Deep Water Drilling Ban: A Flimsy After-The-Fact BandAid
On playgrounds everywhere, takebacks are looked down on, and the same should be said about the White House’s attempted ban on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
The May 27 ban, which was lifted by U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, would have lasted for six months and caused a whole slew of layoffs in oil drilling businesses operating in the Gulf.
The White House cannot give companies permission to do high-risk drilling then take back that permission because the government didn’t know what parameters to set from the start.
Instead of punishing drilling companies who, unlike BP, are not currently dealing with a spill, what the United States government should really be concentrating on right now is restricting BP’s activity in Alaska.
BP’s current project, about three miles off the coast of Alaska, requires only one more application in order to be put into motion. This is the perfect opportunity for the United States government to set the restriction that it should have back in 2007 when BP was allowed to write its own reviews.
The fact that the operation will occur three miles off shore dictates to common sense that the drilling would be done in “deep water” and would carry the same risks as the BP drilling operations in the Gulf. This operation in Alaska should definitely give the government pause; it should have given the government pause years ago.
The White House’s interest in giving safety recommendations and restrictions for such drilling should have been present far sooner than the May 27 ban. As explained by the White House, the ban is to ultimately prevent further disaster while they determine whether deep-sea drilling is too dangerous in general.
However, while it is a natural response to want to shut down any chance of another oil spill disaster, the ban would put another considerable factor of the disaster into further imbalance: the job security for the people of the Gulf region.
By banning drilling, the White House is putting more pressure on the people of this area, sacrificing jobs that people depend on.
The situation is already strained enough with the spill. This is made even more evident by the recent suicide of 55-year-old fishing captain Allen “Rookie” Kruse last Wednesday.
While fixing the repercussions of limited drilling regulations, the United States government should not create more problems for people in the Gulf area. It should work