Kann die BP-Ölpest sich auch positiv auswirken?

CAMBRIDGE – Vielleicht ist es nur ein Wunschtraum, aber es ist möglich, dass die anhaltende BP-Ölkatastrophe im Golf von Mexiko endlich die Unterstützung für eine strenge amerikanische Umweltpolitik in Schwung bringt. Die Schuldigen sollten zwar bestraft werden, sowohl um den Glauben der Bürger an die Gerechtigkeit aufrechtzuerhalten als auch um andere Ölproduzenten von übermäßigen Risiken abzuhalten. Doch wenn weiter nichts auf die BP-Katastrophe folgt, ist dies eine tragische verpasste Gelegenheit, ein wenig Verstand in die nationale Umwelt- und Energiepolitik der Vereinigten Staaten zu bringen, die in den letzten Jahren immer weiter vom Weg abgekommen ist.

Warum sollte es Grund zur Hoffnung geben? Vor allem zumal die US-Umweltpolitik auf dem unrealistischen Glauben beruht, relativ geringe Subventionen in neue Energietechnologien könnten steuerliche Preisanreize für Produzenten und Verbraucher ersetzen.

Tatsache ist, dass die BP-Ölpest kurz davor steht, die Politik in historischem Ausmaß zu beeinflussen. Wenn die Sommerwirbelstürme riesige Mengen an Öl an die Strände Floridas und die Ostküste spülen, wird die anschließende politische Explosion die Reaktion auf die Finanzkrise gedämpft erscheinen lassen.

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