We need to end our unrestrained use of oil. Not just foreign oil, not just offshore drilling. All oil. This is not a pipe dream, it is entirely achievable. It takes the proper allocation of priorities and resources to make it happen.
BP executives and managers have been screwing up for years when it comes to worker safety, and the recent deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon is only a continuation of a sad history for the company.
This week, in Obama's Oval Office speech on the oil spill, he used the term "mission." That's the right word. It will take a purposeful commitment to a mission of change to truly respond to the epiphany in the Gulf.
Every year, American taxpayers who play by the rules - individuals, small businesses and even a lot of bigger businesses - have to pay a lot of extra "something" because of all the tax dodgers who pay nothing.
For decades we have engaged in a type of capitalism that is simply unsustainable, an approach to industry that is not only bad in some ethical sense, but also fundamentally impractical in a business sense.
We can't assume that companies like BP and Halliburton will spend the time and money to ensure environmental safety, just like we have learned the hard way that Wall Street will not safeguard our life savings.
This is a spoiled, petulant and entitled corporation operating in a largely deregulated free market atmosphere. Are we to believe that it's acting responsibly and with the best interests of the Gulf in mind? Not a chance in hell.