Caving to Big Oil

Despite the ecological disaster wrought by the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, five years ago, the effects of which have yet to be fully determined and addressed, the Obama Administration will allow Shell Oil to drill in the pristine waters of the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska.  While the leases were initially granted by the Bush Administration, permission to drill was delayed until "stringent new regulations" were in place.

Though the Obama Administration has spearheaded efforts to reduce our use of fossil fuels, promote solar and wind energy and protect threatened wilderness areas, one wonders why they are caving to Big Oil at a time when there is a worldwide glut of gas and oil and when the tragic consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels (including transportation spills, groundwater and wetland pollution and global warming, among many others) are becoming more and more evident.  To assume that strict drilling regulations will protect the fragile yet treacherous environment of the Arctic Sea is pure folly.

Unfortunately, the political influence of Big Oil trumps any perceived shift toward clean, renewable energy.  In the meantime, as we lurch from one ecological crisis to another, the welfare of our planet, with its magnificent diversity of life, is placed at risk.  The political courage to protect natural ecosystems from the gluttonous adventurism of the Oil & Gas Industry appears to be lacking in our country and across the globe.