I love a clean ocean and I love New Jersey's coastline. I live on it. Most of this blog has been written as I look out my window over the Sandy Hook Bay, Sandy Hook, the Atlantic and the New York skyline from Staten Island to deep into Long Island. I love that dolphins, seals and osprey live in my backyard. My commitment to a pristine environment is not theoretical or abstract.
Yet, there is a lot that bothers me about the fierce political opposition to energy exploration in the Atlantic. It seems to me that much of the opposition to New Jersey coastal energy exploration and production is thoughtless, knee-jerk, and based on events of the 1970s that technology could or should be able to prevent and contain today.
As we as a state and a country are preparing to make huge investments in "green energy" like solar and wind, I wonder if investments in making oil and gas production environmentally safe would offer faster solutions to our continuing energy dependence crisis and a greater economic return. It sure would be nice getting checks from the government for oil and gas royalties and not having to pay taxes.
Yes, accidents will always happen, as we are seeing this week in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm interested in watching how the environmental impact of that accident is contained.
I'm wondering if the choice between safe clean beaches and energy production is a false choice. Is it possible to have both without compromise? Are irrational fears and politics preventing us from even looking into the possibility of having both a clean environment and domestic energy independence?
I'm no expert on the matter. But I'm going to keep raising the questions and do some research.