Flaring on the Deepwater Horizon
Urge President Obama to mark the first anniversary of the Gulf oil spill
with a major speech about America’s energy future and a frank
discussion of peak oil. (Photo: DVIDSHUB via Flickr. )

We all know that oil is the lifeblood of the world economy. But after last year’s International Energy Agency report confirming that the world had passed the peak of conventional oil production in 2006, it’s clearer than ever that peak oil is real, peak oil is here and peak oil poses a challenge to our whole way of life.

And as the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill approaches on April 20, America’s biggest ever environmental disaster makes clear that from now on, oil will become more difficult to find and more expensive and risky to produce.

As we remember the eleven men who died and the hundreds of Gulf Coast communities impacted by the spill, the best way to prevent another oil disaster of this magnitude is to reduce our demand for oil.

Unconventional oil dirty and dangerous

Claims by some that if America would only start drilling here and drilling now that we would soon be paying less just don’t hold up to the realities of the world oil market and petroleum geology.

Why would BP have been drilling more than a mile under the ocean’s surface in the Gulf if the world wasn’t running out of oil that was easier to get?

Of course, there’s been disagreement about whether the company and its rig operator took proper safety measures. But it’s clear that even if nobody had cut corners and if no human or mechanical error had occurred, drilling for oil in deep water is always going to be very risky.

As Damian Carrington recently put it in the UK Guardian, “Deepwater Horizon spill: the real cause is peak oil,”

The world runs on oil, a point made most succinctly by George W Bush of all people, when he described the US’s “addiction to oil.” That addiction takes us to the ends of the Earth and the bottom of the ocean in search of the next fix. Drilling in deep oceans for oil and gas is one symptom, from Brazil’s massive pre-salt reserves to the west of Shetland. The filthy squeezing of the black gold from the tar sands of Canada is another, as is the global surge is fracking of oil shales, another dirty business.

For the sake of the economy, our national security and the environment, we need to start dealing with our dangerous dependence on oil today.

Mr President: Give us the truth about oil

Transition Voice, along with our friends at three other prominent organizations dealing with peak oil, have just launched a petition drive urging President Obama to mark the anniversary of the Gulf spill with a major speech to the American people on the subject of peak oil.

In his speech, we want the president to:

  • Say the words “peak oil.”
  • Explain frankly to his fellow citizens that peak oil will have profound implications for our economy, our national security and the future of the American experiment in the family of nations. But it’s a challenge we can meet.
  • Call on the American people to join him in an all-out effort, comparable to what America did to put a man on the moon in the 1960s, to promote clean energy and conservation to reduce America’s dependence on oil by 50% in ten years.

Our petition is co-sponsored by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas – USA, the Post Carbon Institute and Transition US.

Please sign the petition right now. It’ll only take 45 seconds.

sign petition now

Then, please ask at least three of your friends to also sign. We’re hoping to get 10,000 signatures by the middle of April. So please send it out by Facebook, Twitter and by email.

April 20 could be the best chance we have for a long time to finally get peak oil on the national agenda. We have a precious window of opportunity to start a rational discussion about energy and get the American people talking about our oil situation so that we can start to do something about it.

Now is not the time for cynicism or timidity. Now is indeed the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country. Please, stand up and be counted.

– Transition Voice