Tuesday, June 08, 2010

We Are to Blame for the Oil Spill in the Gulf

To be clear, the oil disaster in the Gulf is clearly a tragedy. There is no way anything good can come from this and I have a hard time looking at the images of the Gulf and listening to people talking about the long term damage it will cause. Part of me wants to just bury my head in some oil free sand and hope it just goes away; but we all know it won't.

It is, however, about time that we, as a nation, face facts. While the accident that caused this tragedy is the responsibility of BP, the fact we are still dependent on oil in the first place is our fault. There can be no denying we are ultimately to blame for the disaster in the Gulf and it is about time we stood up and held ourselves accountable.

Regardless of your opinions regarding President Obama, one of the most refreshing things about him is his ability to step up to America and take the blame for things. Not just this tragedy, but in general he is the first one to raise his hand and say "my fault". Could you imagine George Bush ever taking the blame for anything? I have a hard time remembering any American President ever saying "my fault" about anything. We seem to forget they are human like us and they make mistakes too.

So I challenge every American out there, to stop pointing fingers at everyone else and look out in your driveway or garage and look at the vehicles you have sitting out there. This tragedy is our fault.

For years we have been happy paying the low gas prices as OPEC has slowly raised the prices. Recently, they raised the price of a barrel of oil that caused our gasoline to go to almost $4.00 per gallon before we started to cry foul. What did we do then? We responded by conserving fuel and automakers responded by creating more fuel efficient cars. Big trucks clogged car lots all across the country and for the first time in recent memory, oil consumption went down. What did OPEC do then? They lowered the price of a barrel of oil until things balanced out at the pumps to a price we still think is high but we are tolerating. By doing this, they are removing the incentive we had as a nation to free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil as we are now sitting back, still driving our cars and still buying foreign oil.

This tragedy is our fault, America. We should be free of our dependence on foreign oil by now. We are a great, vibrant, talented nation and we could have solved this problem years ago but there is one thing we lack as a people; foresight. We are either afraid to face the future or don't care about the future because we are living now. Our legacy to our children and grandchildren will be one of greed. People will look back at this period of time and see a selfish people who did not care about the people of the future. They will look at the failures of Wall Street and of our record breaking deficit spending and wonder why we were so obsessed with greed?

It is time, as a nation, to start thinking. To start doing. To STOP pointing fingers at the "other party" or at big oil or at anyone else we want to blame for our problems and to look in the mirror at ourselves and our actions. Stop fighting with each other about who's right or who's wrong and start fixing the problems of our country.

To our politicians, I say this... do you really think one party holds all the answers? Do you really think one President can fix everything? Stop worrying about being re-elected and start facing the reality that we have a lot of things broken and one side alone will not be able to solve all of our problems. We need to work together. We need to be one country. We need to be one people.

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