British Petroleum’s plan to drill in the Gulf of Mexico again was approved by the Obama administration. It was their first oil drilling plan approved for the Gulf since the huge oil spill the company caused in 2010. Their newly approved plan calls for the drilling of four exploratory wells about two hundred miles from the Louisiana coast, but they still need to acquire a number of permits also in order to proceed. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is the new agency responsible for reviewing oil drilling plans and permits, and several weeks may be required to further review BP’s permit applications. The proposed BP wells would require drilling at about 6,000 feet.
It is shocking a company that caused so much damage to the Gulf’s ecology and regional economy would possibly be allowed to drill there again so soon after the destruction. “Comprehensive safety legislation hasn’t passed Congress, and BP hasn’t paid the fines they owe for their spill, yet BP is being given back the keys to drill in the gulf, said Congressman Edward J. Markey, from Massachusetts. (Source: biologicaldiversity.org)
Scientists who are trying to study the effects of the oil spill on the marine environment and wildlife are not getting much cooperation from British Petroleum on the oil samples they requested. Without the oil samples from BP they say they can’t conduct their research, “As an example, my colleague, Dr. Andrew Whitehead, received a letter from BP confirming that shipment of surrogate crude had been approved, and would be arriving soon. Seven months later, his group still has no oil, putting this federally funded research in serious jeopardy,” said LSU scientist Fernando Galvez. (Source: NOLA.com)
Congressman Markey addressed some of the safety and financials aspects of the situation, but what about the ongoing effects of the oil contamination in the Gulf? Shrimpers have been hit hard, and payments to them through a compensation fund may be increased. Oil has been said to still be washing up on beaches, “We have never stopped seeing oil and they have never cleaned it up.” (Source: NOLA.com)
It seems a sensible national policy would be to ban companies causing enormous oil spills, from drilling again in the same area where they first caused such a catastrophe, to show that large-scale environmental and economic destruction is completely unacceptable. Instead we just may allow them to do more of it, as Yogi Berra said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”
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