BP spill is terrible, but on the whole oil makes life better

So much has been written on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is indeed a tragedy of monumental proportions and it has given environmentalists and those who seem to despise human economic progress a convenient issue to hammer with on the issues of global warming and pollution, not to mention capitalism in general.

But, as columnist Jeff Jacoby writes, despite the spill, life without oil would be even more tragic than the spill now polluting the gulf.

As Jacoby summarizes:

Of course there are problems created by oil, as the Deepwater Horizon calamity so heartbreakingly demonstrates. But most things of great value come with downsides. There are 40,000 traffic fatalities in the United States each year, but no rational person suggests doing away with cars, trucks, and highways. Airplanes sometimes crash and boats sometimes sink, but air and sea travel are not derided as “addictions’’ we need to break. Deaths due to hospital infections, medication errors, or unnecessary surgery number in the scores of thousands annually, but who would recommend an end to medical care?

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5 Replies to “BP spill is terrible, but on the whole oil makes life better”

  1. Should BP be forced to pay all of the damages that their oil spill cost? Or should the government bail out the oil company from the consequences of their actions?

  2. What’s missing in America is accountability for ones actions. BP and oil companies in general have been protected too long from full responsibility for their drilling actions. It is my sincere desire to see BP fined heavily and sued even more. Which would be the result if a small company in Albuquerque dumped a thousand barrels of oil into the Rio Grande. Big business hold too much power in America thus able to influence legislation through its lobby actions.

    For those that say, the oil spill is the result of not being able to drill on land I say, then why has drilling been going on in the Gulf since 1947? Long before oil was a political issue and long before “environmentalism” was a movement. They drill, because that’s where the oil is, same as anywhere else. Much of the land mass has been explored thus there are few large oil finds to be made, but offshore there is still potential for big finds. Ask Brazil what offshore drilling is doing for them.

    1. I completely agree with you Andrew! The blame should be focused on BP (and TransOcean), but when government regulators are captured by those they regulate and then taxpayers are stuck with the bill, the government becomes blame worthy. This is a bi-partisan problem.

  3. There are no winners in this mess. BP will have to fundamentally transform into a different company.

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