By Senator Sherrod Brown
Published by Vindy on July 28, 2010
Time for Congress to act on energy
The Vindicator's editorial page was spot-on when it called on Congress to do more to regulate our oil drilling industry ("Congress should be working to avoid future Gulf catastrophes," July 23).
Years of irresponsible deregulation, much of which took place under the previous administration, gutted the Minerals Management Service and left it largely ineffective. As a result, this oil spill will have a deep impact on the people who live and work along the Gulf coast--not to mention the environmental effects, which will no doubt linger for decades.
Though Ohio is hundreds of miles from the Gulf coastline, our state has the opportunity to help prevent another catastrophic oil spill. Ohio has made tremendous strides in the field of clean energy technologies--and this important industry has the ability to help shake our country's unhealthy and dangerous addiction to petroleum. Congress should not only be crafting legislation to better regulate offshore drilling, but working to provide strong incentives to the emerging clean energy industry to continue critical research and development.
The Senate is poised to consider a bill that would reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels. Part of this legislation would also ensure that Big Oil--not taxpayers or small businesses--remains on the hook for cleaning up oil spills such as Deepwater Horizon. BP must be held fully responsible for their short-sighted irresponsibility.
Clean energy has the potential to put Ohioans back to work -- and to ensure that the phrase "top kill" is never again part of the American lexicon. Now is the time for Congress to step in and act.