Monday, July 4, 2011

Oil Fouling Yellowstone River Is Another Day In "Oilland"

As I have, millions of Americans have watched trout in one of America's most beautiful, famous rivers--the Yellowstone River.

Today clean up continues from a spill of 42,000 gallons of oil that entered the river from a ruptured pipeline.  The oil has impacted landowners who are complaining about the stench of oil at their properties.

Everyday throughout America there are oil spills and oil leaks, most relatively small.  Not infrequently there are major oil accidents. 

Events like the Yellowstone spill or two oil tankers dumping large amounts of oil into the Delaware River in separate accidents, the enormous spill in Prince William Sound in Alaska, and the monster BP Oil blow out.

The impacts to water and our air from producing, transporting, and combusting oil dwarf the impacts from natural gas.

Yet, the on-going discussion about gas drilling infrequently gets to the real issue that less gas means more coal and oil production and combustion over the next 20 years.  And more gas means less coal and oil use.

People who view Gasland (especially uncritically) without learning about Oilland, Coalland or Nukeland cannot make good decisions about environmental impacts of how we make and use energy.

Real world energy choices are far from perfect.  Real energy choices are about reducing or increasing negative impacts. 

Strongly regulating natural gas and using it to replace as much coal and oil as possible is not perfect but it is better than not using gas and consuming more coal and oil.  Just look at the Yellowstone River.

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