April 5, 2010: explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, W. Va. kills 29;
April 20, 2010: explosion and fire on a BP drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico leaves 11 missing, presumed dead. An estimated 5,000 barrels of oil are leaking into the Gulf a day and the slick is currently the size of Jamaica. (Not Jamaica, VT, but Jamaica the island, 45 x 105 miles.) The slick is steadily moving toward US coast, threatening 40% of the U.S. wetlands. See http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0429/Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-spill-could-be-bigger-than-Exxon-Valdez
An op-ed in the Baltimore Sun looks at the differences in environmental impact between wind turbines and offshore oil spills:
“Whatever threat wind turbines may pose to migratory birds or homeowners’ views is a pittance compared to what an oil spill the size of a small country is in the process of doing to gulf wildlife and wetlands.”
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Renewable energy experts around the world, like my friend Suzanne at HuntGreen, have known for years that we need to be creative when it comes to new energy sources: wind, solar, algae, switchgrass. Let’s think about these options before we start drilling for oil off the eastern seaboard. An added bonus: those wind turbines would provide a fun regatta course!