The bright side of the Gulf Oil Spill

I’m trying to find something positive about the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Do you see any bright spots in this mess?

07/14/2010


I’m trying to find something positive about the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. (This live video feed is kind of interesting to watch, but it doesn’t quell my uneasiness.) It’s not working, so I’ll steal something an upcoming author noted in a recent e-mail exchange (thanks, Grahame):

Britain might be considered responsible for the United States finally moving to a sustainable future when history books are written in 50 years.

I realize that history is often written by the winners, so here’s how the United States will come out a winner in this whole mess:

  1.  Building owners and engineers will work harder and faster to incorporate alternative fuel sources. Several are already in play; solar and wind power will see an uptick.
  2. American will realize that we cannot be dependent on other countries’ companies to provide our natural resources in a wise manner, and we’ll become more dependent on U.S.-based companies who have a greater stake in the local environment.
  3.  People and businesses who use oil in any form (gas for our cars, oil for vinyl, etc.) will learn that its supply has consequences. It doesn’t just get pumped out of a gas station or arrive in a nice barrel; its acquisition has a huge impact on the environment and its people.
  4. Laws will change that demand companies like BP be smarter in their oil acquisition. This will be costly up-front, but will ultimately be safer. A deep-well drilling moratorium already has been unveiled.

I’ve learned a lot about where our oil comes from. The U.S. Energy Information Administration keeps track of and shares the oil import levels. A lot more comes from our immediate neighbors than I realized.

But I’m looking for bright spots in this mess. Care to share your positive thoughts?



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
Cannon Design’s blog is a place for the many voices of the firm to share thoughts and news related to current projects...
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.