The following op-ed from David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance, appeared on the National Journal website here, in response to the discussion question “How can the U.S. wean itself off oil?”
May 10, 2010 We can only start this discussion with an honest, realistic approach of our needs as a country — those who would argue that oil is the only way forward, as well as those who protest all oil production (yet continue to drive cars, fly on airplanes) need to look at this not through the lens of the recent catastrophic spill, but through the lens of what we can do to address ALL of our needs: our energy requirements, our economic security, our environmental needs and safety concerns.
Let’s at least try to unite all sides of this debate and find a reasonable and realistic starting point from which we consider ALL the consequences of ALL the different options for energy production — from supply and cost to environmental impact and geopolitical impact — and weigh the risks and benefits of all.
At the Consumer Energy Alliance we recognize that there are NO EASY ANSWERS to the country’s energy demands and that all of our options have consequences. This is not to say that we cannot — or should not — strive to move toward a better future where more of our energy is derived from renewable sources But we also need to recognize that condemning all domestic oil production, without offering a viable alternative on the scale that is needed, helps no one.