


Quote of the week:

“The oil and natural gas industry’s presence in the Gulf [of Mexico] has successfully coexisted with other ocean uses like tourism, fishing, the U.S. military and shipping for many years, demonstrating that the current system of governance works well.” – American Petroleum Institute

As did Chernobyl..

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