“We know blowout preventers don’t always work, even when they’re used correctly. We know the oil companies still don’t have full response capabilities, even if they’ve given their top hat a new coat of paint. And we know that the recommendations of the spill commission haven’t been put in place. Yet Republicans in Congress and the oil companies are still pushing for more drilling with less safety. This is the sort of willful ignorance and speed-over-safety mentality that led to the BP spill in the first place.”
This warning came from U.S. Representative Ed Markey on the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed eleven oil rig workers and was followed by the largest single industrial environmental disaster in American history. Congress has failed to act to protect America’s shores from a similar offshore drilling accident and oil spill. No significant legislation in reaction to the Deepwater Horizon crisis has advanced on Capitol Hill. Instead, Republicans in the House of Representatives are promoting new legislation to make offshore drilling regulations even more lax than they were before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill began.
Old, outdated safety plans are still being submitted by offshore drilling companies. Offshore drilling is still expanding into risky deep water sites, even though that expansion has done nothing to stop the rapid rise in gasoline prices. Indeed, there simply isn’t enough oil off America’s shores to put a dent in energy prices. Only conservation, and a transition away from reliance on fossil fuels, could do that. Yet, most members of Congress are continuing to display the energy philosophy of the early 20th century – that oil is the answer to all of America’s needs.