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What a Difference a Spill Makes

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There are so many questions the spill in the Gulf now raises. What will be the impact on offshore drilling -- which has been one of the few growth sectors of US domestic oil production? What kind of political backlash will it produce? Already President Obama and the administration are in damage control mode.

How can we reasonably assess and digest the risk that this kind of energy production brings with it? After all, there is risk in the mines as we've painfully seen. There is risk in the air when we fly. There is risk crossing the street. It's all about cost, benefit and consequence -- as BP has already acknowledged. Will this be the THREE MILE ISLAND of oil drilling? Remember -- after TMI we all but stopped nuclear construction and the industry was -- pardon the pun -- radioactive. 31 years later and we're just now -- maybe -- about to restart the nuclear industry. TMI for oil? Is this the reality that will wash ashore with the spill -- or will the public and the pols make a different calculation?

From the climate/energy bill and Obama saying we need to drill more offshore...to this. A new sense of reality. And vulnerability.

What a difference a spill makes.

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