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Skepticism on a drilling moratorium
July 17, 2010 - Mike Maneval
While many have made the case the moratorium on coastal drilling the Obama administration is pursuing in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill is a bad proposal, an insightful article for The Nation by Mark Hertsgaard on Louisiana and the drilling moratorium may reach otherwise-deaf ears. Hartsgaard's inquiry makes the case for more wariness and nuance regarding prohibitions on drilling, observing succinctly, "anyone who is serious about the United States kicking its oil habit in the wake of the BP disaster must confront the realities of Louisiana."
Observing both that 25 percent of the state's economy traces back to the oil and gas industries, and the list of local politicians who oppose the moratorium includes state Sen. Nick Gautreaux, author of the state's pioneering solar tax credit, Hartsgaard quotes Louisianian and past chairman of the National Wildlife Federation, "To be honest, I doubt Louisiana will ever get off oil completely. But we do need to diversify our energy mix."
And Hartsgaard also details, along with the 50 percent tax credit, covering half the purchase of solar systems for home use, other initiatives such as a state Public Service Commission program to expand renewable energy use by 350 megawatts, and discussions on the state joining 29 others in a compact to require diversification toward renewable energy.
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