On July 15, the day that my letter concerning the Gulf oil spill appeared in the Bugle, I had just been in contact with two gentlemen who had expertise concerning the Jones Act - one, a Coast Guard officer, the other, a boat skipper in the Gulf. Prior to that contact I had relied on different news sources which claimed that the Act was slowing down the cleanup process. It was obvious that those news sources were incorrect.
While it is true that bureaucratic red tape by several minor agencies in the affected area did, in fact, keep many boats from immediately joining the cleanup and some resources were withheld in case of spills elsewhere, no foreign help was refused due to the Jones Act. For that reason, I can appreciate the research done by Joe Stack (Get facts straight on international assistance the Gulf, Opinion, Verde Independent, 7/21/10) concerning the Jones Act, foreign help offered and the availability of deep water oil. However, that was a only a sideline issue in my opinion letter and I stand by the rest of the content.
One of the quotes of the Stack letter - "today it was not possible to satisfy the world's growing energy demands without drilling for oil in deep-water reserves' - only bolsters the argument that the Energy Department has failed its original charter - ending our dependence on foreign oil. The ACLU has openly boasted that for every drilling permit, land or water, the government issues, they have a corps of environmental lawyers waiting to file suit to tie the companies up in court for a decade.
BP may be drilling in deep water because there is oil and profit, but they certainly do no contend that it is cheaper oil. There is a very deliberate movement in this country to prevent us from being oil-independent and it risks our national security. The experts know that renewable energy to replace oil is a dream that is decades away, perhaps even impossible without some major innovative breakthroughs.
Only abundant oil, coal and nuclear power can bridge the gap between now and that achievement. As long as they can keep large numbers of people ignorant of that fact, the radical environmentalists and their lap dogs at the ACLU will continue to hold our country in peril.