Finally, some good news from the Gulf of Mexico.
Yesterday, Day 87 of the big BP oil spill, the well was finally capped. And, for the first time since the blowout, there was no oil leaking into Gulf waters.
Hooray, hooray! That relief is only temporary, of course. It’ll take another couple of days before we’re sure the well is really finally secured.
But, it is an important milestone. And, perhaps, the time we can finally transition from oil spill to fulltime oil clean-up.
And then the all-important question of what happens next. Returning to business-as-usual is clearly not an option. So that leaves two ways to go. One, proceed with new deepwater offshore drilling with new safeguards and new emergency equipment in place from day one. Or, two, simply forget about new offshore drilling, anywhere off the coast, because the risk is too great.
Gulf Coast politicians are already clamoring for new offshore drilling, of course. They’re owned – lock, stock, and barrel – by the oil companies. Yet, you know, as soon as there’s another oil spill, they’ll once again expect the federal government to bail them out.
The only real answer is: to seize this opportunity to phase out offshore drilling altogether. Because, as we should have learned in the Gulf, the destruction of our coastal environment and coastal economy is just not worth the risk.
That’s my parting shot for today.