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foreign oil, we d want to drill, baby, drill until there wasn t a single drop left in American territory. (Not that it s likely to make that much of a difference.) Or maybe we d start turning our ample coal reserves into transportation fuel—a process that releases more than twice as much CO2 as petroleum does. Those options would help cut oil dependence, but they wouldn t do a thing about climate change—and might even make it worse.None of this is to say that green groups shouldn t capitalize all they can on the oil spill. There s more at stake than the debate over climate change—groups from the Environmental Defense Fund to the National Wildlife Federation to Greenpeace have done vital work on the Gulf coast, raising awareness about the damage the spill could do and exposing major flaws in BP s response. On June 26, with the help of major green groups,lululemon clothing, a Florida restaurant owner and surfer named Dave Rasuchkolb will launch Hands Across the Sand, a protest that will see hundreds of thousands of people around the world join hands to protest offshore drilling. It will be a major event, immeasurably amplified by the oil spill. But the next day environmental groups will still have to make the case that climate change and carbon emissions must be dealt with directly—and I m not sure that s gotten any easier.The oil spill can frustrate in many ways. The mix of regulatory failures and oil industry cost cutting that appeared to directly lead to the Deepwater Horizon accident—that s pretty galling. The inability of BP and the government brain trust to successfully shut off the leak, more than a month and a half after it began—that s depressing. The chaotic inefficiencies of the response to the oil spill on the surface—that s annoying. The tone-deaf public statements of BP leaders and certain members of Congress—that s infuriating. And the fact that I had to cancel part of my vacation to come back and cover this well, that s actually not a big deal.But what I ve found most frustrating throughout the entire 59 days and counting is simple lack of honesty—and nowhere is that more obvious than in the way both BP and the government have played games with the true rate of the oil leak from the blown Deepwater Horizon well. Since the start of the spill, the figure has gone from 1,lululemon yoga clothing,000 barrels a day; to 5,000 barrels a day; to 12,000 to 19,lulu lemon gear,000 barrels a day; to between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels a day. Now, I understand that a partially blown well 5,000 feet below the surface presents enormous technical challenges—that s been demonstrated on an almost daily basis. And maybe in the immediate days after the spill began, the focus needed to be on shutting it down as soon as possible—or trying and failing to do so—rather than properly metering it. But as the spill continued and it became clear this would not be shut down soon, at some point it should have become ovbvious that getting a proper fix on the amount of oil flowing out of the well would be pretty important. After all, wouldn t you want to know how much oil might be heading for the shore if you were planning a cleanup? Wouldn t that seem to be important?Not exactly. Here s what Jane Lubchenco, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said to reporters on May 20: Jane Lubchenco teleconference May 20 (doc):Without having access to the kinds of better instrumentation or better imaging or direct measurements that are feasible – we do have the knowledge and the instruments to do that – the decision was made that the first priority had to be to stop the flow.  And that is not to say that anyone thought that the estimates were unimportant – everybody thinks it is important to get a good estimate – but that our effort, the response has not been pegged to a low estimate; it has been pegged to a worst-case scenario.This isn t to blame Lubchenco—other government officials and BP executives were saying much the same thing. But the events of the past week make it pretty clear that the response was not pegged to the worst-case scenario (puttRelated articles:

  
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