BP's Gulf of Mexico oil leak is an unmitigated disaster, not just because of the amount of oil that has to be skimmed, the oil-soaked birds that have to be cleansed and the beaches that require purification. It has allowed an Obama administration, already ideologically averse to fossil fuels, to grab the opportunity to declare a moratorium on all deepwater drilling while ‘studying' the safety procedures.
On the surface there is nothing wrong with being prudent in averting a future disaster and there are no two ways in characterizing the blowout other than a disaster. The media, Gulf coast politicians, and all sorts of people from fishermen to the tourist industry, wanted some action, any action; and damages paid. Of course there are always the ubiquitous environmentalists for whom even one part per million of oil anywhere is unacceptable. This flies in the face of natural seeps which, the world over, are many times the volume of any manmade leaks. As with the Exxon Valdez incident and others before it, damages are exaggerated by those that hate oil, no matter what the past experience has shown for the long term effects.
But playing with the supply of oil from the Gulf of Mexico is not a game because of another, far more important and lurking danger. OE