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Chan Lowe: Oil and the government


boot.gifThis is a Manhattan Project moment, as was 9/11. And we’re squandering it the same way we did then.

Had George Bush surrounded himself with advisers of broad vision and foresight, he could have molded the world into an interdependent, terror-proof network. He could have laid the foundation for a crash program leading to energy independence for America. Instead, he started a couple of wars.

Now a nation that is just beginning to grasp the true scope of the unfolding tragedy in the Gulf cries out for leadership, as it did in 2001.

Rather than provide it, the Obama Administration has gone into bunker mode, uttering empty platitudes and hollow ultimatums in an attempt to divert blame and responsibility in an election year.

We are awakening to the reality that our government is powerless to deal with the mess. A victim of its own lack of political will in not requiring that adequate safety provisions be put in place before drilling even began, it now reaps the whirlwind of its corrupt impotence.

We as a nation are forced to entrust the rescue and restoration of our environment to the very same soulless private sector whose cutting of corners resulted in its rape.

We are angry at the oil industry, the way a debtor is angry at his loan shark. We know that the oil companies are exacting what amounts to a national indemnity by providing us what we cannot do without. We are in their thrall, and we look to our leaders to extricate us.

But we don’t elect leaders anymore; we elect people who tell us what we want to hear. They reflect us, with all our weaknesses and addictions. If we can’t do anything ourselves to stop the madness, why should we expect them to?


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You fail to point out that we are sitting on close to 1000 years of oil in the US that because of far left do gooders , we have not started to tap. You should read the gov. report on the oil in North and South Dakota , Utah Alaska and you would see that we need to drill on our own land. President Obama is way over his head in the job of leader of the free world and our country so we are all disappointed in the lack of leadership and abilities. Hopefully he will be a one term President.


Hey pallidin, don't you get it? Oil is the problem, not the answer. If there is 1000 years of oil (there isn't) we will all be extinct in less time than that by continuing to burn fossil fuel.


Given the current circumstances, it is very easy to hop on the band wagon against offshore drilling. That would be a mistake. A great leader would recognize that America will need the oil and gas to be produced from offshore wells and he would lay out the case for more drilling rather than less. He might point out that even with generous subsidies wind, solar and biomass amount to only 3% of our needs and that percent will grow slowly unless we are willing to destroy our econmy with high priced power. He might point out that the well in question is not typical as it is drilled in 5,000 feet of water and there are safer places to drill with great prospects but these are currently off limits as they are closer to land. He might point out that Brazil, Norway and Mexico and others will continue to drill offshore and perhaps we should consider using the extra blowout protection used on some of these wells in deeper water.
Is this the type of message we are getting from leaders like Pres. Obama and Gov. Crist?


Sorry: We don't elect people who will tell us what we want to hear, we elect the lesser of the two evils coughed up by a corrupt political system rigged to prevent any alternatives to republicans and democrats from getting a toehold.

What *I* want to hear is a politician saying he is disgusted with both parties, so he is starting a new one based on the concept of "do what works" instead of the concept of "slavishly follow failed dogma" that republicans and democrats seem to have patented.


Pretty harsh to blame the Obama Administration for the lack of safety precautions... that preceded his tenure by, well, how long have they been drilling for oil?


We reap what we sow. Chad has it right on the money this time. Excellent.


Chan, sorry i spelled your name wrong in the other post!


It's not the government's fault any of this happened. It's BP'S fault. Just because there isnt a law to force good work doesnt mean good work can't be done. The bottom line always rules. And we the people? We're the ones using the oil, demanding all the new energy burning new toys.
We dug this hole we're in. i'm sick of the govt being blamed. It's an easy out.
We the people are to blame.


This oil mess reminds me of a group of people standing around a broken-down car, on the side of the road...

No one has any idea, as how to fix it- But everyone has a opinion.


ok I gota agree on lorraines post ref many ideas but no real answers. personally I have been looking at what they are doing to try to clean up this mess. I have noticed that there are currently 4 openings in florida for people with what the fed. gov. says you need to clean this mess up for the entire state of florida listed on monster. I realise that BP is busy in Lousiana but correct me if I am wrong but arent we gonna get some people here in fla to start cleaning?(perhaps before it gets here ie. Ft. Lauderdale) this time next week we may be saying why didnt we slow it/lessen it before it got here? granted we wont get it all but shouldnt we be kinda proactive? every coconut on our beach is a kinda reminder its comming.
I would rather say we tried rather than "gee where did this come from?"


Utah Alaska and you would see that we need to drill on our own land. President Obama is way over his head in the job of leader of the free world and our country so we are all disappointed in the lack of leadership and abilities. Hopefully he will be a one term President.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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