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Easy Sustainability Answers

What impact, if any, will the BP oil spill have on energy policy?

Adriene Hill Jun 9, 2010

Easy answer: Maybe a lot. Depends on who you ask.

We’re holding our online conference on climate change Moving By Degrees today, and I’m planning to ask a number of our experts for their thoughts.

First up, Stanford University Professor Dr. Stephen Schneider. In our online interview, he told me:

“Now all of the sudden there’s kind of been a flip in the mentality, maybe we should trust those scientists after all. Those business guys put money ahead of safety. You can extrapolate it anyway you want, but I think it’s actually opened up the capacity to have a bit more of a civil dialogue with less blame and I think that’s pretty good. If there’s a silver lining in this oil cloud it’s that people realize that if we want to sit and make the world safe for SUVs and our continuing gluttony on oil, it’s not cost free and that there will be surprises and we have to change the way we do things.”

“If you want to be cynical, there are some people who view DeepwaterGate, which you can call it, as the Chernobyl of Drill, Baby Drill… or Spill Baby Spill. Of course we’re not going to stop drilling overnight, nor should we; but we cannot continue to do this expansion. It doesn’t even produce much oil compared to our normal sources.”

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