It is not necessary to minimize the catastrophe of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig accident to understand that we must continue to drill, drill, and drill. Throughout the ages, mankind has endured major and minor failures and accidents in their efforts to advance and improve our lifestyle and well-being. When these disasters occur, we do not retreat into the hunter-gatherer era or the horse and buggy era to prevent catastrophes. We learn from our disasters and continue to improve our methods and products. Life must go on. This is not a callous attitude. It simply recognizes that life must go on. And that mankind always attempts to advance and improve our world.
Recently, there was an airplane crash in Tripoli. One survivor. Recently there was an airplane crash in Russia. Poland lost many of its top leaders. There have been many aircraft crashes. No one is suggesting that we stop airline flights despite the loss of life and devastation. We learn from these tragedies and improve the reliability of the product and improve the safety procedures. When the safest ship in the world, the Titanic, was destroyed by an iceberg, we did not stop ocean travel. We improved our ships and safety procedures. Automobile accidents cause more fatalities than any other accidents. Our response is safer highways, more reliable automobiles, and much greater awareness of safety procedures. The examples never cease. The response is always the same. Choose life.
Sadly, our response was not the same after the 1979 Three Mile Island incident. America stopped its plans to build nuclear power plants. We now have slightly over 100 nuclear power plants instead of the planned over a thousand nuclear power plants. Despite the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the rest of the world continues to build safer and more reliable nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants are the only viable means of greatly reducing our need for fossil fuel.
Today, our modern civilization depends on energy, mainly fossil fuel. Our economy depends on relatively inexpensive energy. Our security depends on America having a significant amount of domestic oil. There is no need to enrich our foreign enemies by buying their oil. We are a fortunate nation. We have oil supplies in continental America, in Alaska, and offshore. It is foolish not to use our natural resources. A reduction in oil drilling and/or exploration of offshore oil can only be harmful to America. We will need more tankers to transport oil to our shores. Have we forgotten the Valdez tanker incident? But today, we do have more reliable tankers and more stringent safety regulations. And tomorrow, if we don’t react foolishly and emotionally, we will have more reliable oil rigs and improved safety procedures.
Back to the present Gulf of Mexico fiasco: What must be done? First, we must stop the oil spillage by the best means possible. Next, the victims of the oil rig accident must be fairly compensated by the responsible parties. If there was criminal negligence, punishment is required. Last, and this is very important, we must thoroughly investigate and understand the causes of this horrible accident. Then, improve safety procedures and the reliability of the oil rigs. Continue drilling.