Oil Patch(work)

On Monday, 12 May, the first comprehensive energy bill in seven years died in the US Senate. It was an amazing bill full of small energy saving provisions that had nearly universal, bipartisan backing. What killed it was an amendment that would attempt to force President Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline – though how effective even that would be is far from clear.

This was a moment rich in irony because this pipeline has long stood in the way of a comprehensive energy policy. Now, it has killed the most simple and obvious conservation measures. Not long ago Barataria backed the continuous delay of this pipeline because better and more inclusive ideas seemed to be bubbling up the longer it was stalled. This piece is a continuation of that one.

There is no substitute for a real energy policy, something that every developed nation except the US already has. In place of that we have a patchwork of projects here and there and very little real control over the situation to protect the environment, conservation, and even basic safety.  That has to change.

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