Photo via There Were 42
I've been keeping a close eye on the public opinion figures that emerge as the saga of the disastrous BP Gulf spill continues to unfold. It took almost a month, but the plurality of Americans now feel that continuing to drill offshore is not worth the risks. Despite that, support for expanding offshore drilling remains, somewhat surprisingly high (in the 40 percent zone). That is, until the public is asked whether it prefers drilling to alternative energy. Then offshore drilling gets its ass kicked. The Virginia University Commonwealth poll found the following (via Enviroknow):
When it comes to balancing priorities for energy production, the public weighs heavily on the side of developing alternative energy sources. About three quarters (74%) consider increasing our use and production of alternative energy sources to be more important than increasing offshore oil drilling (15%).Booyah. Yes, it's Friday, and I am therefore allowed to include Booyah as part of my critical analysis. But in all sincerity, those are some truly encouraging numbers. I recognize that asking someone whether they prefer clean energy or an energy source that runs the risk dumping millions of gallons of toxic liquids into fragile ecosystems will yield predictable answers, especially now. Yet the question clearly asks whether increasing the 'use and production' of renewables is more important now, an lo--they do.
Now it's up to Congress to reflect the will of the people with legislation that truly and significantly bolsters the development of alternative energy -- first and foremost by pricing carbon, of course.
Finally, here's a graph from the same survey that shows once again the nation's trending disfavor towards offshore drilling:
More on Offshore Drilling
Arnold Terminates Offshore Drilling (Video News)
Offshore Drilling : Worth the Oil, or False Hope?