Erik Vosburgh: Culpable customers

January 1, 2013 

Culpable customers

There are some mistakes in life that can’t be avoided. These are the times when we drop the ball, pick up the pieces and carry on with one more lesson learned. But some mistakes signify a flawed premise rather than a faulty execution. More than 40 million barrels and two years after Deep Water Horizon, the oil industry is guilty as charged.

The Dec. 12 article “Long, uncertain future for restoration of Gulf” so thoroughly scraped through the grimy details of the Gulf’s recovery, and in all this mess only a few hints of optimism are to be found. According to the New York Times, BP has reported over $5 billion in quarterly earnings as of this past September. While it sells a product that is dangerous in all of its forms, our energy dependence is affirming its business model with each passing moment. We are just as responsible for a century’s worth of oil spills as the industry as a whole, which is why it is our responsibility to urge our representatives to push for a carbon tax.

A revenue-neutral carbon tax would make companies like BP financially accountable for the external consequences of their products, while protecting Americans from the price burden.

Erik Vosburgh


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