To say “It’s complicated” is an understatement when it comes to how to regulate offshore oil drilling. Obama Decried, Then Used, Some Bush Drilling Policies, WSJ July 5.
The Obama administration’s actions in the court case exemplify the dilemma the White House faced in developing its energy policy. In his presidential campaign, President Obama criticized the Bush administration for being too soft on the oil industry and vowed to support greener energy forms. But, once in office, President Obama ended up backing offshore drilling, bowing to political and fiscal realities, even as his administration’s own scientists and Democratic lawmakers warned about its risks.
The dimensions of the problem seem almost endless. See this less-than-cheerful bit of information about the size of the oil reservoir. Relief well is last best hope to contain gusher. AP, July 5.
Chief Executive Tony Hayward said in June that the reservoir of oil is believed to hold about 2.1 billion gallons of oil. If the problem was never fixed, it could mean another two years of oil spilling based on the current flow rate until the reservoir is drained.