I guess my pessimism yesterday was not justified. We haven't won the war, but we won the battle for this year on offshore drilling in the United States. All plans for exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean have been suspended, there will be no deep water drilling, and the offshore drilling in Virginia that was given the go-ahead just before the Deepwater Horizon disaster is also stalled.
This is only for the remainder of the year though - after 2010, drilling may start again. So why am I still happy about this?
In his speech yesterday, Barack Obama emphasised the need to move to clean and renewable energy - the kind that we get the US off oil for good and prevent oil disasters from happening because - well, we won't be drilling for oil anymore.
Here are just a few quotes that gave me confidence:
"This tragedy underscores the urgent need for this nation to develop clean, renewable sources of energy. "
"It’s time to accelerate the competition with countries like China, who have already realized the future lies in renewable energy. And it’s time to seize that future ourselves. "
"I also believe that [oil] is insufficient to meet the needs of our future, which is why I’ve made huge investments in clean energy, why we continue to promote solar and wind and biodiesel and a whole range of other approaches, why we’re putting so much emphasis on energy efficiency."
(Read the full transcript here)
We've been saying all this for a while, and it feel good to see Obama finally realising this too. If he means all he said yesterday, we're going to see the US starting an real energy revolution. Maybe Obama could save his advisors some time and just read the plan for an energy [r]evolution we have made already?