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Irresponsibility Punished

BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal fine in U.S. history—$4.5 billion—to resolve all criminal charges arising from the fatal oil rig explosion and subsequent catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said that it had agreed to pay $4 billion to the U.S. government over five years, and $525 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the next three years.

However, the settlement does not resolve all of the claims against BP for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and the company could face billions in restoration costs to the waters, coastline, and marine life. The settlement does limit BP’s exposure to further criminal charges and penalties though, thus allowing the company to focus on resolving other civil claims.

With the American public being reminded about the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and that BP is to blame, in addition to recent crises involving oil rigs, it is not surprising many are experiencing growing concern about oil development and extraction. Alternative energy sources are all being put on the table for discussion, and Al Gore has offered some insight into one alternative energy source which has many people excited, but extremely hesitant.

During a question and answer session on Reddit, a vast internet community, Mr. Gore was asked what role, if any, nuclear power has for a future national energy policy. His response was what is to be expected from the progressive mind, saying nuclear power will only play a limited role in the world’s energy future, due to its “absurdly high” cost.

Addressing the issue of what to do with the waste, and how to deal with the risks associated with nuclear power, “I think the waste issue can probably be solved, and Fukushima notwithstanding, the safety of operation issue can probably be solved.”

Whether it is fossil fuel or nuclear power, there is incredible risk associated with the development of these energies.

A responsible energy policy would minimize risk and maximize benefit, but only the future can tell what kind of policy the United States will receive.

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