BP Disaster And Our Energy Consumption

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[Op-Ed: National]

What is happening in the Gulf of Mexico is beyond belief. Now confirmed as the largest oil spill in history, it has caught absolutely everyone off guard.

There is no doubt that BP is responsible. They must be held accountable in every way and spend every dollar necessary to mitigate this disaster. They are a private company that has financially profited for many years to an extraordinary degree. No amount of money can truly repair the damage done, but let this be a wake-up call to America.

On the public side, so many things have come to light that are astonishing. The Federal government must end the "cozy relationship" it has with all of the oil companies. There must be transparent relationships and meaningful oversight of the oil industry.

After viewing this afternoon's press conference with President Obama, I am convinced that he is leading an intelligent response; employing all of his authority and marshalling every possible resource to mitigate this disaster.

I agree with his approach of engaging long term solutions rather than knee-jerk reactions. The Federal government must never abdicate its responsibility to citizens, but at the same time, there is a delicate balance between public and private that has to be maintained. We need a national energy strategy and the formation of a national commission is a meaningful step in that direction.  

If there is anything positive that can come out of this disaster, it would be that every American will act more responsibly in their personal energy consumption and in improving their relationship with the environment. We must reduce our dependence on oil by developing alternative sources of clean, renewable energy. To not do so will result in a disaster even greater than we have at hand.

In this midst of everything, I hope no one forgets that 11 human beings died in this event. No matter what containment and clean up efforts occur, the families of those people will never have restitution of the lives of their loved ones. To them, I express my heartfelt condolences.

Morgan is a candidate running for Harlem's Congressional seat

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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