Conservative Republicans have long pushed for drilling at all promising oil sites, including the Alaskan Wilderness tracts and in offshore areas along all American shorelines. Favoring the oil industry and claiming that their motivation is independence from Middle Eastern countries, they have minimized the impact that this approach might have on our natural environment; after all, a minority of their supporters are conservationists.
Among this party of pro-drillers has been the conservative leadership of Louisiana, the only State that has tolerated the practice of offshore drilling. This week, we are witnessing the unfortunate ramifications of that policy as coastal ecosystems and their wild residents are threatened by a major oil leak from a damaged well. Of course, the damage will extend well beyond the natural environment, threatening the livelihood of fishermen and shrimpers in that State.
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, Northeastern liberal conservationists have long opposed offshore wind farms along Cape Cod. This clean source of energy, posing little if any threat to the environment, might diminish their pristine view of the ocean. No doubt cheering the development of wind farms across the Great Plains, this provincial-minded group took the "not-in-my-backyard" approach to conservation. Fortunately, they have lost the battle and construction of the wind farm is scheduled to proceed (pending any further legal maneuvers by these wealthy conservationists).