Germany quadruples energy surplus while US suffers 3rd oil spill in weeks
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Browsing the energy news today, the juxtaposition of these two stories pretty much summed up the state of today’s global energy paradigm:
The new spill, from a Shell Oil pipeline, comes on the heels of the Exxon pipeline spill in Arkansas. Right now the oil from the Texas spill is making its way down the Vince Bayou waterway towards the Gulf of Mexico.
In the story about the spill on the Energy Collective website, the author speculates: “So far this latest pipeline burst has received very little mainstream news coverage, likely because there has been so many spills lately (3 in the last week alone), that it is no longer considered ‘news’.”
Perhaps the author missed that the other two spills didn’t receive any mainstream media coverage either. In fact, Exxon asked the FAA to enforce a no fly zone over the Arkansas spill – most likely to avoid aerial photos of the disaster making their way into the media.
I can’t imagine why the American propaganda machine wouldn’t want coverage of oil spills making it onto the front page. Or could it be the pending approval of Keystone XL?
Meanwhile, across the pond, a different energy story is unfolding. Between 2011 and 2012 Germany has quadrupled its energy surplus while simultaneously phasing out the country’s nuclear plants. (Germany also doesn't yet allow fracking because they haven't been able to prove it is safe.) An article on the German energy surplus in Inhabitat.com explained, “The (German) government has set a goal to source 80% of its electricity from green technology by 2050, leaving the old fossil fuel-based utilities behind.”
So what does Germany do with the 22.8 billion kilowatt hours of extra energy produced in the last two years? Sell it on the international market for a massive profit, of course, mostly to Holland, Austria and Switzerland.
So while the US, with far more clean energy potential than Germany, essentially covers up news of multiple fossil fuel disasters in order to invest in future, bigger, fossil fuel disasters, another modern economy is well on its way to a booming clean energy economy. It makes me wonder: how much longer will we be able to call the US a “modern” economy?
Photo of the old and new thriving side-by-side in northern Germany by Topher Donahue.