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America Without Offshore Drilling?

Could the United States live without offshore drilling for oil? As the Gulf Coast disaster unfolds, we ask the question. Plus, Al Gore speaks to the class of 2010.

In this 2005 picture, British Petroleum’s Thunder Horse oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is seen damaged following Hurricane Dennis. The platform was located 150 miles southeast of New Orleans. (AP)

A little tube, four-inch diameter, finally slipped into the gushing spill in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, with the hope of siphoning up some of the oil pouring for three and a half weeks now into the sea. 

No one says it’s the end of the spill. It may be slowed. But the damage has already been so vast – even before things really hit the shore – that calls are rising for a moratorium on offshore drilling. 

Could we live without more offshore oil? That’s the question we pick up this hour. 

This Hour, On Point: as the spill goes on, offshore oil and America’s energy future. Plus, we listen as Al Gore addresses the class of 2010, on the Gulf spill and more.

Guests:

Mark Schleifstein, environment reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Read his recent take on the difficulties of balancing energy and environmental priorities in the Gulf.

Robert Bryce, managing editor of Energy Tribune and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His new book is Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy, and the Real Fuels of the Future. You can read an excerpt.

Dan Lashof, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate Center. You can read his thoughts on the Gulf oil spill.

Matthew Kotchen, professor of environmental economics and policy at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Closing segment:

This graduation season, we’ve been broadcasting excerpts from notable commencement speakers from around the country. On Friday, former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Al Gore addressed the 1,030 graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We listen to a piece of the address where Gore talks about “the climate crisis,” as it relates to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the recent flooding in Nashville.

Watch Gore’s full address:

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 4, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP)

Hillary Clinton’s week of bad headlines: about her emails and foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. We’ll dig in.

Mar 4, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

 
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

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Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

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Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

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