Kaid Benfield Archive


Response to the spill must include smarter land use, transportation

Kaid Benfield

Posted June 23, 2010 at 1:03PM

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  oiled pelicans from the Gulf spill (by: International Bird Rescue Research Center, creative commons license)

  satellite image of Gulf spill in May (by: DigitalGlobe, creative commons license)

The nation's immediate priority for the Gulf Spill has to be addressing the spill itself and providing whatever redress is possible for the families and communities affected, followed by an aggressive approach to ensuring the safety of future extraction in the Gulf and elsewhere.  But the next step must be policy direction that solidifies and accelerates our country's fits-and-starts moves toward breaking our dependence on oil.  Smarter land use must be part of that solution. 

From Congressman Earl Blumenauer, long one of sustainability's true champions:

Whether from the Gulf of Mexico or Persian Gulf, we cannot meet our nation’s energy needs by drilling. We are at a precipice, and I stand firmly with President Obama when it comes to Congress passing legislation that arms the nation with clean energy.

But frankly, we need to do more on these issues, especially by addressing transportation and how we build in our communities.

The transportation sector accounts for almost three-quarters of U.S. oil consumption and one-third of our carbon emissions. If we really want to break our dependence on oil and improve our global competitiveness, we must focus on the way people commute and move goods.

Being truly aggressive about where and how we build can save even more money and energy -- with the potential to cut carbon pollution 12-16 percent by 2030 and save more than a million barrels of oil a day.

Read the rest of the Congressman's remarks here.

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