I think more important is to understand that we now need a government that is going to regulate a company, BP, which was a serial abuser of workers and of safety regulations. Just like Massey, we need regulations...
TAPPER: Massey, with the -- with the West Virginia mine.
VANDEN HEUVEL: ... tough enforcement -- the mines -- we need a government that understands that. I would also point out that this was the week that for the first time an offshore wind farm was approved. And George Will may not see a future in that, but I believe we need a Manhattan Project, an Apollo Alliance to ramp up public and private investment.
At the moment, energy companies spend 0.25 percent on R&D. We can do better. We are a nation which should do better, George, and not rely on dirty energy, which just compounds the problem affecting this country and the planet.
TAPPER: Mr. Will, your name has been invoked.
WILL: Well, one in five steps of an approval process has now been taken for the wind farm, vigorously opposed by people who are all in favor of renewable energy elsewhere, because they think it'll spoil their view.
TAPPER: This is the wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts that a lot of people...
WILL: The wind farm on Cape Cod, yes.
TAPPER: ... including the Kennedy family, were fighting tooth and nail.
WILL: Right. And -- and, by the way, wind farms kill a lot more birds daily than are probably going to be killed in this oil spill.
And so -- but I'd like to go back to Bill. Could you just explain to me in what sense Brazil got off oil?
MAHER: I believe they did. I believe they, in the '70s, they had a program to use sugarcane ethanol. And I believe that is what fuels their country.
WILL: I think they still burn a lot of oil and have a lot of it offshore.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But, George, you're a man who understands there are always alternatives in politics and in science. We can -- you know, why should we be relying on what we are now seeing the risks of?
And, by the way, we can do better with existing oil fields. We can get as much from existing oil fields, which the oil companies for profit reasons aren't doing much with. So I just think we have seen the risks and we need to take action. It is just too much to look at what is going on in the gulf and what will happen if it moves into the Arctic.
And I agree with Bill. I think President Obama was pandering when he moved to this offshore drilling stance. But I think this White House has the ability, unlike previous White Houses, to understand and see the light and take a different step.
MAHER: And could we have judges fact-check this on Brazil? I don't know...
MAHER: ... dreamed that about Brazil.
MAHER: ... and Brazil, let's get back to the United States. I think that Katrina's right. I think that there's a challenge here. And I think that the president and the country has to deal with the reality that we're facing.
And I think that the reality is that usually it's not about who's going to speak for the left or right. It's, who's going to be right on these issues? We see what can happen here. Now what do we do about it? And I think that, clearly, a failure to stand up and lead at this point is something that all of us would criticize.