Obama to Extend Deepwater Drilling Ban for Six Months

offshore oil rig photo

photo: Stig Nygaard via flickr

Some small measure of sanity... BBC News, CNN, and others are reporting that President Obama will extend a ban on new deepwater offshore oil drilling for six months, while the causes of the BP oil spill are investigated.

This is all according to a White House aide, who said:

[Mr Obama] will announce standards to strengthen oversight of the industry and enhance safety, a first step in a process that the independent Presidential Commission will continue. While the commission performs its work to determine how to prevent this from ever happening again, the moratorium on permits to drill new deep-water wells will continue for a period of six months.

In addition to that, the President plans to announce delays in exploration and drilling in Alaska, as well as cancellation of leases off the Virginia coast.

bp oil spill cleanup photo
A worker cleans up oily waste on Elmer's Island, just west of Grand Isle, La., May 21, 2010. Photo: US Coast Guard via flickr.
No Offshore Drilling At All Would Be Better
Which is all good, but the thing that keeps nagging me is this: You can have all the safety procedures in the world, and they may certainly decrease the likelihood of something like this happening again, but you can never entirely eliminate the risk of an accident of this magnitude happening. And with the consequences so devastating, is even a small chance of an accident worth entertaining?

Drive 5.4 Miles Less A Day = We Don't Need the Gulf's Oil
nergy independent!" consider this interesting stat from the Nature Conservancy: If we Americans collectively managed to reduce the number of miles we drive on average from the current level of six times the average European to just five times that--that's reducing your average miles travelled by 5.4 miles per day--the entire amount of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico would be offset.

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More on the BP Oil Spill:
Must See Aerial Footage of BP Oil Spill Shows 'The Gulf Bleeding' (Video)
BP Gets Punked: 7 Best Oil Spill Pranks & Satires
BP Contractors and Coast Guard Prevent CBS From Filming Oil Spill Devastation

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