AIW approved: ‘Clean Up the Clean Energy Bill’

Delegates approved AIW 4, “Clean Up the Clean Energy Bill,” after debating an amendment to reinstate deleted language that would have advocated a halt to offshore oil drilling. Delegates rejected that amendment.

  • David_Keppel

    Here's a case where we ran out of time and perhaps patience as well (it had been a long day). I now wish I had offered a slightly different amendment: “Halt deepwater offshore oil drilling and impose stringent control and inspection of all existing offshore rigs.” Those who opposed the ban on offshore drilling said we had been doing it safely for twenty years. But the hidden point is that oil is constantly getting harder to find; you have to drill in deeper water. Risks rise and it's harder to monitor. That's not to deny that BP was guilty of gross negligence, as were regulators. But the Atlantis rig is apparently just as precarious as Deepwater Horizon — and it's much bigger. A flat, total ban on all rigs might be inconvenient; but I'll bet the amendment would have carried if we had focused on deepwater rigs. I confess that for me, there was a sharp disconnect between our standing ovation for Winona LaDuke's words the night before and the Sunday afternoon vote.

    The good news, though, is that we passed a very significant resolution. By calling for elimination of subsidies and liability limitations for dirty and dangerous energy, this AIW would give a big boost to renewables and conservation. I highly encourage people to go to http://www.1sky.org for excellent updates on energy legislation in the Senate. Then we can call our Senators' local offices and find when they'll be back in the state. Another excellent strategy is to write a letter to the editor of your newspaper. Mention in it that Senator [say, Bayh, to name one of mine] should support a strong bill on clean energy and climate protection. Give some of the bullet points of the resolution, adding your own perspective and if possible personal story. When the letter is published, send a copy to the Senator's local office. (Never mail anything to a Washington office; it gets delayed for weeks in biodefense testing.)

    Thanks/Peace,
    David

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