Talk about a vicious circle.
The artificially low price of gas just bit us in the butt, big time. As Washington Post writer Ezra Klein points out, however, the circle goes well beyond the horrific toll on wildlife caused by the BP oil disaster. It goes farther than the lost tourists dollars and the crippled seafood industry in the gulf — each losing billions.
The real damage is the self-perpetuating nature of our addiction to cheap oil. By forcing workers, taxpayers and the environment to absorb the real costs, we prevent serious development of any alternatives. Solar power isn’t just renewable and clean, it doesn’t cause mega-disasters like the oil-spewing well at the bottom of the ocean. A wind turbine can’t break and result in a “catastrophic wind spill” — Stephen Colbert’s concerns, notwithstanding.
Yet these and other safe and reliable technologies are forced to compete with Big Oil’s bogus pricing. “Solar and wind are just too expensive,” claim energy pundits and oily politicians, who should, and often do, know better.
The lie of “cheap gas” is self-perpetuating. Solar, wind and wave power will never be competitive as long as the system is — pardon the pun — rigged.