Drill Baby Drill

May 28, 2010 § 7 Comments

It’s easy to blame BP’s gulf oil spill on irresponsible profit-hungry corporations and the politicians that do their bidding. This includes the republicans (above video) enthusiastically cheering “Drill Baby Drill!”

It also includes the democrats – President Obama campaigned against republican oil enthusiasm:

Then, once in office, wrongheadedly embraced expansion of offshore drilling:

I also want to point out that the L.A. Times, which has been a very good source of up to the minute reporting on the gulf oil spill, recently editorialized in favor offshore drilling – covered by Jessica Hall here at Creek Freak. Here are a couple excerpts from the L.A. Times editorial:

It’s time to let go of the past — the past 40 years — and allow some offshore drilling. It’s about the principle as much as the production. And it also could be about principal: California’s governor could follow the example of Louisiana’s and demand state royalties for drilling in federal waters.

Environmentally, drilling is much safer than in 1969. There are new technologies.

Then goes on to conclude with:  

We’re anxiously awaiting our next transportation mode. Meanwhile, we’ll need to keep pumping gas — some of it from the Santa Barbara Channel.

It all sounds pretty hollow now.

The solutions? I don’t have all the answers, but I would using our collective shock and despair over the oil spill to commit ourselves to reducing demand for all this oil. Step away from the car. Ride a bike. Walk. Take the bus or the train.

I don’t think that everyone can bike for every trip tomorrow… but there are lots of short trips that are very bikeable. 40% of U.S. commute trips are 2 miles or less, and 90% of these are taken by car. If you’re interested in helping shift to less car-addicted lifestyle, try putting a map on your wall with a circle around your home, showing a 1-mile and/or 2-mile radius. Then use that map to remind us take the local trips by bicycling or walking. Get involved in making your neighborhood more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.

A couple more videos to  help with this – first a beautifully-hip corporate-sponsored challenge to bike those shorter trip:

Then a clever humorous look at why we should take a bike instead:

Good luck to us all. We’re going to need it.

(There’s a lot more to write about all this…  I suggest creek freak readers also read Mark Gold’s recent excellent recent piece Paradise Lost at Spouting Off.)

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§ 7 Responses to Drill Baby Drill

  • Jessica Hall says:

    Thanks Joe. It’s the message I’ve not heard in the media. But then I don’t pay much attention to TV.

  • Gina says:

    It is with great irony that I realized that I get most of my information regarding the oil spill from NPR – which I listen to while commuting in my car.

    Certainly the best way to prevent oil spills is to stop using oil. Obama alluded to as much during his speech yesterday; speaking of reducing America’s dependence on fossil fuels. That said, I have yet to see his administration put those words into action.

    We walk and use the train as much as possible and I love the feeling of freedom that both give me – to be free from the car.

    • Joe Linton says:

      Regarding Obama’s “administration put[ting] those words into action.”:

      Obama has been decent on this. He did approve better fuel standards, and his Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been quite good on walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented projects – there’s still room for improvement, but LaHood (who’s actually a Republican) has probably been the best Transportation Secretary ever regarding these issues – and he’s getting heat for this from pro-car forces.

      (For further info on LaHood’s bike-friendliness read this: http://dc.streetsblog.org/2010/05/28/cyclists-laud-lahoods-bike-ped-advocacy/ )

      It’s going to take a while to turn the battleship around… hopefully the oil spill tragedy can help spur the change that’s needed.

  • Mike Letteriello says:

    Wow. l’ve been on the blogs all day looking at controversy and posting a lot of comments myself. But I didn’t expect any putdowns, however subtle, of the president here. This is a delightful site, but now I see some politics here.

    For my dough, I’d just like to see what I have been seeing: a blog about watercourses in L.A. I have lots of political opinions, but I don’t want to put them on this site. The piling on on Obama has gotten a little thick in the media and on progressive blogs and I’m fed up with it. Could we go back to this site being the delightful oasis that it is? Thanks.

    I can dip into that tragedy on a million other cyberlocations. I freaking need a break.

  • […] by the LACBC, Bicycle Kitchen and IDEPSCA. L.A. Creek Freak says the answer to future oil needs is more riding, not more drilling. In Pasadena, burglars escape by bike, or try to anyway; thanks to Altadenablog […]

  • Erica Hooper says:

    Great post, Joe. I’m so going to try the map tip. I am going to put it right next to where I hang my car keys.

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