In his speech delivered on June 16, 2010, the President said that we needed to break our “addiction” to oil and that will be possible when, “…we seize the moment. And only if we rally together and act as one nation –- workers and entrepreneurs; scientists and citizens; the public and private sectors (Obama, 2010).”
As much as I would like to see this happen, I feel that there are three fundamental realities that will prevent this oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from becoming some sort of catalyst that will change our energy policy as a nation and as individuals.
The first fact is that most American thing regionally about their citizenship, and it takes an event such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to really unite the nation as a whole. Americans surely feel for one another, as is shown by the volunteers that rush from all corners of the nation to clean-up after a hurricane or and earthquake. This sort of empathy, while wonderful in the most basic human sense, does little to change people’s choices. We still will build our homes in hurricane and earthquake prone areas after the mess is cleaned up. Everyone feels badly about the fishermen than are going to lose their homes and boats, but that isn’t going to make the guy driving 60 minutes each way to work to suddenly quit his job so he can burn less fuel each day. These are the choices that need to be made if we are going to become less dependant on oil, and most people won’t change because of the oil spill.
The second regional issue is the economic roll oil plays in the Gulf of Mexico. The people that need to call for less oil consumption now is the residents most affected by the spill. They have the attention of the nation this summer. Unfortunately, they are not making these calls. The fact is, many are employed by oil companies in the region and the taxes generated by the oil