Oil drilling is moving backward

We should harness energy in new and innovative ways.

President Barack ObamaâÄôs administration announced that it has put up nearly 38 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas lease sales. Like the Keystone XL pipeline, this initiative is driven by the interests of the oil companies and the wealthy, and both only work to push us backward into the dark ages of energy consumption.

U.S. progress toward green technologies and beating climate change is only stunted by further developing infrastructure to harness our energy in dirty and archaic ways. ItâÄôs our dependency on oil that must be changed. The biosphere upon which we depend on for life requires us to be good stewards.

Regarding Keystone, a gallon of gasoline derived from oil sands produces 5 to 15 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than a gallon from a typical barrel of conventional oil. As for Gulf drilling, the catastrophic risk of deep-water oilrig spills like the one two years ago goes without saying.

The jobs touted from these projects are also projected from âÄúperson-yearsâÄù of employment, so a single job that lasts five years is counted five times. Not only are the numbers inflated and misleading, they are not long-term jobs for Americans.

The future of our desired green economy will depend on whether the U.S. government can consistently penalize dirty energy, promote greater energy efficiency through regulation and offer direct support to sustainable energy innovation. Instead of short-term gains, we need to make decisions as if we will still be here in 200 years. If we did, we wouldnâÄôt be putting so much of our human energy into extracting and burning more oil.